Parliament: 900 flat buyers cancelled their BTO bookings last year

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said those who cancel their bookings before signing the lease agreement will forfeit the booking fee, which ranges from $500 to $2,000, depending on the flat type.
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said those who cancel their bookings before signing the lease agreement will forfeit the booking fee, which ranges from $500 to $2,000, depending on the flat type.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - About 900 flat buyers cancelled their Build-To-Order (BTO) bookings with the Housing Board in 2018 because they could no longer afford one, changed their minds about moving or had bought a resale flat.

Of the cancelled bookings, 38 per cent were for four-room flats, 25 per cent for two-room flexi or similar units, and 22 per cent for five-room flats. The remaining 15 per cent were for three-room homes.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong gave these figures in Parliament on Tuesday (Jan 15) when replying to Mr Ang Wei Neng (Jurong GRC).

Mr Wong also said those who cancel their bookings before signing the lease agreement will forfeit the booking fee, which ranges from $500 to $2,000, depending on the flat type.

Those who cancelled after signing the lease agreement forfeit 5 per cent of the flat price, Mr Wong added. "They would also need to wait a year before they may apply for another subsidised flat."

He explained that the measures are to make sure that buyers are serious about buying a flat, and that they "do not deprive others who are in urgent need of buying a flat".

On a case-by-case basis, HDB has waived the forfeiture when buyers cancelled on valid grounds, he said.

 
 
 

Replying to a separate question filed by Mr Faisal Manap (Aljunied GRC), Mr Wong said the land cost for HDB home projects awarded in 2016 and 2017 was about 60 per cent of total development cost.

The proportion was about the same for three-room, four-room and five-room BTO flats, the minister said.

Other costs include construction, consultancy fees and financing. Proportions vary among projects, depending on various factors, including design and the market, he added.

"In general, HDB's total development cost cannot be fully covered from the sale price of flats," said Mr Wong. "This is because the pricing of new HDB flats is guided by our objective of keeping public housing affordable."