SINGAPORE - Bigger flats in Kallang/Whampoa and Bidadari proved to be the most popular among home seekers in the Housing Board's first sales exercise of the year that concluded on Wednesday (Feb 10).
Seniors wanting to live in Singapore's first assisted living public housing in Bukit Batok also face stiff competition, with four times as many applicants as there are available units.
As at 5pm, there were nine applicants vying for each of the 323 five-room flats in the ParkEdge @ Bidadari and Alkaff Breeze Build-To-Order (BTO) housing projects.
There were close to seven vying for each of the 386 four-room flats in McNair Heights in Kallang/Whampoa, the biggest flat type in the development.
Since 2015, the HDB has not launched five-room BTO flats in a centrally located mature estate outside of Bidadari, which is part of Toa Payoh town.
Prices for the five-room flats in Bidadari start from $611,000, while prices start from $532,000 for a four-room flat in McNair Heights, excluding grants for both.
Flat owners of McNair Heights will have to wait till up to the second quarter of 2026 to get their keys.
Four-room units in all three Bidadari projects - Bartley GreenRise, ParkEdge @ Bidadari and Alkaff Breeze - also drew slightly more than five applicants for each of the 797 units.
The three-room units in Bartley GreenRise were also popular, drawing slightly more than four applicants for each of the 96 units.
Alkaff Breeze is located near Cedar Primary School and the upcoming Alkaff Lake, while Bartley GreenRise is located on a site next to Maris Stella High School and within walking distance of Bartley MRT station.
ParkEdge @ Bidadari, the biggest project of the three, is situated opposite the future Mount Vernon funeral parlour complex that is slated for completion in 2025.
In towns where two or more BTO projects are on offer, applicants can apply only for their preferred flat type. They will only be able to book a flat in one of the projects based on their balloted queue position, subject to availability.
There were also 682 applicants vying for 169 units in the pilot batch of Community Care Apartments in the Harmony Village @ Bukit Batok assisted living project.
Only those aged 65 and above can apply for these 32 sq m flats, which come with grab bars and a wheelchair-accessible bathroom.
Residents also have to subscribe to and pay for a service package that includes 24-hour emergency monitoring and activities at communal spaces within the development.
Home seekers looking to live in the non-mature estates of Bukit Batok and Tengah may have better luck, as application rates were lower in those developments.
There were about three applicants vying for each of the 387 four-room flats in Parc Woods @ Tengah, and slightly more than two applicants vying for each of the 81 three-room units in West Hill @ Bukit Batok as well as the 83 three-room units in Parc Woods @ Tengah.
PropNex head of research and content Wong Siew Ying said the higher subscription rates for flats in Kallang/Whampoa and Bidadari were expected, given that they are in coveted locations in the fringes of the city.
However, the longer waiting time of about five years for flats in McNair Heights in Kallang/Whampoa - compared with three to four years usually - could have dampened interest from other potential flat buyers, she said, noting that a May 2019 BTO launch in Kallang/Whampoa had a higher subscription rate of 15.6 for four-room flats.
"Young couples looking to have their home and start a family may feel that is too long a wait," she added.
She also said that the subscription rate for the assisted living project in Bukit Batok is encouraging, as it shows there is genuine demand for projects.
"HDB can consider building more of them," she added.
The HDB had launched a total of 3,740 BTO flats for sale in this exercise.
In May, it will launch about 3,800 flats in Bukit Merah, Geylang, Tengah and Woodlands.
Another 4,930 flats will be offered in Queenstown, Kallang/Whampoa, Tampines, Jurong East and Hougang in August.