16 applicants vying for each 4-room BTO flat in Kallang/Whampoa under prime location model

King George's Heights in Kallang/Whampoa is the second BTO project to come under the PLH model. PHOTO: HDB

SINGAPORE - The second Build-To-Order (BTO) project under the prime location public housing (PLH) model proved to be popular among home buyers, despite the strict buying and selling conditions, as all units have been oversubscribed.

As at 5pm on Wednesday (Feb 23), around 16 applicants are vying for each of the four-room flats in the PLH project located in the mature estate of Kallang/Whampoa.

As 95 per cent of the flat supply is set aside for first-time applicants, this translates to around 10 first-time applicants and around 134 second-time applicants vying for each of the 294 four-room flats.

Competition was significantly less stiff for the 104 three-room flats in the PLH project - King George's Heights - with more than two first-time applicants signing up for each flat.

Buyers of these PLH flats will be subject to strict conditions, such as a 6 per cent subsidy clawback clause upon resale of the unit, a 10-year minimum occupation period, income restrictions on resale buyers currently stipulated at a cap of $14,000 in combined monthly household income.

Huttons Asia senior director of research Lee Sze Teck said the strong demand for the PLH project in Kallang/Whampoa could be due to the smaller supply of flats and lower prices compared with the previous PLH project in Rochor that was launched last November.

A four-room flat in the Kallang/Whampoa PLH project starts from $488,000 while a four-room unit in the Rochor PLH project starts from $582,000.

Then, the 680 four-room flats in Rochor drew more than five first-time applicants each while the 280 three-room attracted around one first-time applicant each.

Said Mr Lee: "The strong demand for PLH flats at Rochor may have allayed concerns over the restrictions imposed and hence led to more applicants this time."

A total of 3,953 BTO flats were launched by the Housing Board last Thursday in the first sales exercise of the year, and all six projects have been oversubscribed as at 5pm on Wednesday.

Applications close at 11.59pm on Wednesday on the HDB flat portal. The flats will be allocated through balloting.

Home seekers also made a beeline for the only other mature estate BTO project in Geylang in this February sales exercise, with more than 18 first-time applicants vying for each of the 242 four-room flats available.

Bigger flats in two BTO projects in the non-mature estate of Yishun - Yishun Boardwalk and Grove Spring @ Yishun - saw healthy demand with around two first-time applicants vying for each of the four-room and five-room flats. There were more than three first-time applicants for the three-room flats.

These flats in Yishun have a shorter waiting time of just over two years to 2½ years and are among the most affordable units on offer in this sales exercise.

As HDB issues three times more ballot numbers than the flat supply in anticipation of applicants who will drop out during the flat selection process, almost all the first-time applicants in Yishun can expect to get a queue number.

Demand was also healthy for bigger flats in the two BTO projects in the non-mature estate of Tengah.

There were more than three first-time applicants for each of the 517 five-room flats in Parc Flora @ Tengah and Plantation Creek, while more than two first-time applicants signed up for each of the 570 four-room units.

In May, about 5,300 flats will be offered in towns such as Bukit Merah, Jurong West, Ghim Moh estate in Queenstown, Toa Payoh and Yishun.

An adjoining site in Ghim Moh is also planned for public housing and will be launched this year, said HDB.

Another 6,300 to 6,800 flats in towns such as Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Merah, Choa Chu Kang, Jurong East, Queenstown and Woodlands will be offered in August.

To meet strong demand for public housing, HDB will ramp up its BTO supply and launch up to 23,000 flats each year in 2022 and 2023.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.