Bigger BTO flats in Bishan and Toa Payoh heavily oversubscribed in one day despite website glitches

At 5pm on Nov 18, five-room flats in Toa Payoh's Bartley Beacon housing project were the most in-demand. PHOTO: HOUSING & DEVELOPMENT BOARD

SINGAPORE - Bigger Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in Bishan and Toa Payoh (Bidadari) have been oversubscribed just one day after their launch, even as buyers faced issues submitting applications on the Housing Board website.

The HDB website was hit with glitches for more than 24 hours after it launched some 5,700 BTO flats and 5,220 Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) at 10am on Tuesday (Nov 17).

At noon on Wednesday, the HDB said in a Facebook post that the issues had been resolved and e-services were available on its website.

Affected buyers had complained on Facebook that they were unable to make payment of the $10 administrative fee to apply for a flat or were unsure if their payment had gone through.

The HDB did not specify the cause of the issues.

Despite the website glitches, the bigger flats in the mature estates of Bishan and Toa Payoh were already heavily oversubscribed just one day into the one-week sales exercise.

At 5pm on Wednesday, five-room flats in Toa Payoh's Bartley Beacon housing project were the most in-demand, with more than five applicants vying for each of the 144 available units.

Prices for these flats start from $627,000, excluding grants, making them the most expensive units in this launch.

The total of 910 four-room flats and 184 three-room flats in Bartley Beacon and ParkView @ Bidadari - the other BTO project in Toa Payoh - were not yet oversubscribed as at Wednesday evening but are expected to see more demand in the coming days.

The next most popular project is the Bishan Ridges, with around two applicants vying for each of the available units. Its 1,222 four-room flats drew 2,606 applicants while its 124 three-room flats drew 233 applicants.

Buyers in Bishan Ridges, which is within walking distance of Bishan MRT station, will have to wait the longest for the flats, with an estimated completion date in the second quarter of 2026.

In Tampines, the 360 four-room flats and 244 five-room flats at Tampines GreenEmerald were also oversubscribed, drawing 534 and 356 applicants respectively.

Demand was just as high in the non-mature estate of Sembawang, where the 84 three-room, 238 four-room and 184 five-room flats were around two times oversubscribed.

Tengah's two housing projects - Garden Court @ Tengah and Garden Terrace @ Tengah - proved the least popular so far, drawing just around the same number of applicants as the available flats for four-room and five-room flat types.

The 218 three-room flats in Tengah drew only 98 applicants.

Flats in Tengah will be the earliest to be ready in this launch, around the first quarter of 2024.

Applications for the flats close on Nov 23. The flats will be allocated through balloting.

In February next year, the HDB will launch some 3,500 flats in Bukit Batok, Tengah, Kallang/Whampoa and Toa Payoh (Bidadari). Another 3,800 flats will be offered in Bukit Merah, Geylang, Tengah and Woodlands next May.

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