SINGAPORE - Home buyers continued to exercise their preference for mature estates, with Geylang the most hotly contested location for the second time this year in the latest sale of new homes by the Housing Board.
In the exercise still ongoing until midnight Monday (Nov 20), at least 2,166 applicants have vied for 748 units in Eunos Court. This is a subscription rate of 2.9 applicants per flat.
Altogether, the November sales exercise had 7,344 applicants vying for 4,829 Build-to-Order (BTO) units - a rate of 1.5 - as of 5pm on Monday.
ERA Realty's key executive officer Eugene Lim said application rates for this round have been moderate and within expectations. The previous BTO exercise in August had a similar response of 1.7 applicants per flat.
Four-room flats in Eunos Court were the most oversubscribed, by 3.4 times.
Said a PropNex Realty spokesman: "The new BTO flats in Geylang are attractive to new home buyers due to its close proximity to the Eunos MRT station and lack of supply of new flats in the area. Upgraders and second-timers are also choosing flats in the mature towns of Tampines and Geylang."
But while sturdy, the reception to the latest Geylang property was more muted than in an earlier exercise. In May's BTO sale, another project in this centrally located neighbourhood, Dakota Breeze, drew more than 3,100 applicants for about 670 units. That made it about five applicants eyeing each unit, and was the highest take-up rate for that round.
In the ongoing round, Punggol's Northshore Edge was the next most popular BTO project, with 823 applicants eyeing 388 four- and five-room units.
Northshore Edge will be built using a prefabricated prefinished volumetric construction method (PPVC), a modular construction technology meant to reduce the number of onsite construction workers and potentially reduce building time.
This latest sales exercise was the first time a majority of around 80 per cent of flats launched will be built using this method. ERA's Mr Lim said this does not seem to have been a factor in application rates as location and price are still "more critical to buyers' decision-making process".
But some applicants, like fourth-year Nanyang Technological University undergraduate Huang Yihan, 25, are hoping this means their homes will be ready on time or ahead of schedule. He applied for a Northshore Edge four-room flat under the Fiance/Fiancee Scheme.
Said Mr Huang: "I would appreciate it if the PPVC method could reduce the building time. In terms of the quality, I'm not so sure. I can only hope the final product will turn out like what is shown in the artist's impressions."
Another 3,401 units under the Sales of Balance Flats (SBF) were offered in this exercise.
The next BTO exercise will be in February next year, when HDB will offer about 3,600 flats in Choa Chu Kang, Geylang, Tampines and Woodlands. A concurrent Re-offer of Balance Flats, which are unsold flats from previous SBF exercises, will also be held.