Half of new HDB flats this year to be in mature estates: Lawrence Wong

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong (centre) and Minister of State for National Development Koh Poh Koon (second from left) visiting the new sales atrium and My Nice Home Gallery at Toa Payoh's HDB Hub. ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

SINGAPORE - Half of the new Housing Board flats launched this year will be in mature estates, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said on Wednesday (Feb 24).

This means about 9,000 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats will be offered in mature estates such as Ang Mo Kio, Bedok and Bukit Merah this year.

"We are trying to do more for mature estates because we know that there's demand. So this year we are going to have about half of the flats set aside for mature estates and half for non-mature," said Mr Wong.

"That's already a higher proportion than it used to be," he said.

Flats in mature estates accounted for about one-third of the 15,100 BTO units launched last year.

But Mr Wong added that this increase in mature estate offerings will not be a sustained one as there are space constraints in these developed towns.

"We will try our best to have a healthy pipeline of new flats in mature estates. But I would like to say that no matter how many new flats we build in mature estates, it will not be enough to meet the demand."

"These flats are very popular, and there is not much space in the mature estates to build new flats. So there will always be more demand than there is supply."

"In the longer term, the majority of flats will still have to be in the non-mature estates," said Mr Wong, who was visiting the new sales atrium and My Nice Home Gallery at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh.

Mr Wong said buyers with more pressing needs should consider getting resale flats or new flats in non-mature estates instead, as their chances of securing a home would be higher.

"If you're a first-timer, many of them can get (a flat in a non-mature estate) within their first try. But all of them, every first-timer applying for a flat in a non-mature estate can get it certainly within the second or third try."

The HDB launched 4,170 BTO flats on Wednesday. These include 1,594 flats in Bidadari, 1,655 flats in Bukit Batok and 921 units in Sengkang. Applicants have until March 1 to apply.

In May, another 4,070 BTO flats will be launched in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bukit Merah, Bukit Panjang and Sembawang. Another 5,000 balance flats, or flats not sold in previous exercises, will also offered.

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