SINGAPORE - Prospective home buyers keen to live near the city have been given a second shot at balloting for a new flat in Kallang/Whampoa.
Nearly 600 units in this town are available in the Housing Board's latest Build-to-Order (BTO) sales exercise launched on Wednesday (May 22). It is the second time in a row that flats in a mature HDB town are being offered.
Just like the February sales exercise, the flats in Kallang/Whampoa are again expected to be the most sought-after ones this time around. During the February exercise, nine families competed for each of the 855 three- and four-room flats.
As of 5pm on Wednesday, 55 families had applied for 150 two-room flexi flats; 82 families for 115 three-room flats; and 626 families for 318 four-roomers. In all, there were 763 applications for the 583 flats.
The last day to apply for these flats is Tuesday (May 28).
Called the Kempas Residences, prices at the project start from $117,000 for a two-room flexi flat to $562,000 for a four-room flat, before government grants.
ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim said the Kempas Residences flats are "right beside Boon Keng MRT station", and that he foresees high demand from second-timers.
However, Huttons research head Lee Sze Teck said prices for these flats are "some 60 per cent to 70 per cent higher" than the other BTO offerings in non-mature estates.
In all, HDB launched 6,753 flats on Wednesday, including 3,485 BTO flats spread across four projects in three public housing estates.
The bulk of the BTO flats are in Plantation District in the upcoming "forest town" of Tengah, with 1,193 units on offer. Another 987 units will be at the newly launched Garden District.
The other project, with 722 units, is in Woodlands.
The remaining 3,268 flats are leftovers from previous exercises, spread across the island. About 28 per cent of these balance flats are completed, while the rest are under construction.
Starting from this exercise, prospective home buyers can find out the results of their BTO flat ballot in three, instead of six, weeks.
In addition, families living in public rental flats that had previously bought a BTO flat can get a $15,000 grant when they successfully apply for a two-room flexi or three-room flat in non-mature estates.
The next sales exercise will be in August, during which 3,300 flats in Punggol and Tampines will be offered for sale. There will also be, at the same time, a Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) exercise.
In November, there will be about 4,500 flats up for sale in Ang Mo Kio, Tampines and Tengah. Of these, the flats in two Tengah projects will have a shorter waiting time of about two to three years, instead of the usual three to four years. There will also be another Sales of Balance Flats exercise then.
Also, from June, buyers can book unselected ROF units from an open pool at any time of the year. Details will be available later.
Correction note: This story has been amended to reflect the correct project names in Tengah.