More flats offered in mature than non-mature estates in current BTO sales exercise

In the current August launch, there are 3,085 BTO flats offered across four projects in the mature estates of Queenstown, Kallang/Whampoa (above) and Tampines.
In the current August launch, there are 3,085 BTO flats offered across four projects in the mature estates of Queenstown, Kallang/Whampoa (above) and Tampines.PHOTO: HDB

SINGAPORE - More than half of the 4,989 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats launched on Wednesday (Aug 11) are located in mature estates.

This is a departure from the previous two BTO sales exercises in February and May, during which the HDB launched more flats in non-mature than in mature estates.

In the current August launch, there are 3,085 BTO flats offered across four projects in the mature estates of Queenstown, Kallang/Whampoa and Tampines.

In comparison, there are only 1,904 BTO flats offered across three projects in the non-mature estates of Jurong East and Hougang.

However, the next BTO launch in November has just one confirmed project in a mature estate.

Buyers can expect to see some 430 two-room flexi and four-room flats in Kallang/Whampoa, with some 3,000 flats spread across the non-mature estates of Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Jurong West and Tengah.

On Wednesday, HDB said that the projects are still under review, and more details will be announced.

HDB had previously said there was a need to provide more new flats in mature estates to keep up with demand.

ERA Realty's head of research and consultancy, Mr Nicholas Mak, said that the large number of well-located units on offer this round may be an attempt to steer aspiring home buyers back to the BTO market to prevent overheating of the HDB resale market, where prices have been climbing.

PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor noted that the larger offering of mature estate flats in this round means that buyers stand a higher chance of getting a unit in a mature estate, which is typically more popular.

Mr Ismail said the standouts are the Queenstown and Kallang/Whampoa BTO projects and he expects them to attract the most applicants.

Huttons Asia chief executive Mark Yip said some flats on the higher floors in the Queenstown project may have unblocked views of the future Greater Southern Waterfront, which make them very attractive even though they are not within walking distance of Queenstown MRT station.

Stewardess Celine Jia, 24, is among those who will be applying for a five-room unit in Tampines with her boyfriend. Both of their families live in the area, so the couple will apply under HDB's Married Child Priority Scheme to enhance their chances in the computer ballot.

Said the first-time applicant: "Tampines GreenJade is our first choice because of the balcony and the view across the Bedok Reservoir, although it would be a bummer if the view gets blocked by future high-rise development."