Committee of Supply debate: Ministry of National Development

Young couple can look forward to faster option

Mr Quek and Ms Dee, both 24, are hoping that BTO flats with shorter waiting times will be released in Bukit Panjang as they are drawn to the amenities there. "A shorter waiting time gives us the assurance and room to plan our future," said Mr Quek.
Mr Quek and Ms Dee, both 24, are hoping that BTO flats with shorter waiting times will be released in Bukit Panjang as they are drawn to the amenities there. "A shorter waiting time gives us the assurance and room to plan our future," said Mr Quek.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Undergraduate Sean Quek is keeping his fingers crossed that new flats with shorter waiting times will be released in Bukit Panjang.

Yesterday, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong announced that about 1,000 Build-to- Order (BTO) flats in non-mature estates will be built ahead of their launches next year. These flats will be ready in about 21/2 years, instead of the current three to four.

Mr Quek and his girlfriend, pharmacist Dee Jiayi, both 24, have been exploring several non-mature estates over the last three months in their search for their future home. One estate in particular has caught their eye.

"I fell in love with Bukit Panjang," said Mr Quek, rattling off amenities in the area that he and his girlfriend like, including Senja-Cashew Community Club, which boasts an eight-lane swimming pool.

Although accustomed to living in his family's centrally located Housing Board flat in Farrer Road, he believes a BTO in a non-mature estate is the more prudent choice as such flats tend to be cheaper than those in mature estates. The couple would also get more grants.

 

The Singapore Management University business student has not proposed yet, but having dated Ms Dee for the last nine years, he welcomes a shorter wait.

"Previously, the longer wait meant we'd have to start booking everything soon to time it with a wedding when we are around 28," he said. "But there are a lot of things we're still unsure about - like where my career would take me. A shorter waiting time gives us the assurance and room to plan our future without feeling like we'd have to rush everything now."

Rachel Au-Yong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2017, with the headline 'Young couple can look forward to faster option'. Print Edition | Subscribe