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Artist depiction of Punggol Point Woods

HDB Launches 5,101 Flats in August 2018 BTO and ROF Exercise

5,101 flats launched for sale on Tuesday (28 August) under the August 2018 Build-To-Order (BTO) and Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) exercise, which includes 4,375 BTO units and 726 ROF units across various towns/ estates.

In a press release on Tuesday, the Housing and Development Board (HDB)stated that a wide selection of flats, ranging from 2-room Flexi to Three-Generation (3Gen) flats, is offered to meet the diverse housing needs of first-timers, second-timers, multi-generation families, elderly and singles.

The 4,375 BTO flats on offer are spread across four projects in the non-mature towns of Punggol and Yishun. Eligible first-timer families can enjoy up to $80,000 of housing grants, comprising the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) (up to $40,000) and the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) (up to $40,000). With these grants, buyers of 2-room Flexi, 3-room, 4-room and 5-room flats could pay as little as $4,000, $103,000, $188,000 and $329,000 respectively.

The board noted that new HDB flats are priced with a generous subsidy, taking into account factors such as location, flat attributes and prevailing market conditions. HDB’s prices are considerably lower than transacted prices of comparable resale flats in the vicinity.

In addition, 2-room Flexi flats are priced taking into account the lease chosen.

HDB said that first-timer families will continue to enjoy priority in flat allocation. Married/ courting couples who wish to live together with their parent(s) can apply for a 3Gen flat in Punggol Point Cove. Applicants who wish to live close to their parents or married children, in the same BTO project, can submit a joint application under the Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS).

In this sales exercise, HDB noted that it will also offer 726 unselected flats from the November 2017 Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) and February 2018 ROF exercises.  They comprise 67 units of 2-room Flexi, 171 units of 3-room, 294 units of 4-room, 152 units of 5-room, 33 units of 3Gen and 9 units of executive flats across various towns/ estates.

It added that it will set aside at least 95% of the flat supply for first-timer families and up to 5% for second-timer families. Elderly may apply if they meet the prevailing eligibility conditions to buy a 2-room Flexi flat.  Families will enjoy priority for flat selection.

HDB said that ROF flats come in a wide range of flat types, locations and selling prices.

About 58% are already completed and the rest are under construction.  Eligible families with more urgent housing needs and/ or who are less particular about location and attributes may wish to apply. Under ROF, home buyers will be able to select their flats quicker, and from a bigger pool of balance flats for different flat types and in different locations.

HDB noted that, previously, flat buyers had to fully utilise the balances in their CPF Ordinary Account (OA) to pay for their flat purchase, before they took up an HDB housing loan.

From today, it stated that flat buyers taking an HDB housing loan will have the option of retaining up to $20,000 each in their CPF OA. The remaining CPF OA balance will be used to pay for their flat purchase. This option will be available to flat buyers who have yet to collect the keys to their new flats, as well as resale applications received from today.

"The option to retain some balance in their CPF OA will provide flat buyers with greater flexibility in using their CPF funds. The funds can be used for their monthly mortgage instalments in times of need and will improve retirement adequacy if left unutilised. Flat buyers who wish to use all their CPF OA balances for their flat purchase may continue to do so," it said.

According to the authority, application for new flats launched in the August 2018 BTO and ROF exercise can be submitted online on the HDB InfoWEB from today, 28 August 2018 (Tuesday) to 3 September 2018 (Monday).

It said that applicants can apply for a flat under either the BTO or ROF exercise, but not both. If they apply for a BTO flat, they must select only one flat type in one town. If they apply for a ROF flat, they do not have to indicate their preferred flat type and town/ estate in their application. Invited ROF applicants may select their preferred flat from the whole range of available units, regardless of flat type or town/ estate, if eligible.

HDB then said that applicants who wish to take up an HDB housing loan for their flat purchase need to produce a valid HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) Letter when they book a flat, except for young couples who are eligible for deferment of income assessment.

HDB also encouraged all applicants to apply for an HLE Letter early so that they can plan their flat purchase in advance. The HLE Letter will indicate the maximum loan that can be offered based on individuals’ financial situation. Applicants can check their loan eligibility and apply for an HLE letter at HDB website.