The Housing & Development Board (HDB) has launched a total of 4,989 flats for sale across seven estates on Wednesday (11 Aug) under the August 2021 Build-to-Order (BTO) exercise, with more than half located in mature estates.
The seven estates where the flats are launched include Hougang, Jurong East, Kallang Whampoa, Queenstown, and Tampines.
“Given the strong demand for housing, especially in mature estates, HDB has been building more new flats in mature estates in recent years, to provide options for flat buyers wishing to stay near their family members living in these estates for better mutual care and support,” said HDB in a media release.
“In this latest BTO launch, we will offer flats in the mature estates of Kallang Whampoa, Queenstown, and Tampines.”
HDB’s Chief Executive Officer Tan Meng Dui noted that despite the delays of BTO projects under construction, HDB “remains committed to provide a steady supply of new HDB flats to meet future housing needs”.
Mr Tan added that HDB is working hard with its industry partners and relevant agencies in order to ensure ongoing BTO projects are on track, amidst the difficult challenges facing the construction industry.
Wide range of flats for different budgets and needs
According to HDB, there is a wide selection of flats, ranging from two-room Flexi to five-room flats, that are “offered to meet the diverse housing needs” of first-timers, second-timer families, seniors, and singles.
It also stated that the new flats are priced with a “generous subsidy”, after taking into account several factors like location, flat attributes, and prevailing market conditions.
“Hence, their prices are considerably lower than the transacted prices of comparable resale flats nearby,” said HDB.
“Eligible first-timer families can also benefit from the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) of up to S$80,000. With EHG, flat buyers will pay prices starting from S$28,000 for a 2-room Flexi flat, S$124,000 for a 3-room flat, S$264,000 for a 4-room flat, and S$347,000 for a 5-room flat.”
Slow-down in construction progress due to pandemic
HDB also advised flat buyers to take into consideration the estimated project completion timelines before applying for a flat.
Due to the implementation of COVID-19 safe management measures at construction sites, there has been some slow-down in construction progress.
“In addition, projects with challenging site conditions, more complex designs, large number of dwelling units or storey may take longer than usual to complete,” it explained.
HDB noted that for the BTO projects launched this month, the waiting times range from 37 to 67 months, or about three to 5.5 years, with a median waiting time of just over four years.
“This is close to the range of three to around five years for the waiting times of BTO projects launched in the past year, excluding shorter waiting time flats which have waiting times that are less than three years,” it added.
However, the Queen’s Arc in Queenstown, which has the longest waiting time at 67 months, is an exception, said HDB.
“This is mainly due to the additional preparation works required for the site as well as the design of the project – one of the residential blocks within the project, at 39 storeys high, is taller than most of the other BTO projects. Hence, a longer construction time is required for this project,” it explained.
For those who are in urgent need of housing, they can consider buying a resale flat instead where first-time buyers may enjoy up to S$160,000 in housing grants, HDB suggested.
Individuals who are interested in the August 2021 BTO exercise can apply online at HDB InfoWEB from today to 17 August.
Applicants can apply for only one flat type or category in one town under the BTO exercise.
In November this year, HDB will be launching about 4,400 BTO flats in towns and estates such as Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Jurong West, Kallang Whampoa, and Tengah.
The projects are still under review, with more details to be announced at a later date when available.
“Including the projects to be offered in November, HDB is on track to launch about 17,000 BTO flats in 2021. This is higher than the 14,600 and 16,800 flats launched in 2019 and 2020, respectively, and will be supplemented by the balance flats which are offered via the (Safe of Balance Flat) exercises and opening booking,” HDB stated.
Moreover, in February 2022, HDB will offer around 2,000 to 3,000 BTO flats in towns and estates such as Geylang, Tengah, and Yishun.
This number is subject to review as more project details will be confirmed closer to the launch date.
More information on this will be made available on HDB’s website.
“HDB will continue to monitor the housing demand and made adjustments where necessary,” it concluded.