SINGAPORE — On Tuesday (28 February), the Housing and Development Board (HDB) launched 4,428 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats for sale.
Ranging from two-room flexi to five-room units, these flats are spread across five projects in the housing estates of Kallang/Whampoa, Queenstown, Jurong West, and Tengah.
The median waiting time for these five projects is about 4.4 years. HDB has stated that all four-room flats offered in the two non-mature estates are priced below $400,000 before grants.
The selling prices of HDB flats in the non-mature towns of Jurong West and Tengah range from S$187,000 to S$401,000, excluding grants.
The Rajah Summit BTO project, located in the mature town of Kallang/Whampoa, will feature 510 units of 3- and 4-room flats priced between S$326,000 and S$459,000.
Two of the projects – at Dover Forest and Farrer Park – are under the Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) scheme.
A check on the HDB website shows that a BTO PLH 3-room flat in Ulu Pandan Glades is priced between S$372,000 to S$498,000.
Meanwhile, the price for a 3-room flat in Jurong West Crystal, located in a non-mature town, ranges between S$187,000 to S$249,000, and for a 3-room flat in Brickland Weave, the price ranges between S$190,000 to S$248,000.
Netizens doubt affordability of the new BTO projects
Many netizens are expressing concern over the affordability of prices for the new HDB BTO project, especially for those in the lower income range.
In a comment on the Straits Times Facebook post, netizen Nadd Ryan said that the prices for these BTO projects are still “ridiculously high and houses are getting smaller.”
Nadd Ryan also noted that some people are not allowed to purchase HDB houses due to the high income ceiling, and now with skyrocketing prices, it may become even more difficult for citizens to afford HDB homes.
Dennis Chan responded to Nadd Ryan’s comment, highlighting that HDB flats cater to citizens from different income groups, with varying prices depending on location and amenities. Although public housing aims to provide affordable homes for Singaporeans, pricing equality is not guaranteed.
Chan pointed out that there are flats of the same size but at different locations that have vastly different prices, ranging from $350,000 to $1.1 million. While having a roof over our head is a desired outcome, equality of pricing is never promised.
“Future generations may not have enough money left for retirement or for their children’s education”
The concern over the affordability of the new HDB BTO projects continues among netizens, especially for those with lower incomes.
Yee Alison wrote, Please make public housing affordable for our younger generation. This kind of pricing is ridiculous for public housing.
Jai M Janis wrote, “This is a worrying trend for the future generation. How do first timer afford. Only e elite and rich younger generation could.”
Magdalene Tham expressed worry that future generations with average income, including those earning less than S$10,000 per month, may not have enough money left for retirement or their children’s university education after paying off a 99-year lease loan and interest.
In response, Hilmi Johari commented that this could be a reason why fewer Singaporeans are having kids.
A netizen says some may easily pay off these BTO with the “blink of eyelids”, but regular working-class suggested to look for other option
Netizen Khoo Ee Hoon pointed out that while some people can easily pay off the BTO with the “blink of an eye,” regular working-class individuals who earn between S$3,000 and S$4,000 per month might find it challenging to afford.
While acknowledging that two of the new BTO projects are located in a prime area with a premium price tag, Mr. Khoo suggested that young couples with middle incomes of S$6,000 to S$8,000 and sufficient CPF and cash can still afford them.
He advises potential buyers to use the HDB website’s calculator to determine affordability and to plan for the long term.
“Having said these, there are people who can easily pay off these BTO with the blink of an eye. Such prime areas are for them. All the best to a generation that plans ahead and doesn’t forget their old age fund. Medical service is the other bomb.”
“Another million dollar HDB in making after MOP completed”
Other netizens also pointed out that the resale 4-room flats in the Dover/Ghim Moh area are currently being listed for over S$900,000 to a million dollars.
Recently, a 1,206 sq ft HDB 5-room BTO flat at Sengkang, which has recently completed its five-year MOP was sold for S$928,000.
EnigMaz Don wrote, “The price is just unbelievable. HDB Flats for the price of a bungalow in other parts of the world.”
Victor Chan wrote, “Just few kilometres away and you can get bungalow with this money. Wonder what kind of concrete and steel are we using for our BTO that is so much different from our neighbours bungholes.”
UncleJames Lee wrote, “$700k fresh BTO. How to NOT have million dollar flats going forward? This is AFFORDABLE? Really???”