Bigger Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in Sembawang and Toa Payoh proved to be the most popular among home seekers, hours before the Housing Board’s first sales exercise for the year concluded on Monday (Feb 17).
There were more than 10 applicants vying for each of the 266 five-room and three-generation flats in Canberra Vista, a project in Sembawang located next to the Canberra MRT station.
The 385 four-room flats up for sale were just as popular, attracting more than six applicants each, while the 124 three-room flats had around three applicants each.
Competition was equally stiff in the mature estate of Toa Payoh, where the 1,211 four-room flats on offer received more than 10,000 applications.
This translates to around seven applicants for each available flat.
The four-room unit is the biggest flat type in Kim Keat Ripples and Toa Payoh Ridge, which are the two BTO projects in Toa Payoh, one of Singapore’s most sought-after housing estates.
The 102 three-room flats in Toa Payoh Ridge, which is located between Caldecott and Braddell MRT stations, drew four applicants per unit.
The last BTO launch for Toa Payoh was the 542-unit Kim Keat Beacon in May 2018, where the four-room flats had four applicants per unit.
The HDB launched 3,095 BTO flats for sale on Feb 11 and the sales exercise will conclude at midnight on Monday.
Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie, said that while a high application rate for Toa Payoh was to be expected, the high level of interest in the bigger flats in the non-mature estate of Sembawang was “unusual” but “not surprising”.
She said: “It’s not often we get a new BTO project that is right next to an established MRT line and with upcoming amenities like shopping malls next to it.
“Prices are also more affordable compared to the other two Toa Payoh projects, which are priced higher.”
A four-room flat in both Toa Payoh locations starts from $395,000 and goes up to $666,000, while a five-room flat in Sembawang starts from $350,000 and goes up to $406,000.
Since last September, eligible buyers have been able to tap the new Enhanced CPF Housing Grant of up to $80,000, which has no restrictions on the choice of flat type and location.
In May, the HDB will offer another 3,700 BTO flats in Choa Chu Kang, Tengah, Pasir Ris and Tampines.
A further 4,100 BTO flats in Woodlands, Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Geylang and Tampines will be released in August.
Originally published in The Straits Times.