Kim Keat Ripples will have 708 units in two-room flexi and four-room flat types. Prices start from $90,000, excluding grants, for a two-room flexi flat.PHOTO: HDB

SINGAPORE – The Housing Board (HDB) on Tuesday (Feb 11) launched 3,095 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in the first sales exercise of the year. 

The flats are spread across two housing projects in the mature estate of Toa Payoh – one in Kim Keat and another near Caldecott – and one project in Sembawang.

In Toa Payoh, about 920 two-room flexi, three-room and four-room flats are on offer in Toa Payoh Ridge, located at a site between Caldecott and Braddell MRT stations.

The other site in Kim Keat, named Kim Keat Ripples, has 708 units in two-room flexi and four-room flat types.

In both Toa Payoh locations, prices start from $90,000, excluding grants, for a two-room flexi and $395,000 for a four-room flat.

Toa Payoh is also slated for a makeover under HDB’s Remaking Our Heartland programme, where new residential developments and facilities will be introduced to rejuvenate the town.

The last BTO launch for Toa Payoh was the 542-unit Kim Keat Beacon in May 2018, where the four-room flats were four times oversubscribed.

In Sembawang, the 1,467 units on offer range from two-room flexi to five-room, including 45 three-generation flats.

The project, called Canberra Vista, is next to the newly opened Canberra MRT station. Prices start from $89,000, excluding grants, for a two-room flexi flat, $272,000 for a four-room flat and $355,000 for a three-generation flat.

It will be served by two upcoming developments: Canberra Plaza, a neighbourhood centre, and Bukit Canberra, a 12ha integrated sports and community hub.

HDB said that the three-room flats in Canberra Vista and Toa Payoh Ridge will not come with a partition that separates the kitchen and utility area. 

Application for the flats close on Feb 17.

In May, the HDB will offer another 3,750 BTO flats in Choa Chu Kang, Tengah, Pasir Ris and Tampines.

A further 4,080 BTO flats in Woodlands, Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Geylang, Tampines will be released in August. 

Of these, the flats in Choa Chu Kang in May and Tampines in August will have shorter waiting time of about 2.5 years.

This year, HDB will launch around 16,000 to 17,000 BTO flats. 

Of the three projects on offer, property experts expect Toa Payoh Ridge to be the most popular given its proximity to both Caldecott and Braddell MRT stations. 

Huttons Asia director of research Lee Sze Teck said he would not be surprised the larger flats are 10 times oversubscribed, adding that it is a “conservative” estimate. 

Two of the four blocks face MacRitchie Reservoir and the four-room flats on the higher floors in those blocks may prove to be extremely attractive, he added.

“Comparing both Toa Payoh projects, the Kim Keat site is further away from an MRT station and will likely see less competition, so buyers should take that into consideration when choosing,” he said.

ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said Canberra Vista may also see strong interest, as it is not often BTO projects are located right next to an MRT station. He expects around six to eight applicants per unit. 

Financial analyst Tan Jia Hui, 27, who was unsuccessful when she applied for a Toa Payoh BTO flat in 2018 with her boyfriend, is hoping that second time’s the charm. 

She said: “Initially we were set on a four-room flat but now, we’re also considering a three-room flat if it means we have better chances. I’ve lived in Toa Payoh all my life so I really can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

This story was originally published on The Straits Times.