The flats in Dakota One are walking distance from Dakota MRT station and the Old Airport Road Food Centre.PHOTO: HDB

Home seekers made a beeline for the four-room Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in Geylang, which has one of the highest application rates in recent years.

As of 5pm on Tuesday (Aug 18), there were more than 14 first-time applicants vying for each of the 334 four-room flats, the largest flat type in the housing project named Dakota One.

These flats are walking distance from Dakota MRT station and the Old Airport Road Food Centre.

The application rate beats the previous highest of around 13 applicants for each of the 235 four-room flats in Ang Mo Kio in last November’s BTO launch.

In this August sales exercise, which is set to conclude at midnight on Tuesday, the 87 three-room flats in Geylang were less popular, attracting around five applicants each.

Competition was also stiff in the mature estate of Ang Mo Kio where the 140 five-room flats attracted almost 12 first-time applicants each.

Second-timer applicants face an even bleaker prospect, with 171 applicants vying for each flat.

The five-room flats in Ang Mo Kio, in a project named Kebun Baru Edge, are the most expensive flats in this BTO exercise with prices ranging from $571,000 to $725,000.

The project’s 240 four-room flats were also hotly contested, attracting over eight applicants each.

ERA Realty research and consultancy head Nicholas Mak said the Ang Mo Kio project’s proximity to the upcoming Mayflower MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line is one of its key attractions.

But he notes that a “stronger reason” for its high demand is the project’s 1km proximity to schools such as Ai Tong School and CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ Primary School.

The BTO flats in Bishan were less popular this round, with four applicants for each of the 272 four-room flats and fewer than two applicants for each of the 80 three-room flats.

In the non-mature estate of Woodlands, the 438 five-room flats in UrbanVille @ Woodlands were the most in-demand, drawing more than six applicants each.

Similarly, the 184 five-room flats in Parc Residences @ Tengah had around five applicants each. This is the highest application rate in Tengah since the first flats in the upcoming “forest town” were launched in 2018.

The project’s 480 two-room flexi flats drew almost two elderly applicants for each unit, suggesting a “healthy” application rate, said Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie.

The project will be integrated with a neighbourhood centre and a polyclinic.

“The integrated polyclinic could have been a big deciding factor for the older folks who want to live closer to their children in Tengah,” she said.

On Aug 12, the Housing Board launched 7,862 BTO flats for sale in eight estates across 11 housing projects.

HDB had said some of the flats in this launch may take up to five years to build due to construction safety measures introduced since Covid-19.

In November, HDB will offer about 5,700 flats in total, in Bishan, Sembawang, Tampines, Tengah and Toa Payoh.

Another 3,550 flats in Bukit Batok, Tengah, Kallang/Whampoa and Toa Payoh (Bidadari) will be launched in February next year.

Originally published in The Straits Times.