A total of 3,879 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats across four housing projects in four estates were launched for sale by the Housing Board on Tuesday (May 25) in the second sales exercise for the year, although some may take more than five years to be completed. 

In addition, another 2,494 flats were on offer in this year’s first Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) sales.

In total, 6,373 new flats were launched on Tuesday.

The smallest BTO project is Telok Blangah Beacon in the mature estate of Bukit Merah, where 175 three-room and four-room flats are on offer.

The site in Telok Blangah Drive is next to Telok Blangah Food Centre and within walking distance of the Telok Blangah MRT station.

This is the first time in eight years new flats were launched in the mature estate of Bukit Merah. The last BTO project launched there was the 1,480-unit Telok Blangah ParcView in 2013.

Prices start from $419,000, without grants, for a three-room flat and $602,000 for a four-room flat, making them the most expensive units in this launch.

Buyers will also have to wait more than five years for these flats – the longest wait in this launch – as the project is estimated to be completed in the first quarter of 2027.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the waiting time for a standard BTO flat was about three to four years. 

The smallest BTO project is Telok Blangah Beacon in the mature estate of Bukit Merah. PHOTO: HDB

In 2018, the HDB launched the first batch of about 1,000 BTO flats with a waiting period of around 2½ years in a move to reduce waiting time for buyers. 

Such flats were last launched in November last year in Tengah, although the waiting time had been extended to slightly over three years. 

In the current May launch, a total of 1,382 two-room flexi, three-room and four-room flats are on offer at MacPherson Weave in Geylang, on a site bounded by Circuit Road, Circuit Link and Paya Lebar Road.

In Geylang, 1,382 two-room flexi, three-room and four-room flats are on offer at MacPherson Weave. PHOTO: HDB

The site is located next to MacPherson MRT station and served by two MRT lines.

Prices start from $343,000 for a three-room flat and $489,000 for a four-room flat.

The estimated completion date is in the first quarter of 2026, which means buyers will have to wait more than four years for them to be ready.

In the non-mature estate of Woodlands, 1,540 two-room flexi, three-room, four-room and five-room flats are on offer at Woodgrove Ascent, on a site along Woodlands Avenue 1.

It will be the tallest development in the vicinity with seven blocks ranging from 15 to 25 storeys.

Prices start from $185,000 for a three-room flat, $275,000 for a four-room flat and $372,000 for a five-room unit, making them the most affordable in this sales exercise.

These flats are estimated to be completed in the third quarter of 2025, so buyers have to wait for just under four years for them – one of two fastest projects to be ready in this launch.

The previous Woodlands project, UrbanVille @ Woodlands, launched last August, drew more than nine applicants for each five-room flat available and more than five applicants for each four-room unit available.

Tengah, Singapore’s newest town, has 782 two-room flexi, four-room and five-room flats in Garden Bloom @ Tengah.

It is located in the town’s Garden district and is served by an upcoming MRT station on the Jurong Region Line.

Prices start from $113,000 for a two-room flexi, $299,000 for a four-room and $404,000 for a five-room flat.

These flats are slated for completion in the third quarter of 2025, one of two fastest projects to be ready in this launch.

It is the 11th BTO project to launch in Tengah and is expected to house about 42,000 new homes when it is fully developed.

Tengah, Singapore’s newest town, has 782 two-room flexi, four-room and five-room flats in Garden Bloom @ Tengah. PHOTO: HDB

The 2,494 flats offered under the SBF scheme are spread across mature and non-mature estates such as Jurong East, Yishun, Marine Parade, Queenstown and Clementi.

About 28 per cent of them are already completed, while the rest are in various stages of construction.

These flats are expected to be popular among buyers as the completion date of BTO projects stretched longer due to manpower shortage in the construction industry arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Applications for the flats close next Monday at 11.59pm on the HDB flat portal. The flats will be allocated through balloting.

In the non-mature estate of Woodlands, 1,540 two-room flexi, three-room, four-room and five-room flats are on offer at Woodgrove Ascent. PHOTO: HDB

In the light of the tightened restrictions, HDB reminded buyers to apply for these flats online and not to visit the HDB Hub or branches.

In August, HDB will launch about 4,900 flats in Queenstown, Kallang/Whampoa, Tampines, Jurong East and Hougang.

Another 3,100 to 3,600 units flats will be offered in Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Jurong West, Kallang/Whampoa and Tengah in November.

Analysts said the projects in Bukit Merah and Geylang are likely to be the most popular this round, going by previous application trends.

ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said the Bukit Merah project, in particular, would be hotly contested as there is limited supply of new flats in that area. 

“Residents living on the higher floors would be able to enjoy good views of the sea and Sentosa from their homes,” he said.

Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, said both the Bukit Merah and Geylang projects will likely draw more than 10 applicants for each available flat.

Those applying for the Tengah project could be luckier, she noted, as the number of applicants has been dropping since November 2019. 

Despite construction delays due to Covid-19, she said some buyers will still choose to apply for BTO flats as prices of HDB resale flats and private properties have been rising.

Church worker Nick Tay, 29, said he plans to apply for the Woodlands project with his fiancee, in what would be their seventh try. 

“Actually, with the Covid-19 delay, I was expecting the completion date to be six or seven years (from now), so under four years (is) shorter than expected, and  I’m quite happy with it.”

Originally published in The Straits Times.