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HDB launches 3,740 flats for sale in February 2021 BTO exercise

·4-min read
  • The seven new BTO projects in this exercise are in Kallang/Whampoa, Toa Payoh (Bidadari), Bukit Batok, and Tengah.

  • 169 flats in Harmony Vilage @ Bukit Batok are exclusively for seniors 65 years and older, and will be sold with leases ranging from 15 - 35 years.

  • First-time homebuyers are expected to flock to the 3 new projects in Toa Payoh (Bidadari) given the attractive locations and expected prices.

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - HDB has launched 3,740 flats for sale under the February 2021 Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise. The flats in this sales exercise are spread across seven projects in the mature estates of Kallang Whampoa and Toa Payoh (Bidadari), as well as the non-mature neighbourhoods of Bukit Batok and Tengah.

Two of the new BTO developments are in Bukit Batok and will be called Harmony Village @ Bukit Batok and West Hill @ Bukit Batok.

Harmony Village will comprise 169 Community Care Apartments (CCAs) in a 15-storey residential block. These flats will only be offered to seniors aged 65 and above, and will be purchased on short leases that range from 15 to 35 years, and thereafter in five-year increments. Each CCA will come with pre-installed floor and wall finishes, fittings, and senior-friendly design features.


The pilot Community Care Apartments at Harmony Village @ Bukit Batok will offer seniors aged 65 years and above an affordable housing option which integrates senior-friendly design features. (Picture: HDB)

HDB says that residents in this development must subscribe to a Basic Service Package that will offer 24-hour emergency response and dedicated community programmes. The development will also feature an on-site community manager who will assist with arranging elder care and support services.

The take-up rate for these senior-focused flats will be an indication to policymakers on the broad acceptance towards this new type of flat, says Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex Realty. “We believe the CCAs should be popular with seniors who prefer to live independently, while still be able to mingle with friends in the same block as well as enjoy care services,” he adds.

However, Christine Sun, senior vice president of research & analytics at Orange Tee & Tie, notes that there are other considerations that may lower the overall interest for these flats. “Not everyone likes to live among a community of elderly as some may prefer a good mix of young families and couples,” she says.

She points out that these flats cannot be sold on the open market and must be returned to HDB if the occupants do not wish to live in them. “Some elderly may still be quite traditional and prefer to bequeath property to their descendants. Some of the optional services could also be quite costly for the elderly with little or no income,” says Sun.

Other BTO developments in the latest sales exercise include the 767-unit Parc Woods @ Tengah, and the 626-unit McNair Heights which will be bounded by Balestier Road and McNair Road. There are three new developments located in Toa Payoh: the 387-unit Bartley GreenRise, the 476-unit ParkEdge @ Bidadari, and the 353-unit Alkaff Breeze.


McNair Heights comprises three residential blocks ranging from 24 to 40 storeys in height, and one of these blocks will house some rental flats. (Picture: HDB)

The three new projects in Toa Payoh (Bidadari) are likely to be the most popular among first-time home buyers, says Nicholas Mak, head of research & consultancy at ERA Realty. He adds: “The prices of the HDB flats in these three BTO projects are quite close to one another and the prices are reflective of the locations of each project.”

Most of these new projects are expected to be completed in three to four years. Mak notes that the construction speed for BTO projects seems to have picked up from the construction slowdown seen during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in Singapore last year. “This might draw some of the first-time home buyers back to the BTO market. Among the 3,740 flats offered during this BTO exercise, first-time buyers are eligible to apply for 2,975 flats,” says Mak.

Most projects in this BTO exercise will still be oversubscribed, says Sun. Based on the take-up rates at the three BTO launches in 2020 that occurred in February, August and November, there were about 13,000 three-room or bigger new flats released as opposed to over 80,000 applicants.

“Therefore, there are many couples who are still unsuccessful and may continue to apply for future BTO launches, especially those who cannot afford a resale flat,” she adds.

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