The Housing Board is looking at ways to quicken construction of new flats to shorten the waiting time for buyers. (Photo: Chen Siyuan, Wikimedia Commons)
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) is looking at ways on how it can advance the construction work of some Build-To-Order (BTO) projects and build them ahead of their sales launches.
This is to provide some flats with shorter waiting times to cater to couples in urgent need of new homes.
But while it may not be feasible to do so “for the entire flat supply due to land constraints and risk of oversupply, we can potentially do this for some projects every year”, said the Ministry of National Development (MND) in a written reply to Parliament on Monday (9 January).
The statement was made in response to a query from MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh, Chong Kee Hiong, on whether more resources could be allocated to hasten the construction of HDB flats for young couples.
“Helping young couples own their first home is one of our key priorities,” it said.
“The ramp-up of BTO flat supply between 2011 and 2014 has helped to clear the first-timer demand backlog. Most first-timers are now able to select a flat within their first or second application, and definitely on their third try.”
Aside from ramping up new flat supply, the ministry revealed that since 2011, the Housing Board has also been calling tenders for many projects as soon as designs are ready to further shorten the waiting time for buyers.
With the waiting time now down mainly to construction time, the HDB has also adopted various productivity measures in the design and construction phases, such as the use of precast technology to expedite construction.
“We will monitor the market closely and calibrate our flat supply to be responsive to the housing needs of Singaporeans,” noted the MND.