Recently, more precisely on the 6th of February, the Housing Board started its first sale program of 2018, putting out for sale no less than 3,664 BTO apartments in four different towns. But this is only the tip of the iceberg, as it is expected for a total of 17,000 BTO apartments to be released throughout the entire year. Also, the batch that is going to inaugurate this large project will include flats will be constructed in a way that will offer them the open-kitchen feature, but only where this detail is possible from an architectural point of view. And, according to the Housing Board, or HDB, the type of the units will start from two-room flats and go up to five-room flats, so that they will answer to the requirements of every home buyer.
As mentioned earlier, these daring projects can be located in four different towns. Two of the projects can be found in Woodlands and Choa Chu Kang, two towns are not considered to be matured just yet, and the rest three projects are located in Tampines and Geylang, which are two beautiful mature towns. So, yes, besides the size of a unit, its location will also influence its final price. So, how much is a flat expected to cost? Without any grants, a flat with two rooms located in Woodlands, which is the most affordable solution, is expected to have a price of $71,000, while in Geylang, a flat with four rooms can go up to $429,000. But, in spite of the fact that prices are higher in mature towns, the demand is expected to be rather significant in these areas, according to Ismail Gafoor, who is the chief executive officer for PropNex Realty. The demand may be triggered by the numerous facilities Tampines is offering, plus the accessible prices that can be found in the area, while Geylang will attract homebuyers due to nearby MRT station and the fact that the project itself is fairly close to the city.
But this doesn’t mean that non-mature cities won’t get their share of attention. On the contrary, Eugene Lim, the key executive officer of ERA, thinks that the project in Choa Chu Kang will end up being highly popular. He believes that the convenience and price accessibility offered by the flats in this town will convince homebuyers to give the flats here a chance. Not everybody will be able to afford the flats in Geylang, in spite of the fact that this location will be rather sought after even with its high prices, so it is good that there is an alternative for everyone in search for a new home.
Another change that is expected to be welcome by homebuyers is the absence of a wall that separates the kitchen from the rest of the flat, something that HDB offered so far but wasn’t that much appreciated. Still, there are some homebuyers that are disappointed by the disappearance of this option, because if they consider that a partition is useful, they have no other choice but to do it out of their own pockets. Also, while most flats are soon to be completed, HDB provides a number of 717 flats that are done in a proportion of 80% and ready to be used. They come from the Sale of Balance Flats, which took place in May 2017, and Re-offer of Balance Flats, which took place in August 2017, and remained unselected. These flats are offered as a solution for those families that need a place to stay in an urgent manner and do not have particular requests concerning the location and other details. The rest of the homebuyers that are eyeing a certain location or a particular type of flat, all they have to do is to subscribe to the desired unit and wait for it to be ready.
What are the prices for these so-called “urgency” flats? A Flexi-unit with two rooms goes for $149,000 while an executive apartment, located in a mature location, can go up to $585,000 or more. According to the statements of Mr. Gafoor, the Re-offer of Balance Flats units should be more popular than the rest, due to their smaller prices, which are with 20 to 30% lower than the ones of resale apartments in the same location. The first round of applications for ROF and BTO apartments ended this month, but another one is coming in the month of May. At that time, 3,900 BTO apartments will be available in Tampines, Yishun, Toa Payoh, and Sengkang. So, if you haven’t got your dream apartment just yet, you’d better get ready for May, so you can get your hands on the ideal flat in the desired location. Timing is really important in this case, considering the significant demand for new homes on the real estate market of Singapore.
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