Delay in BTO sales launch amidst Covid-19 outbreak

The Housing Board has announced that, until further notification, the selling of the BTO flats has been postponed. This has come after the circuit breaker measure got prolonged till June 1 as all the work areas have been shut down and all construction has stopped. More than 3,700 Build-To-Order flats and 160 flats for senior citizens were to be initiated in Pasir Ris, Choa Chu Kang, Tampines, Tengah and Bukit Batok.

The Straits Times reported that HDB has declared that all sales for May 2020 was going to be put off. An announcement will be made about the new date once things get consolidated. HDB did not comment on whether or not this will have an effect on the successive sales. Generally each year, four such exercises are kept for the latest flats, spaced around the year. Although property experts have informed The Straits Times that delays in the August sales and November sales can be anticipated due to the current setback.


Ms Christine Sun from OrangeTee & Tie stated that it was only logical that given the current circumstances, a prompt influx can be expected in supply. Therefore, the May launch may be postponed to June, or the August launch to a few months later. Also, since it would only be two months since initiation, the HDB will probably not offer a fresh lot of new flats. Apart from this it was scheduled that Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Geylang, etc. will launch 4,100 flats by August.


Nicholas Mak on the other hand, as ERA Realty head, has stated that there is a possibility for all launches to go as scheduled but there are chances that the August and November launches may get postponed. According to Mak, a mega launch for the combined May and August sales exercise will not be a good option since prospective buyers can only look at applying for one unit at a time. The HDB will make a decision on the next steps depending on the application rate on the upcoming sales exercise, says Mr Mak as looking after the housing needs of the bulk population is their top priority.


Around December 2019, an announcement was made by the National Development Minister that about 17,000 flats will be offered by the HDB in 2020. Earlier HDB had said that as soon as the implementation of circuit breaker measures stops, the work on the BTO projects would be accelerated. The income of Gary Ng, a married Marine Service Engineer, father to a new-born, has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. He had been planning on buying a flat in Tengah. He is now uncertain about how long it will take for the project to get completed though he prefers to be optimistic about it.


According to Ms Sun, only those that need flats urgently will be buying now and they might start looking at the resale flats. Song Kwong Wee had been thinking of buying a spacious flat in Pasir Ris with his girlfriend. The Software Engineer has stated that the delay of the launch will not affect him much as this will give him time to raise his income. And in case they need to, they will apply instead for the resale flats.