Four projects in Central for September BTO

September 20, 2023

Due to a delay in the ballot results for the May Built-To-Order (BTO) exercise, the BTO exercise that was to take place in August was pushed back to late September or early October. The upcoming BTO will have six projects with an estimated 6,760 flats spread across four towns. This is an increase from the previous BTO exercise which featured five projects with 5,495 flats across four towns.

Additionally, the upcoming BTO exercise has a bumper crop of four projects in central locations; namely three projects in Kallang/Whampoa and a project in Queenstown. Of the four projects, a project from each town is expected to be launched as Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) projects. In contrast, the May BTO exercise featured only Farrer Park Arena in Kallang/Whampoa in a central location and PLH project.

All flats in the May BTO exercise were oversubscribed with five-room flats in Serangoon receiving the highest subscription rate of 19.7. Four-room flats in Tengah brought up the rear with a subscription rate of 1.7.

HDB revealed that the next BTO exercise in December will feature an estimated 6,300 flats in Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Bukit Panjang, Jurong West, Queenstown and Woodlands.

Changes in classification of HDB towns and priority rules

In March, HDB announced that first-time buyers who did not book a BTO flat when invited to do so will be redesignated as second-time buyers for a year when they ballot for a BTO flat again. Furthermore, second-time buyers who do not book a unit must wait a year before they can apply again. The tightened priority rules will take effect from the upcoming BTO exercise which may cause some to hold back on their application if their buy intent is not confirmed.

Last month, the government announced a reclassification of HDB flats into Prime, Plus and Standard flats. The new classification will take effect for BTO flats from 2H2024 but existing HDB flats will not be reclassified. Flats that are located near the city centre will be classified as Prime while flats that are near amenities within a town will be classified as Plus. The remaining flats will be classified as Standard and are expected to make up the bulk of BTO flats.

Key features include a longer Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of 10 years and subsidy clawback for Prime and Plus flats. Standard flats will still have MOP of five years and no subsidy clawback. As such, upcoming BTO exercises with the old classifications may attract more applicants who wish to avoid the longer MOP and subsidy clawback.

Three projects in Kallang/Whampoa

The upcoming BTO exercise will feature three projects with an estimated 2,910 flats in Kallang/Whampoa. HDB has not announced if any of the projects will be launched under the PLH model but the project along Geylang Road is expected to be a PLH project because of its central location and proximity to a MRT station.

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