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Thread: New online balloting system for sale of surplus HDB flats

  1. #1
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    Default New online balloting system for sale of surplus HDB flats

    Feb 27, 2007

    New online balloting system for sale of surplus HDB flats

    Move to make process more transparent; probe finds no leak in queueing incident

    By Tan Hui Yee, Housing Correspondent

    THE Housing Board now wants to use online balloting for surplus flats and do away with the walk-in selection for them, at least for the first two rounds.

    The walk-in method - generally used to sell flats not taken up on other occasions - had led to pre-emptive queues and recent rumours that leaked tip-offs had been given to the early birds, a charge refuted by the HDB's investigation.

    The change is also to make the selection process more transparent.

    With the change, effective from April, buyers will apply through the Internet for their four-room or bigger surplus flats during a one-week period following the announcement of a sale exercise.

    Those who do not have Internet access can go to the HDB Hub or any HDB branch office to get help on lodging an electronic application.

    At the end of this one week, a computer ballot will determine when applicants get to book a flat of their choice.

    In the second round, anyone who applies after the one-week period will be given appointments to choose their flats after the first batch have done so.

    A third round will allow for walk-in bookings of leftover flats.

    In announcing the change yesterday, the HDB said the walk-in booking system had worked well previously, when the supply of unsold flats had exceeded the demand.

    But with a recovering property market, the HDB now has a stock of only 4,000 surplus flats compared to 25,000 at its peak.

    In a recent incident earlier this month, some people began lining up at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh a few days ahead of the Feb 2 sale launch for surplus flats in mature estates.

    The long queue caused flare-ups and led to talk that there was a leak about the sale prior to the launch.

    The HDB yesterday denied this.

    It said its investigation showed that most of the applicants had queued up because of speculation on Internet forums that there would be a walk-in booking exercise for flats in the mature estates last month or this month.

    This, in turn, arose from the board's announcement last year that it was suspending the sale of flats in mature estates and relaunching them for sale in the first quarter of this year.

    The HDB said that some participants in the Internet forums even organised themselves into groups to keep watch for tell-tale signs of a sales launch at the HDB Hub, like the placement of queue posts.

    To date, only 355 units of these flats have been booked by the 4,600 applicants who had the chance to do so. There are still 200 such flats available.

    The present walk-in system was introduced five years ago to clear the stock of unsold flats quickly. Last year, more than 1,500 flats were launched for sale under the system.

    Sales of flats through the HDB's other methods - the build-to-order system for new projects, as well as the balloting system for popular flats in mature estates - remain unchanged.

    Unsold four-room flats or bigger units will be launched for sale on the 10th day of even months, starting from April. If the 10th in a particular month falls on a Sunday or public holiday, the flats will be launched for sale on the next working day.

    The modified system will also apply to the sale of surplus three-room or smaller flats.

    Unsold HDB flats will be relaunched for sale in later rounds.

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    Default Buying unsold flats? Here are revised steps

    Feb 27, 2007


    Buying unsold flats? Here are revised steps

    # Day 10 to 16 of the first month: Buyers apply online for flats in one sector.

    # Day 17 to 18: Balloting for queue numbers.

    # Day 19 to 21: Applicants informed of queue number and appointment to book flat.

    # Those with appointments choose their flats. After that, walk-in bookings are taken up to the end of the fifth month.

    # Leftover flats are withdrawn as the fifth month ends.

    # 10th day of seventh month: Unsold flats in the same sector relaunched.

    FOR THREE-ROOM AND SMALLER FLATS:

    # Day 1 and 2 of the month: Buyers apply online.

    # Day 3: Balloting for queue numbers held.

    # Applicants told queue number and appointments to book flats. Those with appointments choose their flats. After that, walk-in bookings are taken up to end of the month.

    # Remaining flats are withdrawn from sale for re-launch the next month.

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