Singapore

HDB launches 3,739 flats across three towns

First of the year includes two projects in Kallang Whampoa

The first Housing Board sales exercise this year includes two projects in Kallang Whampoa, which experts expect to be popular despite having prices that are just shy of those of resale flats in the area.

A new four-room flat in the mature estate costs $598,000 on average, only 7.4 per cent cheaper than the average price of resale flats in the area, leading observers to believe that the flats may find more traction with second-timers. In comparison, new flats in the non-mature towns of Jurong West and Sengkang are about 20 per cent to 33 per cent cheaper than their resale counterparts.

HDB yesterday launched 3,739 flats, including 3,162 Build-To-Order (BTO) units in five projects across the three towns. Prices start from $95,000 for a two-room flexi flat in Jurong West and from $523,000 for a four-room flat in Kallang Whampoa. These prices exclude grants.

The Kallang Whampoa projects are likely to be the most popular because of their attractive locations.

Besides its proximity to the Central Business District, the 411-unit Kallang Breeze is less than 400m away from Kallang MRT station and is also near the Kallang River. Meanwhile, the 444-unit Towner Crest is next to Boon Keng station.

The high prices mean the flats are likely to attract more second-timers than new buyers, said ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim. In a mature estate, only 5 per cent of the flats are reserved for second-timers, though excess flats may go to them.

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OrangeTee & Tie research head Christine Sun said: "Some young couples may consider older HDB resale flats in some mature estates to be more value for money and as attractively located."

As of 5pm yesterday, there were 1,654 applications for 2,225 three- and four-room flats there. But the application rate for first-timers was 0.7 per cent, almost half that of second-timers at 1.3 per cent.

PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor expects the final application rate to be between four and five per unit - less than half the 12.1 per unit for four-room flats at the last Kallang Whampoa launch in November 2016 - because of the projects' "premium prices".

Also up for grabs are 577 Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF), comprising 173 two-room flexi units, 166 three-room flats, 129 four-room units, 10 five-room units, 96 three-generation flats and three executive flats.

Applicants can apply for a flat either under the BTO or ROF exercise, but not both. Applications close next Monday.

This is the first tranche of 15,000 flats to be released this year. The next BTO launch will be in May, when the HDB will offer about 3,400 flats in Kallang Whampoa, Tengah and Woodlands.

Property