Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More small flats in latest build-to-order HDB launch

THE Housing Board has launched a build-to-order (BTO) project with far more smaller flats than usual.

The project - Fernvale Crest - is at the junction of Jalan Kayu and Sengkang West Way and near the Fernvale and Thanggam LRT stations.

There are 700 flats - 372 three-roomers, 188 four-room units and 140 two- room flats of 45 sq m each. This is the largest number of smaller BTO flats ever offered for sale.

The two-room flats will cost $74,000 to $98,000 each, while the three-roomers will go for $116,000 to $157,000 each.

A family on a total monthly income of $1,300 buying an $85,000 two-room flat will need to pay a monthly mortgage of just $180, said HDB yesterday.

But at 5pm yesterday, there was only one application for the two-room units, against 22 for the three-room flats and 131 for the four-roomers.
The four-room units are priced from $203,000 to $250,000 each - a level that HDB says compares favourably with the comparable resale flats in Sengkang.

These comparable flats - each costing $290,000 to $360,000 - are all premium units as there are no standard resale flats in the area. Fernvale Crest is a standard project, which means it comes with minimal finishes. The prices, for instance, do not include flooring in the bedrooms.

ERA Asia Pacific associate director Eugene Lim said BTO standard flats are the most affordable kind of public housing as they target first-timers and those on a lower household income band.

'This batch of units is priced very attractively. We reckon they are a good 5 to 8 per cent lower than last year's prices,' said Mr Lim.

Under the BTO scheme, flats are built only when demand hits a certain level. In the first quarter of this year, HDB launched about 1,300 new flats in two BTO projects in Punggol and Woodlands.

It plans to launch a further 2,400 BTO flats in the next two quarters.

Source: Straits Times, 3 June 2009

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