Wednesday, March 17, 2010

HDB offers 828 new BTO flats

Projects in Sengkang and Sembawang may see big demand

THE Housing and Development Board (HDB) is offering 828 flats in Sengkang and Sembawang through two new build-to-order (BTO) projects.

These are the first BTO projects to be launched after the government adjusted some public housing policies early this month.

HDB is gauging interest in the 522-unit Fernvale Ridge in Sengkang, and the 306-unit Sembawang RiverLodge. Fernvale Ridge, bounded by Sengkang West Way and Fernvale Link, will be near the Fernvale, Layar and Thanggam LRT stations. There will be 180 three-room flats, 216 four-room flats and 126 five-room flats.

The selling price for a five-roomer will range from $281,000 to $352,000. According to HDB, the price of a comparable five-room resale flat in the vicinity is $415,000 to $461,000.

The other BTO project, Sembawang RiverLodge, is at Sembawang Drive. The nearest MRT station is at Sembawang, where Sun Plaza is also located.

Of the 306 units available, 86 will be three-roomers and 220 will be four-roomers.

HDB added that the project is designed to house another 126 two-room flats, but it will set these aside ‘to meet the housing needs of lower income families at a later date’.

A four-room flat at Sembawang RiverLodge will cost $212,000 to $268,000. The price of a comparable resale four-roomer nearby is $275,000 to $350,000.

PropNex CEO Mohamed Ismail expects both BTO projects to be popular and they could each be oversubscribed by at least eight times. One reason is because the sites will have three, four, or five-room flats – not studio apartments – which are suitable for young couples starting a family, he said.

Sembawang RiverLodge could stand out, he said. This is because residents will get ‘a taste of waterfront living’ with Sungei Sembawang nearby and the estate will have amenities such as a supermarket.

Applications for the new flats will close on March 29. With these two projects, HDB would have offered 3,653 new BTO flats in the first three months of the year. It plans to release 1,200 BTO flats in Punggol next month.

First-timer households comprising a Singapore citizen and permanent resident applying for flats will have to pay a $10,000 premium on top of HDB’s selling price. The $10,000 will go back to them if the PR family member becomes a citizen, or if the couple has a child who is a citizen.

Source: Business Times, 17 Mar 2010

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