Thursday, July 1, 2010

HDB launches 2,696 BTO flats

Record number of flats offered in single launch includes waterfront units

THE Housing Board is offering the largest number of build-to-order (BTO) flats in one launch to date, with 2,696 flats up for grabs - including prized waterfront units in Punggol.

The projects being launched are: Waterway Terraces in Punggol, and Fernvale Foliage and Rivervale Arc, both in Sengkang.

A total of 95 per cent of units will be set aside for first-time buyers.

The latest batch brings the total number of new BTO flats in the past six months to 8,828. The HDB said that is equivalent to all of last year's BTO supply.

Under the BTO scheme, flats are built only when a certain level of demand for the project is met.

A first in public waterfront housing, Waterway Terraces will consist of 1,072 premium flats suitable for buyers willing to pay more for eco-friendly designs and features, the HDB said.

Prices start from $186,000 for three-room flats of 67 sq m, followed by $300,000 for four-room flats of 92 sq m and $374,000 for 112 sq m five-room flats. The development will be ready in the first quarter of 2015.

'Flat buyers with lower budgets can consider the standard flats at Fernvale Foliage and Rivervale Arc,' the HDB said.

To be completed in the second quarter of 2014, Fernvale Foliage's 504 flats start at $215,000 for four-room, 92 sq m units and $279,000 for five-room units which are 111 sq m in size.

The project is close to Fernvale and Thanggam LRT stations, which connect to Sengkang MRT station.

Rivervale Arc is at the corner of Tampines Expressway and Sengkang East Drive, within walking distance of Rumbia LRT station.

Prices start at $68,000 for two-room flats of 47 sq m; and $122,000 for three-room, 67 sq m units. Four-room units of 93 sq m start from $201,000. Units in this project will be ready in early 2014.

Even more BTO flats are on the way. The HDB aims to have at least 12,000 launched by September and more, if public demand requires it.

Next month, another 1,000 homes in Bukit Panjang and Jurong West will be launched. Homes in Yishun and Woodlands are also scheduled this year.

ERA Asia-Pacific associate director Eugene Lim expects units at Waterway Terraces to be five to six times oversubscribed. 'Where else can you get waterfront housing at such affordable prices?' he said yesterday.

The standard flats, at prices 30 to 40 per cent lower than resale prices of similar units in the vicinity, are very attractive, especially for first-time buyers, he added.

Consultants also say the large slew of new flats a day before the release of the HDB's latest resale price index estimates could indicate a further rise in the index.

The second-quarter flash estimates will be released today.

'When resale prices keep going up, those who opt for resale units may look out for BTO flats as well,' said Mr Colin Tan, research and consultancy director at Chesterton Suntec International.

Applications for the flats will close on July 13.

Source: Straits Times, 1 Jul 2010

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