Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New BTO flats to come after Dawson rush

THE scramble for the Dawson HDB build-to-order (BTO) flats came to an end yesterday with some flats more than 11 times subscribed.

The two-week application window resulted in a flood of applications for five-room flats, which attracted 2,090 applications for the 176 available. There were 11.9 applications for each available unit.

But home seekers need not be discouraged by the daunting odds as the Housing Board yesterday announced that it will offer a fresh batch of BTO flats for sale next Tuesday.

Buyers can look forward to another 1,300 BTO flats in Choa Chu Kang and Hougang, the board said in a statement yesterday. 'HDB will continue to launch more BTO projects in 2010 if there is sustained demand for new flats.'

At Dawson, 6,015 applications were received for the 1,102 available four-room flats and 806 applications for the 270 three-room flats.

Demand for studio apartments outstripped supply by a factor of 10.7, with 429 applications for just 40 units.

Buyer interest was slightly less intense for paired units under the multi-generational scheme, with 379 applications for the 65 such flats available.

First-time buyers, who formed 70 per cent of all applicants, will be given priority. Ninety-five per cent of the flats, including those offered in Bukit Panjang and Sembawang, will be set aside for them.

Systems analyst Victoria Chew, 26, who applied for a four-room paired unit in Dawson, said she will look for a resale flat while waiting for her queue position to be announced in February.

Ms May Lee, 23, who also applied for a paired flat, was similarly unfazed by the high number of applications.

'There's no point worrying. When another good BTO project comes along, we can always apply again,' she said.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic real estate lecturer Nicholas Mak said that the centrally located Dawson flats are likely to make good long-term investments as they can be rented out once owners have adequately satisfied HDB's rental criteria.

Elsewhere, this month's two other BTO projects - Segar Grove in Bukit Panjang and Montreal Dale in Sembawang - attracted widespread interest as well.

There were 1,116 applications for Segar Grove's 196 four-room flats, while Montreal Dale's 152 four-room flats drew 1,085 applications. The two-room flats were, on average, 52 per cent subscribed.

The final update on number of applications received will be posted on www.hdb.gov.sg at 2pm today.

Source, Straits Times 29 Decemeber 2009

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