You are here

Young couples can soon get their homes in Singapore sooner: HDB

An artist's impression of the Housing & Development Board's (HDB) Build-To-Order (BTO) project, Valley Sprig@Yishun.

HDB unveiled on Wednesday it will offer some Build-To-Order (BTO) flats with shorter waiting time, and introduce a new sales mode, the Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF), in August to help young couples get their new homes sooner.

HDB will start construction of selected BTO projects ahead of their sales launch to cut the waiting time for young couples buying their first homes. Tender for the construction of the first batch of 1,000 flats will be called this month, and construction works are expected to commence in fourth quarter of 2017.

The flats, spread across three projects in the non-mature estates of Sembawang, Sengkang and Yishun, will be launched for sale in the second half of 2018. The flats are expected to be completed between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021 - about 2.5 years from the time they apply for the purchase of the flats, instead of the typical waiting time of about 3 to 4 years for standard BTO projects.

First-timer families will enjoy higher priority when applying for these flats, with at least 95 per cent of the 4-room and larger flats set aside for them. This is a 10 per cent-point increase from the current quota of at least 85 per cent in the non-mature estates.

Market voices on:

Under the new "Re-Offer of Balance Flats" exercise, or ROF, HDB will pool together all flats that remain unsold at the conclusion of the previous Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise. This will help those with more urgent housing needs and/or are less particular about location and attributes to have quicker access to a flat.

The first ROF exercise will be held in August 2017, in conjunction with the BTO sales launch. It will offer 1,394 units of unsold balance flats from the Nov 2016 SBF exercise. HDB will set aside at least 95 per cent of the flat supply for first-timer families and up to 5 per cent for second-timer families.

For a start, ROF exercises will be held twice-yearly, in February and August alongside BTO exercises. Together with the two SBF exercises held together with the other two BTO exercises in May and Nov, home seekers will now have four chances to apply for a balance flat in a year.

"After the initial few rounds, we will do a review and consider whether there is a need to adjust the frequency,'' Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong posted in his blog.