THE last and largest launch this year of new Housing Board flats kicked off yesterday with a total of 10,118 units and more than 4,100 people applying on Day One.
Analysts expect this launch to be very popular, given the attractive locations of some units.
Of 5,110 Build-To-Order (BTO) units, more than half are in the mature estates of Bedok, Bidadari - a new estate that is part of Toa Payoh - and Kallang/Whampoa. The remaining 2,194 units are in Punggol.
Also on offer are 5,008 balance flats - or flats not sold previously - ranging from two-room flexi units to even executive flats, which are no longer being built.
The preceding three BTO launches this year also included flats in mature estates such as Ang Mo Kio, Tampines and Bidadari. Yet, despite the greater supply, competition for units in mature estates is expected to remain high.
In a Facebook post yesterday, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said: "We are trying our best to provide more options for home buyers. But given limited land and the popularity of projects in these mature areas, we can expect application numbers to exceed the units available."
He encouraged buyers in urgent need of flats to consider non-mature estates instead.
Applications for both BTO and balance flats are open until 11.59pm on Monday.
The next Build-to-Order launch will be in February 2017.
The non-mature estates of Punggol and Woodlands will offer about 1,770 and 170 flats respectively, while the mature estates of Clementi and Tampines will have 1,600 and 620 units up for grabs.
Yesterday's star attractions were the four-room flats in the mature estates of Bidadari and Kallang/Whampoa.
As of 2pm yesterday, there were already 185 applicants vying for the 158 four-room units in Kallang Residences.
This rose to 271 by 5pm.
Four-roomers in Bidadari were also popular, with 481 applicants for 587 units as of 5pm.
The high demand is despite 5,008 flats being offered in a simultaneous Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise.
These balance flats that were not sold in previous exercises are expected to siphon off only a little of the demand for BTO flats, said R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.
When the BTO exercise closes on Monday night, PropNex Realty key executive Lim Yong Hock expects four to eight applicants for each unit in mature estates, compared with one to three applicants for each unit in Punggol.
ERA Realty key executive Eugene Lim noted that the projects in the mature estates are close to existing or upcoming MRT stations. Regarding Kallang Residences, Mr Eugene Lim added: "Demand is expected to be overwhelming due to the city fringe location and proximity to the (Kallang) MRT station.
"Many applicants will likely try their luck for a unit as the potential for capital appreciation is very high."
Starting prices for units in the mature towns, before grants, range from $135,000 for a two-room flexi flat in Bedok to $497,000 for a four-roomer in Kallang Residences and $503,000 for a Bedok five-roomer.