THOSE eyeing new flats in mature estates will have a wealth of options after the Housing Board launched its latest round of flat sales yesterday.
Over 7,500 units under the Build-To-Order (BTO) and Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) schemes went on sale, with 3,028 located in the sought-after mature estates.
Of the 4,277 BTO units put on sale across six projects in Tampines, Sengkang, Sembawang and Yishun, 1,947 are located in two projects in the upcoming Tampines North district.
Flat buyers are likely to make a beeline for these units given that they are located in a mature estate, experts said. "All the linkages and facilities there are already established," said ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim. "The value of flats there is also likely to hold in the resale market."
One of the projects, Tampines GreenRidges, will offer 3Gen flats for multi-generation families - a first for a mature town. Prices of these flats start at $407,000 without grants, and $397,000 with grants.
Also on sale are 3,291 SBF units, which span both mature estates like Bukit Merah and non-mature estates such as Punggol. SBF units are either balance flats from earlier BTO launches, surplus Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme replacement flats, or repurchased flats.
Changes to the Married Child Priority Scheme are kicking in with these launches. Announced last week, the enhanced scheme will set aside up to a third of new flats for married children and their parents who apply to live with or near one another.
Priority will be given to two groups under the scheme: Parents and married children who apply to live under one roof, and parents who own flats in mature estates and apply for BTO flats near their married children in non-mature estates.
But this is unlikely to drive up demand significantly for 3Gen flats and flats in non-mature estates, said experts.
"A lot of elderly parents live in mature estates and would not want to uproot themselves," said R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng, adding that the take-up for 3Gen flats might be lukewarm as many young couples prefer privacy.
"There is also the perception that 3Gen flats might be too small."
As of 5pm yesterday, the overall application rate for the Tampines BTO flats was 0.4, with 825 applicants going for 1,947 units.
Personal financial consultant Eddie Su and his fiancee Cheryl Ng, both 25, are looking to buy a five-room SBF unit in Tampines.
"We are getting married next year so we want our own place sooner," said Mr Su, referring to the shorter waiting period for SBF units compared with BTO flats.
The latest launch brings the number of new flats put up for sale this year to 29,129, down from 33,568 last year.
Applications have to be submitted by midnight on Dec 1.
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