300 applications for 84 'three-generation' flats

PHOTO: 300 applications for 84 'three-generation' flats

SINGAPORE - The latest Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise has attracted about 300 families eligible for the first "three-generation" flats, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

There are 84 such units available in Yishun, and they come with four bedrooms and three bathrooms, and at 115 sq m, are 5 sq m larger than five-room flats now.

These flats were grouped in the same category as five-room units in the same area. The 344 units in total drew about 1,050 bids.

"This is a good start to the new scheme," said Mr Khaw on Wednesday, as applications for the BTO exercise drew to a close.

Married or courting couples, together with their parents, can apply for the 3Gen units, which cost $335,000 and can go down to $325,000 with grants.

Families who are unsuccessful in getting one of these flats can choose a five-room unit instead, said Mr Khaw. Alternatively, 100 more 3Gen flats will be available in Jurong West next month for those willing to wait.

A scheme to give priority for married couples and their parents to have flats close together also got "very encouraging response" after it was enhanced, he said.

Parents and children must submit their bids together, and 42 bids have been received since the scheme was enhanced so that the older parents can apply for a three-room flat instead of just a two-room or studio. Nine out of 10 chose a three-room unit.

As part of the launch, two-room flats for singles in Hougang and Punggol proved popular.

There were 159 applicants for each of the fewer than five units open to qualifying singles in Hougang's Buangkok Vale. There were about 44 and 27 applicants for each flat in the two Punggol projects. Woodlands Dew proved the least popular among singles, but even then it attracted about seven applicants per flat.

ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim said that while location was key in a project's popularity, the high subscription rate is expected to continue due to the small number of flats reserved for singles. Just a third of the two-room flats available in non-mature estates have been set aside for this group.

SLP International head of research Nicholas Mak noted the response this time was cooler than in the previous exercise in August.

According to his calculations, the application rate fell from 57.5 for every unit to about 20. "Some singles may not have participated this time, given the slim chance of getting a flat," he said.

But there is hope for them yet. The Housing Board is ramping up the two-room BTO supply to 5,000 units next year "to address demand", said Mr Khaw.

darylc@sph.com.sg


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