3,346 flats in 2013's first BTO launch

PHOTO: 3,346 flats in 2013's first BTO launch

In its first launch in the new year, the Housing Board (HDB) yesterday released 3,346 flats under six Build-To-Order (BTO) projects.

Spread across the mature towns of Ang Mo Kio, Kallang Whampoa and Tampiness, as well as the non-mature towns of Choa Chu Kang, Hougang and Yishun, the flats are part of a total of 23,000 BTO units slated for release this year.

Yesterday's launch was also the first in which first-time applicants who are married couples with children below the age of 16 will receive priority allocation.

Under the new Parenthood Priority Scheme announced last Monday, HDB will set aside a fixed quota of 30 per cent and 50 per cent of flats under BTO and Sale of Balance Flats sales exercises, respectively, for such couples.

Teacher Jerilynn Goh, 27, who gave birth to her first child three months ago, said she is looking forward to the increased chances of getting a flat, following three failed attempts since mid-2010.

"We really want a place of our own, but we just have not been lucky enough so far. It's even more important to us now, since we've become parents and are hoping to have four kids," said Mrs Goh. The largest number of flats released in the latest launch are for Keat Hong Colours, located in Choa Chu Kang Avenue 7, which is near Bukit Panjang town centre.

The development will comprise 968 units, with three-room units expected to cost between $140,000 and $173,000, four-room units between $229,000 and $291,000, and five-room units between $298,000 and $376,000. In addition, some 510 units there - comprising one- and two-room units - will be rental flats.

Property analysts said that the project likely to attract the most attention from buyers this round is Kebun Baru Court.

Located in Ang Mo Kio Street 21, the 283-unit development has four-room flats priced between $380,000 and $449,000. Five-room units there cost between $482,000 and $575,000.

R'ST research director Ong Kah Seng said: "Although the site is not at the most central location within Ang Mo Kio, it is a quaint neighbourhood and the future Mayflower MRT station will link residents to both the city and the future Caldecott residential enclave."

Applications for the latest launch can be submitted online via HDB's website, and will close on Monday.

The next BTO launch is expected to be in March. Some 3,890 units in Bukit Batok, Punggol and Sengkang are expected to be up for balloting then.