Integrated project's studio flats prove to be a hit

SINGAPORE - Studio apartments were hotter than usual in this month's launch of Housing Board flats, due to their being part of the Kampung Admiralty integrated project.

Also proving popular were two-room flats and a Toa Payoh project, as the Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise drew to a close last night.

By 5pm yesterday, there were 5.8 applicants for each Kampung Admiralty unit.

In contrast, other recent studio apartment projects, which can be bought only if one applicant is a Singaporean aged at least 55, have tended to draw about one to three applicants per unit.

"It is not always that studio apartments will be well received by the elderly," said R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.

But Kampung Admiralty is located near Admiralty MRT station and boasts comprehensive amenities, he noted.

Among these are a medical centre, an eldercare centre, a hawker centre and a community farm, all in one building.

Mr Ong expects studio units to gain popularity as the elderly grow used to the idea of monetising their current flats.

Madam Hazimah Aziz, 54, for instance, is planning to sell her five-room family home.

"All my children are getting married. For the two of us, a studio apartment is enough," said the housewife, who applied for one in Kampung Admiralty with her husband.

As usual, two-room flats were popular. Last July's BTO - the first time singles could buy the flats alone - saw 57.5 singles chasing each available one.

Demand has since cooled but is still high, with 17.5 singles for each available two-room flat at 5pm yesterday.

"This shows that demand has still not been satisfied," said ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim.

Also sought after was Toa Payoh Apex, a rare BTO launch in a mature estate, with 3.9 applicants for each three-room flat and 9.1 for each four-room unit.

But projects in Punggol were less popular than expected, said Mr Lim. Two-room flats aside, application rates ranged from 1.2 for each five-room unit to 2.1 for each three-room flat.

This might have been due to buyers' fatigue from many BTO launches in Punggol, he added. "It has been one after another."

This article was first published on July 26, 2014.
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