Strategise your BTO application: Is it more advantageous to apply for your HDB BTO flat later in the BTO application period?

Strategise your BTO application: Is it more advantageous to apply for your HDB BTO flat later in the BTO application period?
he HDB launched a total of 5,795 BTO flats across seven housing projects in five estates in the final sales exercise of the year.
PHOTO: Housing Development Board

You can check the number of applications received for the February 2021 BTO launch and the number is updated at 8am, 11am, 2pm and 5pm daily.

The final count of the total number of applications received will be on Feb 11, 2021 at 2.00pm, after the day of the close of the application period. This article is originally published on Nov 18, 2020 and updated to reflect the latest launch details.

With an average of more than 5 applicants for every BTO unit during an HDB BTO launch, balloting for a BTO flat can be more competitive than primary school application.

In particular, sought-after units in mature estates can go up to 15 applicants for first-timers and over 100 applicants for second-timers. With such high demand for HDB BTO applications, your every ballot chance must be placed strategically.

Here are the situations where it is more advantageous to apply for your HDB BTO Flat later during the BTO application period.

You can strategise your BTO application by knowing the number of applications received

The first step is to be prepared with a clear idea of which BTO projects you are interested in. Our BTO location guides can help you. Once you know the projects that suit your preferences, the next step is actually strategising your BTO application.

ALSO READ: Couldn't get your BTO flat of choice? Here are 5 alternative steps to take

During a launch (and after), you can view the total number of applications received for each project during a launch.

Taking the example of the August 2020 BTO launch, the number of applications can be found on HDB’s website.

No need to wait if you are tied to a single location and a single flat size

If your BTO preferences are fixed, i.e. you only want one location and one flat size, and no other option will work for you, then there is no need to wait. Once the BTO application period is open, you should just proceed to ballot for the exact BTO project and flat size that you want.

There is no need to strategise your BTO application if you have no flexibility in your balloting options. Instead, you can consider increasing your BTO balloting chances by applying through one of the priority schemes such as Married Child Priority Scheme.

Wait and see the application numbers if you mind the location and not the flat size

Let’s say that you are very fixed on the BTO location, e.g. you are planning to apply for the Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) . There is still value in waiting to see the ballot numbers during the BTO application period if you can afford to be flexible about the flat type/ size you are applying for.

Typically, in a BTO launch, the 4-room BTO flats are the most popular. If you have the finances and/ or the flexibility to live in a smaller or larger space, you may wish to consider balloting for a 3-room or 5-room flat instead.

Waiting to see the ballot numbers may give you a clearer indication of which flat size to ballot that will give u the highest chances of success.

If there is more than one location or BTO project that interests you

While most people are hyperfocused on location, sometimes there may be more than one location in a BTO launch that you are interested in.

For example, maybe both the Bishan and Bidadari locations in the November 2020 BTO launch are equally attractive to you. In such a case, you may want to apply later, after seeing the application numbers for each project.

ALSO READ: HDB BTO launch in February: Bidadari, Bartley, Boon Keng, Bukit Batok, where should you apply?

Likewise, if you are planning to apply under Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS) , the flat type may be more important to you than the location. Looking at the applications for the 2-room flexi will be a good strategy to maximise your ballot chances.

Waiting allows you to assess which BTO projects are oversubscribed and by how much

In general, applying later allows you to be strategic about your BTO application. You can choose to ballot for a less popular project or a less popular flat size to maximise your chances.

That said, the BTO application fee is only $10. For first-timers, every attempt after your second unsuccessful ballot gives you an additional ballot chance.

Technically, it is possible to clock up additional ballot chances by balloting for oversubscribed projects in earlier launches. Just recognise that there are consequences if you win the ballot but choose not to pick a BTO.

Note: Additional chances are not given for Sale of Balance Flats and BTO sales launches in mature estates

This article was first published in Dollars and Sense.

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