Less demand for Bukit Merah, Queenstown BTO projects; most first-timers to get chance to book flats
Most first-time applicants who applied for the Bukit Merah and Queenstown Build-To-Order (BTO) projects are likely to get a queue number to pick a flat.
There is less demand for both projects, which come under the prime location public housing (PLH) model, than there was for previous PLH projects.
As at 5pm on Thursday (June 2), three first-time applicants are vying for each of the 1,226 four-room flats at the Bukit Merah Ridge BTO project.
At Ghim Moh Ascent BTO project, located in the mature estate of Queenstown, 2.7 first-time applicants are vying for each of the 671 four-room flats.
In contrast, more than five first-time applicants were vying for each of the 680 four-room flats on offer in the Rochor BTO project - the first to fall under the PLH model - launched last November.
Competition was even stiffer for the second PLH project in Kallang/Whampoa that was launched in February - King George's Heights - as close to 11 first-time applicants were vying for each of the 294 available four-room flats.
Most of the first-time applicants in the latest projects are likely to be issued a queue number as the Housing Board issues three times more queue numbers than the flat supply, in anticipation of applicants who will drop out during the flat selection process.
This means that if a BTO project has 1,000 available units, up to 3,000 applicants will be issued a queue number.
Both the Bukit Merah and Queenstown BTO projects come under the PLH model, which means owners are subject to a 10-year minimum occupation period and a 6 per cent subsidy clawback clause when they sell their home on the open market for the first time.
At least 95 per cent of the flat supply in mature estates is set aside for first-time applicants.
Those with queue numbers for this BTO launch are then scheduled to book their flats in person at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh between July this year and April next year.
The dropout rate of each BTO sales exercise averages around 40 per cent. These are applicants who could book a flat but decide not to do so.
However, the Rochor BTO project had a lower dropout rate of 20 per cent, National Development Minister Desmond said Lee last week.
In this May's launch, there were more three-room flats available than applicants in both the Bukit Merah and Queenstown projects. This means that all first-time applicants will likely have a chance to book a unit.
At the Bukit Merah BTO project, prices range from $377,000 to $509,000, without grants, for a three-room flat, and $540,000 to $737,000 for a four-room flat.
Prices at the Queenstown BTO project range from $369,000 to $481,000 for a three-room flat, and $511,000 to $691,000 for a four-room flat.
Both projects have a waiting time of around five years, or 60 months.