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SG Balance flats overshadow BTO units

Property Here - Monday, June 10, 2013

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By Shabnam Muzammil:

Competition was fierce among buyers, especially couples with young children, for units at the HDB’s latest launch, media reports stated.

The launch proved popular as nearly 50 percent of the units were balance flats or units left over from previous exercises, either already completed or nearing completion.

According to analysts, the launch attracted strong interest as it is the first exercise to feature the revised Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS), which allocates 50 percent of the balance flats on offer to married couples who are expectant, or already have children under the age of 16.

The HDB revealed that overall more than six applicants were recorded for each balance flat on offer across the island.

For instance, Pinnacle@Duxton received 330 applicants for its most expensive unit, priced at S$769,000, and the only five-room flat on offer.

“Many of these flats are in more established estates, so they draw groups like HDB upgraders looking for a bigger flat with better surrounding amenities,” said R'ST Research Director Ong Kah Seng. Other hot areas include Toa Payoh and Queenstown.

However, only one eligible applicant for every Build-to-Order (BTO) unit on offer at five non-mature towns, namely Hougang, Woodlands, Jurong West, Sembawang and Choa Chu Kang, was recorded. The 4,608 flats available in these areas only attracted 4,077 bids, or an application rate of 0.9.

The low interest is attributed to the strong level of supply, the project not being within a 10-minute walk of an MRT, and balance units being considered more attractive than new flats as buyers can bid for only one unit per launch.

Shabnam Muzammil, Senior Journalist at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories email