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SG Lowest subscription ever in latest BTO exercise

Property Here - Friday, June 07, 2013

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By Shabnam Muzammil:

The latest Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise has recorded the lowest subscription rate since it was established in 2001, according to media reports.

Only one eligible buyer has applied for every flat, which means that most of the applicants will be successful in their applications, analysts noted.

However, the 4,900 BTO units spread across five non-mature estates were not equally received by applicants. Hougang’s 314 three- and four-room flats, for instance, saw over 1,200 applicants while Sembawang’s 1,462 units received just 560 bids, or an application rate of 3.8 and 0.4 respectively.

According to Eugene Lim, Key Executive Officer at ERA Realty, location was a vital factor in this exercise as none of the projects were located near MRT stations.

“The rest were overshadowed by the selection of flats available under the balance flats exercise,” noted Lim.

Around 3,100 flats were offered in the balance flats (SBF) exercise, and applicants could only apply for either a BTO flat or a balance flat. Two flats at Pinnacle@Duxton, a four-room and five-room, proved to be popular with a combined 622 bids.

Meanwhile, demand from second-time home buyers remained high at an application rate of 95.7, an increase from last September’s balance flat sale of 78.2, Christine Li, Research Head at OrangeTee, noted.

“Even though the prices of bigger flats and their cash premiums have softened, second- timers continue to face difficulty in getting a resale HDB flat due to a mismatch in expectations between sellers and buyers,” Li added.

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