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SG Singles may shun BTO flats at upcoming launch

Property Here - Monday, July 08, 2013

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While singles can now apply for a two-room Build-to-Order (BTO) flat starting this month, only a handful are expected to take advantage of the policy change due to the small unit sizes, secluded location and long completion time of about three years, according to property analysts.

Another reason is that singles are keener on resale flats since the policy changed. In fact, 22 percent of resale flat buyers took advantage of the singles scheme from March to June, up from 20 percent during the same period a year ago.

This suggests that singles are not eager to buy two-room BTO flats, which come in only two sizes: 375 sq ft and 485 sq ft. These homes are also located in non-mature estates. For instance, flats for singles in the upcoming launch will be limited to Sengkang.

The flats will be offered at S$100,000 without grants at HDB's launch at the end of the month. However, singles usually prefer three-room flats measuring about 700 sq ft, noted ERA Realty's Key Executive Officer Eugene Lim.

"This group typically buys three-roomers to fit their lifestyle, if they can afford it. They are also conscious of the location, which needs to be attractive enough."

Meanwhile, OrangeTee's Research Head Christine Li added that BTO flats take a while to complete while resale flats are available immediately. "Applicants would be close to 40 by the time they get their keys."

To qualify for a BTO flat, singles must be at least 35-years-old and earn up to S$5,000 per month. But a person earning nearly S$5,000 can take out a loan of about S$350,000, the usual price of three-room resale flats in most estates, noted PropNex CEO Mohamed Ismail.

Nikki De Guzman, Junior Reporter at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories email