Bankbazaar Singapore – February 26, 2018
Singapore: The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has informed that close to 93% of the flats offered under the first re-offer of balance flats (ROF) exercise this year have been booked.
This exercise follows Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise that was carried out in May last year and an ROF that followed in August, the same year. The board has categorically mentioned in its news release that this exercise was mainly directed at first-time homeowners.
It was also informed that HDB had set aside almost 95% of the total flats on offer for first-time buyers as a commitment to its aim of making homes in Singapore affordable for everyone. Up to 5% of the total flats on offer were reserved for second-time buyers.
During the last instalment of sale of flats by the housing board, it had put 717 units on offer, which included 2-room Flexi, 3-, 4-, and 5-room 3Gen flats, and also executive flats.
Properties from both non-mature and mature areas were included for sale. While the starting price for some properties started from below S$200,000, some of them went up to over S$600,000 also. HDB had also applied income ceilings for some flats and reserved some for members of particular ethnic communities.
In a report released earlier, the housing board had informed that it had received a total of 4717 applications for the 717 units on offer, out of which 2266 belonged to first-time buyers and the rest to second-time buyers.
HDB has set a target of launching 17,000 flats this year. Of this, HDB has launched 4,381 flats for sale in February that includes 717 ROF flats and 3,664 BTO (build-to-order) units. HDB has also been offering grants on their new BTO flats, the prices of which are already lower than resale prices of similar flats in the area.
New HDB flats in both non-mature and mature locations have been made available on purchase.
While the August ROF exercise had managed an oversubscription by almost four times, this ROF may seem to be a little paler in comparison because it has not managed to clear the stock fully.
For the August activity, more than 5,500 applications were received for 1,394 flats on offer. Ultimately, 1,300 flats were booked that translates to a success rate of almost 93%.
According to some media reports, analysts feel that the February RFO exercise and the next one in August will continue to have more demand compared to BTO flats because of the lower waiting period.
Other media reports have said that some analysts hold a different opinion because they think that since potential property buyers don’t have a choice regarding the location of a flat and the amenities offered, they may stay away from similar exercises in the future.
The Next BTO block sale will take place in May this year.