Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Flats for seniors at Bt Batok: Will buyers bite?

HOMEBUYERS seeking homes in Yishun and Bukit Batok now have more options.

The Housing Board yesterday launched 1,728 build-to-order (BTO) flats in these two areas, the first batch of up to 22,000 new BTO flats in the pipeline this year if demand is sustained.

Industry watchers said the three projects - Orchid Spring @ Yishun, Vista Spring @ Yishun, and the seniors-friendly Golden Daisy in Bukit Batok - are expected to attract modest sales, due to their distance from MRT stations.

Strong demand for new flats and those in the resale sector led the Housing Board to roll out 16,000 flats last year, the highest number since the BTO system was launched in 2002. It allows flats to be built according to demand.

Some 95 per cent of the new flats will be reserved for first-time buyers.

Orchid Spring in Yishun Avenue 11 will have eight 13-storey blocks housing 948 two-, three- and four-room flats.

Vista Spring in Yishun Avenue 1 will also have eight 13-storey blocks, featuring 504 four- and five-room flats. The project also has 96 three-room flats which are reserved for sale in the future.

Prices in the Yishun projects range from $93,000 to $112,000 for a two-room flat, and from $292,000 to $353,000 for a five-room unit. More than half the Yishun flats on offer are four-room homes.

Golden Daisy, in Bukit Batok Street 21, will offer two sizes of studio apartment for residents aged 55 and older. They will be fitted out with essentials like built-in furniture. Apartments of 398.3 sq ft in size will cost between $83,000 and $94,000, while 505.9 sq ft ones will cost between $105,000 and $118,000.

PropNex corporate communications manager Adam Tan said Golden Daisy may not see high sales due to the modest popularity of studio apartments. 'While the development is situated near a park and neighbourhood centre for the residents' enjoyment, they would still have to take a bus to nearby Bukit Batok MRT station.'

Mr Tan said the three-room flats in Yishun are expected to see stronger demand due to their price, which is 40 per cent lower than current median resale prices in the neighbourhood.

The Yishun offerings feature amenities like childcare centres in the block as well as close proximity to parks and Lower Seletar Reservoir. However, Yishun MRT station is a few minutes away by bus.

HDB said the construction of Orchid Spring is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014, and Vista Spring in the third quarter of the same year.

Golden Daisy is expected to be ready in the first quarter of 2014.

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