Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Slower take-up for build-to-order flats in Yishun

TWO Housing Board build-to-order (BTO) projects launched in Yishun last month have met with a more lukewarm reception compared to previous projects.

Yesterday, with hours to go before the deadline for applications, the overall oversubscription rate stayed at below two times for the projects Orchid Spring@Yishun and Vista Spring@Yishun.

This showing pales in comparison to a December BTO launch for Punggol Topaz that received six times more applicants than there were flats on offer, and a November launch in Yishun Greenwalk that was three times oversubscribed.

However, a third BTO project launched last month - Golden Daisy at Bukit Batok, which comprises 180 studio apartments for older residents - fared better. It had an oversubscription rate of three times.

In contrast, the two projects at Yishun, featuring 1,548 flats ranging from two-room to five-room units, got 1.8 times as many applicants as there were flats on offer. The two-room units were the only ones that were undersubscribed, with just 138 applicants for the 192 units available as of 6pm yesterday.

Industry watchers say the Housing Board's promise to put up as many as 22,000 new flats under the BTO scheme this year if demand is sustained, has made many buyers more selective about the BTO launches they apply for.

'Buyers are waiting for the ideal project to come along before they submit their applications,' said head of research at SLP International Nicholas Mak.

Student Genevieve Phua, 21, who applied for a four-room flat at Orchid Spring@Yishun, said the project's distance from the MRT station is not a big issue for her.

Ms Phua tried her luck with the Yishun Greenwalk project previously, but did not get the flat she wanted.

'Yishun is a mature estate, so this BTO is actually quite ideal for me,' she said. 'I've lived in Yishun since I was two and the BTO project is near the coffee shops and markets I usually go to, so I actually prefer this project to Greenwalk.'

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