Tuesday, August 7, 2012

HDB to launch at least 20,000 new flats in 2013


Business Times: Tue, Aug 07

EVEN as success rates for first-timer applications stabilise and second-timer applications improve, the Housing Board intends to build at least 20,000 new flats next year.

This is in addition to the 8,000 new flats and 3,000 balance flats that will be launched by the end of this year, said Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan in his blog.

As at 5pm yesterday, first-timer application rates for the July build-to-order (BTO) launch stood at 1.7, comparable with May's application rates. Second-timer application rates rose marginally, from 9.5 to 11.4.

That first-timer application rates remain below 2.0 means that almost all first-timers will get the chance to select a flat when they apply for one, especially in non-mature estates, said Mr Khaw.

"Second-timer application rates, which used to exceed 25, have come down significantly," he added.

Of the units launched, five-room units in Punggol (Waterway Cascadia) proved the most popular, with an overall application rate of 7.1. Each unit attracted about four applications from first-timer applicants, and 24 applications from second-timers.

Including studio apartments, 11,634 applications had been received as at 5pm yesterday.

Said Mr Khaw: "By the end of this year, we would have launched 50,000 flats over 2011 and 2012. The increased supply is clearly helping out flat buyers, and having an impact on application rates."

Speaking on the sidelines of a National Day Observance Ceremony in Sembawang GRC on Sunday, Mr Khaw noted that he was happy with the general progress made in helping Singaporeans purchase homes over the past year.

He added that he would focus on second-timers to improve their chances this year.

Mr Khaw also urged Singaporeans to remain prudent, and advised against taking up 50-year housing loans.

"Please don't fall for that, it doesn't make sense," said Mr Khaw.

Instead, buy a three-room flat if that is what you can afford, and upgrade to a bigger flat when your salary or the value of your flat grows, he said.

  
Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
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Email: marshe_inc@yahoo.com.sg
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