Posted: 29 January 2013 1048 hrs
SINGAPORE: HDB on Tuesday launched six new BTO projects with a total of 3,346 flats in three mature towns -- Ang Mo Kio, Kallang/Whampoa and Tampines -- and three non-mature towns -- Choa Chu Kang, Hougang and Yishun.
This is the first tranche of the 23,000 BTO flats which HDB has planned for 2013.
This is also the first time that married couples with children under the age of 16 will enjoy priority allocation under the new Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) as announced on January 21.
HDB will set aside a fixed quota of 30 per cent of BTO flats for them.
It is a welcome move for those with children.
"The government has given us priority, so we have come to try our luck," said Mr Wee.
"I think it's a good move in the right direction. We're planning another (child) anyway and I think it might benefit us in the future," said Mr Joshua Yak.
But Mohamed Ashadi and his wife who are expecting their first child in two months are disappointed they do not quality for the PPS at this month's BTO exercise.
Eligible first-timer households can enjoy up to S$60,000 of housing grants comprising additional CPF housing grant of S$40,000 and special CPF housing grant of S$20,000.
HDB said with these grants included, 3-room flats would be priced from as low as S$105,000 and 4-room flats from S$214,000 in the BTO project in Choa Chu Kang.
The supply under the PPS scheme comes from the quota for first-timers, so this means a smaller quota of flats for those without children.
Previously, all first-timers were allocated 85 per cent of flats in non-mature estates and 95 per cent of flats in mature estates.
But with 30 per cent of flats now allocated to married couples with young children, first-timer couples without children will be allocated 55 per cent of flats in non-mature estates and 65 per cent of flats in mature estates.
Mr Pirani said: "What they have planned is pretty much OK because people who have kids, they need to have flats, they have more urgency. It's all right, no complaints."
While analysts expect more enthusiastic response for the new flats, they do not see the priority scheme making that much of a difference.
Lee Sze Teck, senior manager of Research and Consultancy at Dennis Wee Group, said: "Since this is the first BTO that the policy would be in effect, we are likely to see perhaps more applications for flats."
He added: "The supply for this PPS comes out of the supply for first-timers. We expect the overall subscription rate for first-timers to go up a bit.
"(But) we don't think that the people applying under the PPS will be a lot because if people are already used to not owning a home, you might not see a lot of them wanting to convert to home ownership."
Applications for the new flats will close on February 4.
HDB said that the next batch of BTO flats would be launched in March. A total of 3,890 new flats will be offered in Bukit Batok, Punggol and Sengkang.
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