Serangoon had the largest number of applications for the May BTO launch

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On May 30th, HDB launched 5,495 Built-to-Order (BTO) flats across five areas which include Bedok, Kallang, Serangoon, Tengah and Whampoa. The area with the highest applications was Serangoon with over nine applicants for each four-room flat, and more than 13 applicants for 5-room flats according to Lee Sze Teck, senior director of research at Huttons Asia.

Lee believes the success is due to the slack demand, since there isn’t a BTO release within Serangoon for more than 10 years. “First-timer families that want to be close to their parents were eager to get this unique BTO,” he says.

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It is believed that the popularity of five-room flats in Serangoon is due to their limited availability in estates that are mature Lee adds Lee. “A 5-room apartment provides space to work in a hybrid manner and also an expanding family.” Thus, the 5-room flats in Bedok were a popular application rate as well.

The two Tengah BTOs had more than 5,000 applications for 3four and five-room flats. According to Lee the number is much greater that the previous November 2022 BTO exercise, where 2,077 units were available to buyers on Garden Waterfront I and II in Tengah.

The increased quantity of applicants applying for BTO apartment in Tengah this month could have something to do with the close proximity to the planned Anglo-Chinese school (Primary) that was reported to move to Barker Road to Tengah in February. Two new BTOs in Tengah that were launched in May are close to Tengah Town, says Lee.

The Housing Board on Tuesday released details of six projects it will start in August. Three are located in Kallang-Whampoa. The other three projects are three projects within Queenstown, Choa Chu Kang and Tengah.

The sites located at Jalan Tenteram in Whampoa and Kallang Airport Way/Geylang have had their land usage updated by URA in the last few days.

In Whampoa The two BTO projects that will be launched in August are located at Jalan Rajah and Jalan Tenteram. Both BTOs are expected to be 40 stories in height and will provide those living in high-floor apartments of uninterrupted views of the surrounding area. Lee believes they will have large numbers of applications.

The BTO located at Geylang Road/Kallang Airport Way lies within walking distance from Kallang Airport Way/Geylang Road. It is also within walking distance of Kallang MRT station on the East-West Line and the Singapore Sports Hub. The BTO is likely to be classified as a prime in the public housing (PLH) project. This means that it could see an identical response similar to that of the Kallang Horizon BTO launch last November, which had an applicant rate of 6.4 for first-time applicants.

The old Tanglin Halt flats sold via Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) were destroyed to prepare for the forthcoming BTO located at Queensway. Huttons’ Lee reckons it could be rolled out as the equivalent of a PLH since the BTO is situated by Ulu Pandan and Ghim Moh that are classified as PLH areas.

In addition, Lee notes that several flats located at Blk 50 Commonwealth Road have changed hands for resales of more than $1 million. The government has rezoned an site in the area for residential and commercial usage, which is expected to significantly enhance the amenities available in the region.

The most anticipated project for this November’s BTO exercise is located in the neighbourhood of Bishan-SinMing. “This BTO may be the first in an established estate that was constructed prior to the release,” says Lee. The previous BTO to be launched within the region was the 945 unit Sin Ming Court, completed in 1988.

The estimated price for the Bishan Sin Ming BTO is likely to be between $525,000 to $650,000 for 4-room apartments, Lee reckons. Due to that there is a “pent-up need” and the shorter time to complete Lee expects a substantial number of applicants of these apartments.

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