For first timers, now is the best time to secure a BTO flat
Singapore. According to a statement by the Housing & Development Board, applicants who are invited to book a Build-to-Order flat should grab the offer due to the demand for housing in the previous years. In many BTO projects, more than 16 applicants vie for each four-room flat available.
Despite this, around 40% of applicants invited to book flats declined the offer, which means serious first-time applicants now have a higher chance of securing a flat.
“With these application rates, the first-timers who applied for these flats stood a good chance of being invited to book a flat,” said HDB, adding that there were 19 BTO projects that had flats with first-time application rates of 1.7 or lower. Seven of these projects have a short waiting time of less than three years.
“The waiting times for BTO projects launched in 2021 and 2020 have generally ranged from three to five years. In fact, the median waiting time of BTO projects launched in 2021 was 3.8 years, which is lower than the 4.5 years for those launched in 2020.”
The locations for these BTO projects are Jurong West, Bukit Batok, and Tengah for non-mature estates. For mature estates, the location is Tampines.
Buyers are encouraged to apply for projects located in non-mature estates with a larger supply. This will increase their chance of booking a flat.
“First-timers who have been unsuccessful in two or more attempts for BTO flats in the non-mature estates will be given an additional ballot chance at their subsequent application for a BTO flat in the non-mature estates.”
For individuals who turned down the offer to book a flat in the Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise, any additional ballot chances that were accumulated due to previous unsuccessful attempts will go back to zero.
The HDB advised applicants to check its website to see the application rates for different BTO projects.
“Applicants are encouraged to refer to the median application rates, and consider flat categories with lower application rates, to improve their chances of securing a flat.”
The HDB assured people that public housing will continue to remain accessible and affordable for Singaporeans, especially first-timer families.