Friday, September 30, 2011

More than 17,000 bids for HDB's 'leftover' flats

ANOTHER 3,000 applications were filed yesterday in the Housing Board's latest Sale of Balance Flats exercise, bringing the total number to 17,255 as at 5pm.

With 2,847 balance flats for sale, the subscription rate for these so-called 'leftover' units is now six times.

Not surprisingly, mature estates were popular: Bukit Merah and Queenstown drew 6,000 bids for slightly more than 1,100 flats. But non-mature towns like Yishun were also hot, with over 1,000 applications for 41 two-, three- and four-room units.

Balance flats comprise unsold units from past Build-To-Order (BTO) launches, surplus replacement flats under the Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme and those bought back by HDB.

In a concurrent exercise for BTO flats in Sengkang, Punggol, Ang Mo Kio, Jurong East and Jurong West, there were 8,835 applications for 5,415 units. Studio apartments in Jurong West were the only ones undersubscribed: The 190 flats designed for senior citizens drew 105 bids.

Applications for both exercises closed yesterday.

Mr Nicholas Mak, research head of property consultancy SLP International, attributed the demand for balance flats to the raising of the monthly household income eligibility, from $8,000 to $10,000, last month.

'The balance flats are priced higher than the BTO flats. But these buyers can afford the higher prices and are willing to pay for the shorter waiting time to get their flats,' he said.

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