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HDB Promises Faster Ballot Results and New Project Announcements

HDB Promises Faster Ballot Results and New Project Announcements

Facilitated procedures will give those looking for built-to-order (BTO) flats faster results from the application procedure.

The Singapore Housing and Development Board (HDB) announced that starting May 2019, BTO flat applicants will get results of their ballot in three instead of six weeks. The reduced waiting time has been established as one of the Housing and Development Ministry priorities from 2018.

Here’s an overview of the latest announcements, procedure facilitations and additional HDB news.

Shorter and More Effective Procedures

There have long been attempts to improve the BTO application process. Balloting time is one of the biggest challenges that the HDB has been trying to address.

Apart from reducing the waiting period from six to three weeks, HDB will also begin making earlier announcements about upcoming residential real estate sales.

As per the official HDB announcement, news about upcoming BTO sales will start being circulated six months in advance instead of the current three months. This is yet another change that will be introduced in May 2019.

Thus in May 2019, HDB will announce the list of upcoming BTO sale sites for both August (following the old regulations) and November (on the basis of the new six-month announcement term).

Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong said that for first-time couples, the purchase of a BTO flat is a major decision that will often be affected by the location of the residential property. Having preliminary information about the location of a future project gives these first-time buyers the time to research and make a sound decision for the future.

Buyers want more information to plan ahead, Wong said, which is why authorities responded with the legislative changes. While the HDB has been careful about revealing too much because of the prospects of unexpected changes, such a regulatory measure was required to address public demand.

Additional HDB News and Developments

During a briefing, Minister Wong provided some additional information about changes in the way the HDB works and makes BTO flats available.

The number of BTO flats that come with a shorter waiting period of two to three years will be doubled to 2,000 in 2019. Factors like site availability determine and limit the number of such flats that the HDB could offer. Still, efforts are being made to gradually move the number up in the future.

If home buyers have more urgent needs and cannot afford the wait, they can always opt for an alternative HDB apartment acquisition model like the sale of balance flats (SBF) or the re-offer balance flats (ROF) schemes, Wong said.

An open ROF pool is available throughout the year and buyers can make their open booking from there. The opportunity opens in June and more details about the parameters of the application process will be announced in the near future.

Upcoming Sales Launches and Emerging Trends

An upcoming BTO sales launch will target three primary towns and estates in May 2019.

The official HDB website has listed the launch of new BTO flats in Tengah, Woodlands and Kallang/Whampoa.

In Tengah, the BTO options will range from two to five-room apartments. The total number is set at 2,180. The Woodlands apartments are 720 and they also range from the smallest two-room to five-room flats. Finally, 580 new BTO flats will become available in Kallang/Whampoa and these will be two to four-room apartments.

The demand for public housing in Singapore is hitting a high after a slowdown experienced for some years. The resale market is the one seen as most dynamic right now. It ended on a high note in 2018 and according to official HDB information, there were 23,099 transactions during the year.

Government efforts to scale down the number of BTO flats launched each year could have contributed to these resale market dynamics. The number of displaced en-bloc owners has also increased, which contributed to upward market pressure and an increase in the demand.

According to experts, emerging trends in 2019 could start reshaping the Singapore residential real estate market.

The resale market will see a bumper supply of BTO apartments reaching their five-year minimum occupation period. According to HDB estimates, 27,000 BTO flats and 3.500 design, build and sell scheme (DBSS) flats could reach their minimum occupation period this year, ensuring a new wave of eligible sellers.

In the period until 2021, 50,000 additional flats will reach their minimum occupation period. The number is much higher than a total of 9,000 flats for 2013/2014.

A shift in housing demand will inevitably come as a result of the upcoming massive supply of eligible flats. Prices are also to be affected and residential property may become more affordable to acquire once the wave of resales begins,

Buying interest will be strengthened in certain developments as a result of the new market dynamics. Real estate experts predict stronger buyer demand in Hougang, Sengkang, Punggol, Pasir Ris and Tampines.

The number of apartments reaching the minimum occupational period will once again be determining. In Sengkang and Punggol alone, the number of such apartments will exceed 10,000. In addition, both of the towns are recognised for beautiful landscaping and a lot of greenery, contributing to further buyer interest.

Currently, the announcement of new BTO flats in Sengkang and Punggol has not led to a reduction in property prices. These are the only two non-mature developments to record price growth for four and five-room flats over 2018.

To sum it up, the demand for HDB resale flats will continue being resilient in 2019. Certain segments may be affected by price weaknesses but overall, sellers will benefit from stability and high demand.

If you’re considering the sale of a flat, the time may be now to get started. If the minimum occupation period is nearing its end, you should definitely begin researching improvement options that will enable you to attract the right buyer and the right price.

An interior design company in Singapore can help you optimise the space and give it a more contemporary ambiance.

Home Guide has extensive residential interior design experience. We’ve worked on numerous projects and we’re comfortable with all styles – from minimalist to ornate and rustic. Contact us today to begin modernising an older living space that you’d like to sell in the future.

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