The BTO system and process are created for flexibility. This is just one of the sales modes under HDB programs, the others being sale of balance flats (SBF), re-offer of balance flats (ROF) and open booking of flats.
Under BTO, the flat types available usually include 2-room Flexi, 3, 4 and 5-room flats. There are also 3G flat opportunities available under the program. Every applicant can select their preferred apartment and town, after which balloting takes place.
It’s important to point out that first-time applicants have their documents examined with higher priority under the BTO program.
The process involves several steps.
First, the HDB announces an upcoming BTO launch. There’s also an application period that will be described. This is when potential homeowners can submit their documents. Next comes a waiting period in which all applications are examined. Once the process is completed, HDB will invite applicants to book flats. If the demand for each contract is too high, the construction of additional flats may be considered.
This is the administrative part of the process. Upon its completion, the construction of flats is initiated and when the work is done, applicants collect their keys and get ready to move in.
As far as 2020 sales launches go, the first one is scheduled for February. There will be 1,400 flats in the non-mature estate of Sembawang and 1,620 flats in the mature town of Toa Payoh. More information and descriptions of the different flat varieties is available at the HDB official website.
Following that initial launch, a second one will take place in May 2020. That one will make a bigger number of flats available. As per the initial announcement, there will be 570 flats in Choa Chu Kang (non-mature town), 1,049 flats in Tengah (non-mature estate), 1,070 flats in Pasir Ris (mature town) and 1,070 flats in Tampines (mature flat).
When planning an application, you have to understand the specifics of the estate. Making a distinction between the mature and non-mature towns is the first area of consideration.
According to HDB, non-mature estates are the ones that have been in existence for less than 20 years. Currently, there are multiple estates that fall under the category, including Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Jurong East and West, Punggol, Sembawang, Tengah, Woodlands and others.
Mature estates have been around for a longer period of time and some of them include Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Central, Clementi, Geylang, Kallang/Whampoa, Marine Parade, Queenstown, Serangoon, Tampines and others.
Usually, the price of flats in non-mature estates is approximately 10 to 15 per cent lower than the value of a comparable flat in a mature estate.
There are several reasons for the difference. Mature estates are characterised by better infrastructure and a bigger number of amenities. Accessibility also tends to be better there.
Non-mature estates have fewer amenities but the potential for much improvement in the future.
When, for example, Punggol New Town was launched back in 1997, it was only serviced by Punggol MRT Station in terms of commuting/transportation. Today, there are three additional stations that have opened through the years.
Thus, non-mature estates come with fewer conveniences but the potential for growth. These are compensated for by lower prices. People who want to have all amenities available nearby right from the start should consider the purchase of a BTO flat in a mature estate.
When it comes to BTO launches, a bigger percentage of the apartments is allocated to first-time buyers who have a greater need for housing than people who are already property owners.
First-time applicants also benefit from a higher number of ballot chances, additional ballot chances for unsuccessful attempts and they could also be eligible for the Staggered Downpayment Scheme – an opportunity to make downpayments in two instalments.
As far as eligibility for BTO application goes, there are several other requirements. At least one member of the couple applying should be a Singaporean resident. Those who are applying with a fiancé should be prepared to register their marriage before coming in possession of the flat. Single individuals who are 35 or older are eligible for a 2-room flat application in a non-mature estate. The same rules apply to those aged 35 or older who are applying with up to three single citizens as co-applicants.
There are also income requirements that depend on the size of the flat that you’re applying for. The full set of conditions is available on the HDB website.
Once you finally get your hands on the flat keys, it would be time to start thinking about improvements and remodelling. A reliable, HDB-licensed partner will guide you through everything you can do and the standards at which a renovation should be carried out.
Home Guide Interior Design and Renovations is one such partner.
We have multiple renovation packages tailored to the needs of BTO flat owners in Singapore. As a reputable, well established Singapore home interior design company, we have years of background experience and dozens of satisfied clients.
To make renovations more readily accessible, we’ve also put together promotional packages that offer an optimal price to quality ratio.
Our professional services focus on all of the strategic areas, giving you a warmer, more inviting, practical and sustainable living space.
If you want to learn a bit more about the work that we do, please check out the Home Guide residential portfolio. Alternatively, contact us today to have your questions answered directly by our knowledgeable pros.
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