HDB flats in Singapore
A view of a newly constructed public housing estate in Singapore Reuters

The Housing and Development Board in Singapore has put 8,748 flats up for grabs under the May 2017 Build-To-Order (BTO) and Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise.

According to the housing board, these comprise 4,802 BTO units spread across six projects in Woodlands, Yishun, Bidadari (Toa Payoh) and Geylang. This brings the total number of BTO flats offered this year to 8,858 units.

Together with the 3,946 balance flats on offer, HDB has launched a total of 12,804 flats for sale in the first half of 2017 to meet the housing demands.

PropNex Realty KEO Lim Yong Hock said these second batch of BTO flats for the year would be a significant driver of demand in the mature towns.

"We expect the demand in the mature towns to be strong, especially for the town of Geylang due to the pent-up demand, as there has not been a BTO launch In that area in the last three years," he said.

With this, Lim predicts that the subscription rate for the new flats in Geylang could be five applicants per unit, due to the limited number of flats launched, coupled with the attractive location and great accessibility.

For Woodlands and Yishun, expected applicants per unit could go around from one to two. The price for a 3-room flat in Woodlands starts from $145,000 as compared to the prices in Mature towns like Toa Payoh which is more than double at $328,000 to $368,000.

In terms of the Sales and Balance Flats, Lim highlighted Queenstown as a popular spot for buyers with a higher budget looking to upgrade to a larger 4- or 5-room flats.

"We foresee 30 applicants to a unit for flats in this location," he said, noting that other popular selection might also include 5-room flats in Clementi and Ang Mo Kio where subscriptions might reach more the same rate as with Queenstown.

Meanwhile, HDB said eligible first-timer families can enjoy up to $80,000 of housing grants, comprising the Additional CPF Housing Grant and the Special CPF Grant. With these grants, buyers of 2-room Flexi, 3-room, 4-room and 5-room flats could pay as little as $4,000, $70,000, $176,000, and $307,000 respectively.