BTO flats offered at different prices to cater to different budgets

Minister for National Development Desmond said that BTO flats remain affordable for Singaporeans.

Fitri Mahad

Probably the only person that likes to hear the koels go ‘uwu’.

Published: 18 October 2022, 6:32 PM

Prices of Build-To-Order (BTO) flats are determined by its attributes, and a range of prices and grants are offered to cater to the different budgets.

This is to ensure that there will be a diverse group of flat buyers, including those from the lower-income segments, said Minister of National Development Desmond Lee at a Forward Singapore dialogue held at Singapore Management University on Monday (Oct 17). 

According to a Straits Times report, the discussion at the dialogue primarily centred around public housing affordability and concern that the next generation could be priced out in light of climbing flat prices. 

Mr Lee was reported as saying that flats at attractive locations will have a higher price point, even though BTO flats are highly subsidised. 

Two examples were cited by Mr Lee. 

In August, the Housing Development Board (HBD) launched three-room BTO flats in Jurong East that cost between $194,000 and $245,000. A first-timer couple with a monthly household income of $3,000 – in the bottom quintile of households – can pay the monthly instalments fully from their Central Provident Fund (CPF) without any cash outlay.

In comparison, four-room BTO flats next to Woodlands South MRT station were priced between $303,000 and $363,000. A first-timer couple jointly earning $5,000 a month – around the 30th percentile of households here – can afford the monthly instalments using only their CPF. 

On why the prices were different to flats of similar sizes in Ang Mo Kio and Choa Chu Kang, despite being in the same BTO launch exercise, Mr Lee said it is due to the location and distance to amenities. 

“The Ang Mo Kio project is in the town centre, nearer to the city, and is close to MRT, bus interchange, market, hawker centre, polyclinic, library and shopping malls,” he said, according to Straits Times. 

“Our offering of BTO flats with different attributes, price points, locations and different levels of housing grants allow us to serve the needs and budgets of a diverse group of flat buyers.”

Mr Lee added that the Government is ramping up the supply of BTO flats and is on track to launch up to 100,000 new flats between 2021 and 2025 if needed.

He added that the Government provides grants of up to $160,000 for first-timers.

Regarding concerns about the success rates of balloting for HDB flats, Mr Lee said that almost all who applied for BTO flats in non-mature estates as first-timer households succeeded within three tries, with 90 per cent successful within just two tries.

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