Over 9,500 homes to be available for November BTO launch: Minister Desmond Lee
Youths’ concerns regarding affordability, balloting and waiting time of HDB flats were addressed at the National Youth Dialogue.
House buyers can choose from a pool of over 9,500 homes in November, a launch much larger than that of usual BTO exercises, shared Minister for National Development Desmond Lee on Saturday (Oct 8).
Mr Lee, who is also Minister in-charge of Social Services Integration, made the remarks at the National Youth Dialogue (NYD), organised as part of the Forward Singapore exercise.
Three topics – the affordability of HDB flats, success rate of balloting, and waiting time for the completion of HDB flats – were addressed at the NYD on public housing.
Mr Lee assured that HDB will continue to take measures to ensure that new flats are affordable for those buying their first homes. He added that the market value of new flats is first established by looking at the prices of comparable resale flats nearby. After doing so, HDB will make adjustments for individual flat attributes and prevailing market conditions.
On top of these steps, significant subsidies will be applied to derive the selling prices, which are below market value.
However, Mr Lee highlighted that despite heavy subsidies, BTO flats which are located in accessible areas are bound to cost more.
On the HDB resale market, grants of up to $160,000 are available for families buying their homes.
In response to anxieties about housing affordability, Mr Lee assures Singaporeans that HDB will step in to ensure that the rising resale prices remain affordable for house buyers.
“We are committed to intervene and do what is necessary to secure a stable property market, and affordable housing for all Singaporeans,” he said.
Where balloting was concerned, Mr Lee shared that despite the high BTO application rates, HDB saw a 40 per cent rejection rate for BTO flat selection exercises.
This means that applicants who applied for BTO projects where there are less than 1.7 applicants for every available HDB flat have a high chance of being able to select their BTO flats, he explained.
Regardless, to meet the increasing demand for housing, HDB will be ramping up the supply of BTO flats by launching up to 100,000 new flats from 2021 to 2025.
In November, more than 9,500 homes will be made available to potential house buyers in a launch larger than the usual BTO exercises.
Since the construction industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the proportion of delayed projects has been reduced from 80 per cent last year to the current estimate of 50 per cent.
Additionally, the median waiting time for new flat launches has also come down from a range of four to five years last year to a band of four to four and a half years.
HDB will continue to work with the goal of cutting down the waiting period to less than three years, Mr Lee said.
In view of the many suggestions received where housing was concerned, Mr Lee highlighted that the Government is open to receiving more feedback from Singaporeans.
“We want to hear about your aspirations, your concerns, and your ideas for Singapore’s public housing. We want to take stock of where we are as a society, how our social compact on housing should evolve, and how our public housing policies and programmes can keep pace.”
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