Unlocking Affordable Dreams: A Comprehensive Guide to HDB’s December BTO Launch, Featuring Prime Locations and Budget-Friendly Options
Couples, pay attention!
Here’s a comprehensive overview of the December BTO launch by the Housing & Development Board (HDB).
In its December 2023 Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise, HDB unveiled 6,057 flats across eight new projects, spanning mature and non-mature estates.
Approximately half of the flats, or four of the projects, boast waiting times of four years or less.
To meet the robust demand for housing, HDB aimed to release up to 23,000 flats in 2023. The recent launch brings the total for the year to 22,780 BTO flats.
Alongside an additional 1,500 and 167 flats offered in the Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise and open flat booking, there are a total of 24,447 flats for 2023.
In order to reduce BTO waiting times, HDB has implemented various measures such as prioritizing early construction sites, breaking larger BTO projects into smaller ones for more efficient resource management, and adopting innovative procurement practices.
Through these efforts, nearly 70% of the flats launched in 2023 have waiting times of four years or less, with a median waiting time of 3 years and 10 months, a significant improvement from the peak of the pandemic, which saw waiting times of up to five years.
Going forward, HDB states that they will commit to launching more BTO projects with waiting times of 3 to 4 years, as well as shorter waiting time (SWT) flats from 2024.
Affordable Options Across Various Budgets
The eight BTO projects, situated in Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Bukit Panjang, Jurong West, Queenstown, and Woodlands, offer a range of flats from 2 to 5 rooms, including Community Care Apartments (CCAs).
If you and your significant other are worried about prices, all new flats are competitively priced to ensure affordability, significantly lower than comparable resale flats.
Moreover, first-timer families are also eligible for the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) of up to $80,000.
For instance, eligible buyers can acquire a 3-room flat in the non-mature estate of Jurong West at $132,000 or a 4-room flat at $255,000, and can service their mortgage through CPF with no cash outlay.
Prices in mature estates like Bishan and Bedok start from $238,000 and $376,000 for 3 and 4-room flats, respectively, after grants.
The starting prices are based on 99-year leases, with actual grant amounts depending on income and eligibility.
Two projects, Alexandra Peaks and Ulu Pandan Vista, fall under the Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) model.
These PLH flats are priced lower than comparable resale flats, considering the location, individual flat attributes, and prevailing market conditions.
To maintain fairness with other BTO flat owners who are not accorded these additional subsidies, PLH flat owners will be required to pay HDB 8% of the resale price of the flat upon selling it, after meeting the 10-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP).
Advice for Flat Buyers
The First-Timer (Parents & Married Couples) category prioritizes young couples and parents with young children and has been in effect since the October 2023 BTO sales exercise.
Rules for non-selection of flats have been tightened to better prioritize and allocate flats to those with more pressing housing needs.
As such, BTO/ SBF applicants who have received a queue position within the flat supply will not be allowed to apply for a flat in subsequent BTO/ SBF exercises until after their flat booking appointment.
As high demand is expected in mature states such as Bishan and Bedok, prospective applicants seeking a higher likelihood of securing a flat are advised to consider applying for residences in non-mature towns such as Jurong West and Woodlands.
At least 95% of 4-room and larger flats in those areas are designated for first-timer families.
Applicants can find out more via the HDB Flat Portal, which is updated several times a day throughout the 7-day application window.
Application Process for December 2023 BTO Exercise
In order to participate in the December 2023 BTO Exercise, applicants must have a valid HDB Flat Eligibility (HFE) letter.
Flat applications are accepted online from 5 December to 11 December, and HDB will shortlist applicants using a computer ballot to ensure a fair process.
HDB also recommends swift Internet access, and those without one are advised to seek assistance from family members or contact HDB Customer Service at 1800 – 866 3066.
Upcoming BTO Exercise in February 2024
In February 2024, around 4,100 flats will be offered in Bedok, Queenstown, Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Punggol, and Woodlands. The supply is subject to review and will be confirmed closer to the launch date.
Prospective flat buyers are encouraged to apply for their HFE letter early and submit the necessary documents by 15 January 2024.
HDB remains committed to providing affordable housing and aims to launch a total of 100,000 flats from 2021 to 2025, with 2024 details to be announced separately.
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