1,394 flats up for sale in first ROF exercise draw keen interest
Rivervale Shores in Sengkang is one of the BTO flats being launched. Photo: Artist's impression/HDB
SINGAPORE — The first batch of unsold flats from previous Sale-of-Balance Flats (SBF) exercises put up for sale again yesterday drew keen interest, with 914 applicants vying for 1,394 units as of 5pm.
Although at least 95 per cent of the flats under the Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) exercise are reserved for first-time applicants, almost four in 10 who submitted bids for the units on Tuesday (Aug 1) were second-timers.
The units on offer include 110 two-room Flexi flats, 384 three-room flats, 624 four-roomers, 260 five-roomers, seven “Three-Generation” units and nine executive flats. They are spread out in 26 towns across the island, including Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bukit Batok, Clementi, Hougang, Serangoon and Woodlands. Meanwhile, 3,897 new flats were also launched for sale in the latest Build-to-Order (BTO) exercise. There are 1,397 units in two Bukit Batok projects (Sky Vista and West Scape) and 2,500 units in Rivervale Shores in Sengkang.
Overall, for three-room and bigger flats, there were 451 applicants for 2,196 units, or a subscription rate of 0.21, as of 5pm yesterday. For the two-room Flexi flats, there were 456 applicants for 1,701 units, or a subscription rate of 0.27.
The latest exercise brings the total number of flats launched by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) so far this year to 18,095. Applications will be accepted online until next Monday.
Next month, the HDB will offer some 4,800 BTO flats in Geylang, Punggol, Sengkang and Tampines, along with an SBF exercise.
Commenting on the demand for the unsold flats put up for sale again, PropNex chief executive officer Ismail Gafoor attributed it to spillover “excitement” from new launches.
With over two-thirds of these flats being completed units, “everyone wants to try their luck at getting the keys faster”, he added.
“(Buying a flat under the ROF exercise) is as good as getting a resale unit, but at 20 per cent to 30 per cent discount,” Mr Ismail said, adding that he expects the units to be twice over-subscribed by the end of the application period.
Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research & consultancy at investment group ZACD, said the high number of second-time applicants includes those who are “not in a hurry” to get a flat. “Second-timers already have a roof over their head, so they may not mind having to go through quite a few draws,” he said.
Applicants of the ROF units will be informed of the ballot results about one week after the application period closes, and those who are successful can choose their preferred unit from a pool of flats.
On the sluggish demand for new flats at the end of the first day of applications, Mr Ismail and Mr Mak both felt it was too early to judge the popularity of the projects. Mr Ismail predicted that the subscription rates for the new flats to go beyond what is on offer when the application closes.