The launch of the February 2023 sale of Build-to-Order (BTO) flats saw the lowest overall number of flat applicants, particularly among first-timer applicants since February 2020, the Housing Development Board (HDB) said in a press release.
4,400 flats in estates such as Jurong West, Kallang Whampoa, Queenstown, and Tengah were offered by HDB under the February 2023 launch.
This sales exercise is set to end at 11.59pm on Mar. 6.
According to HDB, the number of flat applicants for this round is half the number of applicants in some of the past 11 BTO flat sale launches.
As an example, HDB said a total of 12,493 applicants applied for three-room and bigger flats, of whom 7,513 were first-timers.
In comparison, there were 20,252 applicants in February 2020, of whom 14,145 were first-timers, HDB added.
First-timer median application rate for three-room and larger flats is 1.8
HDB further highlighted that as of 11pm, Mar. 6, the median application rates for first-timer applicants for three-room and bigger flats is 1.8.
This figure is close to that of the November 2022 BTO sales exercise, which has double the flat supply of the February 2023 launch.
HDB added that the median application rates of 1.8 at the November 2022 sales exercise and 2.0 at that of February 2021 are the lowest in HDB’s quarterly sales launches in the past three years, from 2020 to 2022.
Chances for first-timers in Jurong West, Tengah and Queenstown are higher
The statutory board also pointed out that first-timer applicants who applied for Jurong West Crystal and Brickland Weave in the non-mature estates of Jurong West and Tengah, as well as Ulu Pandan Glades in the mature estate of Queenstown, will have a good chance of securing a flat.
HDB explained that this is due to the low first-timer application rates of between 0.2 and 1.8 across the various flat types ranging from two-room flexi to five-room flats, and the average rejection rate of 40 per cent at the flat selection stage experienced in the past.
For successful applicants of flats in Jurong West Crystal and Brickland Weave, the waiting time to move in is also shorter, at 3.9 years and four years respectively.
As for three-room and bigger flats, all the five BTO projects across mature and non-mature estates have first-timer application rates of 1.7 or lower for one or more flat types.
This means there were fewer than two applicants vying for each flat.
“Early” indications that BTO application rates have reduced and are stabilising
HDB also said there are early indications that the BTO application rates have reduced and are stabilising.
The statutory board called on flat buyers to consider applying for BTO flats located in non-mature estates or projects with low application rates, to increase their chances.
First-timers who have been unsuccessful in two or more attempts for BTO flats in the non-“mature estates will be given an additional ballot chance at their subsequent application for a BTO flat in the non-mature estates.
From our records, virtually all first-timer applicants of BTO flats in non-mature estates had a chance of booking a flat within their first three tries. In fact, about nine in 10 had a chance to book a flat within two tries.”
Top photo by Jiachen Lin via Unsplash