Balance flats a hit with those under priority scheme

Completed new flats proved popular with married couples who are expecting a child or have one aged under 16 in the most recent sales exercise.

Applications under the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) formed about 119 per cent of the completed units on offer, according to Housing and Development Board (HDB) figures. This meant that there were more than two applicants per unit.

The latest exercise was the first to feature the enhanced scheme, which reserves half of balance flats on offer for these married couples. Nearly half of the 8,000 units offered comprised balance flats, with units available in Toa Payoh, Queenstown and Pinnacle@Duxton.

In contrast, PPS applications formed about 14 per cent of those for Build-to-Order (BTO) flats. This means that almost all PPS applicants who applied under the BTO exercise can select a flat, if they choose to, said the HDB.

With one in five PPS applicants comprising married couples who are expecting a child, analysts felt it reflected the group’s urgent housing needs. When asked if completed units should be released more promptly to meet the needs of some, Mr Chris Koh of Chris International felt the current strategy was adequate as it allowed for more choice. “If the units were released at every exercise, the numbers would not be significant. As Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises have been more popular than BTOs, it would ensure that figures won’t be skewed to the SBF units and BTOs would still enjoy some demand,” he said.

The Studio Apartment Priority Scheme, which made its debut in the latest exercise, also witnessed high demand for completed units. Applications under the scheme comprised 150 per cent of the studio apartments offered under SBF, while those for BTOs made up 17 per cent. The scheme is meant for seniors who want to move to a studio apartment that is close to their current home or near their children.

Source – Today – 14 June 2013

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