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Helping Young Couples Get Their Homes Sooner
HDB announced today the details of two measures to help young couples get their new homes sooner – the offer of some Build-To-Order (BTO) flats with shorter waiting time, and the introduction of a new sales mode, the Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF, 剩余组屋再销售活动). These were first announced at MND’s Committee of Supply debate in Mar 2017, as part of the measures to support young couples in their marriage and parenthood journey.
2 To reduce waiting time for young couples buying their first homes, HDB will commence construction of selected BTO projects ahead of their sales launch. Tender for the construction of the first batch of 1,000 flats will be called this month, and construction works are expected to commence in 4th quarter 2017.
3 The flats, spread across three projects in the non-mature estates of Sembawang, Sengkang and Yishun, will be launched for sale in the 2nd half of 2018.
4 Flat buyers can look forward to the flats completing between 4th quarter 2020 and 1st quarter 2021 – about 2.5 years from the time they apply for the purchase of the flats, instead of the typical waiting time of about 3 to 4 years for standard BTO projects. More details of the projects are in Annex A.
Higher priority for first-timer families
5 First-timer families will enjoy higher priority when applying for these flats, with at least 95% of the 4-room and larger flats set aside for them. This is a 10%-point increase from the current quota of at least 85% in the non-mature estates.
Flats to come with finishes and fittings
6 The flats with shorter waiting time will come with floor finishes, internal doors, and sanitary fittings. This will reduce the renovation works required and enable home buyers to move into their new flats sooner. All units will also come with an open kitchen concept (i.e. no partition wall for kitchen) where the layout permits. With these provisions, flat buyers will no longer be required to make a selection under the Optional Component Scheme (OCS).
7 In the case of 2-room Flexi flats, HDB will continue to offer elderly fittings and furnishings under the OCS for elderly buyers of 2-room Flexi flats with short lease.
8 Home seekers who prefer the flexibility of choosing their desired finishes and fittings under the OCS can apply for other BTO projects with the typical waiting time.
9 Balance flats offered under the Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise, currently held twice-yearly, are popular among first-time home buyers, as these flats are closer to completion or completed. From August 2017, HDB will introduce a new sales mode for unsold balance flats. Named the “Re-Offer of Balance Flats” exercise, or ROF for short, it will pool together all flats that remain unsold at the conclusion of the previous SBF exercise. This will help those with more urgent housing needs and/or are less particular about location and attributes to have quicker access to a flat.
10 The first ROF exercise will be held in August 2017, in conjunction with the BTO sales launch. It will offer 1,394 units of unsold balance flats from the Nov 2016 SBF exercise. HDB will set aside at least 95% of the flat supply for first-timer families and up to 5% for second-timer families.
11 For a start, ROF exercises will be held twice-yearly, in Feb and Aug alongside BTO exercises. Together with the two SBF exercises held together with the other two BTO exercises in May and Nov, home seekers will now have four chances to apply for a balance flat in a year.
Application Details for ROF exercise
12 Details of the ROF flats on offer will be published on the HDB InfoWEB. Interested applicants may apply for either an ROF flat or a BTO flat and submit their application online within 7 calendar days, together with a $10 administrative fee.
13 If they apply for an ROF flat, they do not have to indicate their preferred flat type and town/estate in their application. HDB will shortlist applicants using a computer ballot and all ROF applicants will be informed of the outcome of the ballot from about one week of the close of the application period.
14 Shortlisted ROF applicants will be invited to select and book a flat if there are available units. The flat selection appointment will take place between 1 and 5 months after applications close.
15 The two measures together will widen the range of housing options for first-timers, and enable them to move into their first homes sooner. HDB will monitor the response and make refinements where necessary.
First Batch of BTO Flats with Shorter Waiting Time – for launch in 2nd half 2018