There were more flats available in the latest Build to Order exercise, in Woodlands and Bukit Batok, than applicants for them. This means that 1st time applicants should be guaranteed a flat and that there is not likely to be a ballot, as at 5pm on the relevant day there were only 0.9 buyers for each flat and the Build To Order exercise closed at midnight on that same day. This is the first time since May 2013 that 1st time applicant rates were lower than 1, when the Build to Order flats in Choa Chu Kang, Jurong West, Sembawang, Hougang, and Woodlands were offered and the application rate for 1st time applicants was 0.7.
Less BTO Applicants for HDB Flats
Analysts said that between January and March 2014 the overall 1st time application rate fell from 1.7 to 1.4. Applications for Build to Order flats from single people, at 14.9, and from 2nd time applicants, at 1.7, were much higher. Demand from single applicants continues to remain high. 30% of two and three roomed flats in the less mature towns such as Bukit Batok and Woodlands are currently available to second time applicants. 30% of two roomed flats in those estates are available to single 1st time applicants. Some market analysts believe that the low interest in the most recent Build to Order process, covering 3,071 flats, is not very surprising because a Sale of Balance procedure was held at the same time.
Sale of Balance Flats less popular as well
The Sale of Balance exercise involved 3,383 flats some of which were in popular more mature estates, for example, Tampines and Clementi, which will be ready for occupation much sooner than the Build to Order flats offered. One of the Sale of Balance flats on the 46th floor at Pinnacle@Duxton and priced at $769,000 drew 224 applicants. Overall application rates for the Sale of Balance procedure, which included studio flats, stood at around 4.2 compared to the Build to Order’s overall application rates of 2.0.