HDB to launch 17,000 BTO flats next year

22 Dec 2020

Expected to be similar to what was launched this year, there will be a good mix of flats available in mature and non-mature estates. The upcoming developments will incorporate features under the new “Designing for Life” Roadmap.

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) plans to offer around 17,000 Build-to-Order (BTO) flats next year, similar to what was launched this year, said Minister for National Development Desmond Lee on Monday (21 December).

In a Facebook post, Lee said the government will closely monitor the housing market and calibrate supply if needed, given the economic uncertainty brought about by COVID-19.

A good mix of flats will be available in non-mature estates like Bukit Batok, Woodlands and Tengah, as well as in mature estates like Geylang, Bidadari Estates in Toa Payoh, Ulu Pandan Estate in Queenstown and Kallang Whampoa, he said.

Lee revealed that upcoming public housing developments will “also incorporate some features under the new “Designing for Life” Roadmap launched by HDB this year”.

With this, homeowners can look forward to features that help make towns and estates more liveable, sustainable, efficient and safe, such as smart pneumatic waste conveyance systems, smart lighting and electric-vehicle ready car parks, he said.

Recommended article: HDB Climate-Friendly Households Programme: Up to $225 Vouchers for Eligible Homes

The minister added that greenery will also be weaved into the upcoming HDB developments.

“In coming up with the housing plans, HDB has engaged and taken in the feedback of various partners, including nature groups, to try and strike a balance between conservation and developmental needs,” wrote Lee. 

Huttons Asia Research Director Lee Sze Teck believes that 2021’s BTO supply of 17,000 units is “well-balanced considering the constraints in the construction industry and ensuring sufficient demand in the resale market”. 

He expects BTO demand to vary across HDB towns, with mature estate generally posting more applications.

Suggested read: How to Ace Your HDB BTO Application And Increase Your Ballot Chances

“That being said, some younger towns with bold transformation plans also attract many buyers,” he said. 

Chris International Director Chris Koh, on the other hand, expects demand for HDB flats to remain strong. 

“When there are economic uncertainties, citizens feel safer buying HDB flats. Historical data has shown that HDB flats sell best during economic downturns. People get more prudent buying HDB flats within their means when uncertainties like job security is a major concern,” he said as quoted by TODAY. 

Property analyst Ong Kah Seng expects application rates to be more than encouraging and fairly overwhelming for BTO flats that are conscientiously conceptualised with vibrant precinct themes. 

“Special project designs have emerged due to the pandemic because of work-from-home culture, which prompted requirements for larger properties or more co-working spaces and spare contingency amenities in each housing project,” he said as quoted by TODAY. 

See also: Work-From-Home Culture Seems To Be Changing How We Shop for Homes

“The more a property or new housing project is designed to be ‘pandemic-ready’, with spare or back-up spaces, the more it would be able to win over property buyers.” 

ERA Realty Head of Research and Consultancy Nicholas Mak said the planned supply of 17,000 BTO units showed that the HDB market is quite stable.

“Although the Singapore economy is in a recession now, the government expects the economy to expand by 4% to 6% in 2021. Therefore, the government may adjust the planned supply of BTO flats in 2021 as required, based on the market dynamics at that time,” he added as quoted by TODAY.

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