Coming in 2016: More BTO Flats to Meet Demand

In anticipation of higher demand due to recent policy changes, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who took over the portfolio just this month, said yesterday (16 Oct) that he has asked the Housing and Development Board (HDB) to look into building more new flats.

Recent housing policy changes include an increased income ceiling for Build-to-Order (BTO) flat buyers from $10,000 to $12,000, and changes to the Special Central Provident Fund Housing Grant to help the middle- and lower-income households buy their first flat. The Two-Room Flexi Scheme was also introduced for seniors, offering elderly buyers shorter leases.

But the Government is not changing its tapering approach, Mr Wong stressed. "We are continuing to taper the housing programme, and we will continue to move in that direction," he said, describing the supply boost as "temporary adjustments".

HDB will be looking at the response to next month's BTO sales exercise before finalising the number for next year's flat supply. The number will be a “slight adjustment” from this year’s supply of 15,000 units, but will not go past the 20,000-mark, Mr Wong added.

What are your thoughts on the likely increase in number of flats?

Source: “BTO flat supply might go up to cope with higher demand, says Lawrence Wong” (The Straits Times, 16 October 2015),  “More BTO flats likely in 2016 to meet demand” (The Straits Times, 17 October 2015), “BTO supply to go up next year to cope with greater demand” (TODAYOnline, 17 October 2015)

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