Scrapped: Extra chances in mature estates

Scrapped: Extra chances in mature estates

 

THE Housing Board yesterday scrapped an earlier initiative to give additional chances to unsuccessful first-time buyers looking for a flat in a mature estate.

This was part of an overhaul of HDB’s application processes, which aims to discourage buyers with no genuine interest.

 

It was also part of the board’s move to make build- to-order (BTO) flats its main source of new housing stock.

 

Previously, first-time buyers who were unsuccessful at securing a flat were given additional chances from their fifth try onwards in all estates.

 

This included popular ones in established towns such as Toa Payoh and Queenstown.

 

Under the new rules, a buyer gets extra chances earlier – after two unsuccessful attempts.

 

This means on his third try, his name goes into the ballot one more time. On his fourth try, he gets entered two more times, and so on.

 

But the catch is that the extra chances apply only to BTO projects in non-mature estates such as Punggol.

 

BTO flats typically take three years to be constructed and are built only if certain demand is reached.

 

HDB said yesterday that the rationale for the change was that sales exercises in mature estates are often oversubscribed.

 

It is ‘not HDB’s intention to satisfy all such demand, since the mainstay of new flat supply is BTO flats in non-mature estates’, said HDB’s director of estate administration and property Yap Chin Beng.

 

HDB’s decision comes after recent reports that some first-timers could be exploiting the system to improve their chances by accelerating their failure rate, so as to enjoy a higher chance of success by the time flats in a desirable location become available.

 

Source: Straits Times

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