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Analysts mixed on December BTO exercise

HDB launched 6,057 new BTO flats for sale.

Property analysts were mixed on the potential outcome of the December build-to-order (BTO) sales exercise in the face of holiday lull and with tighter non-selection rules in place.

“Demand for BTO flats is predicted to dip slightly in December in comparison to the October BTO sales exercise,” OrangeTee & Tie senior vice president of research and analytics Christine Sun said, noting that applications will be reduced “due to the introduction of non-selection rules which discourage less serious buyers from applying.”

Further, applicants who already secured a queue number in October will not be able to apply in this month’s exercise, while the holiday season is also expected to be slowing down home buying activity, according to Sun.

For Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex Realty, the wider range of locations on offer will attract more buyers to participate in the December sales exercise.

HDB on Tuesday launched 6,057 new BTO flats for sale across eight projects in Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Bukit Panjang, Jurong West, Queenstown and Woodlands. Offerings range from 2-room to 5-room units, and Community Care Apartments.

The latest exercise is already 11% lower than the 6,800 units launched in October, which already received muted reception with an application rate of 1.6 times, or a total of 10,935 applicants, according to PropNex.

READ MORE: Why the October BTO exercise received lukewarm demand

Gafoor expects Chai Chee Green in Bedok, Sin Ming Residences in Bishan, and Petir Park Edge in Bukit Panjang to enjoy stronger interest from applicants.

Huttons Asia's senior director for data analytics Lee Sze Teck, meanwhile, sees strong demand on Alexandra Peaks in Bukit Merah as well as the two BTO projects next to Woodlands MRT station.

“BTO applicants will be pleased to know that waiting times are shorter, about half of the projects in this launch have estimated waiting times of 4 years and below,” Gafoor said.

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