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RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Ministry of National Development to offer year round ROF exercise

Flat buyers can apply online anytime and book a flat by the next working day.

The re-offer of balance flats (ROF) exercise, which offers unsold Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats from previous exercises and is usually conducted twice a year, will soon be available for booking flats on a rolling-basis anytime, according to a blog post by minister of natural development Lawrence Wong.

Also read: HDB to roll out one-stop app for residents

“In other words, flat buyers can apply online anytime of a first-come, first-served basis and book a flat by the next working day,” Wong explained. “This will effectively reduce their waiting time to a book a flat to just one day.”

The ROF exercise was introduced in 2017 and allowed all unsold HDB flats are offered in a common pool. Homebuyers benefitted from the exercise’s ease of purchasing a flat as applicants did not need to indicate the flat type and location they wanted, unlike with build-to-order (BTO) or sales of balance flats (SBF) exercises. “This benefits homebuyers who may be less particular about location and other flat attributes, or who have more urgent housing needs,” Wong added.

Also read: HDB to launch 15,000 BTO flats in 2019

Because of its popularity with about 2,500 households booking a flat since it was launched, the ROF was offered twice a year. Nearly two-thirds of these households have already collected the keys to their flats, Wong added.

The open booking for the first batch of about 120 flats will start around mid-2019.

“With the increased range of options available, I hope that it will be easier and more convenient for potential homebuyers to find a flat that meets their different needs, preferences and budget,” Wong concluded. 

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