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Why the October BTO exercise received lukewarm demand

As of 5 pm on 9 Oct, there were slightly more than 8,400 applicants for the 6,800 flats on sale.

The response to the October BTO exercise was underwhelming, and a real estate expert is pointing to the penalties for non-selection of flats as a chief reason.

“Fearing being penalised, some applicants may have stayed out of this BTO exercise. Some applicants may be waiting for Dec 2023 BTO where there is a long-awaited BTO at Bishan (Sin Ming) and one at Bukit Merah (Alexandra),” Huttons Senior Director for Data Analytics, Lee Sze Teck, said.

“Some applicants may not have their HFE (HDB Flat Eligibility) letter in time to apply for the BTO. The long wait between May and Oct 2023 BTO may have seen some demand diverted to the resale HDB market,” Lee added.

According to Lee, the October BTO exercise has received slightly more than 8,400 applicants for the 6,800 flats on sale as of 5 p.m. on 9 October. 

In comparison, the Feb 2023 BTO exercise received more than 16,000 applicants with 4,428 flats on sale, and the May 2023 BTO exercise had more than 20,000 applicants with 5,495 flats on sale.

Meanwhile, Lee underscored the need to provide larger flats in future BTO exercises, given that 5-room/3Gen flats have generally been receiving more applications than 4-room flats after the pandemic.

“This clearly shows the shift in demand for larger homes to accommodate work-from-home and home-based learning,” Lee said.

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