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With the slump in the resale property market, it might be unexpected for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats to fetch more than twice their original price.

But a closer look shows little cause for surprise - and little cause to expect that the success will be fully replicated, for a few reasons.

One is that early owners of BTO homes benefited from especially low launch prices.

Their gains may not be realised by those who bought their flats later, for much more money.

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Posted by on in Residential

Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in Sengkang and Punggol may have been unpopular when they were first launched, with complaints over the location and the lack of amenities.

But home buyers who signed up for the flats some 10 years ago are now having the last laugh, with the value of their homes nearly tripling.

The Straits Times looked at data provided by SRX Property of flats launched in and after 2002 when the BTO system began.

Of these, the highest number of transactions were of Sengkang four-roomers with the leases starting in 2009. They cost up to $205,000 when they were first launched around 2005.

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Posted by on in Residential

It was like a flashback to the boom days when more than 8,000 people thronged the sales gallery of High Park Residences when it opened to the public on the weekend.

They were not just there to look, either, with around 500 cheques collected from buyers keen to own a unit at the massive condominium project to be launched in two weeks.

Pricing seems to have been a key factor in the weekend rush.

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Posted by on in Residential

A year after lensmen from The Business Times put together a photo essay on "dark condos" to highlight the rising vacancies in the private housing market, they have gone in search of an update of the situation.

In May, they returned to the same 10 completed condo projects they photographed a year ago to capture these developments, as far as possible, from the same angles . They even went at around the same time - between 8 pm and 9.30 pm on a weekday, before the school holidays, when people could reasonably be expected to be home.

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National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan’s recent comment that every Singaporean couple — regardless of their financial means — ought to have a chance of living in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats signals a shift in the Government’s thinking and could have profound implications on housing policy, experts said yesterday.

Nevertheless, some of them noted that it was an inevitable shift given Singapore’s changing circumstances and the need for public housing to retain its role as a social institution here.

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