Friday, December 19, 2008

New Yishun HDB Flats Up For Grabs At Below-Market Resale Prices

Source : The Business Times, December 19, 2008

THE Housing and Development Board (HDB) has launched Dew Spring @ Yishun where a good number of units are smaller two and three-room flats.

Prices range from $76,000 to $90,000 for each of the 144 two-bedroom flats.

There are 216 three- room flats and these have been priced at $120,000 to $146,000. HDB says that prices of nearby resale flats (which are about 20 years old) are about $175,000 to $180,000 (on a pro-rated basis with units of the same 65 square metre size).

As such, HDB has priced the three-room flats at about 20 to 30 per cent less than comparable resale prices.

There are 504 four- room flats and these have been priced between $197,000 and $238,000.

HDB says that resale prices are between $225,000 and $257,000 (on a pro-rated basis with units of the same 90 sq m size) for the four-room flats nearby. As such, Dew Spring four-room flats are about 7-12 per cent cheaper.

HDB did not have comparable resale prices for two-room flats.

The board said that in pricing new flats, it considers several factors such as location, individual attributes of the flats, design of the project and the prevailing market conditions.

'To ensure public housing is affordable for first- time home buyers, new HDB flats are priced below their equivalent market prices,' it added.

Including Dew Spring, HDB has launched a total of 883 units of two-room and three-room flats this year and plans to launch another 100 smaller flats soon. It also plans to offer about 4,000 smaller units over the next two years.

The launch of Dew Spring follows National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan's announcement in Parliament on Nov 18 that lower-income families and those who need to downgrade to smaller flats can look forward to a steady supply of smaller flats.

PropNex chief executive officer Mohamed Ismail believes that HDB's launch of the smaller units is timely, considering the 'current economic uncertainty'.

He added: 'These flats are priced very attractively. The smaller units are actually going at below $200 psf, which is very much below the median resale prices for that area in the last quarter.'

As the units are situated not far from a golf course and a reservoir, Mr Ismail expects an oversubscription for these units of about four times.

HDB has so far launched 6,600 units under its Build- to-Order system in 2008. It plans to launch another 1,180 units by the end of the year.

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