SINGAPORE: More than 4,000 new flats were launched for sale on Wednesday (Sep 11), in the first sales exercise where buyers can benefit from higher housing grants and raised income ceilings.

A total of 3,373 Build-to-Order (BTO) flats were launched in Punggol and Tampines, while 719 unsold flats from previous sales exercises were launched under the Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) exercise, said the Housing and Development Board (HDB) in a news release.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong announced on Tuesday that the income ceiling to purchase new flats will be raised from S$12,000 to S$14,000. For singles aged 35 and above, the new income ceiling will be S$7,000, up from S$6,000.

It will also be easier for first-time buyers to qualify for housing grants. They will also get more flexibility to choose the size of their flat and its location.

READ: Higher income ceilings, enhanced housing grant for HDB flat buyers

The new BTO flats on offer are spread across the Punggol Point Cove and Punggol Point Crown projects and the Tampines GreenGlen project. 

Buyers can choose units ranging from two-room Flexi flats to five-room flats. Prices for the Punggol projects range from S$109,000 to S$423,000 and from S$312,000 to S$418,000 for the Tampines project.

flat prices sept 2019 ex

(Table: HDB)

“New HDB flats are priced with a generous subsidy, taking into account factors such as location, flat attributes and prevailing market conditions,” HDB said.

It added that that prices for the new flats are “considerably lower” than that of comparable resale flats in the vicinity.

READ: HDB to launch BTO projects in Punggol inspired by early zoo, fishing village

For the ROF flats, there are 268 two-room Flexi flats, 202 three-room flats, 90 four-room flats, 49 five-room flats, 104 3Gen flats and three executive flats in various estates, including Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Merah, Clementi, Tampines and Toa Payoh. 

About 12 per cent of these flats are completed while the rest are under construction. 

At least 95 per cent of the ROF flats will be set aside for first-timer families, HDB said.

“The elderly may apply if they meet the eligibility conditions to buy a two-room Flexi flat on short lease. They will be shortlisted after families for the booking of flats,” it added.

READ: HDB to explore building cooler homes, 3D printing for future flats

Applications for BTO and ROF flats can be made online on HDB’s website from Sep 11 to Sep 17. HDB will then shortlist applicants using a computer ballot.

About 4,500 BTO flats in Ang Mo Kio, Tampines and Tengah will be launched for sale in November. In February next year, 3,000 BTO flats in Sembawang and Toa Payoh will be launched.