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Aren't there ever enough flats for our surging population??

Jan 5, 2011
Over 6,800 apply for Punggol Topaz

BTO flats six times oversubscribed as location, amenities, price attract buyers
By Cheryl Ong

THE latest offering of build-to-order (BTO) flats in Punggol has been oversubscribed by more than six times, continuing a recent trend in the area.

More than 6,800 people applied for Punggol Topaz's 1,010 units near Punggol Reservoir by 5pm yesterday, two weeks after the project's launch.

In May last year, the Punggol Emerald and Punggol Waves projects were oversubscribed by six times each.

Punggol Topaz's four- and five-room flats proved to be the most popular, attracting seven times as many applicants as the 826 units on offer.

The oversubscription rate garnered by Punggol Topaz matches that of similar projects in Sengkang and Boon Lay last year thanks to demand spurred by the economic recovery.

PropNex corporate communications manager Adam Tan said people who signed up for the latest batch of BTO flats in Punggol were attracted to the town's potential and the 'reasonable' price range of the development.

Punggol Topaz flats will range from $166,000 to $207,000 for a three-room flat, and from $335,000 to $406,000 for a five-room one.

'Punggol is slated to become an eco-town and it's been in the news a lot because of the Government's plans for it to become a waterfront residential area,' he said. 'Upcoming amenities like LRTs and MRTs also make it very attractive.'

But Mr Chris Koh, director at Dennis Wee Group, was surprised by the popularity of the launch.

'I thought that it would be three or four times oversubscribed,' he said. 'This shows that demand for BTO flats remains high because buyers are still not willing to pay cash for resale flats.'

First-time buyer Dixon Samuel, 25, a technical engineer, applied for a matrimonial four-room flat on the day of the launch.

'I'm not in a hurry as I'm aiming to get married in 2012 and I'm now just looking at BTO options till my wedding date,' he said.

'Punggol feels like a peaceful waterfront town and a home there would be cosy. The price is also cheaper compared to other areas.'

This is not surprising.

We were looking at 8-10 applications for each BTO unit about 12 mths ago. After the latest cooling measure, the number has gone down to about 6:1. I suppose demand that were not satisfied in the previous BTO exercises will be carried forward to the next BTO; so it will take a while for this ratio to come down. The question is come down to what.