The overall number of BTO flat applications in 2020 was 87,800, up from 38,500 in 2018 and 51,400 in 2019.
Singapore saw demand for Build-to-Order (BTO) flats more than double from 2018 to 2020, with the overall number of flat applications rising from 38,500 in 2018 to 51,400 in 2019, before jumping to 87,800 in 2020, reported Today citing the Housing and Development Board (HDB).
Consequently, the number of applications received for every BTO unit increased from 2.6 in 2018 to 3.7 in 2019 and to 5.8 in 2020.
First-time homeowners, comprising singles and families, fuelled demand.
HDB noted that applications from this group increased from 26,100 in 2018 to 55,300 in 2020.
The number of first-timer families who applied for a BTO unit more than doubled to 51,400 in 2020 from 22,000 in 2018.
The rate of increase from this group of buyers was sharper last year than in 2019, mirroring the overall trend in BTO applications in which first-timer families account for the vast majority of applicants.
The number of first-timer singles who applied for a BTO flat declined from 4,100 in 2018 to 3,100 in 2019, before rising to 3,900 in 2020.
HDB attributed the strong demand for BTO flats to a higher number of marriages over the years and to more people opting to have their own flats.
Census data showed that the number of married couples increased to 977,300 in 2020 from 880,800 a decade ago.
The annual average of marriages registered between 2015 and 2019 stood at 23,600, up from the annual average of 22,400 posted between 2010 and 2014.
HDB expects housing demand to increase in the near term as more groups of those born in the late 1980s or 1990s reach marriageable age.
Meanwhile, more singles, young couples and elderly parents with adult children are living in their own flats instead of living together.
Last year’s population census showed that the average resident household size declined to 3.2 persons in 2020 from 3.5 in 2010.
About 60% of the total households comprised three or fewer members in 2020, up from 44.5% in 2010.
The proportion of single-person households also increased to 16% in 2020 from 12.2% in 2010, due to the growing number of singles and elderly.
HDB reiterated some of the efforts it has made to ensure that flats remain affordable over the years.
For instance, the monthly household income ceilings for eligible applicants to acquire a flat from HDB has been raised in recent years.
Since September 2019, the income ceiling for families has been raised to $14,000 from $12,000 and to $7,000 from $6,000 for singles.
Various housing grants were also provided, such as the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant, to help eligible buyers afford a new flat.
About 15,000 first-timer families received housing grants from 2018 to 2020, or 40% of first-timer families who purchased a new flat.
During the same period, around 3,000 first-timer singles or 64% of new, single flat owners, received housing grants.
Cheryl Chiew, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this story, email: [email protected].