SINGAPORE – Demand for built-to-order (BTO) apartments jumped 70% in 2020 with some 87,800 applications, driven by marriage and family formation and as multigenerational living loses popularity.
By comparison, 51,400 BTO applications were filed in 2019 and 38,500 applications in 2018, the Housing and Development Council said on Sunday, November 21.
The number of BTO apartments launched has not kept up with demand, however, as the gap has widened more and more over the past three years.
Concretely, only 16,800 BTO apartments were launched last year, compared to 14,600 apartments in 2019 and 15,800 in 2018.
According to HDB, demand remains strong in mature and non-mature areas, with demand for BTO apartments in mature areas remaining consistently higher.
He said the high demand was driven by marriage and family formation.
Citing the 2020 population census, he said the number of married couples rose from over 880,000 in 2010 to over 977,000 last year.
He also said that the average annual number of marriages in Singapore from 2015 to 2019 was 23,600, compared to 22,400 between 2010 and 2014.
Changing social standards and aspirations have also boosted demand.
Specifically, more and more young couples, singles and seniors with adult children wish to have their own apartments instead of living together, leading to a growing trend of downsizing households, HDB said.
He said there was also more support for singles owning a home, citing the 2013 announcement that first-time singles could buy a flexi two-room apartment at HDB in non-mature areas.
“This is in addition to resale apartments of any size and in any location they were already eligible for purchase,” he said.
However, the provisions for singles exclude apartments from the New Prime Housing Model (PLH), which will not be available to singles even in the resale market.
Many singles took to arms after the PLH model was announced last month, preventing them from purchasing the new apartments.
National Development Minister Desmond Lee said families will be prioritized as they may need more space for their families.
The HDB said the number of first-time singles has consistently accounted for more than 6% of the total number of BTO applications over the past three years.
The monthly income limit for eligible households has been raised in recent years.
Since September 2019, the income limit has increased from $ 12,000 to $ 14,000 for families and from $ 6,000 to $ 7,000 for singles.
By December of last year, there had been over 7,500 applications from families and 360 applications from singles who would not have previously been eligible.
About 15,000 first-time families and 3,000 first-time singles received housing subsidies for the purchase of new apartments from 2018 to 2020.
These figures represented about 40 percent of first-time families and 64 percent of first-time singles.
HDB said it has increased the supply of new apartments to meet housing needs in recent years, having launched more than 17,000 BTO apartments this year.
With over 5,000 equilibrium apartments that have also been offered, this means that around 22,400 apartments have been made available this year.
It is expected to launch at least 17,000 more apartments next year.
“Given long-term demographic and demographic trends, as well as strong housing demand, HDB will continue to ensure that the supply of public housing remains in line with the housing needs of the population,” HDB said.
“This includes increasing our offer of BTO apartments in existing areas as well as revising our land use plans to secure new housing sites, while carefully calibrating the balance between protecting our spaces. greens and building new homes and amenities for Singaporeans. “