By Hetty Musfirah | Posted: 16 November 2012 1445 hrs

SINGAPORE

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the prices of Build-To-Order (BTO) flats have largely stabilised since May last year, especially in non-mature estates.

In parliament on Friday, he said the overall BTO prices have increased by 12 per cent since January 2009.

This is despite the 34 per cent increase in the HDB Resale Price Index (RPI) over the same period.

Mr Khaw said when pricing HDB flats, buyers’ affordability is fully considered.

“We take affordability fully into account when pricing BTO flats. New flats enjoy generous discounts off market prices.

On top of that, eligible first-timer households can get up to $60,000 of housing grants. HDB also offers housing loans at concessionary interest rates to help eligible households finance their flat purchase” said Mr Khaw.

He assured that BTO flats remain affordable, with first-timers buying flats in non-mature estates using about 23 per cent of their monthly income to pay for their housing loans.

Giving examples, he said a four room flat in Sengkang can range from S$250,000 to S$310,000, while a five-room flat ranges from S$320,000 to S$385,000.

“Of course people would want even cheaper (flats), but looking at it from a situation that we are facing today, I find these figures very reasonable,” said Mr Khaw.

“So that is what we have been trying to do in the last few months, trying to stabilise these BTO prices, but over time, I hope that the resale pricing will become more moderate and then we can adjust our prices again.”

– CNA/xq/sf