Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong today (Dec 30) announced that the Housing Development Board (HDB) will ramp up Built-to-order (BTO) supply by 20% to 18,000 in 2016. Noting that the November 2015 BTO bidding exercise drew overwhelming response, the Minister said that demand will continue to rise as the government increased income ceiling and gave more housing grants.
The current BTO application rate for non-mature estates continue to oversubscribe by 1.6 times. In mature estates like the recent launch in Bidadari, near Toa Payoh, demand was oversubscribed by as much as 6 times.
4-room flats in mature estates is at least S$433,000 while those in non-mature estates cost at least S$271,000. A Singaporean couple will typically carry 25 years of mortgage debt, which is paid for using the CPF retirement money. As a result most Singaporeans are not able to retire as they spent a bulk of their CPF on housing.
According to the Real Estate Bubble Index conducted by UBS, Singapore has the 4th most unaffordable housing in the world. This is largely due to having exorbitant land costs set by the government as construction manpower in Singapore remained low with construction workers taking home as low as S$4/hour.