Didn’t manage to get a good queue number from the past HDB BTO or Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises? Here’s another chance to buy subsidised housing directly from the HDB, via the Open Booking of Flats exercise.
What is Open Booking of Flats?
Open Booking of Flats is one of HDB’s modes of sale, besides BTO and SBF.
Through Open Booking of Flats, HDB sells unselected flats from the previous SBF exercises, through which balance flats from the previous BTO exercises and older flats returned to HDB are sold.
To put it in simple words, the available flats sold through Open Booking of Flats are the leftovers of the leftovers. It’s like those sale items you see at the various warehouse sales and end-of-season sales at the factory outlets at IMM.
What’s different about the Open Booking of Flats is that there’s no balloting, so it’s on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you’re fast and lucky enough, you’ll be able to book a unit as early as the afternoon of the same day.
It allows you to apply for a flat at any time of the year, until all the available flats have been booked. HDB also suspends the mode of sale twice a year to add a fresh supply of flats.
HDB has just revealed the available flats for the upcoming Open Booking exercise. Details include the number of flats available, locations and ethnic quota. The online application will start on Wednesday 12 October at 12 am. (So fastest fingers first!)
Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a queue number and selection appointment date and time to book the flat.
Here’s when the earliest that you can book a flat:
|Online application||Earliest time you can book a flat|
|After midnight and before noon, Monday to Friday||In the afternoon of the same day|
|After noon and before midnight, Monday to Thursday||In the morning of the following day|
|After noon and before midnight on Friday||In the morning of the following Monday|
|Saturday and Sunday||In the afternoon of the following Monday|
With that, here’s what you should know about the available flats of the upcoming Open Booking of Flats exercise
Low Chinese quota available
Looking at the ethnic quota available, we noticed only 84 units are available for Chinese households, which is around half of what’s available for Malay households (196 units) and Indian/Other Races households (199 units).
If we zoom closer at the ethnic quota for the available flats in the mature estates, the quota for Chinese households is even lower at 55 units, as compared to Malay households (173 units) and Indian/Other Races households (174 units).
Interestingly, the quota is around the same across the races for flats in the non-mature estates, with Malay households at 23 units, Chinese households at 29 units, and Indian/Other Races households at 25 units.
Before booking a flat through the Open Booking exercise, double-check if the flat you’re interested in has a quota for your race. Alternatively, consider going for a resale flat.
On 99.co, you can also filter your search based on the ethnic quota.
Some flats have a remaining lease of 40+ years
As mentioned earlier, some of these flats are from the previous BTO launches. This includes Garden Terrace @ Tengah from the November 2020 BTO launch, and Bishan Towers and Dakota One from the August 2020 BTO launch.
But there are also a handful of flats which are repurchased from the HDB. Unlike BTO flats, these flats don’t come with a fresh 99-year lease.
Such as this 4-room flat at Kallang Trivista, which comes with a remaining lease of 94 years.
When we looked closer at the available flats, there are some with an even lower number of remaining leases left.
We’ve even found a few flats with only 40+ years of lease left!
One of them is this 2-room Flexi flat at The Beo Crescent, which has only 48 years of remaining lease.
HDB is selling it for S$185,000, which is S$165,000 cheaper than a similar flat in the same block currently on the resale market.
Another flat with 48 years of remaining lease is this 3-room flat at Whampoa Gardens, which is selling for S$138,000.
It’s S$182,000 cheaper than a similar flat nearby currently on the resale market.
While buying through Open Booking allows you to buy at a cheaper price (and save as much as almost S$200,000), the downside is that you won’t be able to view the interior of the flat and check its condition. This may not be much of an issue if you’re buying a newer flat.
But if it’s an older flat that’s around 40 to 50 years, there may be some structural or plumbing issues, which you may not be aware of until you collect the keys. This is unlike buying a resale flat, whereby you can view the unit before deciding to buy it.
HDB resale flats for sale
Would you buy an HDB flat through the Open Booking of Flats exercise? Let us know in the comments section below.
If you found this article helpful, 99.co recommends HDB Open Booking of Flats: Is it better and cheaper than resale? and 5 things you must know before you apply for HDB’s Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) in 2022.
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