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First BTO flats in Ang Mo Kio in 3 years set to be highly sought after

First BTO flats in Ang Mo Kio in 3 years set to be highly sought after.

Location a key draw, say experts, with project close to two MRT lines

Ang Mo Kio is set to be the hot favourite in the latest Build-To-Order (BTO) launch as it is the first time in three years the mature estate will be getting new flats. A total of 454 units are up for sale. Prices start from $170,000 for a two-room Flexi flat and from $451,000 for a four-room flat.

The last time new flats were offered in Ang Mo Kio was in 2016 when 590 flats were launched. The new BTO project, Yio Chu Kang Beacon, is a short walk from Yio Chu Kang MRT station on the North-South Line and the upcoming Lentor MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line, which is expected to open next year.

Experts said the site's close proximity to two MRT lines is its biggest selling point, even though it is located outside of the main Ang Mo Kio town centre.

As at 5pm yesterday, the four-room flats were already oversubscribed, with 349 applicants for 235 units. The larger units in the Tampines project, Tampines GreenSpring, have also been oversubscribed with 377 applicants for 218 four-room units and 413 applicants for 193 five-room units.

PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor said the relatively low number of flats available in Ang Mo Kio, as compared with past BTO launches this year, will make it the most sought-after estate this time. Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty, said he expects both Ang Mo Kio and Tampines to be five to eight times oversubscribed among first-time applicants. He added that the three Tengah projects, while well-located near future MRT stations, are more likely to appeal to younger buyers who "want to buy into the future".

Mr Mak also said that the two-room Flexi flats in the Tengah projects could help take pressure off the resale markets for singles and retirees: "More retirees can get their own flats near their children; it's a way of preparing for the changing demographic in Singapore." Among the couples hoping to get a unit in Ang Mo Kio is IT specialist Jacob Ong, 29, and his girlfriend of eight years. They have applied 10 times for units in other mature estates such as Bidadari, to no avail.

"What attracts us mainly is the location as it's close to the MRT station and to our parents' houses in Yishun and Bishan. We're definitely hoping to get a good queue number, but pretty sure it will be just as popular as Bidadari, if not more," said Mr Ong.

First-time home buyers Evelyn Tay, 22, and her boyfriend Klinton Chow, 26, a regular serviceman, said the car-free Tengah town centre attracted them to the estate. "We like to do weekly runs so it will be nice to be able to run around without being hindered by traffic lights," said Ms Tay, an entrepreneur. "We also like the fact that the environment is very natural as it encourages our kids in the future to be more involved in outdoor activities. Plus, Tengah is near both our parents."

Adapted From The Straits Times, Nov 13 2019