HDB pilots new open concept ‘white flats’ in October BTO exercise

HDB is going to pilot a brand-new open approach design in the October Built-To-Order (BTO) exercise, revealed Desmond Lee, Minister of National Development, at a spiel on May 27.

He points out that those who wish to renovate their new flat could also see expense benefits as they will not require to dismantle walls, unlike those acquiring the typical HDB apartments.

Unlike existing flats, these “white flats” will have contiguous living and bedroom spot without columns or parting wall structures. The initial set of such white apartments are going to be offered at the Kallang-Whampoa BTO project, with 310 three- and four-room units.

Nevertheless, she adds that the new design might have a potential downside when marketing the unit in the future as it may appeal to a smaller pool of buyers.

Regardless of this, Sun forecasts that any type of possible rate difference would certainly not be substantial as the construction of non-structural dividers is less costly.

For example, four-room apartments today have three rooms. Young partners with no children yet might not need all three bedrooms now. A white flat allows them to partition the room with furniture or glass dividings. Later on, when they have youngsters, the space could be repurposed, and the bedrooms created, adds Lim.

“Public housing flats that feature the white plan can be an original for some prospective buyers”, claims Sun.

Christine Sun, chief analyst & strategist at OrangeTee Group, points out that such “white scheme” concepts that provide homebuyers the possibility to personalize the layout of their units were offered only in high-end exclusive homes prior to.

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“It allows the format of the HDB flat to be personalized and re-configured as family needs modification,” comments Eugene Lim, major executive officer at ERA Singapore.

According to the HDB, the non-provision of internal dividing wall surfaces for such white condos will be factored right into the pricing. Homebuyers may decide into the new arrangement when they are invited to make a reservation for their level.

An example is Far East Organization’s Inessence brand of ultra-luxury homes, such as Alba, Boulevard Vue and Skyline @ Orchard Boulevard in the prime districts of Orchard Roadway. The “white plan” idea enabled buyers to personalise their units.

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