People desirous of buying an unsold balance flat from the Housing Development Board (HDB) can soon do so at any time of the year instead of waiting for a twice-yearly exercise.
Making this announcement through his blog, Lawrence Wong, National Development Minister of Singapore, said, “I am happy to share that HDB will provide an option for flat buyers to book remaining flats from the Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) pool at any time of the year. This open booking will start around the middle of the year, with the first batch of about 120 flats.”
In 2017, Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) exercise was introduced where all unsold HDB flats are offered in a common pool. These flats are pooled after the previous Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises.
Under the ROF exercise, applicants need not indicate the flat type and location when they apply for a flat and can book any available units according to their eligibility. This benefits home buyers who may be less particular about location and other flat attributes, or who have more urgent housing needs.
The ROF exercises have been popular, with about 2,500 households booking a flat since they were first launched. Nearly two-thirds of these households have already collected the keys to their flats.
“Flat buyers can apply online anytime on a first-come, first-served basis, and book a flat by the next working day. This will effectively reduce their waiting time to book a flat to just one day,” said Wong.
“With the increased range of options available, I hope that it will be easier and more convenient for potential homebuyers to find a flat that meets their different needs, preferences, and budget,” he added.
Every year, about 20,000 Singaporean households buy a flat from HDB. Many do so through the Build-To-Order (BTO) or the Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises.