Despite the 5 months wait from the last BTO exercise in May 2023, there was no noticeable increase in demand for Oct 2023 BTO exercise.
Whether it is a sign of slowing interest in BTO flats, more time is needed to make a conclusion as there was a policy change for Oct 2023 BTO exercise.
The response can be described as under-whelming. As of 5pm on 10 Oct 2023, there were slightly more than 9,800 applicants for the 6,800 flats on sale.
In comparison, there were more than 16,000 applicants for Feb 2023 BTO exercise and more than 20,000 applicants for May 2023 BTO exercise.
There were only 4,428 and 5,495 BTO flats for application in Feb and May 2023, respectively.
The chief reason behind the lukewarm demand could be the penalties for non-selection of flats.
Fearing being penalised, some applicants may have stayed out of this BTO exercise.
Some applicants may be waiting for Dec 2023 BTO where there is a long awaited BTO at Bishan (Sin Ming) and one at Bukit Merah (Alexandra).
Some applicants may not have their HFE letter in time to apply for the BTO.
The long wait between May and Oct 2023 BTO may have seen some demand diverted to the resale HDB market.
The number of applicants for 5-room/3Gen flats have generally been much more than 4-room flats after the pandemic.
This clearly shows the shift in demand for larger homes to accommodate work from home and home based learning.
There may be a need to provide more larger flats in future BTO exercises.
The flipside of lesser applicants for Oct 2023 BTO exercise is that almost all first timers will get to select their flats.