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

Christine Sun, primary analyst & strategist at OrangeTee Group, points out that such “white scheme” approaches that offer buyers the option to customise the design of their units were available only in high-end private homes before.

He mentions that those who wish to refurbish their brand-new level might even see expense benefits as they won’t need to dismantle partitions, unlike those purchasing the typical HDB apartments.

In spite of this, Sun predicts that any potential price variation would certainly not be considerable as the design of non-structural walls is cheaper.

As an example, four-room flats today have three bedrooms. Young pairs without children yet might not need all three rooms now. A white flat allows them to partition the space with furniture or glass partitions. Down the road, when they have youngsters, the area can be repurposed, and the bed rooms put in, adds Lim.

Nonetheless, she adds in that the new design might have a potential downside when marketing the unit in the future as it can attract a smaller pool of homebuyers.

A good example is Far East Organization’s Inessence label of ultra-luxury residences, such as Alba, Boulevard Vue and Skyline @ Orchard Boulevard in the prime districts of Orchard Roadway. The “white plan” idea allowed customers to personalise their units.

“Public housing apartments that provide the white scheme can be a surprise for some prospective buyers”, states Sun.

Tembusu Grand Singapore

HDB will pilot a new open approach format in the October Built-To-Order (BTO) exercise, reported Desmond Lee, Minister of Nationwide Development, at a keynote on May 27.

According to the HDB, the non-provision of internal partition wall surfaces for such white apartments will definitely be factored right into the pricing. Buyers may decide right into the new design when they are welcomed to make a reservation for their level.

“It lets the format of the HDB flat to be personalized and re-configured as family may need change,” comments Eugene Lim, primary executive officer at ERA Singapore.

In contrast to existing condos, these “white condos” will definitely have contiguous living and room space without columns or parting wall surfaces. The first series of such white apartments will be presented at the Kallang-Whampoa BTO plan, with 310 three- and four-room units.

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