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

Christine Sun, main analyst & strategist at OrangeTee Group, mentions that such “white plan” ideas that provide property buyers the choice to customise the design of their units were offered only in upscale special homes before.

“Public housing flats that come with the white plan can be a surprise for some investors”, claims Sun.

He explains that those who want to revamp their new level might even see cost benefits as they will not need to break partitions, unlike those acquiring the basic HDB flats.

However, she adds that the new format may have a possible drawback when selling the unit in the future as it may attract a smaller pool of homebuyers.

An example is Far East Company’s Inessence label of ultra-luxury homes, for example, Alba, Blvd Vue and Skyline @ Orchard Boulevard in the prime neighborhoods of Orchard Road. The “white plan” strategy permitted buyers to personalise their units.

In spite of this, Sun anticipates that any type of possible rate difference would not be significant as the construction of non-structural walls is less costly.

According to the HDB, the non-provision of inner partition walls for such white condos will be factored right into the rates. Buyers might opt into the new arrangement when they are invited to make a reservation for their flat.

Hill House condominium

In contrast to remaining flats, these “white apartments” are going to have contiguous living and bed rooms space without columns or partition walls. The initial collection of such white flats will be featured at the Kallang-Whampoa BTO project, with 310 three- and four-room units.

HDB will pilot a new open idea design in the October Built-To-Order (BTO) exercise, announced Desmond Lee, Minister of State Development, at a speech on May 27.

For example, four-room apartments nowadays have 3 bedrooms. Young partners without kids yet might not require all three bedrooms now. A white flat lets them to parting the area with furniture pieces or glass dividers. Later on, when they have children, the spot could be repurposed, and the bed rooms put in, adds Lim.

“It gives the format of the HDB flat to be customised and re-configured as family wants modification,” remarks Eugene Lim, key executive officer at ERA Singapore.

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