by OrangeTee & Tie Pte Ltd.

Will you BTO with me?


I WAS explaining to an Australian friend that couples here have to wait for at least four years before moving into their marital home - if it is a new built-to-order (BTO) flat.

"Then they get married after getting the flat?" she asked incredulously.

"Yes. The most romantic thing a guy can do here in Singapore is to ask, 'will you BTO with me?'," I said with a laugh.

My friend's case is not unique. With the much talked about latest cooling measures, I have been hearing stories ranging from laments about living with the in-laws to cases of over-leveraging and borrowing money from the parents to buy a condominium or executive condo (EC) unit.

There is obviously no panacea as everyone's situation is different but can anything be done to maybe alleviate the pain? After all, although 95 per cent of the BTO flat supply in mature estates is set aside for first-timer families, there will always be some who fall through the cracks.

Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie's senior vice-president of research and analytics, suggests that young people perhaps consider buying flats in non-mature estates instead. 

"In the past, many people bought flats in the mature estates for their investment value and convenience. However, in recent years, the narrative may be shifting as more people are willing to pay higher prices for resale flats in non-mature estates. Moreover, with more companies adopting work-from-home arrangements or hybrid work mode, staying near the suburbs may be a viable option for some people."

She adds that owing to BTO flats' lower sale prices, some homeowners could even potentially make more profits eventually than those who bought flats in mature estates.

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