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

HDB is going to pilot a new open approach layout in the October Built-To-Order (BTO) event, declared Desmond Lee, Minister of State Development, at a spiel on May 27.

According to the HDB, the non-provision of internal partition walls for such white apartments will definitely be factored into the rates. Property buyers might choose right into the brand-new design when they are invited to book their flat.

“It gives the format of the HDB flat to be customised and re-configured as household needs adjustment,” comments Eugene Lim, major executive officer at ERA Singapore.

Nevertheless, she adds in that the new layout may have a possible downside when offering the unit in the future as it may appeal to a smaller pool of investors.

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As an example, four-room apartments these days have 3 rooms. Young pairs without any kids yet might not need all three bed rooms currently. A white flat enables them to parting the room with furniture or glass dividers. Later on, when they have youngsters, the area can be repurposed, and the bedrooms put in, adds Lim.

Regardless of this, Sun forecasts that any possible cost contrast would not be significant as the design of non-structural wall structures is less expensive.

He explains that those who wish to revamp their new level can also see cost reductions as they won’t need to demolish wall surfaces, unlike those acquiring the common HDB flats.

In contrast to remaining flats, these “white flats” are going to have contiguous living and bed rooms area without columns or partition wall structures. The first set of such white apartments will be featured at the Kallang-Whampoa BTO plan, with 310 three- and four-room units.

An example is Far East Organization’s Inessence label of ultra-luxury houses, such as Alba, Blvd Vue and Skyline @ Orchard Blvd in the prime neighborhoods of Orchard Road. The “white plan” concept enabled buyers to personalise their units.

Christine Sun, primary researcher & strategist at OrangeTee Group, mentions that such “white scheme” ideas that give buyers the choice to customise the layout of their units were offered only in luxury private homes prior to.

“Public housing apartments that feature the white plan can be a novelty for some prospective buyers”, states Sunlight.

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