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

In contrast to existing condos, these “white apartments” will have contiguous living and bedroom area without beams or parting walls. The very first series of such white flats will be offered at the Kallang-Whampoa BTO plan, with 310 three- and four-room units.

He mentions that those who intend to revamp their brand-new flat might also see cost reductions as they won’t need to demolish partitions, unlike those buying the basic HDB apartments.

In spite of this, Sun forecasts that any possible cost difference would certainly not be considerable as the construction of non-structural wall surfaces is less costly.

Watten House Shelford Road

According to the HDB, the non-provision of internal dividers walls for such white apartments will be factored right into the pricing. Homebuyers might decide right into the new design when they are invited to make a reservation for their flat.

However, she adds in that the brand-new design might have a potential drawback when selling the unit in the future as it can attract a smaller pool of investors.

“It allows the design of the HDB flat to be tailor-maked and re-configured as family may need adjustment,” remarks Eugene Lim, major executive officer at ERA Singapore.

Christine Sun, primary investigator & strategist at OrangeTee Group, explains that such “white strategy” concepts that give property buyers the choice to customise the style of their units were offered only in upscale special homes before.

For example, four-room apartments these days have 3 bedrooms. Young pairs with no young children yet may not need all 3 bedrooms now. A white flat enables them to partition the area with furniture pieces or glass dividings. In the future, when they have youngsters, the area could be repurposed, and the rooms created, includes Lim.

“Public housing apartments that feature the white plan can be a novelty for some investors”, claims Sunlight.

HDB is going to pilot a new open idea format in the October Built-To-Order (BTO) event, reported Desmond Lee, Minister of Nationwide Development, at a keynote on May 27.

An example is Far East Organization’s Inessence label of ultra-luxury houses, like Alba, Blvd Vue and Skyline @ Orchard Boulevard in the prime communities of Orchard Road. The “white plan” concept permitted purchasers to personalise their units.

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