HDB pilots new open concept in October BTO exercise

Desmond Lee (Minister of National Development) announced in a speech delivered on May 27 that HDB will be piloting a new, open-concept layout for the Built-To-Order Exercise scheduled to take place in October.

These “white apartments” are unlike other flats in that they will be contiguous, with no partitions or beams between the living room and bedroom. The first of these white flats, consisting of 310 units with three or four rooms, will be sold at the Kallang – Whampoa Project BTO.

According to HDB, non-provisioning of internal partition walls will be a factor in pricing for these white flats. The new layout is available to homebuyers when they book their flat.

This allows for the HDB flat layout to be modified and rearranged as the needs of the household change.

Four-room flats, for example, have only three bedrooms today. Young couples who do not have children may no longer need three bedrooms. They can divide the white apartment with glass or furniture. The space can be used differently in the future when the couple has children.

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Renovations of a new HDB apartment can save money, as the walls do not need to be demolished.

Before, only luxury homes offered “white plan” layouts that allowed homebuyers to personalize their units.

Far East Organization, for example, has a brand of ultra-luxury homes called Inessence, which includes Alba Boulevard Vue Skyline @ Orchard Boulevard all located in prime districts along Orchard Road. The “white-plan” concept allows buyers to customise their unit.

Sun: “Public housing apartments that come with a white plan may be a novelty item for some buyers”.

The new layout, she says, may be a disadvantage when the unit is sold in the future because it will appeal to a narrower pool of buyers.

Sun estimates that despite this, any price differences would be minimal as non-structural walls are less expensive to construct.


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