SINGAPORE: By 2030, Singapore is expected to have 700,000 new homes which will be located in new towns, existing estates and the central region, where 200,000 of these units will be completed by the end of 2016.
According to the Land Use Plan released on Thursday, three new towns will be carved out.
One of them is Bidadari town where 11,000 housing units, both private and public, are expected. Another town will be created in Tampines North, which is slated to have 21,000 units.
The third town, Tengah, will have 55,000 units and be almost the size of Ang Mo Kio Town.
Build—To—Order (BTO) projects can be expected in Bidadari and Tampines North in the next two to three years while BTO projects will come on stream in Tengah in the next three to five years.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday morning, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan addressed concerns of affordability of BTO flats. He said prices of BTO flats will not rise with resale flat prices.
Mr Khaw added this has been the practice since he took over the ministry in 2011 and will continue till the housing market stabilises, and he pointed out that stable BTO prices also means government subsidies have also increased.
Besides creating new towns, mature estates will also be rejuvenated while existing towns like Punggol will also continue to be developed.
When completed, Punggol will become one of the largest HDB towns in Singapore with 96,000 units, three times its current size.
Mr Khaw said the green field sites in Punggol provides maximum opportunity to plan even better new layout, new building forms, new typology to ensure a better quality of life.
Analysts said expectations are high for new towns.
Eugene Lim, key executive officer at ERA Realty Network, said: "For example like Bidadari, it is seen as city—fringe housing. I think a lot of people have seen how Bishan has evolved from a former cemetery to a bustling and well sought after estate as it is today. With Bishan being so successful, a lot of people have that same expectation of Bidadari. There is a lot of interest and people are actually waiting in anticipation for Bidadari to take off."
Housing will also be developed on vacant land within existing estates across the island.
Under the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) Remaking Our Heartland programme, more HDB estates will also be improved and this will begin with Punggol, Yishun and Dawson in Queenstown. Other towns like Hougang, East Coast, and Jurong Lake District will follow.
More homes will also be built in the central region, including the Bukit Turf Club, Kallang Riverside, Bukit Brown and Keppel areas.
It is hoped that this will allow more Singaporeans to live close to where they work.
Analysts expect such supply to moderate resale HDB flat prices.
Chris Koh, director at Chris International, said potential buyers who decided to hold their purchase due to the new cooling measures introduced in January will continue to stay on the sidelines to monitor the situation.
Mr Koh said: "The moment you have supply outweighing demand, prices will have to adjust. Perhaps in the short term, we won’t see the supply outweighing the demand yet because the demand is still very strong so the demand will soak up the supply. Once we have all the supply soaked up and more supply coming in and demand doesn’t change or demand comes down, then we should see price adjusting."
And it is not just about building more houses in new towns. The government said there is scope to make parks more accessible.
The government also hopes to let at least 85 per cent of Singaporeans to live within 10 to 15 minutes of a park by 2030, up from the current 80 per cent.
Park connectors will also be extended from 200 kilometres to 360 kilometres.
A S$43—million National Cycling Pilot Programme is also underway to construct dedicated off—road cycling paths in seven HDB towns to facilitate intra—town cycling.
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