SINGAPORE: The supply of Build-To-Order (BTO) flats will increase to 18,000 units in 2016, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong - an increase of 3,000 units from this year.
Noting the recent BTO launch in November which drew a "healthy response", Mr Wong said the increased supply of units is in response to greater demand.
The increased demand, he added, is due to recent changes to housing policy - for example, the raising of the income ceilings which allows more people to qualify for BTO flats, as well as enhanced grants.
But Mr Wong - speaking on Wednesday (Dec 30) to reporters on a visit to Tampines Greenlace, a recently-completed BTO project - added that even as the supply is ramped up, the authorities will ensure a sustainable supply over the longer term.
Mr Wong added: "At the BTO level, application rates for first-timers applying for non-mature estates has stabilised at about 1.6, which means that practically all first-timer families - if they apply for a flat in a non-mature estate - will be able to get it the first time."
Turning to the overall property market, Mr Wong said it is on track for a soft landing. "Resale prices are stable now, and they've stabilised at about the 2011 levels. And if you look at resale transactions across the year, more than half of them were transacting at close to market levels, so I think the resale market has softened."
However, he cautioned that demand could still be affected due to changes in the broader environment. Authorities are watching these indicators carefully and will make adjustments where necessary.
Taking stock of the year, Mr Wong also noted that 26,000 flats were completed this year, a "high number" close to the record in 2014, when 28,000 flats were completed.