HDB pilots new open concept in October BTO exercise

Desmond Lee announced on May 27, that HDB would pilot a new layout with an open concept in the Built-To-Order exercise (BTO) scheduled for October.

These “white flats”, unlike existing flats, will feature a contiguous bedroom and living space, without partition walls or beams. The first white flats in this series will be available at the Kallang-Whampoa project BTO, which includes 310 three and four room units.

The HDB has stated that the absence of partition walls in such white flats would be factored in the price. When homebuyers are invited to book a flat, they can choose the new layout.

The HDB flat can be customized and reconfigured to suit changing household needs.

In the case of four-room apartments, they now have three bedrooms. Young couples without children may not require all three bedrooms. The white color of the flat makes it possible to divide the space using furniture or glass partitions. When they have children in the future, the space will be repurposed and bedrooms can be added.

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The cost of renovating a new HDB flat can be reduced as you won’t have to tear down walls.

Until recently, “white plans” that allow homebuyers to customize the layout of their unit were only available in high-end private homes.

Far East Organization offers ultra-luxury residences such as Albu, Boulevard Vue, and Skyline at Orchard Boulevard located in Orchard Road’s prime districts. The “white plan concept” allowed buyers to customize their units.

Sun says that “public housing flats with the white plan are a novelty to some buyers”.

She adds, however, that the new layout could have a drawback in the future when it comes to selling the unit as it might appeal to a smaller group of buyers.

Sun, however, predicts that the price difference will not be as significant because non-structural wall construction is cheaper.

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