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Sembawang HDB Flat Flipped for Twice the BTO Price Sparks Worries about “BTO Lottery”

A 5-room HDB resale flat at Sembawang has just been sold for S$745,000 this month

That’s an all-time high selling price for a 5-room flat in the area.

The flat is located within the 7th to 9th floor of Blk 108C Canberra Walk, which is one of the three blocks which make up the EastLawn @ Canberra BTO cluster.

During the November 2013 BTO launch, 5-room flats in that cluster were priced between S$315,000 to S$373,000.

This means that the original BTO owners stand to make around S$400,000, not accounting for stamp duty and renovation costs.

The high flipping price has gotten more young Singaporeans worried about the rising costs of HDB flats, especially at a time when BTO supply can barely match demand.

They are concerned that they will be priced out of owning a home once they are ready to settle down and start a family.

The “BTO Lottery” is a familiar refrain from decades ago that is still causing division and animosity amongst young Singaporeans.

This “lottery effect” refers to young couples winning a ballot to buy BTO flats at subsidised prices, then selling them at the market rate which is much higher than their purchase price after their 5-year Minimum Occupation Period has ended, thereby netting “free money”.

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