DBSS land sales suspended, under review
The government has suspended future land sales under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS), pending its review, according to National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan.
“We are reviewing (the) DBSS scheme. Meanwhile, I have suspended future DBSS land sales,” said Khaw on his Facebook page.
“However, a few DBSS land sites sold last year, like the Centrale 8 site, will launch their sales in next few months,” he said. “These are old tenders beyond my control.”
He noted that the Ministry of National Development (MND) and the Housing and Development Board (HDB) are reviewing the scheme, during which the “HDB will not proceed with the sale of the Bendemeer Road site originally scheduled in 1H 2011.”
Since 2005, 13 sites have been sold to private developers under the scheme, which aims to provide flat buyers better value-for-money, as well as offer further improvement in building and design. Under the scheme, developers tender for land sites and have flexibility in designing, selling, and pricing the flats.
“The DBSS did play two functions then: number one, to cater to the sandwich class — those people whose income were above S$8,000 and did not qualify for BTO (build to order) flats,” said Mohamed Ismail, Chief Executive of Propnex.
Secondly, “it allowed, during 2005 — when the economy was not doing well — the developers an opportunity to build homes, with better design as well as architectural initiative being thrown in.”
DBSS flats comprise less than one percent of the entire HDB flat supply. However, they came under fire recently after Sim Lian Group, the developer of the Central 8 DBSS project, set an asking price of around S$880,000 for five-room flats in the project.
“But today, six years later, I think the climate and the background have totally changed,” noted Ismail.
Analysts pointed out that DBSS flats may not be relevant today, as the government’s current policy is to provide affordable housing to the public.
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