This year, Singaporeans anxious to buy their own homes have had to wait a little longer. Due to COVID-19, HDB’s BTO launches for May were postponed to August.
The new launches that were supposed to take place in May include projects in non-mature estates Choa Chu Kang and Tengah, as well as mature estates Pasir Ris and Tampines.
That means there’s going to be an extra big batch of new launches this August. In fact, there are so many that we’re splitting our BTO reviews into two articles this month. This article will cover new launches in the mature estates of Geylang, Bishan, Paris Ris, Ang Mo Kio and Tampines. Read our review of the launches in non-mature estates here.
If money were no object, I think it’s safe to say that most people would want to live in a mature rather than a non-mature estate. Virtually all of the attractive and/or central areas are in mature estates. Mature estates also tend to have better facilities, popular and established hawker stalls and the benefit of not being giant construction sites.
The main disadvantage is that BTO flats in mature estates are way more expensive than those in non-mature estates. Also, the flats in more popular, central estates tend to be so in-demand that balloting for one is like winning the lottery.
HDB BTO launch August 2020 overview – mature estates
Here’s an overview of the six BTO launches in mature estates taking place in August 2020.
*Updated with prices*
|Ang Mo Kio||Bishan||Geylang||Pasir Ris||Tampines North||Tampines West|
|Price (2-room flexi)||–||From $176,000||–||From $137,000||–||–|
|Price (3-room)||–||From $302,000||From $355,000||From $245,000||From $205,000|
|Price (4-room)||From $423,000||From $484,000||From $523,000||From $374,000||From $311,000|
|Price (5-room||From $571,000||–||–||From $493,000||From $423,000|
|New flats available||380||470||420||1,070||690||1,070|
|Flat types||4-room, 5-room||2-room flexi, 3-room, 4-room||3-room, 4-room||2-room flexi, 3-room, 4-room, 5-room||3-room, 4-room, 5-room|
|Nearest MRT station||Mayflower (opening in 2020)||Bishan||Dakota||Pasir Ris||Tampines||Tampines West|
*Prices have since been updated with HDB’s prices, excluding grants
Ballotting hasn’t started yet, but we can already predict that Ang Mio Kio, Bishan and Geylang will be heavily oversubscribed. These are three central estates with quick and easy connections to the CBD and lots of good food and lifestyle options.
Assuming you do luck out and beat the thousands of other applicants fighting tooth and nail for that queue number, it’s not going to be cheap. For Bishan and Geylang, you’re probably looking at more than half a million dollars for a 4-room flat.
Pasir Ris and Tampines are a bit cheaper considering their more ulu locations in the far east of Singapore. Location-wise, if you work in the CBD, you’re looking at a bit more commuting time, but you have the advantage of being near the airport, Changi Business Park and all the East Coast food and entertainment options.
|Ang Mo Kio BTO fact sheet|
|Official HDB map||https://esales.hdb.gov.sg/bp25/brochures/20may/btoaug20-angmokio.pdf|
|Road name||Ang Mo Kio Avenue, Ang Mo Kio St 21|
|Unit mix||4-room, 5-room|
|Nearest MRT||Mayflower (650m)|
|Nearest major supermarket||Sheng Siong Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 (650m), FairPrice Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 (1.4km), Giant Ang Mo Kio Ave 4 (1.5km)|
|Nearest shopping malls||AMK Hub (1.9km), Djitsun Mall (2.1km), Jubilee Square (2.3km)|
|Nearby schools||Mayflower Secondary School (300m), CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School (1.1km) Ang Mo Kio Primary School (1.1km), Pierce Secondary School (1km)|
|Nearby amenities||Bishan Park (550m), Ang Mo Kio Community Centre (1.2km), Ang Mo Kio Public Library (2.2km)|
Ang Mo Kio isn’t hyper central, but it’s still considered one of the more convenient neighbourhoods in Singapore. With only 380 units up for grabs, the Ang Mo Kio launch looks set to be heavily oversubscribed. As only 4- and 5-room flats are available, most of the applicants are likely going to be families living with kids and/or aged parents.
At present, the nearest MRT station, Ang Mo Kio, is almost 2km away. But future MRT station Mayflower on the Thomson-East Coast Line will be about 650m away and is expected to open later this year. The Thomson East-Coast Line will connect Mayflower station directly to Orchard, Shenton Way and Marina Bay stations.
While it is still unknown how long it will really take to travel to Raffles Place on the new MRT line, the existing journey, involving a bus ride to Ang Mo Kio MRT station, takes about 45 minutes, with the MRT ride itself taking about 28 minutes.
According to LTA, the journey from Woodlands South to Orchard station on the TEL will take 35 minutes, so if you’re commuting from Mayflower, you can expect the journey to be less than half an hour.
In terms of amenities, Ang Mo Kio does pretty well. For starters, there are lots of great food options in the area. The BTO site is just 10 minutes’ walk to the popular Mellben Seafood and Boon Tong Kee.
Ang Mo Kio Market is also home to lots of famous stalls. And scattered throughout the neighbourhood, you’ll find everything from local eateries that have been operating for decades, to hipster cafes.
As an added bonus, Bishan Park, one of the biggest and nicest neighbourhood parks in the country, is just across the road.
There are lots of schools in the area including some brand-name ones like CHIJ St Nicholas. Others such as Catholic High School are less than 3km away, and RGS and RI are less than 5km away.
I could go on, but basically Ang Mo Kio is a pretty nice place to live in. The main drawback is the price. A five-room flat will set you back over half a million — expensive but still cheaper than more central areas like Bishan and Geylang.
Given the proximity to good schools and the availability of only 4- and 5-room flats, this project is likely to be in demand by young couples who have big plans for their children.
|Bishan BTO fact sheet|
|Official HDB map||https://esales.hdb.gov.sg/bp25/brochures/20may/btoaug20-bishan.pdf|
|Road name||Braddell Road, Bishan St 11|
|Unit mix||2-room flexi, 3-room, 4-room|
|Nearest MRT||Bishan (1.4km)|
|Nearest major supermarket||Sheng Siong Lorong 7 Toa Payoh (1km) FairPrice Bishan St 13 (1.1km), FairPrice Junction 8 (1.4km)|
|Nearest shopping malls||Junction 8 (1.4km)|
|Nearby schools||First Toa Payoh Primary School (700m), Australian International School (800m), Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary School (900m), Guangyang Secondary School (1km), Guang Yang Primary School (1.1km), Pei Chun Public School (1.1km), Beatty Secondary School (1.6km), Raffles Institution (1.9km) Raffles Girls’ School (2.1km)|
|Nearby amenities||Bishan Community Club (1.2km), Bishan Public Library (1.5km)|
The Bishan launch is likely to be hideously oversubscribed as affluent couples and singles fight over the 470 units.
Bishan is one of the most convenient city fringe areas and also benefits from its proximity to elite schools and a wealth of food options. The BTO site is located on Braddell Road, which is a stone’s throw from the CTE and a short drive to town.
The only flaw is that the nearest MRT station, Bishan, is 1.4km away. That translates to about 17 minutes of walking. You’ll have to factor in about 40 minutes of travel to Raffles Place if you take the bus and MRT. By car, on the other hand, you can be there in less than 15 minutes in smooth traffic.
In terms of food and entertainment, the area is quite self-sufficient, with lots of great hawker and restaurant options on Braddell Road and in nearby Toa Payoh. Junction 8 has everything from a cinema to a Din Tai Fung.
Ambitious parents will be glad to know that RGS and RI are very nearby. There are also scores of other schools within walking distance.
The main prohibitive factor is the price, with 4-room flats likely to go for as much as $650,000. As such, this BTO project is best suited to affluent couples and singles who place a premium on living near the city core.
|Geylang BTO fact sheet|
|Official HDB map||https://esales.hdb.gov.sg/bp25/brochures/20may/btoaug20-geylang.pdf|
|Road name||Cassia Link, Jalan Dua, Jalan Satu|
|Unit mix||3-room, 4-room|
|Nearest MRT||Dakota (300m)|
|Nearest major supermarket||FairPrice Jalan Tiga (400m)|
|Nearest shopping malls||City Plaza (1.4km), Tanjong Katong Complex (1.5km), Leisure Park Kallang (1.5km), Kallang Wave Mall (1.6km)|
|Nearby schools||Kong Hwa School (550m), Broadrick Secondary School (600m), Chung Cheng High School (Main) (1.1km), Tanjong Katong Girls’ School (1.3km), Geylang Methodist School (Primary) (1.5km), Geylang Methodist School (Secondary) (1.6km), Dunman High School (1.6km),|
|Nearby amenities||Singapore Sports Hub (1.7km)|
Despite Geylang’s rather shady reputation, it’s still a very sought-after area due to its proximity to the city core and vibrant food scene. Don’t be fooled by the name of the launch as this BTO project will be on the atas side of Geylang, closer to Dakota.
Consisting only of 420 3- and 4-room flats, the Geylang launch looks set to be very popular because of its great location. It’s only 300m away from Dakota MRT station, and the ride to Raffles Place MRT can be completed in about 24 minutes. By car, you’re looking at less than 15 minutes of travel time in smooth traffic.
Food options in the area are fantastic, with the famous Old Airport Road Food Centre just across the road. In addition, you can choose between the hawkers at Geylang as well as a variety of restaurants and cafes at Guillemard. You also won’t be far from hangout spots like Goodman Arts Centre and East Coast Park
Besides food, the BTO project also has the benefit of being near Leisure Park Kallang, Kallang Wave Mall and Singapore Sports Hub. Being able to bowl, ice skate and rock climb whenever you want sure beats living near a community centre.
The area also has its fair share of schools, including prestigious ones like Chung Cheng High (Main), Tanjong Katong Girls’ School and Dunman High.
All in all, it’s a fun place to live in thanks to the many dining and entertainment options available and the diversity of the neighbourhood.
So long as you are prepared to pay for the privilege (the estimated prices for 4-room flats being $500,000 to $600,000), Geylang is a good choice if you’re looking for a super convenient location in a vibrant neighbourhood with lots to do.
|Pasir Ris BTO fact sheet|
|Official HDB map||https://esales.hdb.gov.sg/bp25/brochures/20may/btoaug20-pasirris.pdf|
|Road name||Pasir Ris Drive 3, Pasir Ris Green|
|Unit mix||2-room flexi, 3-room, 4-room, 5-room|
|Nearest MRT||Pasir Ris (650m)|
|Nearest major supermarket||FairPrice White Sands (850m), Sheng Siong Elias Mall (1.2km)|
|Nearest shopping malls||White Sands (850m), Elias Mall (1.2km)|
|Nearby schools||Elias Park Primary School (750m), Hai Sing Catholic School (1.2km), Park View Primary School (1.4km), Overseas Family School (1.4km), Casuarina Primary School (1.5km), Meridian Secondary School (1.5km),|
|Nearby amenities||Downtown East (750m), Pasir Ris Park (1km), PA PAssion WaVe @ Pasir Ris (1.4km)|
Pasir Ris is one of the easternmost neighbourhoods in Singapore, but it’s not all that ulu with a variety of recreational activities and shops around.
The new launch has the advantage of being close to the sea and Pasir Ris Park, so it’s a good option for those who want to be closer to nature. For those who work at Changi Business Park or Expo, it’s also an excellent location.
This BTO development comprising 1,070 2-room flexi, 3-room, 4-room and 5-room flats, is located right next door to Pasir Ris Park. Based on its position on the map, it looks like some residents on the higher floors are going to enjoy a nice sea view, at least until someone decides to build a new block in front.
It’s in close proximity to some activities unique to the area, such as a fishing pond, a roller skating rink and bowling alley at Downtown East, and PA PAssion WaVe @ Pasir Ris where you can do water sports like kayaking and dinghy sailing.
Pasir Ris MRT station is located about 650m away, which translates to about 11 minutes of walking. From the MRT, you can expect to get to Raffles Place in about 45 minutes.
In terms of shopping and food, the area isn’t terribly exciting. Most residents head to White Sands where you’ll find the usual FairPrice, Subway and Sushi Express.
The biggest advantages of living here are the peaceful atmosphere, proximity to Pasir Ris Park and abundance of outdoor activities. Kids and those who feel suffocated by the city crowds will love being able to go cycling by the sea at a moment’s notice.
At an estimated $390,000 to $480,000 for a 4-room flat, Pasir Ris is actually more expensive than Tampines next door. But it might be worth paying a bit more if you intend to take full advantage of the outdoor and water activities in the area.
Tampines Aug 2020 BTO
|Tampines BTO fact sheet|
|Official HDB map||https://esales.hdb.gov.sg/bp25/brochures/20may/btoaug20-tampines.pdf|
North: Tampines St 64, Tampines North Drive 2, Tampines North Drive 1
West: Tampines St 96, Tampines St 92
|Unit mix||3-room, 4-room, 5-room|
North: Tampines (2.7km)
West: Tampines West (600m)
|Nearest major supermarket||North: Giant Hypermarket Tampines (800m)|
|Nearest shopping malls||Tampines Mall, Century Square|
North: Poi Ching School (2.4km) Meridian Primary School (2.6km), Tampines Meridian Junior College (3km)
West: Bedok Green Secondary School (1.1km), Anglican High (1.5km) Junyuan Primary School (1.7km), Temasek Polytechnic (1.7km)
|Nearby amenities||Ikea Tampines, Tampines Regional Library|
The Tampines launch consists of three sites.
The first consists of 340 units of 3-, 4- and 5-room flats and the second consists of 350 units of 4- and 5-room flats. These two sites are just across the road from each other and quite near Ikea Tampines. We’ll refer to them collectively as the Tampines North site from now on.
The southernmost site comprises 1,070 3-, 4- and 5-room units. It’s located quite a distance from the other two sites. Since it’s next to Tampines West MRT, we’ll refer to this site as the Tampines West site.
Let’s talk about connectivity first. The Tampines North site does not have a single MRT station in sight. Unless you want to head to Pasir Ris for some outdoor activities, which is a short 10-minute drive away, the nearest station is Tampines MRT, a whopping 2.7km away.
In other words, get used to taking the bus. The journey by bus and train to Raffles Place should take about an hour. The future Tampines North MRT on the Cross Island Line will be just a short walk away, but it’s expected to be up only in 2029.
In terms of connectivity, the Tampines West site beats Tampines North hands down as it’s located only 600m from the nearest MRT station, Tampines West. The MRT ride from Tampines West takes you downtown to Telok Ayer in about 28 minutes, great for those who work in the CBD.
At the moment, the Tampines North site is almost like an industrial wasteland. Besides Ikea and Courts, it doesn’t have much going for it. Other than a Giant Hypermart, schools and facilities are miles away. There are plans to build a park and some community facilities in the vicinity, but that means a few more years of construction.
The Tampines West site is also surrounded by lots of undeveloped land, but if you’re willing to walk a bit, it’s actually in quite a good location.
For starters, it’s near the legendary Bedok 85 and Simpang Bedok food centres. Compared to the Tampines North site, Tampines West is a lot closer to the area’s main shopping malls Tampines Mall and Century Square. It’s also only 850m away from the scenic Bedok Reservoir Park and a stone’s throw from the park connectors. For those with kids, the nearest schools are a lot closer. Overall, it’s just a more uplifting location than the Tampines North site.
As HDB hasn’t released the prices yet, it remains to be seen just how great the price discrepancy will be between the North and the West sites.
Due to the construction, the lack of amenities and connectivity and the generally depressing, industrial feel, the Tampines North site is only worth considering if its prices are dirt cheap. And unless you’re obsessed with Ikea, I’m not sure it’s worth living next to an ulu industrial estate.
The Tampines West project, while also on a plot of land that will see heavy construction for some time, is in a much more attractive location and comes with lifestyle perks like access to nature, good food and a working MRT station.
For these reasons, it’s likely to be more expensive than the other site. That being said, Tampines is generally affordable for a mature town, so if you don’t mind living a bit far from the CBD, the Tampines West launch has the potential to be quite a good deal.