Spending so much time at home with your parents during the circuit breaker might have strengthened your resolve to get your own place. Well, with a bumper crop of BTO launches coming up, it’s time to get your ballot on.
The new launches originally scheduled for May have been postponed to August 2020, so there’s more than usual to choose from.
With so many new launches to cover, we’ve split August’s BTO crop into two articles. In this one, we’ll have a look at launches in non-mature estates and the ones in mature estates in a separate piece.
As is often the case with non-mature estates, the new launches are in ulu areas. Of the three, Tengah is the most conveniently located, but at more than 20 minutes’ walk from the nearest MRT station, it’s still going to mean a long journey to the CBD.
The bottom line is, if you’re looking for a convenient location that’s well-connected to the CBD, these BTO projects are not for you. But if you’re just looking for an affordable place, read on.
HDB BTO launch August 2020 overview – non-mature estates
|Choa Chu Kang||Woodlands||Tengah|
|Price (2R Flexi)||From $99,000||From $90,000||From $108,000|
|Price (3-room)||From $164,000||From $184,000||From $198,000|
|Price (4-room)||From $253,000||From $276,000||From $303,000|
|Price (5-room)||–||From $405,000||From $418,000|
|New flats available||570||2,110||1,040|
|Flat types||2-room flexi3-room
|Nearest MRT station||Choa Chu Kang||Woodlands (Site 1)Woodlands South (Site 2)||Bukit Batok|
*Prices are based on SRX’s HDB BTO pricing estimates. The actual prices will be released later.
To be honest, none of the three non-mature estates in August’s BTO offerings are very attractive. But they make up for it by being quite cheap.
Where the heck is Tengah, you might ask? I had to google it too. It’s a pocket of land in the northwest of the Bukit Batok area.
In 2016, the government announced plans to turn Tengah into an estate the size of Bishan, with Singapore’s first car-free town centre, lots of green spaces and new MRT stations. But such development is going to take time and will mean many years living in an area with less-than-stellar amenities and extensive ongoing construction.
The upcoming Tengah BTO exercise will see 2-room flexi flats, 3-room, 4-room and 5-room units up for grabs.
Woodlands, while not really an up and coming new town, is set to benefit from plans to develop it into a hub in the north of Singapore, with new residences, recreational and business facilities.
There are actually two upcoming projects in Woodlands. The first is a 1,770-unit project consisting of 2-room flexi, 3-room, 4-room and 5-room flats, located right next to Woodlands MRT.
The second, much smaller 340-unit project consists of 2-room flexi flats and 4-room flats, and is located a stone’s throw from the Woodlands South MRT station.
Choa Chu Kang isn’t much more convenient than Woodlands, but it does have the benefit of having decent amenities since it’s already an established residential area.
The Choa Chu Kang project consists of 570 units of 2-room flexi, 3-room and 4-room flats. It’s a relatively small development, and due to the absence of 5-room flats, might not be suitable for those anticipating larger families.
Choa Chu Kang BTO (Aug 2020)
|Choa Chu Kang Aug 2020 BTO|
|Road name||Keat Hong Link, Choa Chu Kang Grove|
|Unit mix||2-room flexi, 3-room, 4-room|
|Nearest MRT||Choa Chu Kang (1.6km), Bukit Panjang (1.8km)|
|Nearest LRT||Teck Whye (700m), Keat Hong (800m)|
|Nearest major supermarket||Sheng Siong at Teck Whye Lane (1.3km), FairPrice at Teck Why Lane (1.4km)|
|Nearest shopping malls||Teck Whye Shopping Centre (1.3km), Sunshine Place (1.4km), Lot One Shoppers’ Mall (1.8km)|
|Nearby schools||ITE College West (350m), Chua Chu Kang Primary School (1.1km), South View Primary School (1.2km), Chua Chu Kang Secondary School (1.3km), Teck Whye Secondary School (1.7km)|
|Nearby amenities||Chua Chu Kang Community Club (1.3km), Choa Chu Kang Public Library (1.8km)|
This neighbourhood in the busy northwest is one of the more established non-mature estates in Singapore. That means it has the advantage of decent amenities while still being a rather peaceful area.
The Choa Chu Kang area boasts pretty affordable property prices and thanks to its proximity area’s main mall Lot One, and nearby malls in Upper Bukit Timah like Hillion Mall and HillV2, residents have a variety of shopping options.
Lot One is connected to Choa Chu Kang MRT and also houses the Choa Chu Kang Public Library (closed for renovations until 2021).
Over the past five years, Choa Chu Kang has undergone extensive upgrading. One of the most interesting additions has been the new cycling path network. The amount of green space in Choa Chu Kang is another plus, with Choa Chu Kang Park and the scenic Pang Sua Park Connector not so far away.
The biggest disadvantage of living here is how far the new HDB is from everything else. The BTO project is a good 1.6km away from Choa Chu Kang MRT, and as anyone who lives in the area will tell you, the Bukit Panjang LRT line is what nightmares are made of.
No matter what combination of transport you use — LRT + MRT, bus + MRT, walking to the nearest MRT) — you’re still looking at at least an hour of commuting to get to Raffles Place.
Even if you drive, you’ll have to budget at least half an hour of driving on empty roads, and much more during rush hour.
Despite the peak hour crowds — which frankly, can’t be avoided given our growing population — it’s a decent place to live in considering the low prices.
The Choa Chu Kang project would be ideal for nature-loving people who will take advantage of the nearby greenery and the surrounding Upper Bukit Timah and Kranji areas.
Woodlands Aug 2020 BTO
|Woodlands Aug 2020 BTO|
|Road name||1) Woodlands Avenue, Woodlands Square, North Woodlands Drive (bigger project)2) Woodlands Avenue 1, Champions Way (smaller project)|
|Unit mix||1) 2-room flexi, 3-room, 4-room, 5-room (bigger project)2) 2-room flexi, 4-room (smaller project)|
|Nearest MRT||Woodlands (bigger project)Woodlands South (smaller project)|
|Nearest major supermarket||Cold Storage Causeway Point (500m), FairPrice Woodlands Civic Centre (650m), FairPrice Woodlands Ave 1 (1.4km), Giant Woodlands Drive 44 (1.9km)|
|Nearest shopping malls||Causeway Point (500m), Woodlands Square, Woodlands North Plaza (1km), Vista Point (1.9km)|
|Nearby schools||Woodlands Primary School (1.1km), Si Ling Primary School (1km), Woodgrove Primary School (1.3km), Innova Primary School (1.8km), Singapore Sports School (2.6km), Riverside Secondary School (650m), Christ Church Secondary School (2.4km), Republic Polytechnic (650m)|
|Nearby amenities||Woodlands Regional Library (650m), Woodlands Community Club (500m), Woodlands ActiveSG Sports Centre (1.1km)|
The Woodlands launch actually consists of two sites. In this section, unless otherwise specified, we’ll be talking about the much bigger 1,770 unit development next to Woodlands MRT, since that’s the one that most people are going to be balloting for.
The second, smaller development close to Woodlands South MRT only has 340 units and is limited to 2-room flexi and 4-room flats.
First, let’s talk about the advantages. Both sites are located very near MRT stations. The bigger development is right beside Woodlands MRT, bus interchange and main shopping hub Causeway Point.
The second is located very near Woodlands South MRT. That being said, this location is less attractive since the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) serving this station takes significantly longer to connect you to the city, as the rest of the TEL is not yet ready.
However, once the TEL is completed in the next few years, the journey from Woodlands South to Orchard is expected to take only 35 minutes.
Woodlands is an established neighbourhood, so there’s no shortage of facilities. Causeway Point is big by neighbourhood mall standards and also houses the library and a big Cold Storage supermarket. There are plenty of schools in the area so if you’re not too picky, your kids might be able to walk to school from primary school all the way up to poly or JC.
Cyclists and joggers can also enjoy the Woodlands Park Connector, which runs through the estate and takes you all the way to Admiralty Park and the Straits of Johor.
The proximity of Woodlands to JB becomes a lot more appealing if you’d rather spend your weekends getting cheaper massages or manicures in Malaysia rather than shopping in town, or if you’re an inveterate JB petrol pumper.
On the other hand, if you need to rush to work in the CBD every morning, living in Woodlands is less fun. Both developments are located close to MRT stations, but the ride from Woodlands MRT to Raffles Place MRT takes a good 57 minutes, and that from Woodlands South MRT is a whopping 65 minutes. Driving to the CBD takes about half an hour in smooth traffic, with the SLE more than 5km away.
The Woodlands launch is best suited to bargain hunters who are willing to make some sacrifices for a lower cost of living. For an affordable price, you get to live near an MRT station in addition to being able to hop over to JB for cheaper groceries, petrol, dental appointments and so on.
Tengah Aug 2020 BTO
|Tengah Aug 2020 BTO|
|Road name||Tengah Drive, Tengah Park Avenue, Bukit Batok Road|
|Unit mix||2-room flexi, 3-room, 4-room, 5-room|
|Nearest MRT||Bukit Batok (2km)|
|Nearest major supermarket||Sheng Siong Bukit Batok West Ave 6 (1km),Sheng Siong Bukit Batok West Ave 8 (1.8km), Cold Storage West Mall (1.9km)|
|Nearest shopping malls||West Mall (1.8km)|
|Nearby schools||Hong Kah Primary School (850m), Dulwich College (1km), Dunearn Secondary School (1.1km), Millennia Institute (1.2km), Princess Elizabeth Primary School (1.4km)|
|Nearby amenities||Bukit Batok Public Library (1.9km), Bukit Batok Community Club (1.8km), Bukit Batok Sports Hub (1.6km)|
If you’re wondering where the hell Tengah is or tried searching for it on the map, don’t bother. At the moment, it’s basically a swathe of nothingness northwest of Bukit Batok and Bukit Gombak, next to Bukit Batok Driving Centre. The government plans to develop it into a new town in the coming years.
So, this BTO launch is more for those who are buying a flat with a very long-term view. The area is going to take decades to fully develop, so for the first 10 to 15 years you can expect to see a lot of construction going on around you.
It will also take time for amenities to slowly spring up, so you’ll most likely have to head to Bukit Batok for most of your needs for the first couple of years, or you know, just get everything delivered.
Based on the existing amenities in neighbouring Bukit Batok, residents might enjoy being close to the greenery at Bukit Batok Hillside Park and Bukit Batok Nature Park a bit further away. There’s also the Civil Service Club opposite West Mall, which has a bowling alley that’s open to the public.
Shopping facilities are definitely not great here, with the modest West Mall being the only shopping centre for miles around. But the bustling Jurong East shopping district with malls like Westgate, JCube and Jem is just one MRT stop away.
In terms of transportation, there are plans to build two new MRT stations to serve the Tengah area, namely Tengah Park and Tengah Plantation stations on the upcoming Jurong Region Line. Both will be just a few minutes’ walk from the BTO project and are expected to open in 2027, a few years after the BTO is ready for habitation. Still, travelling to the CBD during rush hour is likely to take quite a bit of time as commuters will still have to change trains at the perpetually crowded Jurong East MRT.
In the first few years, residents will be relying on Bukit Batok MRT and bus interchange to get around. With the MRT station a good 2km away, you’re looking at about an hour of travelling time to get to Raffles Place.
Tengah is likely to be populated mostly by young couples and those with young children. This might be appealing if you fall into this demographic. It’s also a great location for those who work in the Jurong East area.
Ultimately, though, you’ll have to ask yourself if you’re willing to tolerate many years of construction and lacklustre amenities as the area undergoes development.