HDB BTO Launch Aug 2018 – Should You BTO in Ulu Punggol or Siao Lang Yishun?

hdb bto launch

BTO shopping? You’re in luck. The Aug 2018 HDB BTO launch is here and they’re in 2 of Singapore’s favourite estates – Punggol and Yishun! What a tough choice, eh? Should you go for Yishun (homeland of siao langs) or Punggol (number one killer of friendships in Singapore)?

On the face of it, the two BTO developments might not seem that different. Both are in non-mature estates and quite far from town, and prices should be about the same. But when it comes to actually buying a home and living there… things are a bit different.

Let’s deep dive into the upcoming BTO launches in 2 of Singapore’s dream districts.


Punggol BTO launch (Punggol Point Woods & Punggol Point Cove)

HDB BTO launch punggol

Punggol BTO fact sheet
Official HDB info  Punggol BTO info & maps here
Road name Northshore Drive
No. of units for sale 2,070
Type of units 2-room Flexi, 3-room, 4-room, 5-room, 3Gen
Price 2-room Flexi from $103,000 / 3-room from $188,000 / 4-room from $286,000 / 5-room from $393,000 / 3-Gen from $411,000
Nearest MRT / LRT Punggol Point LRT (550m) / Punggol MRT (2.5km)
Nearest supermarket NTUC Fairprice Punggol Walk (1.4km)
Nearest shopping mall Punggol Waterway Point (1.6km)
Nearby schools Punggol Cove Pri Sch, Punggol View Pri Sch, Oasis Pri Sch
Noteworthy future developments Punggol Coast MRT (2023), Singapore Institute of Technology, Northshore Plaza

The upcoming BTO project in Punggol will be located at the very tip of Punggol, where development is… uh, still very much under way. Most of the roads in the area are not even built yet. Hopefully they’ll be there when you move in.

You’ll need to travel about 2km (i.e. take a bus or drive) to find some actual signs of life. That’s how far away this BTO development is from Punggol MRT, Punggol bus interchange and Waterway Point. Even the closest LRT station is a bit of a walk at 550m away, which is about a 7-minute walk. Gruelling!

There’s not much by way of amenities either. The nearest NTUC FairPrice supermarket is 1.5km away, which means you might probably have to become a loyal Redmart customer when you move in.

Food-wise, Punggol is known for its extreme lack of decent local food because there are hardly any hawker centres and kopitiams around. You’ll have to settle for the pricey restaurants at The Punggol Settlement, which luckily is only 550m away so you probably won’t die of starvation.

One nice aspect of the upcoming Punggol BTO is its proximity and easy access to Punggol Promenade and Coney Island, especially for parents who have to waste spend their weekends playing with their kids.

But probably the biggest selling point of the Punggol BTO’s location is the future developments here. It’ll be right across the road from the upcoming Punggol Coast MRT (ready in 2023).

When Northshore Drive is properly built, there will be more developments as well, like HDB’s “new generation neighbourhood centre” Northshore Plaza and the Singapore Institute of Technology campus (also 2023).


Yishun BTO launch (Yishun Glen & Melody Spring @ Yishun)

HDB BTO launch yishun

Yishun BTO fact sheet
Official HDB info Yishun BTO info & maps here
Road name Yishun St 31 & St 42
No. of units for sale 2,260
Type of units 2-room Flexi, 3-room, 4-room, 5-room
Price 2-room Flexi from $75,000 / 3-room from $178,000 / 4-room from $248,000 / 5-room from $334,000
Nearest MRT / LRT Yishun MRT (1.4km)
Nearest supermarket Sheng Siong Junction Nine (650m) / NTUC Fairprice Yishun 414 (1km)
Nearest shopping mall Junction Nine (650m) / Northpoint City (1.4km)
Nearby school Huamin Pri Sch, North View Pri Sch, Gems World Academy
Noteworthy future developments

The exact Yishun BTO site falls right on the outskirts of Yishun’s famous “Devil’s Ring”, where most of the neighbourhood’s high-profile atrocities were committed. I’ll let you decide for yourself if that’s a good or bad thing. (If something bad actually happens to you, Yishun has Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. Just saying.)

Now, although this Yishun BTO also falls under the non-mature estate category, it’s a convenient wonderland compared to super ulu Punggol.

Neighbourhood shopping mall Junction Nine is only 650m away, which is ideal for grocery shopping at Sheng Siong; alternatively there’s an NTUC Fairprice about 1km away. Of course you can always take a bus or drive to Northpoint City at Yishun MRT, which is where the bus interchange and library is as well.

Hawker lovers should be happy as there’s Yishun Park Hawker Centre about a 7-minute walk away. Yishun also has tons of famous local eateries – my personal favourites are 928 Yishun Laksa and Chong Pang Nasi Lemak. They may not be within walking distance, but they’re definitely still close enough.

(Speaking of Chong Pang, this is where the “luckiest” Singapore Pools outlet is. It seems that the auspicious Chong Pang 7-11 has sold one of the highest number of winning tickets in Singapore.)

Apart from buying Toto, Yishun has other recreation options at Lower Seletar Reservoir Park (kayaking, running, cycling) and SAFRA Yishun (bowling, swimming, tapao-ing nuggets at the McDonald’s drive-thru next door…).

For those with kids, there are a number of primary schools in the area, including international school Gems World Academy. In fact, North View Primary School is right next door to the BTO site. If you’re like me, you won’t fancy being woken up by 7am assembly bells and having pesky kids playing catching at the void deck, but most people don’t mind it.

Despite all these amenities, Yishun loses out to Punggol in terms of upcoming developments. So if you’re hoping for your BTO value to skyrocket and to make a bundle when you sell it off, tough luck.


Punggol vs Yishun BTO – which should you choose?

First of all, based on price alone, Yishun wins because the Yishun BTO is cheaper than Punggol. Here are the actual published HDB BTO prices (all starting prices, without grants):

Unit type Starting price of Punggol BTO Starting price of Yishun BTO
2-room Flexi $103,000 $75,000
3-room $188,000 $178,000
4-room $286,000 $248,000
5-room $393,000 $334,000
3Gen $411,000

Considering that Yishun has so many more nearby facilities, much better connected roads, and a more developed transport network (there are more feeder bus services), I’d say the Yishun BTO is a clear winner.

Take the siao lang jokes with a pinch of salt – they’re made in jest, and should not be used as an actual indicator of the environment. The dystopian Yishun is more a result of sensationalised news reporting than facts. I wouldn’t seriously be worried about its reputation for being a crazy town.

The only thing to note is that the Yishun St 31 site is a lot more convenient than the St 42 one, so if you apply for Yishun and get a shitty ballot number, you might have to settle for that.

Of course, that’s not to say that Punggol is a bad choice. It’s generally affordable and it’s slowly improving to include more MRT stations, bus services and other facilities. In the meantime, the common areas are newer and cleaner too. The Punggol one also has 3Gen units, which is unavailable in the upcoming Yishun BTO project.


Decided to ballot for the HDB BTO? Here’s how to proceed

First, take a good look at the HDB BTO Aug 2018 microsite which is stuffed full of information, renderings, maps and so on. The Aug 2018 BTO launch includes 4,375 units in total in the folllwing:

  • Punggol Point Cove
  • Punggol Point Woods
  • Melody Spring @ Yishun
  • Yishun Glen

To deep-dive into each location’s BTO, click on the red Punggol BTO link and purple Yishun BTO link just below the main menu bar.

HDB BTO application can be done here. Online applications are open from now until 3 Sep 2018, 11:59pm. You can apply anytime before then, because HDB works by balloting – it’s not first-come-first-serve.

When applying, you can only select the town you want (Punggol or Yishun) and flat type (size). You can’t choose specifically which estate you want. You’ll be notified in October if your ballot was successful. If it is, you’ll be invited to HDB to book your flat. You can refer to the complete HDB BTO procedure here.


By the way, there’s also HDB ROF in the Aug 2018 launch

If you really really cannot imagine living in Punggol or Yishun, there’s another option for you – the HDB ROF launch, which is offered at the same time (now till 3 Sep).

For the uninitiated, HDB ROF stands for Re-Offer of Balance Flats, meaning these are unsold flats from the previous couple of sales launches. Often, they remain unsold because they are on low floors or due to the ethnic quota being filled, so check these details carefully.

On the positive side, your waiting time is cut down if you do get one of these flats as some are either already built or will TOP soon.

In Aug 2018, HDB is offering 726 unsold flats islandwide. Some estates only have a handful of unsold flats and it will be quite hard to get a flat there (unless you’re lucky), so what I’ve done is shortlisted the ones with a decent number of flats available (15 and up):

Estate type Town Unit mix
Mature Queenstown Mostly 3-room in Holland & Ghim Moh
Mature Bukit Merah 4-room / 5-room in Telok Blangah
Mature Toa Payoh Mostly 2-room Flexi / 3-room in Bidadari
Mature Ang Mo Kio Mostly 3-room in Ave 10 & St 31
Non-mature Woodlands 3-room / 4-room / 5-room in Marsiling & Woodlands Rise
Non-mature Sembawang Mostly 4-room in Canberra St & Sembawang Cres
Non-mature Jurong West 3-room / 3Gen in Boon Lay Ave
Non-mature Bukit Batok Mostly 5-room in Bukit Batok West

You can look at the full list of HDB ROF flats here. Detailed info on each block is available under “FLAT DETAILS”.

HDB ROF application can be done online from now until 3 Sep 2018, 11:59pm. The application procedure for ROF is pretty straightforward. You don’t even need to indicate which town or flat type you want. (ROF is, as they say on Carousell, “not for fussies”.)

Just apply and wait for the outcome of the computer ballot, which will arrive within a week after the application period closes. If successful, you’ll be invited to come see what’s available so you can choose your flat.

What do you think of the upcoming HDB BTO launches? Tell us in the comments below!