If you just got engaged or turned 35, HDB BTO launches will have taken on a new meaning for you. In that case, you might already know that the February 2022 BTO launch happened recently, with 3,953 units being released across 6 estates.
The BTO exercise closed on 23 February 2022, and those of you who have already balloted might now be wondering whether you made the right choice, while those who didn’t might be a bit worried about missing out. Here’s the lowdown on the HDB February 2022 launch.
HDB BTO Launch February 2022 Overview
|Area||Project names||Flat type||Price (excluding grants)|
|Tengah||Parc Flora @ Tengah / Plantation Creek||2-room flexi||$132,000 – $182,000|
|3-room||$231,000 – $273,000|
|4-room||$309,000 – $403,000|
|5-room||$420,000 – $525,000|
|Yishun||Grove Spring @ Yishun / Yishun Boardwalk||2-room flexi||$95,000 – $149,000|
|3-room||$180,000 – $248,000|
|4-room||$270,000 – $374,000|
|5-room||$385,000 – $490,000|
|Geylang||Dakota Crest||2-room flexi||$205,000 – $315,000|
|3-room||$352,000 – $456,000|
|4-room||$522,000 – $688,000|
|Kallang/Whampoa||King George’s Heights||3-room, 4-room||$353,000 – $462,000|
|4-room||$488,000 – $675,000|
HDB BTO Launch Feb 2022: Tengah (Parc Flora @ Tengah / Plantation Creek)
You might be scratching your head wondering where the hell Tengah is, and for good reason—Tengah doesn’t exist yet. It’s a brand new neighbourhood, located west of Bukit Batok and north of Jurong East, that the government is developing from scratch, so at the moment it’s nothing but a big construction site.
Following in the footsteps of Punggol, Tengah is going to be under heavy construction for many years and, with the only HDB flats in the area being brand new BTO flats, is likely to be populated mostly by young families That could be heaven or hell depending on whether you yourself have young children.
Tengah will be home to Singapore’s first car-free town centre, with roads running underground so as not to encroach upon the ground level streets. There are also plans to turn it into a green neighbourhood, with lots of parks and community gardens.
No matter what the (far into the future) perks might be, most people who picked Tengah probably did so for the relatively low, non-mature estate prices.
If you have the patience to endure years of construction, the location might wind up being decent later on, since it’s not far from the Jurong East shopping malls and the Jurong Lake District, which is being developed into the second CBD.
Another piece of good news is that eventually, when the Jurong Region Line opens in 2028, the Tengah BTO flats will be located no more than 5 minutes’ walk from the nearest station.
HDB BTO Launch Feb 2022: Yishun (Grove Spring @ Yishun / Yishun Boardwalk)
The Yishun BTO flats turned out to be cheapest ones at the February 2022 launch, costing even less than Tengah.
Why so cheap? Take a look at the map, and you’ll see why. The Yishun BTO launch is far away from Yishun MRT, the nearest station. To be precise, it’s more than 20 minutes’ walk away. Sure, you can mitigate this by cycling to the MRT station, but for many Singaporeans, that’s just a bit too far. That means the commute to the CBD will take more than an hour. What’s more, most of Yishun’s main amenities like North Point City and the bus interchange are clustered around the MRT.
One advantage of the Yishun BTO project is that it comes with a shorter waiting time of 2.5 years or less. That’s something to consider for budget-conscious buyers who don’t want to fork out the cash for a resale flat but don’t want to wait 3-5 years for a BTO flat, either.
Another perk is that the BTO project, being on the northeast coast of Singapore, is quite close to nature. The sea is just a few minute’s walk away, and you can also cycle easily to the beach at Sembawang Park via the park connectors.
If your boss is okay to let you work from home most of the time and your dream is to live in a secluded area close to nature, the Yishun BTO project is probably the closest you can get to a peaceful rural existence.
HDB BTO Launch Feb 2022: Geylang (Dakota Crest)
Now, we’ve come to the BTO flats in mature towns, which applicants usually fight tooth and nail over. The Geylang BTO flats are going to be especially popular because of their fantastic location.
For starters, Dakota Crescent is only five minutes’ walk away from not one but two MRT stations, Mountbatten and Dakota. It’s located along the Geylang River, so some successful applicants will soon be able to say they live by the waterfront. Kallang and the CBD area are not far away either, whether by car or public transport.
The Geylang project is also a good choice for those who want to live in a neighbourhood that’s made up of more than just HDB flats. Say what you want about Geylang, but it’s got lots of good hawker options, and is also close to the vibrant Paya Lebar and Geylang Serai areas.
Families with kids might be attracted by the proximity of Dunman High School and Chung Cheng High School (Main), but as there are no 5-room flats at this launch, bigger households might find themselves looking elsewhere.
HDB BTO Launch Feb 2022: Kallang / Whampoa (King George’s Heights)
The Kallang / Whampoa launch falls under the new Prime Location Housing (PLH) model. The PLH basically diminishes the investment potential of flats in central locations with the aim of making them more affordable.
PLH flats come with a Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of 10 years rather than the usual 5, which means you can’t sell your flat without having lived in it for 10 years. And PLH flat owners are not allowed to rent out the whole unit, ever, although they can rent out rooms in the flat. The government also plans to put in place stricter eligibility conditions for future PLH resale flat buyers, which will make it even harder to make a quick buck out of your property.
On the bright side, PLH flat buyers may be eligible for additional subsidies that they must pay back if/when they sell off the flat.
It’s a pity the PLH is so restrictive, as the Kallang / Whampoa BTO site is in a great location within walking distance of 3 MRT stations on 3 lines, Lavender (7 minutes’ walk), Jalan Besar (8 ninutes’ walk) and Farrer Park (11 minutes’ walk).
Located near the Rochor Canal, the flats are in the Jalan Besar area, right next door to Little India and a short distance from Bugis. Whether you want to shop at Mustafa, eat Thai food at Golden Mile, borrow books at the National Library or go for drinks at Haji Lane, it’ll all be within walking distance of home.
However, for many buyers, the PLH is still an issue. Although the PLH does lower the price of the flats, they’re still far from cheap. At such prices, it might be better to settle for a city fringe location like Geylang that’ll be a better investment in the long run.
HDB loan or bank home loan?
HDB loans can seem like the easier choice at a glance, but can end up costing you more money in the long run.
With HDB loans, you pay a downpayment of as little as 10% using CPF, which is great if you’re cash strapped. HDB loan interest rates are also pegged to CPF interest rates, which means they only fluctuate very periodically.
The catch is that these interest rates are quite high—currently 2.6%. So, you could end up paying more in the long run, especially if your loan tenure is long.
Bank loans, on the other hand, can cost more upfront as you must pay a deposit of at least 25%, of which at least 5% must be in cash (the rest can be paid with CPF). The advantage is that interest rates are usually lower than those of HDB loans.
If you’re chasing the lowest interest rates and can tolerate fluctuations, you can go for a floating rate bank loan package. These tend to start out with lower interest rates but are very volatile, so you never know how much you have to pay each month. However, in light of the fact that interest rates are expected to rise over the next year, you might want to opt instead for a fixed rate home loan which locks in a set interest rate for a number of years.
Before signing up for a loan, always compare interest rates first. And no matter what kind of loan you choose, continue to be on the lookout for opportunities to refinance later on, as doing so can save you thousands of dollars in interest.
Check out our BTO buying guide and HDB downpayment guide here