HDB BTO Launch Nov 2018 – Review of Upcoming BTO Launches (Including Tengah BTO)

HDB BTO Launch Nov 2018

If you missed the previous HDB BTO launch in May (couldn’t make up your mind between Punggol and Yishun, perhaps?) you’ll definitely want to pay attention as HDB has just launched another batch of BTOs in Nov 2018.

For the Nov 2018 BTO launch, HDB released a bumper crop of 3,800 units in not 1, but 5 estates. Calm your titties, though – none of them will be in coveted areas like Queenstown or Toa Payoh. Instead, they’ll be in Tampines, Sengkang, Yishun, Sembawang and Tengah.

In this article, we’ll analyse the five Nov 2018 BTO launches, comparing their prices and other key selling points.


HDB BTO launch Nov 2018 overview

Here’s an overview of the 5 BTO launches for Nov 2018, ranked by price from cheapest to most expensive. The window to apply for these flats is between 13 to 19 Nov 2018 (11.59pm). 

HDB BTO Unit mix Starting price for 4-room flat
EastGlen @ Canberra in Sembawang 3R / 4R / 5R (310 units) $251,000
Melody Spring @ Yishun 3R / 4R / 5R (456 units) $259,000
Fernvale Acres in Sengkang 4R / 5R (330 units) $270,000
Plantation Grove in Tengah 2R / 3R / 4R / 5R / 3Gen (1,620 units) $290,000
Tampines GreenGem  2R / 3R / 4R / 5R (1,080 units) $352,000

Given how there’s always a clamour for BTOs in mature estates, it’s slightly disappointing that the only mature town in the Nov 2018 BTO launch is Tampines.

The remaining 4 BTO launches are firmly in “birds don’t lay eggs” territory.

However, the ulu locations also mean low prices. Whether pure coincidence or calculated move, the affordability of these BTOs is going to help HDB win some brownie points with Singaporeans. (Because HDB probably doesn’t need more flak than it’s currently getting…)

For the full list of prices of all the different types of flats, check the official HDB BTO sales launch page.


Sembawang BTO launch (Nov 2018)

Sembawang BTO

EastGlen @ Canberra (Sembawang) fact sheet
Official HDB map Download Sembawang BTO map here
Road name Canberra Crescent
3-room flat price  From $165,000
4-room flat price From $251,000
5-room flat price from $327,000 
Nearest MRT Canberra MRT (650m)
Nearest supermarket Sheng Siong Canberra St (250m)
Nearest shopping mall Sembawang Shopping Centre (1.4km)
Nearby schools Wellington Pri, Sembawang Pri
Future developments Canberra Plaza (650m)

EastGlen @ Canberra is the Nov 2018 Sembawang BTO project. It’s located in a part of the town that’s going through a condo construction frenzy right now because of the upcoming Canberra MRT, which is slated to open in Dec 2019.

Located only 650m away from the flat, the MRT station should be up and running by the time you move in, along with proposed town centre/mall Canberra Plaza.

This part of Sembawang is also quite nice to live in if you like peace and quiet. It doesn’t have the heartland bustle of Yishun, but there’s an established community (mostly private landed houses and condos).

There isn’t any hawker food in the vicinity, but the good news for home cooks is that there’s both a Sheng Siong and Ang Mo Supermarket nearby.

You can also cut through the landed estate to go to Sembawang Shopping Centre (Giant, tuition centres, discount stores) and the cluster of famous eateries opposite (that’s where Sembawang White Bee Hoon is).

The Sembawang BTOs are the cheapest of the lot, and I’m guessing it’s because the area is still developing. This makes EastGlen @ Canberra my pick if you’re looking for a cheap but pleasant flat with some potential for capital appreciation after the 5-year MOP.


Yishun BTO launch (Nov 2018)

Yishun BTO

Melody Spring @ Yishun BTO fact sheet
Official HDB map Download Yishun BTO map here
Road name Yishun Ave 8 / Yishun St 44
3-room flat price From $170,000
4-room flat price From $259,000
5-room flat price  From $346,000
Nearest MRT Yishun MRT (3km)
Nearest supermarket Giant & NTUC FairPrice Yishun Mall (1km)
Nearest shopping mall Northpoint City (3km)
Nearby schools GEMS World Academy, Northview Pri, Huamin Pri
Future developments Nothing major

The last HDB BTO launch also had a Yishun BTO, which one-time Yishun resident Eugenia raved about for its mature estate amenities for the non-mature estate price tag.

This round, the Melody Spring @ Yishun is the second cheapest batch of flats in the Nov 2018 exercise. The prices are comparable to Sembawang’s, if not only slightly more expensive.

But with regards to everything unrelated to price, the Yishun BTO for Nov 2018 suffers in comparison: Melody Spring is located deep, deep in an inaccessible part of Yishun – the start of Yishun Dam at Lower Seletar Reservoir, to be exact.

It’s a nice to place to watch the sunset for sure, but pragmatic Singaporeans usually want more amenities in their future home than just a place to make out/fish illegally.

Problem is, it’s located a bit far away from civilisation. You need to travel at least 1km to get to the nearest heartland shopping mall, at Yishun Ring Road. There’s a hawker centre, Giant, NTUC and other auntie stores like Snip Avenue here.

To get to Yishun MRT station and Northpoint City, you need to travel 3km. That doesn’t sound like much, but we doubt the feeder buses run thick and fast in this neck of the woods.

The flip side of this inaccessibility is that it’s quiet and is surrounded by nature. It’s a bit atas too – condos have been popping up here over the years, probably lured by international school GEMS World Academy and the multiple golf courses in the vicinity.

To me, getting a BTO here makes sense if you have a car and can settle your own transport. Otherwise, it’s probably a bit inaccessible for public transport plebs. 


Sengkang BTO launch (Nov 2018)

Sengkang BTO

Fernvale Acres Sengkang BTO fact sheet
Official HDB map Download Sengkang BTO map here
Road name Fernvale Lane
4-room flat price From $270,000  
5-room flat price From $366,000
Nearest MRT / LRT Fernvale LRT (700m) / Sengkang MRT (3.2km)
Nearest supermarket NTUC FairPrice Jalan Kayu (650m) / NTUC FairPrice Finest Seletar Mall (700m)
Nearest shopping mall Seletar Mall (700m)
Nearby schools Fernvale Pri, Sengkang Green Pri, Pei Hwa Pri
Future developments Future integrated CC (hawker centre + wet market + childcare) at Fernvale LRT

Anyone who’s been to Sengkang and Punggol would know that the estates here are mostly indistinguishable.

But if you buy this Sengkang BTO, you can say something other than “it’s one of the blocks near the LRT station” when giving your friends directions to the housewarming. You can say you live opposite Seletar Mall.

Seletar Mall, and Fernvale LRT next to it, seem to be the main draws here. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a place in Sengkang with better amenities. The mall has an NTUC FairPrice Finest, a Uniqlo, a Popular bookstore and… wait for it… a Hai Di Lao!

Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, you look at the map and there appears to be a new “integrated CC” in the works next to Fernvale LRT. This promises a hawker centre, wet market and childcare facilities.

That’s right, a hawker centre and wet market… in Sengkang! Your area is going to be super happening.

Fernvale Acres may be on the edge of Sengkang, but at least it’s the atas edge, closer to landed estates like Greenwich V and Jalan Kayu. In fact, at least 3 upcoming condos are in the vicinity.

A thing to note though: The Sengkang BTOs only come in 4- and 5-room flats, so if you’re looking for a smaller, cheaper unit, consider for Sembawang, Yishun or Tengah instead.


Tengah BTO launch (Nov 2018)

Tengah BTO

Plantation Grove Tengah BTO fact sheet
Official HDB map Download Tengah BTO map here
Road name Bukit Batok Road / Bukit Batok West Ave 6
2-room flat price From $101,000
3-room flat price From $193,000
4-room flat price From $290,000
5-room flat price From $397,000
3Gen flat price From $423,000
Nearest MRT Bukit Batok MRT (3km)
Nearest supermarket Sheng Siong Bukit Batok West (600m)
Nearest shopping mall West Mall (3km)
Nearby schools Dulwich College, Millennia Institute, Bukit Batok Sec
Future developments Everything

I’m struggling to say something about the highly anticipated Tengah BTO, because when I look at the map, all I see are just “proposed roads” snaking all over the place and no buildings at all.

Apparently, Tengah is a brand new estate and its flats are being launched for the first time in this BTO exercise.

It’s going to take 2 decades before the military training area fully matures, but you can read the hype (blah blah eco sustainable blah blah car free town) to get an idea of what the authorities have planned for this “Forest Town”. (Not Forest City hor – that’s in JB.)

Tengah was originally proposed to serve the Jurong population, back when we thought Jurong would legit turn into a 2nd CBD thanks to the high speed rail to KL. Well, that plan is all in shambles now.

As expected, the prices for Plantation Grove in Tengah are the highest of the non-mature estates, with 4-room flat prices starting at $290,000 before any housing grants.

Since it’s non-mature, it’s still relatively affordable, so I expect that it’s likely to be an “investment BTO” for those who don’t care much about liveability. (Think Punggol BTOs 20 years ago.)

You need to be patient though. Tengah’s value can only go up, but it might take 10 or even 20 years as the town matures starts to exist.


Tampines BTO launch (Nov 2018)

Tampines BTO

Tampines GreenGem BTO fact sheet
Official HDB map Download Tampines BTO map here
Road name Bedok Reservoir Road / Tampines St 96 (U/C)
2-room Flexi price From $134,000
3-room flat price From $240,000
4-room flat price From $352,000
5-room flat price From $472,000
Nearest MRT Tampines West MRT (doorstep)
Nearest supermarket Giant Express Tampines St 81 (850m)
Nearest shopping mall Tampines Mall (1.7km)
Nearby schools East View Pri, Junyuan Pri/Sec, St Hilda’s Pri/Sec, Springfield Sec, Temasek Poly, UWCSEA
Future developments Nothing major

Tampines may be far from the CBD, but there are a LOT of amenities going on here. I mean, 3 shopping malls, office buildings, a big integrated sports complex… and an IKEA? Tampinesians are spoilt and they know it.

This particular Tampines BTO happens to be located in probably the nicer part of the town, so you get easy access to the benefits without being in the thick of it.

It’s at the doorstep of Tampines West MRT (Downtown Line) and right next to the PIE Simei exit. (Quite tok gong right?)

If you’re a fellow East-sider, you might know this area as the “Tampines part of Bedok Reservoir”. The BTO site is sandwiched in between Temasek Polytechnic and Safra Tampines.

Which makes for a pretty enviable lifestyle. I picture morning walks at Bedok Reservoir, going to the gym and pool at Safra, and pigging out at the famous Tampines Round Market.

You can buy groceries at either the Tampines Round Market or Tampines St 81 town centre. Of course, if you want to brave the human-packed hellhole that is Tampines Central, it’s one MRT stop away.

Since it’s the only mature estate in the Nov 2018 BTO launch, the Tampines GreenGem flats are the most expensive. The 4-room flat is likely the most popular choice among young families, but if you don’t have the budget for it, Tampines GreenGem has 2-and 3-room units as well (from $134,000 and $240,000 respectively).


So, which HDB BTO town should you apply for?

In terms of price, we’ve established that the BTOs for this batch should all be on the affordable side. (No $600,000 Toa Payoh BTOs this time round, thankfully.)

Those on a tight budget can rule out “mature” Tampines as it’s a bit pricier, being classified as a mature town by HDB.

If you want to compare the current prices with previous launches, here’s a compilation of the average HDB BTO launch prices in those towns:

HDB BTO town 3-room 4-room 5-room
Tengah No info No info No info
Sembawang $140,000 $225,000 $279,000
Yishun $178,000 $248,000 $334,000
Sengkang $279,000 $362,000
Tampines $210,000 $312,000 $422,000

So, you’re likely to choose the BTO town based on your preferred location. Let me recap the options very briefly.

Sembawang BTO: Walking distance to Canberra MRT (red line). Mainly quiet private estates around, not much of a heartland vibe, but has basic amenities like supermarkets around. Could appreciate in value due to upcoming MRT station.

Yishun BTO: In the far corner of Yishun with pretty much nothing within walking distance. Best for families/couples with a car. Has a secluded, next-to-nature feel without being too disconnected from town.

Sengkang BTO: Close to Fernvale LRT and Seletar Mall. Not much amenities (though considered quite good for Sengkang already).

Tengah BTO: First launch of completely new town, nothing at all nearby. Investment potential, but may take at least 10 to 20 years to appreciate as you need the town to mature.

Tampines BTO: Doorstep of Tampines West MRT (blue line). Close to Bedok Reservoir, Temasek Poly, Safra Tampines, Tampines Round Market. Highly accessible and good amenities, but more expensive than the others.


Decided yet? Here’s the HDB BTO application procedure

Got your heart set on one of these 5 BTOs? Easy tiger, you can only take action in November when HDB officially launches them.

During that period, you’ll have about week to look at the information (which will be pretty comprehensive, including renderings, maps and most importantly, pricing details) on HDB’s website.

You can then do the HDB BTO application online. No need to rush to be first, just complete the application before the deadline. Afterwards, HDB will do a ballot (lucky draw style) and tell you if you were successful.

When applying, you need to specify which town you want (out of the 5) and which flat type (size).

You can only apply for one town… so if you have an urgent need for housing, it may be wise to avoid some of the “hotter” estates (typically the mature ones).

Refer to the complete HDB BTO application procedure here.


Which of the upcoming HDB BTOs do you think is the best? Tell us why in the comments!