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 will be launching another batch of BTOs in Nov 2018.
For the Nov 2018 BTO launch, HDB is releasing 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 5 upcoming BTO launches and estimate their prices based on previous launches.
HDB BTO launch Nov 2018 overview
Here’s an overview of the 5 BTO launches for Nov 2018, ranked by estimated price from cheapest to most expensive.
|HDB BTO location||Unit mix||Starting price for 4-room flat|
|Tengah||2R / 3R / 4R / 5R / 3Gen (1,620 units)||Unknown but likely the cheapest|
|Sembawang||3R / 4R / 5R (310 units)||$225,000 (Feb 2018)|
|Yishun||3R / 4R / 5R (456 units)||$248,000 (Aug 2018)|
|Sengkang||4R / 5R (330 units)||$279,000 (May 2018)|
|Tampines||2R / 3R / 4R / 5R (1,080 units)||$312,000 (May 2018)|
Price estimates are based on the previous launches in the same town, except for the Tengah BTO, which is in a completely new town. For Sembawang, we looked at the Feb 2018 Woodlands BTO which is just next door.
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…)
Tengah BTO launch (Nov 2018)
|Tengah BTO (Nov 2018) fact sheet|
|Official HDB map||Download Tengah BTO map here|
|Road name||Bukit Batok Road / Bukit Batok West Ave 6|
|Unit mix||2-room, 3-room, 4-room, 5-room, 3Gen (1,620 units)|
|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|
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.
In any case, prices are likely to be rock bottom for the Tengah BTO, and therefore it’s likely to be an “investment BTO” for people who don’t care 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.
Sembawang BTO launch (Nov 2018)
|Sembawang BTO (Nov 2018) fact sheet|
|Official HDB map||Download Sembawang BTO map here|
|Road name||Canberra Crescent|
|Unit mix||3-room, 4-room, 5-room (310 units)|
|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)|
The Sembawang BTO is 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).
HDB will only release the prices of this BTO in November, but I’m guessing it will be pretty low because the area is still developing. This makes Sembawang BTO 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 (Nov 2018) fact sheet|
|Official HDB map||Download Yishun BTO map here|
|Road name||Yishun Ave 8 / Yishun St 44|
|Unit mix||3-room, 4-room, 5-room (456 units)|
|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.
But the Yishun BTO for Nov 2018 suffers in comparison because it’s 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 (Nov 2018) fact sheet|
|Official HDB map||Download Sengkang BTO map here|
|Road name||Fernvale Lane|
|Unit mix||4-room, 5-room (330 units)|
|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.
This BTO 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.
Tampines BTO launch (Nov 2018)
|Tampines BTO (Nov 2018) fact sheet|
|Official HDB map||Download Tampines BTO map here|
|Road name||Bedok Reservoir Road / Tampines St 96 (U/C)|
|Unit mix||2-room Flexi, 3-room, 4-room, 5-room (1,080 units)|
|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.
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.)
If you’re on a tight budget, you can rule out “mature” Tampines as it’s a bit pricier, being classified as a mature town by HDB.
Here’s a compilation of price estimates based on the previous HDB BTO launches in that town:
|HDB BTO town||3-room||4-room||5-room|
|Tengah||No info||No info||No info|
So, you’re likely to choose the BTO town based on your preferred location. Let me recap the options very briefly.
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.
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) and likely the priciest of the non-mature BTOs.
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!
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