Battle of the BTOs: November 2020 Launch (Part 1)

The demand for BTOs in 2020 has been fierce, to say the least, with the August BTO launches being oversubscribed within a day of a one-week launch period. The potential delays for the completion of BTO launches due to Covid-19, as announced by HDB, have not shaken the demand. With over 38,500 applicants for 7,862 BTO flats, it is likely we will see the same level of competition for the November BTO launches.

That being said, let us take an in-depth look into the upcoming BTO launch.

This round of BTO Sale Launches will feature 6 developments in 5 estates with an estimated total of 5,770 units. It has a healthy range of different estate maturities, with the non-mature estates being Sembawang and Tengah and mature estates of Bishan, Tampines and Toa Payoh Bidadari.

In this series, we will evaluate each BTO development based on its accessibility, amenities and price to help you find the best BTO suited to your needs.

Projects to Watch in the Non-Mature Estates

Non-mature estates typically lose out to mature estates in the areas of accessibility and amenities. As the estates are relatively newer, nearby transport hubs and MRT stations are not yet constructed, as we are about to see in the Tengah estate. The same goes for essential amenities such as hospitals, shopping malls and sports centre, which may deter many from opting for the BTO launches in non-mature estates.

However, the estates inaccessibility and lack of amenities are only temporary as developments are planned and underway but will take time to develop. In the meantime, these estates are priced much lower than the developed, mature estates and are a budget-friendlier option for the younger home applicants.

Sembawang

The BTO launch taking place in Sembawang will have 720 flats consisting of 2-room flexi, 3-room ,4-room and 5-room flats. This is the second BTO launch this year located in the Sembawang district near to the new Canberra MRT station. The first being Canberra Vista, launched in February this year. With more project launches popping up in this district, let us examine the potential perks and caveats should you successfully ballot for a unit in this launch.

Source: HDB

Accessibility

Unlike Canberra Vista, the new BTO site is some distance from Canberra MRT station and not quite near Sembawang MRT station either. However, residents have access to 2 bus stops along Sembawang Road and Sembawang Ave, with the one along Sembawang Road having 5 bus services.

Amenities

Nestled midway between Sembawang and Canberra MRT station, the new launch is surrounded by a variety of amenities and many more that are in currently in the works. One big advantage of the proposed site is that it is located very near to Sembawang Shopping Centre (SSC) is a mere 5-minute walk away. Despite being a neighbourhood mall, SSC offers a variety of stores from home furnishing to educational, topped off with a Hypermarket in the basement. Furthermore, SSC offers a free shuttle bus service every half an hour to Sembawang, Yishun and Woodlands. Not enough? The site is also located fairly near to Sun Plaza and residents can either take a 10-minute walk or hop on bus 980 for a one stop ride to Sun Plaza.

Furthermore, once the upcoming Bukit Canberra Hub is completed in 2021, residents will have access to hawker centres, the largest ActiveSG gym and a polyclinic right across the road. If gyms are not your thing, the Canberra Park is also within a 10-minute walk from the site. Overall, while there is nothing too spectacular in Canberra yet, it definitely meets all the everyday needs of Singaporeans.

Source: parccanberras.sg

Price

The estimated price for a 3-room flat for the Sembawang BTO launch is around $150,000-$200,000 and a 5-room flat would cost $350,000 – $400,000, based on SRX’s HDB BTO pricing estimates.

Tengah

The Tengah district has been gaining quite the attention since the proposal plans announced in 2016 for Tengah to be one of the ‘Greenest’ and ‘Smartest’ towns. Part of this was the innovative plan to revamp Tengah as the city’s first-ever car-free town centre as a feature of its car-lite town scheme. In light of this vision, the district is further split into 5 major zones—Plantation, Park, Garden, Brickland and Forest Hill to represent the area’s unique history.

This BTO sale launch will release a whopping 1,570 units of 2-room flexi, 3-room, 4-room and 5-room flats.

Source: HDB

Accessibility

Located between two mature estates, Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Batok, Tengah has yet to have its own bus interchange and MRT station and is one of the inconvenient locations. There is no need to fret as works are underway for a new bus interchange as well as 2 new MRT stations—Hong Kah MRT station and Tengah Plantation MRT station as part of the Jurong Region Line. These new MRT stations will be completed in 2026 and 2027 respectively and will be located very close to the proposed launch site. Until then, residents will have to rely on buses or cars as the main forms of transportation.

Travelling to the CBD will also take about 60-75 minutes by public transport. It is much more accessible for those with private vehicles as the area is well connected by major expressways such as Kranji Expressway (KJE), Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) and Pan Island Expressway (PIE)

Amenities

Since Tengah is a very new town, there are no malls located within the vicinity as of yet. The closest mall would be West Mall located in Bukit Batok town in which residents will have to take one of the few buses passing through Tengah to visit. For F&B and retail options, residents can turn to Le Quest, an integrated development closer to home. In the near future, the district will have its own HDB town centre that can meet the dining and retail needs of residents as well as a sports hub and medical facilities.

Source: HDB

The vision for Tengah, also called the ‘Forest Town’, is one that is closely connected with nature and for the town to be accessible by cycling and walking. Nature-lovers can look forward to a 15 to 20-metre forest fringe that surrounds the town and is connected to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and MacRitchie Reservoir Park.

Overall, those looking to ballot for the Tengah launch should not expect a bustling district right now, but some patience will pay off once the plan for Tengah is completed.

Price

Prices for Tengah’s BTO launch is estimated at around $200,000 to $250,000 for a 3-room flat while a 5-room flat is estimated to cost around $400,000 to $500,000.

adam Lai
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