Four projects in Central for September BTO

By Elizabeth Choong
/ EdgeProp Singapore |
About 1,010 flats in Tengah will be made available for application in the upcoming BTO exercise. (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) – Due to a delay in the ballot results for the May Built-To-Order (BTO) exercise, the BTO exercise that was to take place in August was pushed back to late September or early October. The upcoming BTO will have six projects with an estimated 6,760 flats spread across four towns. This is an increase from the previous BTO exercise which featured five projects with 5,495 flats across four towns.
Additionally, the upcoming BTO exercise has a bumper crop of four projects in central locations; namely three projects in Kallang/Whampoa and a project in Queenstown. Of the four projects, a project from each town is expected to be launched as Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) projects. In contrast, the May BTO exercise featured only Farrer Park Arena in Kallang/Whampoa in a central location and PLH project.
All flats in the May BTO exercise were oversubscribed with five-room flats in Serangoon receiving the highest subscription rate of 19.7. Four-room flats in Tengah brought up the rear with a subscription rate of 1.7.
HDB revealed that the next BTO exercise in December will feature an estimated 6,300 flats in Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Bukit Panjang, Jurong West, Queenstown and Woodlands.
Changes in classification of HDB towns and priority rules
In March, HDB announced that first-time buyers who did not book a BTO flat when invited to do so will be redesignated as second-time buyers for a year when they ballot for a BTO flat again. Furthermore, second-time buyers who do not book a unit must wait a year before they can apply again. The tightened priority rules will take effect from the upcoming BTO exercise which may cause some to hold back on their application if their buy intent is not confirmed.
Last month, the government announced a reclassification of HDB flats into Prime, Plus and Standard flats. The new classification will take effect for BTO flats from 2H2024 but existing HDB flats will not be reclassified. Flats that are located near the city centre will be classified as Prime while flats that are near amenities within a town will be classified as Plus. The remaining flats will be classified as Standard and are expected to make up the bulk of BTO flats.
Key features include a longer Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of 10 years and subsidy clawback for Prime and Plus flats. Standard flats will still have MOP of five years and no subsidy clawback. As such, upcoming BTO exercises with the old classifications may attract more applicants who wish to avoid the longer MOP and subsidy clawback.
Three projects in Kallang/Whampoa
The upcoming BTO exercise will feature three projects with an estimated 2,910 flats in Kallang/Whampoa. HDB has not announced if any of the projects will be launched under the PLH model but the project along Geylang Road is expected to be a PLH project because of its central location and proximity to a MRT station.
Source: HDB and EdgeProp Market Trends (as at 20 September 2023)
Kallang/Whampoa BTO project (Geylang Road)
The Kallang/Whampoa BTO project located along Geylang Road is also across the road from Kallang Horizon, which is a PLH project that was launched in November last year. The proximity of this project to Kallang Horizon makes it highly likely that it will also be a PLH project.
A main advantage of this Kallang/Whampoa project is its close proximity to Kallang MRT Station. Among the three BTO projects in Kallang/Whampoa, it is the only project that is within a 500m radius of a MRT station. Furthermore, Kallang MRT Station is only two stops away from dual-line Paya Lebar MRT Station. Furthermore, Paya Lebar has transformed into a business hub after the opening of Paya Lebar Quarter.
Drivers will appreciate being a short drive away from the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) and Nicoll Highway. However, applicants should try and ballot for flats that do not face the busy KPE to minimise traffic noise and dust.
The project is expected to appeal greatly to sporty families because it is a short walk to Kallang Riverside Park, and a short drive to the National Stadium and Singapore Sports Hub. Foodies might also be attracted to the project because it is a short drive to the numerous eateries in Geylang.
The main drawback of this project is the lack of schools within a 1km radius except James Cook University. Given the high subscription rate for nearby Kallang Horizon, this project is expected to be popular with applicants.
Kallang/Whampoa BTO project (Kallang River)
Some future residents of the Kallang/Whampoa BTO project may be able to enjoy water views because of its location beside the Kallang River.
Despite having no MRT stations within a 1km radius, future residents may not need to travel far for their daily necessities because this BTO project is located within a HDB estate with existing amenities.
Connectivity will be mainly via road because the project is sandwiched between Central Expressway (CTE) and Pan-Island Expressway (PIE). Whampoa Flyover and St. Michael Bus Terminial are also located nearby. The close proximity to such amenities brings much convenience to future residents but it would also mean more traffic noise.
While there are three primary schools within a 1km radius, this project may not appeal to large families because only three and four-room flats are available for application.
Kallang/Whampoa BTO project (Jalan Rajah)
The third BTO project in Kallang/Whampoa is located opposite Rajah Summit, which is a BTO project that was launched in February. As Rajah Summit was not designated a PLH project, this project is unlikely to be launched as such. Applicants for this project can take their cues from Rajah Summit for possible price levels and subscription rates.
Future residents of this BTO project will benefit from being located within an established HDB estate as well as being a short walk from Balestier Plaza and Whampoa Drive Makan Place. Sporty families will also love the close proximity to Toa Payoh Stadium, Sports Hall and Swimming Complex while nature lovers would love being located next to Sungei Whampoa.
The main drawback of the project will be the lack of a MRT station within walking distance. Future residents will find it more convenient to commute via private transport because the project is a short drive away from the PIE and CTE.
Another drawback will be the limited variety of available flat types as only two-room flex and four-room flats will be available for application. The project also has the least number of flats compared to the other two projects in the same HDB town so applicants for this project may find the odds for a successful application less favourable.
Which to choose?
The projects near Kallang River and Jalan Rajah are located near to each other but sporty families may wish to apply for the project along Jalan Rajah because of its closer proximity to Toa Payoh Stadium and other sports facilities nearby. Furthermore, the Jalan Rajah project has more nearby amenities because it is located nearer to Toa Payoh town centre.
However, the project Kallang River is expected to appeal more to families with children because it has three primary schools located within a 1km radius. On the other hand, such families may avoid the project near Geylang Road due to the absence of nearby schools. However, the Geylang Road project may attract foodies because of its closer proximity to the eateries in Geylang.
Unsuccessful applicants may want to consider reapplying in the December BTO exercise, where two-room flex, three-room and four-room flats in Bukit Merah will be available. Alternatively, they can look to the resale market. Whampoa Dew along Lorong Limau and Bendemeer Light along Bendemeer Road obtained MOP last year.
HDB resale prices in Kallang/Whampoa
Average resale prices for four-room flats in Kallang/Whampoa grew at a faster pace compared to three and five-room flats. Since 2013, the average resale price for four-room flats grew 30% to $753 psf while average resale prices for two and three-room flats grew 3% and 11% to $553 psf and $588 psf respectively.
Source: EdgeProp Market Trends (as at 20 September 2023)
Another PLH in Queenstown?
This round of BTO exercise has a project in Queenstown that is located near Commonwealth MRT Station. The project’s central location and proximity to a MRT station makes it probable that it will be launched as a PLH.
Source: HDB and EdgeProp Market Trends (as at 20 September 2023)
Ulu Pandan Glades is the most recent BTO project in the same town and is located near Dover MRT Station which is two stops away from the upcoming project. It was launched in February as PLH. Keen applicants for the upcoming project can take their cues from Ulu Pandan Glades to estimate the price level and subscription rate for this project.
Queenstown BTO project
Proximity to amenities is the main appeal of this Queenstown BTO project. The project is located a short walk away from Commonwealth MRT Station. It is also a stop away from dual-line Buona Vista MRT Station which makes Holland Village and one-north only another stop away after the commuter change trains to the Circle Line. Tanglin Halt Market and Food Centre is also a short walk away.
The main drawback of this project is the limited number of primary schools within a 1km radius. This project is among the smaller projects in this BTO exercise, so the odds are less favourable for applicants, especially if they are not first-time buyers.
Based on subscription rate for Ulu Pandan Glades, four-room flats were in greater demand than three-room flats. Couples or smaller families who do not need a larger house might want to apply for a three-room flat to increase their chances of a successful application.
Might appeal to young couples
This BTO project in Queenstown is unlikely to appeal to couples with school-going children because of the lack of nearby schools and five-room flats. However, it might appeal to the younger generation because of its proximity to the numerous cafes in Holland Village. The easy connectivity via the MRT network will appeal to buyers who rely heavily on public transport.
Unsuccessful applicants may want to try again in December when more three and four-room flats will be available for application in Queenstown. They can also consider Ghim Moh Edge along Ghim Moh Link which obtained MOP last year.
HDB resale prices in Queenstown
Price growth for four-room flats in Queenstown was much stronger than their three-room counterparts. Since 2013, the average resale price for four-room flats grew 21% to $863 psf compared to a price growth of merely 4% to $619 psf for three-room flats.
Source: EdgeProp Market Trends (as at 20 September 2023)
Something for everyone in Choa Chu Kang
The upcoming BTO project in Choa Chu Kang has the most number of flats and the largest variety of flat types among all projects in this upcoming BTO exercise. It is also the only project with 3Gen flats and one of only two projects with five-room flats.
Source: HDB and EdgeProp Market Trends (as at 20 September 2023)
The most recent BTO project in Choa Chu Kang is Keat Hong Grange that was launched in August 2022. Similar to the upcoming BTO, Keat Hong Grange also has a wide variety of flat types but it has only 987 flats unlike the upcoming project which will have an estimated 1,870 flats.
Choa Chu Kang BTO project
The project is well-located within its neighbourhood because it is a short walk to Junction 10, Hillion Mall, Bukit Panjang MRT Station and Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub. Nature-lovers will appreciate the nearby Pang Sua Pond and Bukit Panjang Park while parents will be pleased to know that there are two primary schools, four secondary schools and a junior college within a 1km radius.
However, potential buyers who work in the CBD might be put off by the long commute. Furthermore, the project is near a large car park that is used by numerous buses which might generate much traffic noise and dust.
Large families should consider
The numerous available flats means that applicants might have better odds of success, hence buyers who are keen to purchase a flat in Choa Chu Kang should consider this project. Large or multi-generation families should also consider this project because of the five-room and 3Gen flats that will be available for application.
Buyers who are keen to live in the west region might also want to consider Jurong West, which will feature two-room flex and three to five-room flats in the next BTO exercise in December. Unfortunately, no projects in Choa Chu Kang obtained MOP last year. However, six projects obtained MOP in 2021. They are Keat Hong Mirage (Keat Hong Link/Choa Chu Kang Avenue 1), Keat Hong Quad (Choa Chu Kang Avenue 7), Keat Hong Colours (Choa Chu Kang Avenue 7), Keat Hong Pride (Keat Hong Close), Keat Hong Crest (Keat Hong Close) and Keat Hong Axis (Choa Chu Kang Avenue 1).
HDB resale prices in Choa Chu Kang
Since 2013, the average resale prices for four and five-room HDB flats in Choa Chu Kang grew at the same pace of 19% to $470 psf and $461 psf respectively. Price growth for three-room flats outpaced them; growing by 22% to $526 psf over the same timeframe.
Source: EdgeProp Market Trends (as at 20 September 2023)
More BTO flats in up-and-coming Tengah
Tengah is a new town that is gaining popularity among buyers due to the impending relocation of ACS (Primary), the successful launch of Copen Grand as well as the competitive bidding for the Plantation Close site slated for executive condos.
Plantation Verge and Parc Meadow @ Tengah are the most recent BTO project in Tengah. Both projects were oversubscribed when they were launched in May. The upcoming BTO project is expected to be launched at similar price levels and attract similar levels of demand.
Tengah BTO project
The nearest active MRT station is more than 1km away from the upcoming Tengah BTO project. However, there is a future MRT station on the Jurong Region Line (JRL) within walking distance, which is expected to be completed by 2028.
Plantation Verge has an estimated wait time of 44 months while Parc Meadow @ Tengah has an estimated wait time of 37 to 40 months. Based on the estimated wait for the aforementioned projects, the upcoming Tengah BTO project should be completed by 2027. As such, future residents are likely to wait for only a year before they can use the future JRL station. Furthermore, the JRL station is expected to be only three stops away from the dual-line Jurong West MRT Station.
The main drawback of the project will be its location in a new town that is still under development. As such, future residents will have to put up limited amenities as well as noise and dust from nearby construction sites.
However, parents will not have to worry about the lack of schools because there are three primary schools and three secondary schools nearby.
Who should consider?
Families with a more modest housing budget should consider this Tengah project because the flats are expected to be launched at lower price levels compared to the other projects due to the relatively undeveloped status of Tengah. However, successful applicants must be prepared to experience some inconvenience from the limited amenities.

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