November BTO launch: Our in-depth analysis

By Elizabeth Choong
/ EdgeProp Singapore |
Artist’s impression of Ulu Pandan Banks, which offers the most units among the three PLH projects (Picture: HDB)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) – A total of 9,655 flats spread across 10 projects in five towns were launched under the Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise in November. This is the most number of HDB flats launched in a BTO exercise. This is likely due to the continued strong demand for BTO flats.
The previous BTO exercise in August had 4,993 flats spread across seven projects in six towns. All flats were oversubscribed, especially four and five-room flats in Sun Plaza Spring in Tampines which attracted whopping application rates of 22.3 times and 26.3 times respectively.

Three prime location housing (PLH) projects offering connectivity and convenience

Three housing projects in two towns are launched under the prime location housing (PLH) model in this BTO exercise. Together, the three PLH projects have 2,798 flats, up from previous BTO exercise in August when two PLH projects in Bukit Merah with 1,648 flats were launched.
The PLH projects in this BTO exercise are expected to see robust demand because all projects are located beside an MRT station.
The four-room flats in Kallang Horizon, which are the largest PLH units launched, are just above 1,000 sq ft. Hence, the PLH projects might be less attractive to large families who would need more space. Buyers who are concerned about affordability might also be deterred by the higher prices.

Kallang Horizon

Kallang Horizon is the sole project in Kallang/Whampoa in the ongoing BTO exercise. The project is conveniently located just beside Kallang MRT Station and a proposed bus interchange. Sports buffs will appreciate being located within a 1km radius of the Singapore Sports Hub.
While families will be pleased to know that the flats in Kallang Horizon are larger than those in the other two PLH projects, the lack of primary schools within a 1km radius may deter some of them. Additionally, the nearby proposed bus international and Lorong 1 Geylang Bus Terminal opposite the project could mean more noise and traffic jams.
The last BTO project in Kallang/Whampoa is King George’s Heights which was launched in February as a PLH. The project has 104 three-room flats ($353,000 to $462,000) and 294 four-room flats ($488,000 to $675,000). Application rate was higher for the four-room flats (17.5 times) than the three-room flats (6.4 times). The price range for Kallang Horizon aligns with that of King George’s Heights despite being nearer to an MRT station.
HDB has announced that there will be two projects in Kallang/Whampoa during the next BTO launch in February 2023. The first project, bound by Kallang River and Jalan Rajah, comprises 500 three- and four-room flats. The project is also separated from Toa Payoh MRT Station by the Pan-Island Expressway.
The second project will have 1,270 two-room flexi to four-room flats. The project is located near Little India MRT Station as well as Farrer Park Primary School.
Unsuccessful applicants for Kallang Horizon could consider applying for the two projects that will be launched in the February 2023 BTO, especially the second project. The large number of flats could boost applicants’ chances of success.
Unsuccessful applicants could also consider Saint George’s Towers along Saint George’s Lane. The project, which just obtained minimum occupation period (MOP) in September, comprises 2,214 units of two- to four-room flats.
Average prices of three- and four-room resale HDB flats in Kallang/Whampoa are $603 psf and $748 psf respectively. Since 2012, prices of four-room HDB flats (37%) in Kallang/Whampoa have grown at a significantly faster pace than three-room flats (17%). (Find HDB flats for rent or sale with our Singapore HDB directory)

Ulu Pandan Banks

About 3,000 BTO flats across three projects will be built in the eastern half of Dover Forest. Ulu Pandan Banks is the first project, and also the largest PLH project with 1,330 three and four-room flats.
Ulu Pandan Banks is beside Dover MRT Station. It is also near two markets and food centres as well as the popular Henry Park Primary School. Additionally, Ulu Pandan Banks is located within Health District @ Queenstown, which aims to bring together multiple stakeholders to create integrated solutions to enhance the health and well-being of residents.
Ulu Pandan Banks will be HDB’s first car-lite precinct, so future residents will be able to enjoy better cycling and walking connectors as well as excellent public transport. However, there will be limited provisions for car parks. Motorheads might want to note that season parking will be available only to residents, and higher charges will apply for their second and subsequent cars.
Buyers with affordability in mind might want to turn to the other two PLH projects because flats in Ulu Pandan Banks are launched at higher prices. Ulu Pandan Banks is also slated to be completed in 3Q2029, while the other two PLH projects are expected to be completed much earlier in 1Q2028.

Ghim Moh Natura

The location of Ghim Moh Natura is excellent. It is opposite Buona Vista MRT Station and The Star Vista, and only one MRT stop away from Holland Village and one-north. Ghim Moh Natura is also located within Health District @ Queenstown and within a 1km radius of the popular Fairfield Methodist School. Additionally, Ghim Moh Natura is the only PLH project in this BTO that has two-room flexi flats.
The last BTO project in Queenstown is Ghim Moh Ascent, which was launched in May as PLH. The 196 three-room ($369,000 to $481,000) and 671 four-room flats ($511,000 to $691,000) received application rates of 1.5 times and 4.4 times respectively.
The launch price for three-room flats in Ghim Moh Ascent is in line with the prices in Ulu Pandan Banks and Ghim Moh Natura. The launch price for four-room flats in Ghim Moh Ascent is on a par with Ghim Moh Natura but lower than Ulu Pandan Banks.
From 2012 to 2022, average prices of four-room resale HDB flats ($826 psf) in Queenstown grew at a significantly faster pace of 22%, compared to 8% for three-room flats ($621 psf).
Unsuccessful applicants in the two Queenstown PLH projects can try again during the upcoming BTO exercise in February 2023. HDB will launch 730 three-room and four-room flats in an upcoming project located beside Ulu Pandan Banks.

Which PLH to buy?

Kallang Horizon offers the best value for money as it has the lowest prices and the largest units. Its main drawback will be the lack of nearby schools. Parents with young school-going children might wish to opt for Ghim Moh Natura instead as it has a number of reputable schools nearby.
Ulu Pandan Banks has the most number of flats so applicants may stand a higher chance of success. However, Ulu Pandan Banks has the longest waiting time, making the project less suitable for young couples who plan to start a family soon. It is also the most expensive among the three PLH projects.

Queensway Canopy is the only non-PLH project in Queenstown

Besides being the only project in Queenstown that is not PLH, Queenstown Canopy is also the only project in this BTO exercise that offers Community Care Apartments. These units are specially designed with elderly-friendly features for seniors and will be sold with short leases of 15 to 35 years in five-year increments. The other flats in the project will be sold with the usual 99-year lease.
This is the second BTO project with Community Care Apartments. The first such project is Harmony Village @ Bukit Batok which was launched in February 2021. The 169 Community Care Apartments were sold for $52,000 to $60,000 each with 30-year leases and had an application rate of 4.2 times.
Despite their higher prices, the Community Care Apartments in Queenstown Canopy are expected to be well-received because of its location within Health District @ Queenstown as well as proximity to Alexandra Hospital and a proposed hospital.
For the younger home buyer, Queenstown Canopy offers a central location with a shorter MOP of five years. There are also two malls and numerous food options nearby. Drawbacks include the lack of schools within a 1km radius and there being no MRT stations within walking distance.

Three projects in Yishun

Three projects with 2,994 units are launched in Yishun during this BTO exercise. The three projects are located beside one other and face Lower Seletar Reservoir.
The Yishun projects are ideal for families with young children because there are numerous schools in the neighbourhood. There are also a number of nearby malls and hawker centres. Families can enjoy the great outdoors with Lower Seletar Reservoir, Yishun Pond and Yishun Park at their doorstep. However, the nearest MRT station - Yishun MRT Station - is more than 1km away.
Yishun Beacon, launched in May, is the last BTO project in Yishun. It has 273 two-room flexi flats ($123,000 to $184,000), 207 four-room flats ($328,000 to $418,000) and 166 five-room flats ($485,000 to $595,000). Application rates for the two-room flexi, four-room and five-room flats were 6.7, 12.2 and 15.0 times respectively.
Prices for the Yishun flats in this BTO exercise are lower than Yishun Beacon because Yishun Beacon has Yishun MRT Station and Northpoint City within a 1km radius.

Which Yishun BTO to choose?

Young couples who are planning to get married soon should consider Aranda Breeze @ Yishun because it has the shortest waiting time. Additionally, prices for the five-room flats in Aranda Breeze @ Yishun are cheaper than Vanda Breeze @ Yishun but on a par with Miltonia Breeze @ Yishun.
Buyers who are willing to wait for their BTO flat should consider Miltonia Breeze @ Yishun, because the project has the most number of available flats among the three Yishun projects. This could boost their chance of a successful application. Moreover, Miltonia Breeze @ Yishun is the nearest to Naval Base Primary School and Wisteria Mall.
Smaller families or couples looking for a smaller flat may wish to consider Vanda Breeze @ Yishun, because it is the only Yishun BTO project with three-room flats.
Unsuccessful applicants who wish to turn to the resale market have plenty of choices because four projects in Yishun received MOP this year. The largest project - Fern Grove @ Yishun along Yishun Avenue 4 - received MOP in March. The project has 1,294 two to five-room flats. Park Grove @ Yishun along Yishun Ring Road received MOP in July. Although it does not have any three-room flats, it does have 120 two-room, 204 four-room and 264 five-room flats.
Yishun also has two HDB projects that achieved MOP last month. Blossom Spring @ Yishun along Yishun Avenue 6 has 650 two to four-room flats, while Meadow Spring @ Yishun along Yishun Street 43 has 469 two to four-room flats. Both projects do not have five-room flats.
Average price for five-room flats ($486 psf) in Yishun is growing the fastest at 28%, followed by four-room flats ($466 psf) growing at 17%. Three-room flats ($500 psf) are growing the slowest at 13%.

Other non-mature estates

The other three projects in this BTO exercise are in two non-mature estates in the west. Two of the projects are in the up-and-coming Tengah, while the third project is in established Bukit Batok.

Garden Waterfront I & II @ Tengah

Garden Waterfront I & II @ Tengah is located in the up-and-coming town of Tengah. Currently, there are limited amenities within walking distance, but more amenities are expected to be developed in tandem with the transformation of the area. However, parents should not have problems finding a school for their children as there are many primary and secondary schools in the vicinity.
The nearest MRT station - Lakeside - is not within walking distance. However, that is expected to change by 2029 when the Jurong Region Line (JRL) becomes operational. The projects are located near a MRT station on the JRL. Unfortunately, residents will have to put up with construction noise and pollution as Tengah gradually develops.
However, Garden Waterfront I & II @ Tengah has the shortest waiting time among all projects in this BTO launch. New construction technologies will be used for both Tengah projects to improve productivity and cut down on materials wastage. Both projects will have the first HDB flats with beamless design, which gives homeowners more flexibility to configure the layout of their unit.
The last BTO projects in Tengah, namely Parc Flora @ Tengah and Plantation Creek, were launched in February. Parc Flora @ Tengah has 101 two-room flexi flats ($132,000 to $182,000), which were more popular than the 85 three-room flats ($231,000 to $273,000). The two-room flexi and three-room flats had application rates of 8.4 times and 4.3 times respectively.
Both projects had four and five-room flats that were also oversubscribed with application rates of 3.2 times and 4.7 times respectively. Parc Flora @ Tengah has 193 four-room flats ($322,000 to $403,000) and 181 five-room flats ($428,000 to $525,000). Plantation Creek has 377 four-room flats ($309,000 to $377,000) and 336 five-room flats ($420,000 to $506,000).
Unsuccessful applicants can try again in February 2023 when 1,640 BTO flats will be launched in Tengah. The upcoming project is located along Brickland Road and opposite Keat Hong Woods.

West Glades @ Bukit Batok

West Glades @ Bukit Batok is located within 500m radius of Bukit Gombak MRT Station, which is only a stop away from Bukit Batok MRT Station and two stops away from Jurong East MRT Interchange Station. The project also has three primary and three secondary schools within a 1km radius.
Prices for the five-room flats in West Glades @ Bukit Batok are lower than the projects in Tengah. As such, large families who need an affordable roof might want to consider West Glades @ Bukit Batok. A drawback is its longer waiting time of about a year compared to the Tengah projects.
The last BTO project in Bukit Batok is West Hill @ Bukit Batok, which was launched in February 2021. The project has 163 two-room flexi flats ($101,000 to $144,000), 81 three-room flats ($175,000 to $221,000), 387 four-room flats ($260,000 to $334,000) and 331 five-room flats ($384,000 to $460,000). The two-room flexi flats were the most popular with an application rate of 3.7 times, followed by three-room flats (application rate of 2.6 times), five-room flats (application rate of 2.0 times) and four-room flats (application rate of 1.6 times).
Buyers looking at the resale market can consider selecting from four projects that obtained MOP this year. West Terra @ Bukit Batok is the newest project, having obtained MOP in September. The massive project along Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 has 1,793 units of two to five-room flats. Bukit Gombak Vista along Bukit Batok Street 31 (MOP in January) is the smallest project with 206 one and three-room flats.
West Crest @ Bukit Batok along Bukit Batok West Avenue 8 and West Valley @ Bukit Batok along Bukit Batok West Avenue 9 obtained MOP in May. West Crest @ Bukit Batok has 495 two, four and five-room flats. West Valley @ Bukit Batok has 870 two to four-room flats.
Since 2021, average price for five-room flats ($551 psf) in Bukit Batok has grown by 30%. Slower price growth rates of 10% and 20% were observed for three-room ($486 psf) and four-room ($510 psf) flats.

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