Top 10 HDB BTO projects with the highest gains upon MOP

By Felicia Tan / EdgeProp Singapore | February 15, 2022 11:55 PM SGT
HDB flats in Canberra overlooking the new Canberra MRT Station on the North-South Line. All photos: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Build-To-Order (BTO) flats from HDB are generally regarded as entry-level homes for most Singaporeans looking to purchase their first home. For married couples and families to singles who have turned 35 years old, BTO flats come with several government housing grants and are usually priced below resale HDB flats or other residential alternatives within the same area.
While a BTO flat is the first home for the majority of Singaporeans, it’s not their only home. One in six BTO flats changed hands upon achieving their minimum occupancy period (MOP) in 2016.
In this article, EdgeProp Singapore addresses a question that many home buyers have: Which BTO flats netted the highest gains in percentage terms upon reaching their MOP?
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Using the HDB BTO tool and Squarefoot’s HDB transactions tool, we pulled out a list of transactions from 2017 to 2021 for all four- and fiveroom BTO flats that were sold upon their MOP.
During the period, there were a total of 170 BTO projects that achieved their MOP. Surprisingly, the flats that netted the highest gains in percentage terms were not the flats that were sold for a million dollars or more.
The top 10 gainers were estates located in the Outside Central Region (OCR) or suburbs, such as Sengkang in the northeast region, Sembawang in the north and Choa Chu Kang in the northwest.
“There are currently three major economic gateways built in the east, west and north of Singapore that have heightened the desirability of flats in these areas,” says Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie senior vice president of research and analytics. “The transformational works usually involve the addition of new offices, housing units, amenities and recreational facilities, and enhancement of transportation networks, which will create new housing demand and enhance the investment value of properties in these locations. There are many developmental plans for the northern and north-eastern regions.”
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Furthermore, Sun points to flats in the Dawson area in the city-fringe (Rest of Central Region or RCR) in Queenstown, which have seen “healthy profits” due to their rarity and proximity to the CBD. Many of these flats have also achieved selling prices above $1 million at MOP, she notes.
Four-room flats in Skyville@Dawson on Dawson Road achieved an average gain of 75.3% upon their MOP in 2020. Five-room flats in Skyville@ Dawson saw average gains of 63% in 2020, with the highest price at $1.01 million upon MOP.
Other HDB areas that have achieved high profits include Cho Chu Kang and Woodlands in the northern region, both in the OCR. Sun attributes the high profits to the lower entry price of the BTO flats at launch.
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The property cooling measures announced last December, which included a cut in the loan-to-value ratio of HDB loans from 90% to 85%, are likely to have a “limited impact” on HDB flat prices at MOP, she notes. “Not everyone takes the maximum HDB loan amount, while others prefer to borrow from the banks,” says Sun.
Similarly, Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty Network, notes that BTO flats that were sold at higher prices are usually those in the RCR and within the central area. “Some buyers are willing to pay higher prices for these flats due to their proximity to the city centre and possibly MRT stations,” he shares.
However, due to the higher entry prices of BTO flats in the RCR given their location, the percentage gains enjoyed may not be as high as those who had purchased BTO flats in the OCR and in non-mature estates.
“The new HDB flats that were located further away from the city centre, such as Choa Chu Kang, Bukit Batok and Sembawang, enjoyed comparatively higher price gains in percentage terms upon the end of the flats’ five-year MOP, mainly because some of these flats were sold at relatively low prices by the government to attract households to locate to these non-mature towns,” says Mak.
punggol - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
HDB flats along Punggol Waterway
This further illustrates that early buyers in new estates that are considered less accessible could potentially enjoy higher future capital gains in the resale market when the neighbourhood matures, notes Mak. “Over time, as more amenities and infrastructure are built, the population would expand, and the area would become more desirable. With greater demand, this would contribute to the price growth of these flats.”
The latest property cooling measures are unlikely to dampen demand nor cause prices to contract in the HDB market, Mak adds. “As long as the construction of BTO flats is delayed by the global supply chain disruptions, and the Singapore economy does not suffer a recession, the prices of HDB resale flats are unlikely to contract this year.” (Find HDB flats for rent or sale with our Singapore HDB directory)
Based on the 4Q2021 HDB flash estimate, the overall HDB resale price index rose 12.5% for the whole of 2021. This year, the pace of growth in the HDB resale price index is expected to moderate due to the greater supply of BTO flats. He is projecting HDB resale transactions to ring in at about 25,000 to 28,000 this year.
Here are the top 10 HDB neighbourhoods where BTO (Build-To-Order) flats saw the highest gains upon obtaining TOP (temporary occupation permit) from 2017 to 2021:
hdb flats - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
1. Fernvale Crest, Sengkang MOP: 2017
Average gain: 89.9% (four-room)
The residents at Fernvale Crest at Sengkang West Way netted the highest capital gains when their flats achieved their MOP (minimum occupancy period) in 2017. Four-room flats within the development were sold at an average price of $430,000 upon their MOP, with an average gain of 89.9%.
Fernvale Crest comprises a mix of two-, three- and four-room flats. The development is situated at the junction of Jalan Kayu and Sengkang West Way, and enjoys close proximity to Fernvale and Thanggam LRT stations, both of which are connected to Sengkang MRT Station on the North-East Line.
Fernvale Crest is also within walking distance of The Seletar Mall, and is a short drive from the Tampines Expressway.
Sengkang, which is considered a non-mature estate, already has several malls within the neighbourhood, which includes Compass One, Rivervale Mall and Rivervale Plaza. It is also within close proximity to Hougang 1, Hougang Green Shopping Mall and Hougang Mall.
It is also not far from the Punggol Digital District, which is slated to open in 2024.
“The government’s master plan to develop Punggol Digital District, which will offer many new amenities including the Singapore Institute of Technology’s new Punggol campus, will likely transform the area into a vibrant economic and learning hub. A market village, heritage trail, offices, logistic hub and amenities will be also be set up over the next few years. Sengkang is quite near Punggol. Some buyers may feel that there is future rental and investment potential for the area,” says OrangeTee & Tie's Sun.
2. Eastwave @ Canberra, Sembawang MOP: 2021
Average gain: 87.1% (five-room)
Residents who sold their five-room flats in Eastwave @ Canberra upon reaching their MOP in 2021 netted an average gain of 87.1% with an average transaction price of $650,000.
Four-room flats within Eastwave @ Canberra were also among the top gainers, at 83.4%, with an average price of $485,000 upon its MOP in 2021.
Eastwave @ Canberra, which is located along Canberra Crescent in Sembawang, has a mix of four-to five-room flats, and is located near the newly-built Canberra MRT Station on the North-South Line, Canberra Plaza and Sembawang Shopping Centre.
The MRT station was built to cater to the new influx of residents. The station, which opened in November 2019, has given its residents easy access to the CBD, Orchard Road, as well as other, more established neighbourhoods.
Road connectivity will be enhanced when the North-South Corridor is completed in 2027. For nature lovers, there are also parks and park connectors, including Canberra Park and Sembawang Park.
Located between Sembawang and Yishun, Canberra was a quiet town with a few clusters of landed homes before the introduction of BTO flats in the area. Today, the town looks to be a popular location for younger families with its new amenities. It is also seeing more condominiums and executive condominiums. These include Parc Canberra, The Brownstone, One Canberra and Canberra Residences.
In addition, the government announced the opening of its first Residents’ Network in March 2019. The network is a new grassroots organisation that serves people living in both public and private estates in the area.
3. Keat Hong Pride, Choa Chu Kang MOP: 2020/2021
Average gain: 85.6% (four-room)
Four-room flats at Keat Hong Pride in Keat Hong Close were sold at an average premium of 85.6% to their BTO prices. Upon reaching their MOP in 2020 and 2021, four-room flats were transacted at an average price of $471,500.
Keat Hong Pride comprises a mix of three-, four- and five-room flats. It is located near Keat Hong LRT Station, as well as schools including Choa Chu Kang Primary School and Swiss Cottage Secondary School.
“Flats are cheaper in locations like Choa Chu Kang and Sembawang, hence demand has been quite healthy in these two areas. These are also newer flats that are able to attract buyers and hence command slightly higher prices,” says Sun.
4. Keat Hong Quad, Choa Chu Kang MOP: 2020/2021
Average gain: 81.9% (four-room)
Located along Choa Chu Kang Avenue 7, four-room flats in Keat Hong Quad locked in gains of around 81.9% upon reaching their MOP in 2020 and 2021, with an average price of $487,500.
Meanwhile, five-room flats within Keat Hong Quad also netted gains of 72.3%, with an average transaction price of $597,944 in 2020 and 2021.
Keat Hong Quad, which sits on the site of one of the former training camps at Keat Hong, has a mix of four- and five-room units.
The development is located just a stone’s throw away from Keat Hong Garden, a 1.3km-long route along Keat Hong Link. The development is also near the Choa Chu Kang Market & Food Centre at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 1, Keat Hong LRT Station, as well as the Choa Chu Kang Sports and Recreation Centre.
Nearby schools include ITE College West and Bukit Panjang Government High School.
5. Keat Hong Colours, Choa Chu Kang MOP: 2021
Average gain: 81.9% (four-room)
Keat Hong Colours, which is also located along Choa Chu Kang Avenue 7, saw residents net gains of around 81.9% for their four-room flats upon their MOP in 2021.
In the year, four-room flats within the development were sold at an average price of $472,944. Five-room flats in Keat Hong Colours gained 70.6% with an average transaction price of $575,000.
Keat Hong Colours comprises a mix of three-, four- and five-room units. It is located near Keat Hong and Teck Whye LRT stations, which will link them to Choa Chu Kang MRT Station on the North-South Line and bus interchange.
The development is less than a 30-minute drive away from the Orchard Road shopping belt.
6. Keat Hong Mirage, Choa Chu Kang MOP: 2021
Average gain: 81.5% (four-room)
Launched during the BTO sales launch in November 2012, Keat Hong Mirage is located at the junction of Choa Chu Kang Way and Choa Chu Kang Avenue 1.
The development has a mix of three-, four- and five-room flats, and is located near Teck Whye LRT Station, ITE College West, as well as a variety of eateries.
Upon reaching their MOP in 2021, four-room flats gained an average of 81.5% with an average transaction price of $501,000. Five-room flats within the development gained some 70.4% at an average transaction price of $598,000.
7. Skyline I @ Bukit Batok, Bukit Batok MOP: 2021
Average gain: 81.3% (four-room)
Residents in four-room flats at Skyline I @ Bukit Batok netted gains of 81.3% upon their MOP in 2021, when they sold their units at an average price of $650,000. Five-room flats within the development saw gains of 75.4% with an average transaction price of $822,500 upon their MOP in 2021.
The development on Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 is located within walking distance to Bukit Batok MRT Station on the North-South Line. It is also within close proximity to the Bukit Batok Swimming Complex, supermarkets such as Cold Storage and Sheng Siong, as well as schools such as Crest Secondary School and Yuhua Primary School.
Skyline I @ Bukit Batok has a mix of three-, four- and five-room flats.
8. Fernvale Foliage, Sengkang MOP: 2018
Average gain: 80.8% (five-room)
Five-room flats in Fernvale Foliage at Sengkang West Way saw gains of 80.8% with an average transaction price of $565,000 upon their MOP in 2018. Four-room flats within the development gained an average of 67.1% upon their MOP with an average transaction price of $413,500.
The BTO development, which is tucked among lush, verdurous surroundings, comprises a mix of four- and five-room flats.
Fernvale Foliage is located near several amenities including a home for senior citizens, Sheng Siong supermarket, as well as The Seletar Mall. It is also located within walking distance to Sengkang Green Primary School.
9. Champions Court, Woodlands MOP: 2017
Average gain: 80.5% (four-room)
Champions Court, which was the first BTO project launched in Woodlands, has a mix of studio apartments, as well as three-, four- and five-room flats. About 50% of the 815 units are studio apartments and three-room flats.
Upon their MOP in 2017, four-room flats in Champions Court netted gains of around 80.5%, or an average transaction price of $380,000. Five-room flats within the development saw gains of 62.1% with an average transaction price of $440,000.
Located along the junction of Champions Way and Woodlands Avenue 1, Champions Court is within walking distance of Woodlands MRT Station on the North-South Line and Woodlands Regional Centre.
The BTO development is also within the 1km mark of several schools, including Innova Primary School.
“Together with Yishun and Hougang, Woodlands has gained popularity in recent years due to new development works. The recreational aspects and attractiveness of the precincts will be enhanced as several new MRT stations, cycling networks, new recreation and community hubs, green spaces and more neighbourhood centres will be built,” says Sun.
10. Hougang ParkEdge, Serangoon MOP: 2021
Average gain: 78.5% (five-room)
Upon their MOP in 2021, five-room flats in Hougang ParkEdge gained 78.5% with an average transaction price of $679,000. Fourroom flats within the BTO development also saw gains of 71.3% with an average transaction price of $520,000.
Located along Upper Serangoon Crescent, Hougang ParkEdge boasts plenty of amenities for residents.
The development, which comprises three-, four- and five-room flats, is located within walking distance of Hougang MRT Station on the North-East Line.
It is also within close proximity to Punggol Park across the development. Furthermore, the development offers amenities that cater to residents of all ages, including a childcare centre, as well as adult and elderly fitness stations.
Also nearby are several F&B outlets including Five &2 at Punggol Park, and schools such as Punggol Primary School and Serangoon Secondary School.

HDB BTO flats that MOP-ed in 2017

2017 mop flats - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

HDB BTO flats that MOP-ed in 2018

flats MOP 2018 - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

HDB BTO flats that MOP-ed in 2019

hdb 2019 - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

HDB flats that MOP-ed in 2020

hdb mop 2020 - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

HDB flats that MOP-ed in 2021

hdb mop 2021 - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

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