In case you missed it, the upcoming November 2022 BTO exercise will see a total of 9,500 new BTO units on offer, across the estates of Bukit Batok, Kallang/Whampoa, Queenstown, Tengah, and Yishun.
Naturally, each launch has its own merits. For instance, the Yishun BTOs will offer affordability and waterfront living, the Kallang/Whampoa BTOs come with a very attractive and central location, and of course, the new and upcoming estate of Tengah that’s shaping up to be the next big thing.
One estate that seems to have gone under the radar amidst all this buzz is Bukit Batok. With 790 new flats up for sale, here’s why Bukit Batok should be considered as a viable candidate for those looking to purchase a new BTO this year.
Bukit Batok being the underdog of the Nov 2022 BTO locations
Right off the bat, we have to address the elephant in the room – the popularity of Bukit Batok.
According to a straw poll that we conducted on the Uchify Telegram Channel earlier in July, Bukit Batok is the least popular estate amongst the 2,775 respondents, coming in with just 13% of the vote. Unsurprisingly, Kallang/Whampoa and Queenstown were the top 2 choices, followed by Yishun’s narrow 15% in third place. Despite being the least popular estate, there are quite a few key highlights worth noting that people may have skimmed over, which will justify Bukit Batok being a viable place for new homeowners to stay in.
Bukit Batok’s November BTO launch
For the upcoming BTO exercise, there will be a total of 790 units up for sale, spanning across the usual unit types of 2-room Flexi, 3-room, 4-room and 5-room flats. Interestingly, this is actually the first BTO launch in Bukit Batok in over a year, with the last launch in February 2021 and prior to that, August 2017.
Image adapted from: HDB
The new HDB blocks will be located at the junction of Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 and Bukit Batok West Avenue 2. If you take a look at the Google Maps location, you’ll find that this exact site is labelled as Bukit Batok Hillside Park, and has nothing more than greenery at this juncture.
Of course, all this foliage will be cleared eventually once groundbreaking starts and construction of the new BTOs is underway.
Image adapted from: Google Maps
In terms of accessibility and proximity to major public transport options, the new block of flats will be but a short 5-minute bus ride away from the nearest MRT station of Bukit Gombak. Else, if you prefer walking, it’ll take you about 10-15 minutes to walk there, assuming you cut through the cluster of blocks 305-308 and past the Bukit Gombak Neighbourhood Centre.
Speaking of the latter, the new BTO’s location is also fairly close to a modest range of amenities, such as a supermarket, various dining and retail outlets, and even clinics. There is also the Hong Kah Community Club next to the Neighbourhood Centre, for residents to enjoy recreational activities and other community events at.
Bukit Batok Town Park is just a stone’s throw away.
Image credit: TheSmartLocal
Otherwise, an alternative option would be to take a slightly longer commute out to Bukit Batok MRT station, which is right next to West Mall and Bukit Batok Central, both of which offer a whole suite of dining and retail outlets. West Mall is more or less the typical heartland shopping mall with everything you might need, such as dining options to enjoy, and shops for retail therapy. Bukit Batok Central is also home to a 24-hour Ban Mian stall!
Indicative prices of the new launches
At this stage, we don’t know for certain how the new BTOs will be priced. However, we can look to data from the last Bukit Batok BTO launch (in February 2021) to get a rough sense of how the upcoming launch prices might look like.
Even though the last BTO launch was well over a year ago, using the past launch prices as a reference point will prove to be a pretty useful indicator, mainly because of how close those BTO offerings are to the upcoming ones launching in November 2022.
Back in February 2021, these were the indicative prices for the various BTOs launched:
Image adapted from: HDB
Looking at this table, you can ignore the Harmony Village @ Bukit Batok project, and just focus on the West Hill @ Bukit Batok one. This is because the former consists of Community Care Apartments (CCA), which only those aged above 65 years old are eligible for. As you can see, prices for the various unit types at West Hill @ Bukit Batok are very affordable, with 4-room units starting at $260,000 and 5-room units starting at a very attractive $384,000.
Image credit: HDB
West Hill @ Bukit Batok is actually situated on the same plot of land as the upcoming November 2022 BTO one, on its immediate left and along Bukit Batok West Avenue 5.
How popular will the Bukit Batok units be?
Taking reference from the past February 2021 BTO launch, these were the subscription rates for West Hill @ Bukit Batok:
Based on this, it’s pretty clear that Bukit Batok remained as the least popular choice, given its relatively low subscription rates for all unit types.
Back in February 2021, Bukit Batok competed with the likes of Kallang/Whampoa, Tengah and Toa Payoh, which saw overwhelmingly high subscription rates, with the highest coming to 9.9 for a 5-room flat in Toa Payoh (Bidadari). In fact, Bukit Batok more or less had the lowest subscription rates across the board, except for 2-room Flexi units, for which Tengah came in lower at 2.1.
Based on this, and bearing in mind that Bukit Batok will once again be competing against popular estates like Kallang/Whampoa and Queenstown, we can expect demand for Bukit Batok BTOs to be similarly muted.
Why you should consider Bukit Batok for the upcoming BTO launch
If you are on a tight budget, then Bukit Batok would be a viable and somewhat wallet-friendly option to consider. After all, there is a pretty high chance that its BTO offerings will be the cheapest amongst the 5 estates, with the only probable exception being Tengah.
Given the present uncertain economic situation and an anticipated recession looming in the horizon, some may opt to go for the prudent choice to tighten the purse strings and taper their expectations for a home, and so Bukit Batok remains as an affordable location for a new home.
2. Possible shorter MOP
Given that Kallang/Whampoa and Queenstown are highly coveted and sought-after locations, there is a strong possibility that their new BTO offerings will be classified under the Prime Location Housing (PLH) model. This means that they will have a MOP of 10 years compared to the usual 5 years; while some are unfazed by this, others would prefer to have more fluidity in their options if they decide to sell off their BTO and move elsewhere.
In that case, the other estates of Yishun, Tengah, and of course, Bukit Batok, would be more suitable.
3. Higher chance of getting a unit
We’ve heard all the horror stories of people who were unable to get a BTO of their choice, even after applying for 3 to 4 times, or if you are especially suay, 6 to 7 times. Naturally, the more popular estates will have higher subscription rates as we’ve outlined earlier, meaning you’re essentially lowering your odds of securing a unit!
If you can afford to wait it out, then you’ll certainly have more flexibility in your options, such as going for a subsequent BTO launch and competing with other homebuyers again for a unit in a popular estate. However, if your life circumstances require you to commit to a purchase soon to secure a unit by a certain date, then perhaps the wise choice would be to go for a unit that you’ll have higher odds in, even if it means going for the less popular option or forgoing your top pick.
4. Bukit Batok isn’t that ulu
While Bukit Batok admittedly doesn’t have the same allure as places like Kallang/Whampoa or Queenstown, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s all the way in the boondocks. As we’ve explored earlier, the new BTO flats launching this November are still pretty well-connected to the important amenities and other necessities that families will require, coupled with several transport options to get in and around the area.
Once the West is further developed and connected via the Jurong Regional Line, we can expect more vibrancy and activity in the area, which certainly makes living in Bukit Batok much more prospectable.
The November 2022 BTO Launch
With just over two weeks to go before we hit November, there will undoubtedly be quite a number of interested homebuyers carefully weighing out their options and doing their homework in preparation for the BTO exercise.
All things considered, even though Bukit Batok is the least popular amongst all the estates involved in the upcoming exercise, it is still a fairly decent choice for first-time homebuyers.
Check out our other HDB BTO Nov 2022 guides: