It’s that time of the year again, and the first-ever BTO launch for 2023 is just round the corner, in February next month.
According to details released by the HDB, the February 2023 BTO launch will see about 4,410 units put up for sale, across 4 estates: Kallang/Whampoa, Jurong West, Queenstown, and Tengah. More details will be released in the coming weeks, including key information like indicative prices, estimated completion dates, and also if any of the estates will be classified under the new-ish Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) Model.
To get an idea of the popular picks amongst potential homebuyers for the upcoming launch, we conducted a straw poll on our Uchify Telegram channel to see which of these BTO estates Singaporeans would be most interested in. Here’s what the 2,179 respondents had to say.
Most popular: Kallang/Whampoa
Unsurprisingly, the most popular BTO estate seems to be Kallang/Whampoa yet again, with 53% of votes. This is quite similar to the last launch that happened in Nov 2022, when 44% of over 2,668 respondents voted along similar lines.
For the upcoming February 2023 BTO launch, there will be about 1,770 units put up for sale, comprising 500 units at Jalan Rajah and 1,270 units at Farrer Park Road. There will only be 2-room Flexi, 3-room and 4-room flats being offered this time around.
In terms of indicative prices, here’s what we can expect based on past launches in the same estate:
For the Nov 2022 BTO launch, 3-room flats started at $335,000, and 4-room flats from $509,000. Before that, in Feb 2022, 3-room flats went for $353,000-$462,000, while 4-room flats went for $488,000-$675,000. It seems that prices will probably be around the high-$300Ks to low-$400Ks for 3-room flats, and over $500K for 4-room flats.
Kallang/Whampoa an attractive location for city-fringe living
Here’s a round-up of some of the reasons why Kallang/Whampoa is proving to be quite the popular choice, for various BTO exercises.
For one, Kallang/Whampoa is located in a very decent location, just outside of the city area and classified under the Rest of Central Region (RCR). As such, its location is quite highly coveted by property buyers, promising accessibility and connectivity to travel around conveniently.
Because Kallang/Whampoa is a mature estate, you can also be assured that there are plenty of amenities such as shops, eating places, schools and other facilities that have been built up over the years, more so than the likes of ‘younger’ estates like Punggol or Tengah, in non-mature estates.
In this case, the new BTO projects are close to the likes of Balestier Market, the ‘cluster’ of Toa Payoh Sports Hall, Swimming Complex and Stadium, as well as famous food gems around Balestier like Tau Sar Piah and Beef Hor Fun!
The Jalan Rajah BTO location.
Image credit: HDB
As seen by the sitemaps provided by the HDB, both Kallang/Whampoa projects are situated in very decent locations. For the Jalan Rajah project, the block will actually sit right next to the Kallang River, which means waterfront living and its perks for future residents.
It’s also conveniently located between the two major expressways of the CTE and PIE, promising easy accessibility while also being situated far away enough to avoid concerns around noise and dust from traffic.
The Farrer Park Road BTO location.
Image credit: HDB
As for the Farrer Park project, it will be built right next to Little India MRT station, which is already a big plus. If not, you can head over to Farrer Park MRT which is also just a short walk away, and the area is known to be bustling with hidden eating gems and cafes, with the likes of Chye Seng Huat Hardware or Main Street Commissary.
The main shopping mall in the area is City Square Mall which is a rough 10-min walk away, and has just about everything you might need. Plus, if you’re a football fan, then Jalan Besar Stadium is just a short 5-min bus ride away, perfect for some footy action!
Queenstown coming in second yet again
Another observation that we drew from our straw poll was that Queenstown yet again came in second, this time garnering 36% of the vote. If you’ve been keeping up with BTO news, then you should be familiar with the location of the projects for the upcoming launch; situated along Commonwealth Ave, this is where the Dover Forest used to be, and right next to the earlier Queenstown BTO that was launched in Nov 2022.
Image credit: HDB
Once again, we’re not too sure as to why the difference in votes between Kallang/Whampoa and Queenstown is so large since both are central locations. We can only speculate that perhaps potential interested home buyers seem to hold the perception that Queenstown flats will be priced at a premium, leading them to believe that the prices of the Kallang BTO units would be the more affordable option.
Possible PLH flats
Another important detail that most potential homebuyers would need to note would be which of these projects fall under the Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) model. For the uninitiated, PLH flats are flats in prime locations with an extended 10-year Minimum Occupation Period, as compared to the usual 5 years.
It’s highly likely that either one or both the Queenstown or Kallang/Whampoa BTO projects could classify as PLH flats.
Don’t count out Tengah and Jurong West
Based on our poll, coming in at 3rd and 4th place is Tengah and Jurong West, at 19% and 10% respectively. Granted, they may not be the most popular choices this time around, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’ll definitely be able to snag a flat if you apply for these locations.
Based on data from the HDB, during the Nov 2022 BTO exercise, subscription rates for Tengah BTOs were around 2.6 (4-room) and 3.7 (3-room) for its two projects launched. Of course, this pales in comparison to the 7.6 for 3-room flats and 11.3 for 4-room flats at Kallang/Whampoa, but nonetheless there seems to be still quite a healthy demand for more far-out estates such as Tengah and Jurong West.
What to do if you’re applying
If you plan to put your name in for an application for a BTO this February, then it wouldn’t harm to do some homework and calculations right now, while you wait for the exercise to officially launch.
For instance, you’d want to check your eligibility for a BTO. Especially during this economic climate, we strongly urge you to also do a comprehensive finance check and calculate if you do have enough money to finance your purchase.
Given that the most recent cooling measures involve a tightening of the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) and also the Loan-to-Value (LTV) limits, you should check just how big of a loan you can get, as this determines how much you’ll need to have upfront to pay.
Check out the reviews of the other BTO projects launching this February:
- Tengah February 2023 BTO Review
- Kallang/Whampoa February 2023 BTO Review
- Jurong West February 2023 BTO Review
- Queenstown February 2023 BTO Review
Read other helpful articles:
Cover image adapted from: TheSmartLocal, HDB