News New Launches

First BTO Launch of 2023: 732 Units Up For Sale At Dover Forest Site Starting From $372K 

2 March 2023 | BY

The first BTO launch of 2023 looks set to be an exciting one, with 3-room HDB units at the Ulu Pandan priced from $372k onwards.

First BTO Launch 2023 - Cover

The first BTO exercise of 2023 has just dropped, and if you’re planning to put your name in the hat for a chance at securing a flat this time around, you have until 6th March 2023, 11.59pm to do so.

This round of BTO offerings sees 4,428 flats for sale, across 5 estates:

  • Ulu Pandan Glades – Queenstown
  • Rajah Summit – Kallang/Whampoa
  • Farrer Park Fields – Kallang/Whampoa
  • Brickland Weave – Tengah
  • Jurong West Crystal – Jurong West

What caught our eye during this round of BTO launches were the prices. Specifically, Ulu Pandan Glades – a project located in the mature estate of Queenstown – was the most expensive across the board. 3-room units range from $372,000 to $498,000, and 4-room units are priced from $541,000 to an eye-watering $711,000.

We take a deep dive into the specifics of the Ulu Pandan Glades project, and how it’ll shape up compared to the other BTO projects on offer.

Ulu Pandan Glades at a glance

First BTO Launch 2023 - Ulu Pandan buildingImage credit: HDB

The Ulu Pandan Glades project has a total of 732 flats up for sale, with 160 3-room flats and 572 4-room flats. Apart from being the most expensive this exercise, units at Ulu Pandan Glades also have the longest estimated waiting time – 68 months. In other words, successful buyers will only be able to move in around mid-2029.

It’s also 1 of 2 projects to fall under the Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) model. Projects under this model have a longer Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of 10 years compared to the usual 5, and you’re not allowed to rent out the entire unit. While you do get additional subsidies for PLH flats, these will be clawed back when you eventually sell the unit.

Here’s the sitemap of the project, as provided by the HDB:

First BTO Launch 2023 - Ulu Pandan HDB mapImage credit: HDB

Based on this map, the stacks of 121, 123, 137, and 139 in Block 54A may not be as popular as some units will directly face the multi-storey car park. Nevertheless, there seems to be a decent amount of spacing between the blocks, which grants each unit a sense of privacy from their neighbours.

Sub-central location amidst lush nature

Queenstown mapImage credit: HDB

When choosing a home, location is a crucial factor. And for Ulu Pandan Glades, it doesn’t disappoint.

Slated to take the place of the current Dover Forest, Ulu Pandan Glades will be located next to the intersection of Ghim Moh Link and Commonwealth Avenue West. It will be connected via a sheltered walkway to Dover station, which sits along the East-West Line. A short bus ride will take you to Buona Vista, which is an interchange station for the East-West and Circle Lines.

As part of the HDB’s efforts to retain the green nature of the project’s surroundings, the development will be set amidst lush greenery, right next to the existing Ulu Pandan Park Connector. 

The Star VistaImage credit: The Star Vista

Admittedly, there are slim pickings when it comes to amenities. The closest retail and F&B hubs are The Star at Buona Vista, and Ghim Moh Market and Food Centre. But there is some reprieve – the neighbouring BTO development, launched in Nov 2022, will be a mixed-use development with retail shops and a supermarket on the ground floor.

Car-lite precinct

First BTO Launch 2023 - Ulu PandanImage credit: HDB

Like many BTO developments of late, the Ulu Pandan Project envisions the area as a car-lite precinct.

This means that there will be fewer parking lots available, and vehicular roads will be limited to the perimeters of the estate. Only residents will be allowed to purchase season parking in the estate, and lots are on a first-come-first-served basis. Residents with second cars will be accorded a lower priority during application, and will have to pay higher rates.

But there’s no need to fret as accessibility and connectivity will be one of the hallmarks of the Ulu Pandan Glades project. According to the HDB, there will be a comprehensive network of walking and cycling paths seamlessly integrated with public transport options. The entire estate is connected with sheltered linkways, which will come in handy during wet weather and unbearably sunny days.

How does it stack up with other offerings in terms of popularity?

First BTO Launch 2023 - Kallang WhampoaArtist’s impression of a future Kallang/Whampoa project.
Image credit: HDB

Based on a straw poll we conducted earlier in the year, the Ulu Pandan Glades project seems to be the 2nd-most popular estate. The top estate was Kallang/Whampoa, and understandably so. Both estates are situated in prime locations in central Singapore. This was the same scenario during the Nov 2022 BTO exercise.

However, the overall application rate for BTOs in Queenstown was strangely muted for a prime location near town. The rate for 3-room flats stood at 0.9, which means most applicants were assured a flat. For 4-room flats, the rate was 2.3. This paled in comparison to the BTOs offered in the Kallang/Whampoa estate, which was 7.6 for 3-room flats and 11.3 for 4-room flats.

How demand will shape up this time around will be dependent on a couple of factors:

Lack of 5-room flats for sale

Unfortunately, there are no 5-room flats up for sale in this project, so prospective homebuyers might turn their attention to estates such as Tengah. After all, these flats have a 10-year MOP. Those thinking of starting a family will want a flat with enough space to accommodate any kids they have in the future, and a 4-room flat might not be large enough. 

Long waiting time

First BTO Launch 2023 - Ulu Pandan Restorative TrailAn artist’s impression of the 1.6km-long Restorative Trail along Ulu Pandan.
Image credit: HDB

The Ulu Pandan Glades project has the highest estimated waiting time – 68 months – out of all the BTO projects on offer this time. This might be a boon for some as it’ll mean having to either push back wedding plans, having to rent while waiting for their home to be completed, or worse – moving in with the in-laws.

Attractive location notwithstanding, buyers may choose to forgo the project in order to get a unit that will be completed sooner. Given that projects in the ever-popular Kallang/Whampoa estate, Rajah Summit and Farrer Park Fields, have an earlier estimated completion date of up to a year, it’s a markedly more attractive option.

Tengah the dark horse

First BTO Launch 2023 - TengahImage credit: HDB

Up until recently, most assumed that Tengah would be the least popular estate of the lot. It’s kind of ulu, the fledgling estate barely has any amenities, and some may not want to live so close to an air base, given the noise that the fighters generate.

And then came the news that ACS (Primary) was moving to Tengah.

Looking at the locality map for the upcoming Brickland Weave project, it will be rather close to the new site for the school – likely within the golden 1km radius.

We’re willing to bet our bottom dollar that there will be very strong demand for this BTO offering in Tengah, thanks to the brand name that ACS (Primary) is affiliated with. Will it be priced similarly to or even higher than Ulu Pandan Glades? Honestly, given the fact that there are also 5-room flats up for sale, it’s quite possible.

First BTO Launch of 2023

On the whole, the first BTO exercise of 2023 is shaping up to be an exciting one. Unfortunately for Ulu Pandan Glades, it’s likely that the project will be taking a backseat this time, and its popularity will be eclipsed by the likes of Kallang/Whampoa, or even Tengah. On the flip side, this is welcome news if you’re eyeing a home in the Queenstown area, because then you’ll face lower competition.

Couple saving moneyImage credit: The Smart Local

At a relatively hefty starting price of $372,000 for 3-room units and $498,000 for 4-room units,  coupled with the commitment of a 10-year MOP, choosing a BTO flat in Ulu Pandan Glades is by no means a decision to be taken lightly. However, if you are successful in getting a unit, you’ll be greeted by lush greenery, which is hard to come by in Singapore. The accessibility of public transport and short travelling time to central Singapore helps, too.

Here’s wishing you all the best, and don’t miss the deadline application deadline: 6th March 2023, 11.59pm.

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Cover image adapted from: HDB, HDB, HDB

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