May 2023 BTO Exercise: Biggest Launch Of 5-Room Flats In Bedok, Serangoon & Tengah

5 April 2023 | BY

The May 2023 BTO exercise will see about 5,480 flats launched across the mature estates of Bedok, Kallang/Whampoa and Serangoon and Tengah.

May 2023 BTO Exercise

If you’ve been keeping up with news on BTO launches, you’ll be familiar with how each exercise typically sees about 4-6 projects launched across a mix of mature and non-mature estates. Most of these projects involve flat types ranging from 2-room Flexis to the more common 3-room and 4-room flats.

In addition, there are also 5-room flats, which are highly sought after because they are the largest flat types available for sale. And as seen from past BTO exercises, they tend to be in much shorter supply than their smaller counterparts. This makes it really competitive to snag one, and we’d dare say you’ll need more than a stroke of good luck.

With that in mind, the May 2023 BTO launch is particularly noteworthy as there will be a bumper crop of 5-room flats up for sale. If you’ve always wanted to get a 5-room BTO flat, this is the launch you’d want to bet all your chips on.

Overview of the May 2023 BTO launch

Here’s what we know about the May 2023 BTO launch so far.

MayBTOLaunch-HDBImage credit: HDB

According to HDB, the May 2023 BTO exercise will see about 5,480 flats being launched across the mature estates of Bedok, Kallang/Whampoa and Serangoon, and the non-mature estate of Tengah. The breakdown of the total number of units for sale, as well as the unit types, are as follows:

  • Bedok: 1,630 units (2-room Flexi, 3-room, 4-room, 5-room , 3Gen)
  • Kallang/Whampoa: 570 units (3-room, 4-room)
  • Serangoon: 330 units (4-room, 5-room)
  • Tengah (Plantation Close): 970 units (2-room Flexi, 3-room, 4-room, 5-room)
  • Tengah: 1,980 units (2-room Flexi, 3-room, 4-room, 5-room)

While prices for these flats have yet to be disclosed, some flash estimates that we found online put the cheapest units at around $310,000-$420,000 for a 4-room flat in Tengah, and all the way up to as high as $590,000-$680,000 for a 5-room flat in Bedok.

Highlights of the upcoming BTO exercise

Higher supply of 5-room flats for sale

MayBTOlaunch-SwissInteriorImage credit: Swiss Interior

Right off the bat, one of the most newsworthy things about the upcoming May 2023 BTO exercise is that there seems to be a bumper crop of 5-room units – 4 out of the 5 projects have the much-coveted flat-type on offer. This is somewhat out of the norm, at least in terms of recently concluded BTO launches.

For instance, the most recent February 2023 exercise only saw 1 – Brickland Weave in Tengah – out of 5 projects offering 5-room flats. Prior to that, the November 2022 exercise, which was the largest BTO launch ever, only saw 5 out of 9 projects featuring 5-room flats. And the one before – August 2022 – had only 3 out of 6 estates such flats for sale.

This time around, there seems to be a much higher number of 5-room flats on offer across 4 estates, with only Kallang/Whampoa missing out. This might potentially herald more chances at securing one, and definitely something you should consider if you are in the market for a 5-room BTO and have the means to finance your purchase.

Last BTO exercise for first-timer rejection benefits

There’s also another important caveat to note for this upcoming May 2023 BTO exercise.

If you were previously a first-time applicant who managed to get a queue number but chose to reject the opportunity to book a flat for whatever reason, this will be the last exercise where you will get another chance to be considered a first-time applicant again.

MayBTOlaunch-firsttimeapplicantImage credit: TheSmartLocal

For subsequent BTO exercises, first-timers who choose to reject the opportunity to book a flat will automatically be considered a second-time applicant for a year. This policy change was announced in Parliament in March 2023 to ensure more efficient allocation of flats to genuine applicants looking for a home.

Being relegated to a second-timer status isn’t great. For one, the HDB allocates a significantly lower supply of flats for second-timers as compared to first timers; 95% of 4-room and larger flats are reserved for first-timers, as compared to just a paltry 5% for second-timers. You’ll also have less chances at subsequent ballots, and the quantum of grants you’ll be eligible for might be affected as well.

As such, our advice is to not rush into an application just for the purposes of trying your luck. If you and your partner aren’t ready to commit to a future house or don’t have the means to finance it just yet, we’d advise not applying for BTO launches until you’re absolutely ready. Plus, you must also be mentally ready to make compromises in terms of flat selection, such as settling for the second or third floor instead of higher ones.

Where are these flats located?

Here are the locations for the various projects in the upcoming May 2023 BTO launch, as well as some of our quick comments on them:


May 2023 BTO Exercise: Bedok South BTOMay 2023 BTO launch location for Bedok.
Image adapted from: HDB

The rundown:

  • There hasn’t been a BTO launch in Bedok for quite a while, so this project should be quite the popular pick – especially for those in the “East Side Best Side camp
  • Within walking distance to the existing Tanah Merah MRT station and not too far from the future Bedok South MRT station, which is part of the Thomson East-Coast Line. This will grant you a speedy commute into town and the CBD, or even further North
  • Only project to offer 3Gen flats, which will draw some appeal


May 2023 BTO Exercise: Kallang Whampoa BTOMay 2023 BTO launch location for Kallang/Whampoa.
Image adapted from: HDB

The rundown:

  • Will likely be considered a PLH project, given its prime location and proximity to another PLH project that was launched in Feb 2023
  • Not too far away from the future mega sports complex in Farrer Park
  • Situated between 2 MRT stations, Little India and Farrer Park, which makes it quite accessible via public transport


May 2023 BTO Exercise: Serangoon BTOMay 2023 BTO launch location for Serangoon.
Image adapted from: HDB

The rundown:

  • Similar to Bedok, it has been quite a while – possibly almost a decade – since we’ve last had a BTO launch in Serangoon
  • That being said, it is the smallest launch out of all the projects, with only 330 units on offer. Expect competition to be tight!
  • Quite close to Serangoon Gardens, which is great for foodies and those who love late-night supper spots

Tengah (Plantation Close)

May 2023 BTO Exercise: Tengah BTOMay 2023 BTO launch location for one of two projects in Tengah.
Image adapted from:

The rundown:

  • Right next to a future MRT station, dubbed JE2 for now, that’s part of the upcoming Jurong Region Line. This will grant residents easy access to the wider West region of Singapore
  • Located next to 2 EC projects in Tengah, so you might enjoy knock-on effects of higher rates of appreciation of property prices in the future
  • Proximity to the PIE and the potential for noise and dust issues may be cause for concern, but this should be somewhat mitigated with a park and foliage to act as a barrier between the expressway and BTO project


May 2023 BTO Exercise: Tengah BTOMay 2023 BTO launch location for one of two projects in Tengah.
Image adapted from: HDB

The rundown:

  • This will possibly be the most popular BTO project as it will be situated right next to the new ACS Primary School. Expect way higher application rates for this project, especially amongst young families
  • Situated next to a future bus interchange, which means there’s a good range of commuting options
  • Located next to a community garden and Tengah Town Park, which would mean being surrounded with pleasant, lush greenery 

May 2023 BTO exercise: what to know

And that’s it – all the information that we have so far for the upcoming May 2023 BTO exercise. Just like all previous BTO exercises, you can expect more details to be released by HDB when the exercise is officially opened. And that’s when you can do your homework before submitting an application!

In the meantime, do check out our past coverage on BTO exercises, and what you need to know:

Cover image adapted from: HDB

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