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HDB BTO Aug 2023 Queenstown Review: PLH Flats Next to One North, Green Corridor & The East-West Line

22 June 2023 | BY

Queenstown looks set to be the most popular project in the August 2023 BTO exercise, and are some reasons why.

BTO Aug 2023 - cover image

While BTOs are regularly launched across many different estates, the reality is that there are some estates that tend to perform better in terms of popularity and application rates. 

One of them is Queenstown. Consistently ranking high on the list of popular BTO estates, this has resulted in a strong demand for properties there, not just BTOs but also resale HDBs and condos. The good news is that Queenstown is set to make a return at the upcoming August 2023 BTO exercise. Here’s our take on what we know about the BTO flats being put up for sale.

Where are the new flats located?

BTO Aug 2023 - overall locationImage credit: HDB

According to the HDB, the upcoming August 2023 BTO exercise will see 970 units of 3-room and 4-room flats put up for sale. It’s a bit of a bummer that there are no 5-room flats for sale, but that’s just the nature of this August exercise and the government’s plans for Queenstown as a whole. 

Only the non-mature estates will feature 5-room flats for this upcoming BTO exercise, and back in February, when Queenstown was featured in the exercise, it did not have 5-room flats for sale either.

The flats will be located along the intersection of One-North Crescent and Commonwealth Drive, where a section of the Green Corridor runs through. 

BTO Aug 2023 - first ever HDBs built Image credit: The Smart Local

One fun fact is that a block of flats, which underwent SERS in 2015, used to stand at the site of the upcoming project. The cluster of blocks used to be some of the first-ever HDBs ever built here in Singapore, and was eventually demolished to make way for new houses.

Based on past precedent, and also because the site is more or less located at the fringe of the city, this project will likely be classed as a PLH flat. This means that the unit will come with a special set of conditions, such as having a 10-year MOP and owners not being able to rent out the entire flat during this period.

Estimated prices & past application rates

BTO Aug 2023 - Queenstown BTOImage credit: HDB

Based on early estimates by property watchers, the launch price of a 4-room flat in Queenstown will range from $560K-$740K. For reference, the February 2023 BTO launch saw 4-room flats in Queenstown being sold for upwards of $541K, excluding grants. 3-room flats were priced from $372K onwards. Granted, these flats will be the most expensive out of all the BTO projects, but hey, that’s the price you’ll have to pay to live on the periphery of the city. 

You can expect some stiff competition as well. Here are the application rates for past BTO launches in Queenstown for 4-room flats:

BTO Aug 2023 - 4-room flats Image adapted from: HDB

However, it seems that those vying for 3-room flats would have a better time:

BTO Aug 2023 - 3-room flatsImage adapted from: HDB

What we love about the upcoming Queenstown flats

Proximity to Commonwealth MRT station

BTO Aug 2023 - nearby Commonwealth MRT stationImage credit: Land Transport Guru 

One of the biggest draws of this upcoming project is that it’s right next to the Commonwealth MRT station. This gives you access to stations across the East-West Line, making commuting around Singapore quite an easy affair. Being in close proximity to an MRT station is also something that many property buyers and tenants look out for, so those with HDBs here should have no problem renting out rooms or even finding a ready buyer should they choose to sell it in the future.

In addition, places such as Buona Vista and Holland Village are but a short commute or drive away. This means that there are plenty of dining and shopping options within easy reach, in places including Star Vista and the many restaurants, eateries, and bars in Holland Village. 

Decent number of schools in the vicinity

For those with young kids or who are thinking of having kids in the future, you’ll be glad to know that the site has quite a number of schools nearby. This includes the likes of New Town Primary School, Queensway Secondary School, Anglo-Chinese School (International), Tanglin Trust School, and Queenstown Primary School.

For the primary schools in particular, this 1km proximity will be important because it’ll essentially give you a higher chance of securing a place in that school under Phase 2C of the Primary 1 Registration Exercise.

Close to one-north & NUS, which provide potentially strong rental demand

BTO Aug 2023 - strong rental demandImage credit: JTC

Another draw about this project is that it’s fairly close to NUS and Singapore’s Silicon Valley, one-north. These are areas with a high concentration of either students or workers, many of whom hail from another country, so there is a strong tenant pool that will want to rent. That said, as this project will likely be classed as a PLH flat, you can only rent out rooms but not the entire flat. 

Nature at your doorstep

Another highlight of the upcoming BTO project is that the Rail Corridor is quite literally at your doorstep.

BTO Aug 2023 - Rail Corridor nature trailImage credit: The Smart Local

The Rail Corridor is a 24km-long nature trail that spans across Tanjong Pagar, Bukit Timah, and Kranji, and connects some of Singapore’s most popular green spots and nature parks. Nature aficionados and those looking to do a bit of hiking and trekking will absolutely love this Queenstown BTO project as the Rail Corridor will be literally at your doorstep.

Even if you’re not the biggest nature lover, having that lush greenery and easy accessibility to the trail will give you a nice recreation option for the weekends, and perhaps might awaken the inner outdoors-y person in you.

What to take note for the upcoming August 2023 BTO launch

Bear in mind that the upcoming August BTO 2023 launch will be somewhat different from past launches as there’s a special set of conditions in place pertaining to the first-timer category.

First-timers who are invited to select a flat but decline to do so will automatically be classified as second-timers for a year. There are several disadvantages of being a second-timer; the application rate for a 4-room flat at Ulu Pandan Glades is 2.3, but a whopping 45.7 for second-timer families. 

Speaking of first-timers, another thing that’s different about this August 2023 BTO exercise is that the HDB is introducing a new category of first-timers, called the First-Timers (Parents and Married Couples) category. This will cater to families with at least one Singaporean Citizen child under 18, have never owned or sold a residential property in the past, and have never had the chance to book a BTO or SBF in the last 5 years. Those who are eligible will have one additional ballot chance on top of the 2 they would already have as a first-timer.

Aug 2023 BTO at Queenstown: Set to be the highlight of this sales exercise

To conclude, we’re willing to bet our bottom dollar that this Queenstown BTO is set to be the hottest pick out of all the estates available. After all, all the stars seem to be lining up: fantastic location, MRT station close by, reputable schools not too far away, and nature trail at your doorstep.

If you’ve been eyeing a home in this area and are set to put your name -and your spouse’s – down for a chance to secure a flat, then make sure to mentally prepare yourself for a fair amount of competition. To stand a better chance, consider downsizing to a smaller 3-room flat if you can. Otherwise, it’s all up to the luck of the draw, and here’s wishing you all the best!

Check out our other HDB BTO August 2023 reviews here:

Prime yourself with some of our BTO-related stories:

Cover image adapted from:  HDB, JTC, The Smart Local

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