BTO launch series: Five interesting facts about November 2018 launch


Every quarter, couples will face the headache of deciding which BTO plot to apply for with the hope of landing their dream home. But understanding what are the consequences that come with your choice of BTO plot can be difficult. This is especially when HDB only provides a map screenshot with barely 3 lines of details. Thus, to help our readers ace the BTO game, we decided to launch this BTO Launch series.

In the upcoming BTO launch in November 2018, only one project will be in a mature estate, i.e. Tampines. The rest of the BTO launches will be in non-mature estates. For the first time, there will be a BTO launch in the up-and-coming estate of Tengah. Tengah is touted as the next generation public housing estate with plans to make it the first estate with driverless vehicles in Singapore. In this BTO Launch series, we will dissect the interesting facts about each plot and why they are worth applying for. For aspiring HDB homeowners, get your notebooks ready to copy down the notes.

1. Sembawang

While Sembawang isn’t the typical central location that most couples prefer, it offers a decent housing location at a very affordable price. Based on historical prices of BTOs in Sembawang, the average cost of a 3-room flat is between S$155k and S$185k.

One interesting thing about the upcoming Sembawang plot is the number of condos located in the vicinity. From Canberra residences to The Nautical, there is no lack of nicely designed condos. With so many condos located in the area, it makes you feel like you are living in a condo without paying for the price of one. Who knows, the condos in the area might even help to elevate the value of your HDB.

2. Seng Kang

For couples who are looking to start a family soon, this plot in Seng Kang is a choice to consider. Like many other plots in the North East region, there is an abundance of schools in the vicinity. There are around 7 primary schools for potential parents to choose from. The only downside of this launch is the limited food choices, especially for couples who are both working. If you are looking to apply for this launch, make sure you go down to check out your food options in the vicinity. Having a coffee shop that is 5 minutes away from your home can sometimes be a real lifesaver, especially one with a zichar stall.

3. Tampines

This is the only plot that will be in a mature estate for the BTO launch in November 2018. However, the size of this plot is bigger than usual with 1,080 units available for application. Although this plot is defined as the Tampines estate, people familiar with the area will point out that this plot is more like a 50% Bedok / 50% Tampines plot. This is a more accurate depiction of the location of this plot, rather than what the name suggests.

One thing that this plot offers to its future owner is the convenience of an MRT station right at your doorstep. All you have to do is to go through the underpass to enter Tampines West station, which makes travelling much more convenient. If you are travelling to town, you can just take the downtown line. It will bring you to stations like Downtown station, Bencoolen or Telok Ayer.

4. Yishun

Within every BTO launch, there are bound to be ‘good’ plots and ‘bad’ plots. In terms of location, this is rank among the last. It takes around 24 to 30 minutes to reach the nearest shopping mall. But there is always a silver lining in the cloud. For this Yishun plot, there are two silver linings.

One of it is the Yishun Park hawker centre, which is 17 minutes’ walk away. You can find affordable and nice food in the hawker centre that will meet your food needs. There is also an estate shopping area around Yishun Ring Road where you can find Giant and NTUC Fairprice. Another silver lining is that the plot is closely located to the Yishun Polyclinic, Khoo Teck Phuat Hospital and Yishun Community Hospital. If there is an elderly living with you that requires medical care, this would be a good location to settle down.

5. Tengah

For forward-looking couples, Tengah is THE place to live in. That being said, it is now still a barren piece of land (not really, since the Tengah forest is still standing tall). However, with Tengah estate outlined with plans to become an innovation district and designed as a Forest Town, you are probably looking at the future of public housing in Singapore with Tengah.

HDB plans to pilot-launch autonomous vehicles in Tengah at the Plantation District (where this plot sits) to provide convenient first- and last-mile connection to key transport nodes. Imagine without having to wait 10 to 15 minutes for your bus to come. All you need is probably click some buttons on your app and your transport will be there for you.

The plantation district will also come with common spaces for residents to gather and interact with each other. This will be at the community squares that will feature a small stage for community events such as exhibitions, bazaars and community performances. There will also be a linear pedestrian mall comprising of eateries and retail outlets.

Not to forget, there will also be other amenities like childcare centres and schools. Oh, Tengah will also be powered by a centralised energy software system that will analyse how each household, each neighbourhood, and the entire town use energy. This system will then tap artificial intelligence to spot patterns and anomalies in energy flow to minimise disruption to services and optimise the use of energy. Sounds futuristic, doesn’t it?

However, don’t forget that the estate is still new. There aren’t many amenities until few years down the road. You will need to share those amenities with your friendly neighbours in Jurong while you wait for yours.

This article first appeared on is a leading online marketplace in Singapore that helps consumers compare and apply for financial products such as credit cards and loans.