by OrangeTee & Tie Pte Ltd.

OrangeTee's comments on HDB May 2022 BTO exercise

BTO Launches

Singapore, 27 May 2022 - HDB has just released the BTO exercise for May 2022. Below are our comments for your consideration, please.  You can find our analyses (updated by 2pm), previous BTO launch information, past application rates, charts/ analytics, etc using our OrangeTee BTO Analytics Suite


1. Overview 

This BTO launch can be considered one of the more attractive batches of launch exercises as all 5 BTO projects are attractive. Most of the projects are within walking distance of an MRT station or surrounded by ample amenities. 

As prices of private homes continue to rise, more Singaporeans may turn to BTO flats especially the PLH model flats despite their longer completion periods and selling restrictions under the PLH model. To cash strapped buyers or those with limited financial support from families, the BTO route may be the most affordable or viable option to own a home in a prime location. 

2. Popular projects

Among the 5 projects, application rates could be higher for the PLH model flats in Bukit Merah (Bukit Merah Ridge) and Queenstown  (Ghim Moh Ascent). Both projects are in mature estates, near the city centre, CBD and Orchard shopping belt. 

Bukit Merah and Queenstown PLH flats - For the upcoming PLH model flats at Bukit Merah and Queenstown, we are expecting strong demand for these flats. More people may apply because buyers' attention may be shifted to PLH model flats with the recent launch at Rochor and Kallang/Whampoa, and the announcement of redevelopment plans for the Greater Southern Waterfront. Many young Singaporeans will be attracted by the concept and USP (unique selling proposition) of PLH model flats, such as their prime location, capital appreciation, rental returns, and design features. Some may also be drawn by the hype and chatter surrounding PLH model flats, and may apply for a unit if their friends or peers do likewise. Moreover, new BTO flats in prime locations are hard to come by and their long term investment potential far outweighs the stringent criteria faced by owners of PLH model flats. Unsuccessful applicants for the past two PLH model flats may retry this time again, given that the launch periods of the past two PLH model flats and this launch are quite close. 

For the BTO in Bukit Merah, the site is zoned under district 3, categorised as RCR or the Rest of Central Region, a proxy for the city fringe area. The BTO site in Queenstown is in district 10 according to URA space, and it is categorised under CCR or Core Central Region, which is a prime district for many luxury homes. It is near Buona Vista MRT station and Holland Village, where many private condos are built. 

Toa Payoh - While this site is not within walking distance of an MRT station, Toa Payoh has always been a popular, mature estate. There are ample amenities and good schools in the vicinity.  

Yishun and Jurong West - Both projects are situated in non-mature estates and their shorter completion periods may compensate for the shortfall in their longer distance to the city centre. These are the only two sites that offer 5 room flats, therefore, those looking for bigger units can consider these two projects. Jurong West project commands beautiful lake views and is near an MRT station. The project will be highly popular among people who are working in Jurong gateway, Jurong Island, and other Western parts of the island. The Yishun BTO site seems to be relatively less crowded when compared to the other sites and may attract people who prefer a quieter environment. It is also near an MRT station. 

3. Price comparison with nearby condos 

The BTO launch at these sites will be highly attractive when we compare their prices with private condos in the vicinity. For instance in Bukit Merah, the median price of resale condominiums at Ascentia Sky is S$1,632 psf, The Metropolitan Condominium is $1,606 psf, Echelon is S$1,922 psf, Alex Residences is S$1,949 psf and Meraprime is S$1,722 psf in the first four months of this year. This will roughly translate from about S$1.5 million (S$1,600 psf) to S$1.9 million (S$1,950 psf) for a 950 sqft condominium, which is about the size of a new 4 room flat.  

4. Price comparison with nearby HDB resale flat

When compared to a resale flat, some buyers may still find a BTO flat more attractive despite the longer waiting period. To purchase an HDB resale flat in Bukit Merah, Queenstown and Toa Payoh, buyers may have to fork out more than S$650,000 for a 4 room and more than S$850,000 for a 5 room flat in these 3 locations this year. For instance, the median price for a 4 room resale flat in Queenstown is S$820,000, Toa Payoh is S$653,000 and Bukit Merah is S$726,500 in the first four months of this year. As prices of 4 room resale flats in Yishun and Jurong West are around S$450,000 which is still within affordability, some may opt for a resale option if they do not want to wait for the completion of a new flat. 

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