A Brisk February 2022 BTO Exercise

February 26, 2022

Are you the many lucky Housing and Development Board (HBD) flat applicants who have successively obtained a successful ballot in one of the Built-To-Order (BTO) flats in the recently concluded February 2022 HDB BTO Exercise? If you were not successful, it is fine, you can try for the next exercise in May 2022 where there will be about 5,300 BTO flats slated to be launched for sale in both mature and non-mature estates, and among them, there are several flat launches scheduled to be launch in the Ghim Moh, Bukit Merah, and Queenstown areas. So, stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed as prices of resale flats located in these mature estates have historically command quite significant premiums due to their centrality and proximity to many prime locations like the Central Business District (CBD), Orchard Road, the Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW) regions.

Source: HDB

For those successful February 2022 BTO flat applications, first of all, congratulations to you for having secured a BTO flat which comes with generous subsidies, and possibly at a discounted price as compared to the hugely premium valued HDB resale market with these resale flats’ Cash-Over-Valuation (COV) prices lately.  

For the 2-room HDB Flexi flats, the cohort of second-timers vying for the 121 units available at the mature estate of Geylang (Dakota East), the final number of second-timer applicants have shown an unsurprising 38 per cent application rate as of midnight on February 23 2022. The overall total application rate stood at 6.1 per cent for Tengah, Yishun, and Geylang HDB towns.

We think that most of the second timers applying for the Geylang (Dakota Crest) HDB project went for the attributes like its proximity to CBD, plus it is located close to two MRT stations on the Circle Line (CL), namely Dakota MRT station, and Mountbatten MRT stations.

Let’s see where this BTO development is located at in the Dakota estate area.

Source: OneMap

As you see, the Dakota Breeze BTO development is located relatively close to two nearby MRT stations of Dakota and Mountbatten stations respectively on the Circle Line (CL). It is also one of the very rare BTO flats that is located within minutes of walk to two MRT stations, and is close to good schools like Kong Hwa School, and the all-famous Old Airport Road Food Station. Moreover, there is easy connectivity to East Coast Parkway (ECP), Joo Chiat, Marine Parade and Siglap respectively.

All these attributes do point to the robust applicant rates among the second-timers with 38 per cent being the final number. As for the prices, the flats are priced at $205,000 (excluding grants), while the 3- and 4-room flats were priced at prices starting at $352,000 and $522,000 respectively (all excluding grants).

Let’s shift focus to Tengah

So, we get it. HDB flats, especially the BTOs, including the latest February 2022 crop of BTO flats located at Geylang and Kallang/Whampoa are much talked about, and the demand and prices obviously reflect the centrality of these BTO flats near the town area.

So, question for you? Is there another HDB BTO site that has similar, or let’s put it, better attributes than Geylang, and the Kallang/Whampoa HDB towns?

Hmm! Okay, have you given up? Yes, it is none other than the new and upcoming first-ever car-lite HDB town in Tengah.

As seen through this latest 2019 Master Plan, you can see the three proposed MRT stations on the uncompleted Jurong Regional Line (JRL), namely Tengah Plantation, Tengah Park, and Tengah (Not shown) MRT stations.

Source: OneMap

In the just-concluded February 2022 BTO exercise, a HDB development in the Tengah HDB town area called Parc Flora @ Tengah – Plantation Creek was offered, and this new BTO development could be a standout as the flats are located close to not 1, or 2, but 3 MRT stations on the JRL as highlighted earlier.

Source: HDB

The proximity to the 3 MRT stations, along with its location close to the upcoming Jurong Innovation District (JID), schools, universities like the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Jurong East, and Boon Lay, among others, could have perhaps attracted quite a significant application figures coming from the second-timers for the 3-room and above category.

Source: HDB

Moreover, the 3 to 4-ish per cent overall application rates for the flats located in Tengah HDB town during this recent February 2022 BTO exercise were also somewhat or much lower than the overall total application rate of 6.9 for the 3-room and above cohort.

Likewise, first-timers for the 2-room flexi units available in Tengah also attracted quite a significant following at 12.0 per cent. It is also noteworthy to know that even though Tengah, which might not even showed up in the radar of most singles above 35 years old who comprise of the eligible applicants for the 2-room flexi flats would even consider the town given the huge distance away from city centre. While they may be single now, but it could also mean that they are mapping out their future of starting their own families and/or establishing their inaugural presence in an exciting new car-lite HDB town of Tengah.

As for the starting prices, the 2-room flexi right to 5-oom BTO flats range from $132,000 to $420,000 (without grants). With grants, they are priced from $52,000 for a 2-room flex unit, to $375,000 for a 5-room HDB unit.

So, in summary, as you can see, one needs to think and plan ahead, and we should applaud these group of flat applicants who are doing exactly what has been said for many residents of far-flung towns like the first group of residents in Punggol and Sengkang HDB towns who are now enjoying their appreciated gains just from the resale flat prices where there have been reports of a close to  a millionaire dollar HDB flat being sold at the Treelodge@Punggol in December 2021. Who knows, maybe after the 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of those completed flats in Tengah could be transacted at premium prices!

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