The very first round of BTO launches in 2020 will be held in February, with launches in 2 estates: Sembawang and Toa Payoh. In this guide, we analyse the pros & cons of each location to help you come to a verdict!
If you’re looking to live in the North, Sembawang has Canberra, which is a highly-hyped up development (with good reasons) with exciting amenities in store. On the other hand, Toa Payoh, is a mature estate in the heart of Singapore with family-oriented amenities as well as travelling options at your fingertips. All in all, a total of 3,020 new flats will be launched.
1. Sembawang (Non-mature)
The February 2020 BTO plot at Sembawang of 1,400 units is very close to the newly-launched Canberra MRT. As such, future homeowners will find the location extremely convenient for travelling.
The previous launch in 2018 with 310 units (table above) was further away from the MRT, requiring more travel. Because of the 2020 plot’s closeness to the MRT, prices are expected to surge.
On the other hand, there are more units this time round (1,400 units in 2020 vs 310 units in 2018). With the increase in supply of units, it may help prices to stabilise.
Location & Amenities
The main attraction is definitely Canberra MRT, which opened in November 2019. Situated right next to the BTO plot, homeowners can travel to other HDB estate such as Yishun and Ang Mo Kio with ease.
Moreover, the North-South line (red line) also connects to downtown areas like Orchard & City Hall This is great news for homeowners working in the CDB district, but do take note it takes about 30 minutes to reach the downtown area.
Shopping options are also aplenty, Homeowners can look forward to Canberra Plaza, slated to open end-2019. The new shopping mall connects directly to the MRT via a direct linkway for added convenience. Currently, there are established shopping centres nearby like the mentioned Canberra Plaza, Sun Plaza, and Sembawang Shopping Centre for you to do your grocery shopping without hassle.
For sports and recreational facilities, the upcoming Bukit Canberra Sports and Community Hub about 800m away is expected to open in June 2020. With the Yishun park connector, you won’t need to travel long distances just to find a suitable spot for working out.
For families with children, there are a few schools in the neighbourhood, such as Sembawang Primary and Secondary, which are ranked 99 out of 185 and 141 out of 151 respectively.
Past Subscription Rate
In the November 2018 BTO exercise (table above), there were a small number of units available, thus resulting in a high subscription rate. This meant that many people were interested in planting their roots in Sembawang, despite the small launch numbers.
The good news is, because there are more units available in the 2020 launch, there should be a higher chance of being successful at the ballot box. Nonetheless, due to the enticing location and upcoming amenities, we expect the subscription rate to be substantial as well.
Food For Thought
Disclaimer: This section only represents the thoughts and opinions of forum and discussion group members, and do not represent our views.
People seem interested in the Sembawang section because of the convenient amenities, but are worried about the increasing prices as well.
A few discussions suggest that there are also concerns about the noise levels, because certain perimeters of blocks will run next to the MRT station.
2. Toa Payoh (Mature estate)
In February 2016, Toa Payoh’s Alkaff BTO plot (table above) was stationed near the two MRT stations, Potong Pasir and Woodleigh. As Toa Payoh is a mature estate, we can expect prices to be significantly higher compared to non-mature estates like Sembawang.
For 2020, there will be 2 plots going on sale (see image above). Site 1’s plot has 2 new MRT stations near it, such as Braddell and Caldecott, which are about 300m and 400m away respectively. Because of the proximity and additional travelling conveniences, prices are expected to increase.
There is also Site 2, which is further away from 2 stations: Potong Pasir and Toa Payoh, which are about 800m and 900m away respectively. However, with travelling not as accessible as compared to Site 1, we expect prices at Site 2 will likely be lower than Site 1.
Location & Amenities
The main highlight for the BTO launches will surely be the close proximity to MRT stations like Braddell and Caldecott, which are on on the North-South and Circle Line respectively. With the connection to central Singapore via 2 MRT lines, homeowners at Site 1 will have incredible access and travel options.
Just north of Site 1 is Mount Alvernia Hospital. while there’s also a Neighbourhood Centre just south of the plot. Besides that, there are multiple schools surrounding the estate, such as Marymount Convent and CHIJ Primary, respectively ranked 173 out of 185 and 45 out of 185.
For Site 2, even if MRT travelling isn’t as numerous for Site 1, you can still access the Toa Payoh Bus MRT and its bus interchange, about 800m away.
There are numerous schools around, such as Pei Chun Public School and Beatty Secondary School, which rank around 17 out of 185 and 86 out of 151 respectively. Your children can enjoy optimal sleep before heading to school, as the buildings aren’t far.
What’s more, there are plenty of community clubs for spending time together as a family. SAFRA Toa Payoh, Swimming Complex, and Toa Payoh Stadium are about 700m, 600m, and 500m away respectively. These amenities will give your kids the prime amount of playtime and a healthy amount of exercise, without having to go far from the neighbourhood.
Past Subscription Rate
For February 2016’s BTO (table above), there was a stark difference between those going for 5-rooms/3 Gen flats compared to those who bought 3-rooms.
This shows that majority of the people who wanted to reside in Toa Payoh were probably married with kids (or planning to start a family there), and wanted a neighbourhood that could provide the right amenities for them.
The upcoming launch number for Toa Payoh’s BTO is 1,620 altogether. Split into two sites, it comprises of 920 in Site 1 and 700 in Site 2. This is lower then the number of units in the 2016 launch, which may hint at a substantial oversubscription in 2020.
As we all know, Toa Payoh is a mature estate in Central Singapore with plenty of amenities galore, thus this may be a contributing factor in the substantial subscription rate as well.
Food For Thought
While commentators like the fact that there’s access to multiple train stations, they expect the prices to surge.
There are divided opinions over each BTO site: some say that Site 1’s BTO is not as accessible to the MRT stations, unlike Site 2. Site 1 is expected to have less applicants due to the fact that its plot faces Central Expressway, and to the south is the Pan-Island Expressway.
In a nutshell, the February 2020 BTO launch caters to families with different needs and preference.
Toa Payoh is a mature estate suited for families to stay close to their elderly parents around the area. Besides, its central location makes it an attractive home for couples working in the CBD.
On the other hand, Sembawang’s BTO is more affordable and yet the new Canberra MRT and upcoming amenities makes it a promising non-mature estate for young couples to start their families in.
We will keep this space updated as more information comes in about the February 2020 BTO, so before that, why not check out our Ultimate BTO Guide first?
Have a question on BTO-ing, Sembawang, and Toa Payoh? Leave them in the comments and our team of experts will answer them for you – free of charge!