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 3,095 new flats will be launched.
1. Sembawang (Non-mature)
The February 2020 BTO plot at Sembawang of 1,467 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 February 2020 plot’s closeness to the MRT, prices for a 4-,5-room HDB flat is on average $20-30K higher than the past launches.
On the other hand, there are more units this time round (1,467 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 in 2020. 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. Additionally, there is the newly-opened Sembawang Hot Springs Park nearby which is a unique amenity that allows you to enjoy a complimentary natural spa!
For families with children, there are a few schools in the neighbourhood, such as Sembawang Primary and Secondary.
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)
A total of 1,628 units of 2-room Flexi, 3 and 4-room flats are available. However, note that the 2-room Flexi flats offered of seniors aged 55 and above are only available on short leases between 15 to 45 years, with an increment of 5 years in between.
UPDATE (on 11 February 2020):
Site 1 – Toa Payoh Ridge
Site 2 – Kim Keat Ripples
For 2020, there will be 2 plots going on sale (see image above). Site 1’s plot (Toa Payoh Ridge) has 2 MRT stations near it, namely Braddell and Caldecott MRT, 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 (Kim Keat Ripple), which is further away from 2 MRT stations: Potong Pasir and Toa Payoh, which are about 800m and 900m away respectively. With travelling not as accessible as compared to Site 1, we expect prices at Site 2 will likely be lower than Site 1.
In February 2016, Toa Payoh’s Alkaff BTO plot (table above) was stationed at a prime location, between two MRT stations, Potong Pasir and Woodleigh.
The starting launch prices for the February 2020 Toa Payoh BTO plot is about $45K lower for a 4-room flat than that of the 2016 Toa Payoh launch.
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, and there is a Neighbourhood Centre just south of the plot. Besides that, there are multiple schools surrounding the estate, such as Marymount Convent and CHIJ Primary.
For Site 2, even if MRT travelling isn’t as numerous for Site 1, you can still access Toa Payoh MRT and its bus interchange, about 800m away.
There are numerous schools around, such as Pei Chun Public School and Beatty Secondary School. As the schools are not too far away, your children can enjoy optimal sleep and a hearty breakfast before heading out.
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 healthy 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 as compared to those who bought 3-rooms.
Due to the popularity of larger units, 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 number of units available in the 2020 Toa Payoh launch is 1,620. Split into two sites, Site 1 will have 920 units and Site 2 will have 700 units. This is lower than 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? Leave them in the comments and our team of experts will answer them for you!