Image: 123rf.com/Wan Chiang Tan
BTO shopping? You’re in luck. The August 2018 HDB BTO launch is coming and they’re in Punggol and Yishun!
On the face of it, the two BTO developments might not seem that different. Both are in non-mature estates and are located away from town, and prices should be about the same. But when it comes to actually buying a home and living there… things are a bit different.
Let’s deep dive into the upcoming BTO launch in August 2018:
1) Punggol BTO Launch
The upcoming BTO project in Punggol will be located at the very tip of Punggol, where development is still very much under way. Most of the roads in the area are not even built yet.
You’ll need to travel about 2km (i.e. take a bus or drive) to find actual signs of life. That’s how far away this BTO development is from Punggol MRT, Punggol Bus Interchange and Waterway Point. Even the closest LRT station is a bit of a walk at 550m away, which is about a 7-minute walk.
There’s not much by way of amenities either. The nearest supermarket is 1.5km away, which means you probably have to become a loyal Redmart customer when you move in.
Food-wise, Punggol is known for its lack of local food options because there are hardly any hawker centres and coffeeshops around. You’ll have to settle for the restaurants at The Punggol Settlement, which is 550m away.
One nice aspect of the upcoming Punggol BTO is its proximity and easy access to Punggol Promenade and Coney Island, especially for parents with young kids.
The biggest selling point of the Punggol BTO’s location are the future developments. It’ll be right across the road from the upcoming Punggol Coast MRT that will be ready in 2023.
When Northshore Drive is properly built, there will be more developments as well, like HDB’s “New Generation Neighbourhood Centre”, Northshore Plaza and the Singapore Institute of Technology campus (also 2023).
2) Yishun BTO launch
The exact Yishun BTO site falls right on the outskirts of Yishun’s famous “Devil’s Ring”, where most of the neighbourhood’s high-profile atrocities were committed.
However, even though this Yishun BTO project falls under the non-mature estate category, it has many amenities around.
Neighbourhood shopping mall Junction Nine is only 650m away, which is ideal for grocery shopping at Sheng Siong; alternatively there’s a NTUC Fairprice about 1km away. Of course you can always take a bus or drive to Northpoint City at Yishun MRT, where the bus interchange and library are as well.
Hawker lovers should be happy as there’s Yishun Park Hawker Centre about a 7-minute walk away.
Yishun also has tons of famous local eateries – my personal favourites are 928 Yishun Laksa and Chong Pang Nasi Lemak. They may not be within walking distance, but they’re still close enough.
Speaking of Chong Pang, this is where the “luckiest” Singapore Pools outlet is. It seems that the auspicious Chong Pang 7-11 has sold one of the highest number of winning tickets in Singapore.
Apart from buying Toto, Yishun has other recreation options at Lower Seletar Reservoir Park (kayaking, running, cycling) and SAFRA Yishun (bowling, swimming, a McDonald’s drive-thru next door etc).
For those with kids, there are a number of primary schools in the area, including international school Gems World Academy. In fact, North View Primary School is right next door to the BTO site.
If you’re like me, you won’t fancy being woken up by 7am assembly bells and having kids playing catching at the void deck, but most people don’t mind it.
Yishun loses out to Punggol in terms of upcoming developments however. So if you’re hoping for your BTO value to skyrocket and to make a bundle when you sell it off, tough luck.
Punggol vs Yishun BTO – which should you choose?
First of all, you can’t make the decision based on price, because prices for both BTO launches should be similar. Actual prices will only be released at the sales launch in August 2018, but previous BTO launch prices tell us that they cost about the same:
But considering that Yishun has so many more nearby facilities, better connected roads, and a more developed transport network (there are more feeder bus services), I’d say the Yishun BTO is the winner.
The only thing to note is that the Yishun Street 31 site is a lot more convenient than the Street 42 site, so if you apply for Yishun and get a bad ballot number, you might have to settle for that.
Of course, that’s not to say that Punggol is a bad choice. It’s generally affordable and it’s slowly improving to include more MRT stations, bus services and other facilities. In the meantime, the common areas are newer and cleaner too. The Punggol site also has 3Gen units, which is unavailable in the upcoming Yishun BTO project.
This article was first published in Moneysmart Singapore.