Photo: Max Oh on Unsplash

National Day 2019 is upon us once more, and I’m sure that patriots all over the island will want to celebrate the nation’s independence by popping the question over the NDP fireworks.

Luckily for you, HDB has thoughtfully scheduled a BTO launch in August, for your convenience.

Those looking for an “investment BTO” along the lines of the hyped-up Boon Keng BTOs in the previous 2 launches — move along now, nothing to see here. This time round, it’s just your garden variety BTO launch with just 2 choices: Either Punggol or Tampines.

Here’s our review of the Punggol and Tampines BTOs in the Aug 2019 launch.


HDB BTO launch Aug 2019 overview

HDB hasn’t released the prices for the Aug 2019 BTO launch yet, but BTOs have been released in both areas fairly recently, so we’re able to get some good estimates for starting prices:


BTO location Tampines BTO Punggol BTO
2-room Flexi From $103,000
3-room From $188,000
4-room From $352,000 From $286,000
5-room From $472,000 From $393,000


I based the upcoming Tampines BTO price estimates on the Tampines GreenGem BTO in the Nov 2018 launch, while the Punggol BTO estimates are based on the Punggol Point BTO in Aug 2018.

Since Tampines is classified as a mature estate by HDB, it naturally has a higher selling price. That said, this particular Tampines BTO is actually in a very covetable location.

At the same time, Punggol, although cheaper, is the faster-developing neighbourhood — it’s gentrifying at top speed with atas executive condos and a planned “Silicon Valley” in the works.

Note that there’s a huge difference in flat supply for both estates: Tampines has just 640 units up for grabs, while the Punggol one has 2,710 units. So if you really don’t want to keep playing BTO roulette, you’ll have better chances of getting a flat in Punggol.



Tampines BTO launch (Aug 2019)


Tampines BTO Fact Sheet
Official HDB map Download Tampines BTO map here
Road name Tampines North Drive / Tampines St 64
Unit Mix 4R / 5R (640 units)
Nearest MRT Tampines MRT (2.8km)
Nearest Supermarket Giant Hypermarket (220m)
Nearest shopping malls Tampines Mall / Century Square / Tampines 1 (2.8km)
Nearby schools Meridian Pri Sch, Elias Park Pri Sch, Poi Ching Sch, UWCSEA
Future developments Tampines North MRT (2030), linear park, high-rise commercial/residential development


Tampines is pretty overcrowded already as it is, so how is it possible that HDB keeps putting out more and more BTOs here? 

If you’ve been to the area recently, you’ll realise that the government has been developing what can only be delicately described as the “outer limits” of Tampines — the mostly-empty fields where even birds don’t lay eggs — into homes for young Singaporeans.

In this case, the latest Tampines BTO is located near IKEA / Giant / Courts, which now has absolutely nothing else, apart from the occasional worker’s dormitory.

If you can get over the strangeness of living next to a 24-hour hypermart and yet being out of range of any movie theatre or prata shop, the location is not bad as there are some upcoming developments here, including Tampines North MRT (opens in 2030, just in time for MOP maybe?) and an integrated commercial/residential building.

Just don’t buy too much into the “mature estate” rhetoric, because right now, the area definitely still feels far from mature. It’s a long way from both Tampines Mall and White Sands. The only saving grace is that it’s close to the TPE — driving a car is a must here.


Punggol BTO launch (Aug 2019)


Punggol BTO Fact Sheet
Official HDB map Download Punggol BTO map here
Road name Northshore Drive
Unit Mix 2R Flexi / 3R / 4R / 5R (2,710 units)
Nearest MRT Punggol Point LRT (650m) / Punggol MRT (2.6km)
Nearest Supermarket NTUC Fairprice Punggol Drive (1.8km)
Nearest shopping malls Waterway Point (2.6km)
Nearby schools Punggol Cove Pri Sch, Punggol View Pri Sch, Oasis Pri Sch
Future developments Punggol Coast MRT (2023), Punggol Digital District, Singapore Institute of Technology, Northshore Plaza


Decided already? Here’s the HDB BTO application procedure

Applications are not open yet, so if you’ve got your heart set on either the Tampines or Punggol BTO, you’ll have to twiddle your thumbs until around National Day.

When HDB officially launches this batch of BTOs, they’ll put up a nice microsite with all the information you could possibly need about the development. For now, the only official information is on the general HDB BTO page and it’s mostly covered in this article.

There’s usually about a 1-week window in which you can review the information and think real hard about your choice of life partner before submitting your application + $10 admin fee online.

Then HDB conducts a big lucky draw, and winners of the BTO lottery will be invited to select their flats.

You can only choose either Punggol or Tampines this time round, not both, so if you really want to clinch a BTO, it’s better to pick the Punggol one as there’s a lot more supply. Alternatively, if the need is pressing, you may consider buying one of HDB’s balance flats which are available anytime.

Read the complete guide to applying for an HDB BTO here.

This article was originally published on MoneySmart.