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August 2020 Singapore Combined BTO Launch — Who Should Buy What & Where?

If you’re a Singaporean past your early 20s, then you might be familiar with the constant battle that is the Built-To-Order Exercise or more fondly abbreviated to BTO. For the uninitiated, a BTO flat is a pre-sale of public housing flats that run on a balloting scheme, where hopefuls from Choa Chu Kang to Bedok attempt their hand at fate, often alongside a partner.

Credit – TODAYOnline

Thus stems the long-running joke of how men propose to their girlfriends with the classic, “Want to BTO anot?” card—one that is, and always will be, uniquely Singaporean. As many already know, Singapore’s Housing Development Board (HDB) typically puts up units for balloting each quarter with varying locations.

However, due to the unprecedented times that we live in right now, it has been revealed that the May and August BTO launch will be merged, with some construction delays in tow. In what will be the biggest BTO launch ever, a total of 7,820 units will be launched across eight HDB towns.

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Property portal has succinctly summed up a brief infographic of the 8 BTO locations. Here’s our quick rundown of who should gun for which unit, and why.

1. Pasir Ris (Mature Estate)

Credit – HDB

As far as easties go, Pasir Ris is as good as it gets. Popular with young couples and families, Pasir Ris is an extremely self-sufficient region in its own right. It is home to White Sands Mall, a library, various schools and learning institutes, Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre, and recreational hub Downtown East.

With the upcoming Cross Island Line in tow, it’ll act as a double-edged sword. While that spells even more convenience for residents, that would also naturally drive up the prices. So, you have been warned to calculate your cost-benefit analysis beforehand.

Number of units: 1,070
Estimated starting price: S$150,000 (2-Room Flexi)
*Price is based on Nov 2019 BTO Tampines Greenspring, and excludes grants.

Who should buy it: The one who can’t get enough of the famed Burgernomics at Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre.

2. Tampines (Mature Estate)

Credit – HDB

Ah, another one for the East-side books. Like Pasir Ris, Tampines has no shortage of amenities. With three large malls, an integrated hub, and an IKEA to its name, I can already see the appeal in getting comfortable there.

This time, the Tampines projects are scattered across two camps—North and West, but unfortunately, none of them is located near Tampines Central, where most amenities are. Hence, you may want to think twice before putting all your eggs into this basket.

Number of units: 1,760
Estimated starting price: S$225,000 (3-Room)
*Price is based on recent Tampines BTO launches and excludes grants.

Who should buy it: The one who doesn’t mind a little hubbub from the nearby proposed places of worship.

3. Choa Chu Kang (Non-mature Estate)

Credit – HDB

Those looking to ballot for the Choa Chu Kang launch can rejoice at the fact that it will be a mere 6-minute walking distance to Keat Hong and Teck Whye LRT Stations. Apart from that, however, there seems to be nothing but a coffee shop next to Keat Hong LRT that residents will probably have to rely on more than they’d like to.

If you’re completely fine with hopping on a bus or train to surrounding malls such as Junction 10, Hillion Mall, and Bukit Panjang Plaza though, then this might just be the one for you.

Number of units: 570
Estimated starting price: S$89,000 (2-Room Flexi)
*Price is based on Feb 2018 BTO Launch Teck Whye View and excludes grants.

Who should buy it: Those who like the peace and quiet of being away from the city’s bustle. And I mean away.

4. Tengah (Non-mature Estate)

Credit – HDB

The good news is that the Tengah launch appears to be within walking distance to many amenities such as a supermarket, retail shops, a hawker centre, a proposed bus interchange, as well as the future Tengah Plantation MRT.

The bad news is that Tengah Plantation MRT will only be open for business 7 years from now. If you factor in the time spent awaiting the BTO project itself to be finished however, then the wait for the MRT might not be half as bad. Then again, it probably takes another 5 years for the now forested area to be transformed into a full functioning town—just look at Sengkang and Punggol.

In addition to that, flats in Tengah BTO launches have been known to be notoriously priced more than what they’re worth.

Number of units: 1,040
Estimated starting price: S$115,000 (2-Room Flexi)
*Price is based on recent Tengah BTO launches and excludes grants.

Who should buy it: The rare one who can appreciate the, well, joys of Tengah.

5. Bishan (Mature Estate)

Credit – HDB

Hold your horses—before you get too excited about the Bishan launch, this August batch should not be mistaken for the highly anticipated units that are set to release in November 2020. Nonetheless, it appears to be in a great location as well, relatively close to both Braddell and Bishan MRT.

While pricier, a home in Bishan might be well worth the investment considering the malls, schools, library, and park nearby—especially for those looking to start a family, or who already have one. When looking to resell the flat in future, a unit in Bishan will probably fetch a reasonable return as well.

Number of units: 470
Estimated price: S$374,771 (3-Room)
*Price is based on other flats in Bishan and excludes grants.

Who should buy it: Anyone who’s looking for convenience—so probably everyone. And if you can afford to drop some serious cash. I mean, it’s Bishan.

6. Ang Mo Kio (Mature Estate)

Credit – HDB

This Ang Mo Kio launch looks promising because of the two nearby MRT Stations that are slated to open under the Thomson-East Coast line—Mayflower and Bright Hill MRT Station. There are also a handful of schools and learning institutes in the area—something that might pique the interest of parents or parents-to-be.

There are a limited 380 units available, however, so to whoever is planning to gun for this—I hope that Lady Luck shines radiantly upon you and may the odds be ever in your favour.

Number of units: 380
Estimated price: S$395,000 (4-Room)
*Price is based on other similar flats and excludes grants.

Who should buy it: The recent 4D winner—luck rubs off, doesn’t it?

7. Geylang (Mature Estate)

Credit – HDB

From what I know, Geylang is upheld by many as the region of great food and supper places. And having viable food options—no matter the hour—seems like a great thing to have when selecting your area of residence.

Located right next to Dakota MRT Station, this is another project that’s sure to be subscribed like hotcakes. It is flanked by a police post, park, hawker centre, and a couple of schools—I can’t think of anything more wholesome for a neighbourhood.

Number of units: 420
Estimated starting price: S$351,000 (3-Room)
*Price is based on other similar flats and excludes grants.

Who should buy it: Those looking forward to supper runs at Old Airport Road Food Centre.

8. Woodlands (Non-mature Estate)

Credit – HDB

Like Tampines, the Woodlands launch has two locations—Central and South. The 1770 units located right at Woodlands MRT will definitely be oversubscribed, but what’s new? If you’re just fine with a further away unit located next to Seletar Expressway, then try for the 340 units down Woodlands South instead.

Whichever you choose, you can steel yourself for impromptu day trips to Johor Bahru (JB) in time to come. With the Straits of Johor just a couple of stones’ throw away from your flat, you’ll literally be closer to Malaysia than you are to Singapore’s city centre.

Number of units: 2,110
Estimated starting price: S$89,000 (2-Room Flexi)
*Price is based on other similar flats and excludes grants.

Who should buy it: The avid JB visitor who needs their weekly RnR time.

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