4 Reasons Why Singaporeans Snatched Up the Serangoon May 2023 BTO Flats

4 Reasons Why Singaporeans Snatched Up the Serangoon May 2023 BTO Flats
4 Reasons Why Singaporeans Snatched Up the Serangoon May 2023 BTO Flats

As we predicted, the May 2023 Serangoon BTO launch was the most oversubscribed project for this launch. 

But what we didn’t expect was how stiff competition the competition for the 201 4-room flats and 129 5-room flats would be! When the BTO application window closed, the application rate for first-timers families was 9.1 for 4-room flats and 13.3 for 5-room flats.

However, this is not to say that applying for a BTO flat is more competitive than ever. For the May 2023 BTO launch, the median application rate for first-timer applicants for three-room and larger flats was 2.2 applicants.

Before we close the chapter on the May 2023 BTO exercise, we decided to take a final look back and attempt to decipher why the Serangoon site was so in-demand.

Overview of Serangoon May 2023 BTO Launch

Location of the Serangoon North Vista May 2023 BTO project, bounded by Yio Chu Kang Road, Serangoon North Avenue 1. Source: HDB

Here’s a quick recap of the amenities and schools near Serangoon North Vista.

Name of the Serangoon HDB BTO May 2023 project Serangoon North Vista
Address Bounded by Yio Chu Kang Road, Serangoon North Avenue 1
Types of BTO flats available 4-room and 5-room flats
Starting prices From $397,000 (4-room) and from $558,000 (5-room)
Nearest MRT station Kovan MRT station
Nearest amenities Chomp Chomp Food Centre, Hwi Yoh Green, Serangoon Garden Market and Food Centre, Serangoon North Community Park, Serangoon Stadium, and Serangoon Swimming Complex
Nearby schools Lycée Français de Singapour, Peicai Secondary School, Rosyth School, Serangoon Garden Secondary School, and Zhonghua Primary School

Now on to the reason why you’re reading this article in the first place: why did so many people bid for the Serangoon May 2023 BTO flats? Here are the main reasons:

  • Being close to family
  • Wanting to stay in a familiar area they grew up in
  • Attractive pricing
  • Close to cafes and eateries and the well-known Chomp Chomp Food Centre

1. Being Close to Family

Like many older, mature estates in Singapore, Serangoon is an area with larger middle-aged and elderly populations. Those aged around 50 will likely have children of marriageable age. While these young persons are looking to move out and start their own families, it doesn’t necessarily mean they want to move far.

Bernice Wong, 29, has been looking at BTO launches in the Ang Mo Kio, Kovan and Serangoon areas. She and her partner want to live in the North-East area of Singapore as her family lives in the Serangoon area. 

When the Serangoon May 2023 BTO flats were announced, she was “extremely excited” for this “rare opportunity”.

“Previously, I applied for the Aug 2021 Hougang BTO launch with the intention to secure a flat in the Kovan Wellspring project. But I was unsuccessful as the launch was heavily oversubscribed – no surprise though, as it sits right in front of Kovan MRT station! Again, I’m expecting stiff competition for this launch.

My partner and I will also benefit from being close to family, in terms of receiving help when we decide to have children in the future.”

2. Wanting to Stay in the North-east: Living in a Familiar Area

Like Bernice, the desire to continue living in the North-east area of Singapore was the main reason why Sabrina, 27, applied for the Serangoon North Vista project. The account manager shared that she and her partner currently live in the region and would like to stay in an area they are both familiar with.

“The Serangoon May 2023 BTO launch is close to both our parents’ places. Plus we like the convenience of staying along the North East Line. From Serangoon MRT station, which is three bus stops away from the upcoming BTO site, we can get to Dhoby Ghaut station in 12 minutes. 

Since Sabrina and her partner live within 4km of their families, they meet the criteria for the Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS). Hopefully, this will give them a better chance of successfully securing a ballot!

3. Attractive Pricing of the May 2023 Serangoon BTO Flats

A 4-room flat in the May 2023 Serangoon BTO launch sits in the price range of $397,000 to $496,000, excluding grants. Depending on their income level, first-timer families may qualify for an Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (Families) of up to $80,000 to offset the cost of their BTO flat. 

In comparison, the Q1 2023 median resale flat price of a 4-room resale flat in Serangoon is $577,000. This is despite the resale flats in Serangoon being older. As you can see, a new BTO flat is priced much lower than resale flats.

For Bernice, the affordable 4-room BTO flat pricing was another huge push factor which encouraged her to submit her BTO application.

“It’s likely because there are currently no nearby MRT stations… yet! The Serangoon North MRT Station on the Cross Island Line is set to open in 2030 and is a 10-minute walk from the site.

Until down, no worries. The lower-than-we-expected price for a Serangoon May 2023 BTO flat means we will be able to afford a car. The last reason as to why we applied is because I think these flat prices will increase in time to come, making them a very good investment should we decide to sell after the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP).”

4. Being Close to a Variety of Cafes and Eateries

Charlene*, 23, and her partner are another couple who applied for a Serangoon North Vista BTO flat. They figured if they did manage to successfully ballot for a unit, the house would “just nice be built finish” by the time they were ready to settle down.

Like Bernice and Sabrina, she also grew up in the Serangoon area and the Serangoon Gardens Estate is one of her regular haunts.

“I used to live around where the Serangoon North Vista flats are. My church is around the corner from the Serangoon May 2023 BTO site. Many of my friends and family members still live around the Hougang and Upper Serangoon areas. My partner’s parents also live within 4km of the BTO site, as do many of his relatives.

Food-wise, it’s pretty convenient as the BTO site is near Chomp Chomp Food Centre and several cafes and restaurants. But for me, this is more of an added bonus than a main reason for applying!”

*This respondent has used a pseudonym to protect her identity.

May 2023 BTO Serangoon Flats: Reasons Why Singaporeans Chose to Apply or Not

Factor Why they applied for the  Serangoon North Vista BTO launch Why they didn’t apply for the  Serangoon North Vista BTO launch
Familiarity with area Be close to family and continue living in the area they grew up in  Only those who grew up in North-east likely to apply (respondents’ own views)
Price Affordable price, considering resale flats around the area in the mature estate Still pretty pricey for units faraway from existing MRT station
Proximity to public transport Don’t mind being further from MRT station for now; CRL station ready in 2023 Need to take a connector bus to nearest MRT station; 15-minute journey is ‘too long’
Units available 4-room and 5-room flats available; good for those who want to start families Very few units available as compared to other launches (i.e. Bedok May 2023 BTO launch)
Amenities available Close to Chomp Chomp Food Centre and many cafes, restaurants and pubs in the Serangoon Garden estate; near Rosyth School Faraway from shopping centres

We’ve focused on all the good things about the Serangoon North Vista site. But what about those who applied for the other launches? Here are some other reasons why some of our other respondents passed over the most popular BTO project of this exercise.

Applying for Upcoming BTO Launch in August 2023

So what was the biggest draw factor of the May 2023 Serangoon BTO launch? For most of our respondents, it was because they wanted to continue living in the neighbourhood they grew up in.

For those who have applied for this competitive May 2023 BTO launch, we wish you all the best in securing a ballot number!

If not, you can always try again during the August 2023 BTO launch. And if you do decide to apply for the upcoming launch, do prep your HDB Flat Eligibility (HFE) letter beforehand!

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