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HDB Alternatives to BTO Launch in Kallang/Whampoa | Ohmyhome


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The final BTO launch of 2021 featured sites in Kallang/Whampoa, Hougang, Jurong West, Tengah and Choa Chu Kang. This launch is rather historic, as it was also the first time a BTO site – the one at Rochor – was subjected to the new Prime Location Housing Model (PLH).  

The BTO exercise in November closed with total applications of 19,615 applicants for the 4,501 BTO flats offered. If you were one of the unlucky few who felt like you were outnumbered and your chances were slim at best, well there are always plenty of other fishes in the sea! 

There are a lot of options in the resale market that you can consider and besides you do not have to wait as long as compared to BTO flats. We have already covered the alternatives for Rochor BTO flats, and for this edition – we will be focusing on the BTO flats in the mature estate, particularly at Kallang/Whampoa that were popular during the November BTO exercise. 

A brief introduction on Kent Heights

Property Type: BTO

Flat Types: 2-Room Flexi, 4-Room

Total Units: 430

Completion Date: 4Q 2026

Nearest MRT Station: Est. 780-800m to Farrer Park Station (North-East Line)

Source: Onemap, Ohmyhome Research

Let’s take a look at the BTO project – Kent Heights in the Kallang/Whampoa estate. The flats are located along Owen Road. A total of 430 flats were offered, comprising 276 four-room flats.  

1,813 applicants were vying for these 276 flats, which translates to an estimated 6.6 overall application rate. This means that for every 1 four-room flat that is available, there are an estimated 7 applicants vying for the unit. 

Needless to say, this is quite heavy competition for prospective buyers. The estimated price range (excluding grants) was $511,000 to $660,000 for 4-room flats and the expected time taken for the building completion of Kent Heights is 54 months. 

This is the second longest completion time for this round of the BTO exercise, with the longest being the flats at Rochor (est. 71 months to complete). For those eyeing transportation convenience, Kent Heights is located around 780-800m to the Farrer Park MRT station. 

Source: Ohmyhome Research, data.gov.sg 

The average prices of 4-room flats have been hovering around the $500k mark for the past 4 years in the Kallang/Whampoa estate. From our research, we observed that the average prices in the first 10 months of 2021 was in the $600k range. The reason for this is due to the million dollar deals in nearby regions, which mostly occurred in the Boon Keng area. This led to the overall increase in the average prices as well. 

However, under the CPF Housing Grant Scheme, there are housing subsidies available to purchase your resale flats. First-time buyers who are eligible could apply for the Family Grant and the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG). You could receive up to $160k in grants, depending on your fulfillment of the criteria and requirements. If you are purchasing a resale flat to live with or near your parents or child, you can also apply for the Proximity Housing Grant

Here are the alternatives:

1. HDB Resale flats at Race Course Road / Tessensohn Road

Source: Ohmyhome

Project Details: Block 681-685 Race Course Road / Tessensohn Road

Property Type: HDB Resale

Flat Types: 3-Room, 4-Room, 5-Room 

Total Units: 523 

Completion Date: 1986

Nearest MRT Station: Est. 170-180m to Farrer Park Station (North-East Line)

One of the options that you can consider is the HDB resale flats along Race Course Road / Tessensohn Road, particularly blocks 681 to 685. These are flats that are much closer to the Farrer Park MRT station, an estimated distance of 170 to 180m as compared to Kent Heights. 

It is about a 5 min walk to the Farrer Park MRT station and there is also a sheltered walk away!

Blocks 681 and 683 have the most number of 4-room flats, with 121 units each. The 5-room flat offerings are on the lower end for these blocks. 

Source: Ohmyhome Research,HDB
Source: Ohmyhome Research,Data.gov.sg

Based on the HDB resale transactions from 2020 to the first 10 months of 2021, key attributes of the HDB resale flats in Race Course / Tessensohn Road were determined. From the data gathered, we see that the average lease balance for the different flat types is at 64 years. This is still a healthy amount of  lease balance. The average sizes of the varying flat types are also bigger , for example 1095 sq ft versus 990 sq ft for a 4-room flat at Kent Heights. 

And if you are still on the fence about the age of the property, upon site inspection we noticed that the blocks are under-going refurbishments. This is part of the HDB’s home improvement programme, it helps with the betterment of the flats as well.

Source: Data.gov.sg, Ohmyhome Research

The flats in these blocks had active transactions recently, with 4-room flats selling between $430k to $570k. Flats that are closer to an MRT station often command a price premium.

Source: HDB, Ohmyhome Research // *(Except Block 682 which can be purchased from any sellers)

The Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) quota limits the total number within a block or an estate that allows occupancy of a certain ethnicity. If you are a Singaporean/Malaysian SPR buyer from the Chinese or Malay ethnic group, you would be able to purchase from any seller. 

For Indian or other groups, you would only be able to buy from Indian and Other Ethnic Groups flat sellers, regardless of their citizenship. This information is accurate as of November 2021. 

Stone’s throw away to your shopping and dining needs

To meet your shopping needs – City Square Mall is in close proximity to these blocks.  Within City Square Mall, there is an NTUC Fairprice and even a Don Don Donki as well. And if you fancy catching a movie, you could also visit the Golden Village Cinema. To fix those late night shopping or supper cravings, you can also visit Mustafa Centre. 

Source: CDL

And not forgetting – If you have children, the closest school is Farrer Park Primary, about 450-490m distance from the resale flats. 

Suggested available unit(s) at 681 Race Course Road:

4R, 1,109 sq ft for $600k ($541 psf)

4R, 1,110 sq ft for $608k ($548 psf)

Neighbouring properties: 

15, Farrer Park Road, 3R, 667 sq ft for $520k ($779 psf)

13 Farrer Park Road, 4R, 968 sq ft for $808k ($834 psf)

2. Towner Heights 

Source: Google Street View

Project Details: Towner Heights

Property Type: HDB Resale

Flat Types: 4-Room, 5-Room 

Total Units: 348 

Tenure: 99 Years

Completion Date: 2004/2005

Nearest MRT Station: Est. 240-260m to Boon Keng Station (North-East Line)

If you are looking for a flat that is relatively new, you can consider the HDB resale flats at Towner Heights. These were blocks that were completed in 2004 and 2005. 

Source: Ohmyhome Research, Data.gov.sg

Both blocks have an even distribution of units, with a total of 174 HDB flats at each block. However, block 108C does have the upper hand in terms of the number of 4-room flats.  

Source: Ohmyhome Research, Data.gov.sg

The average remaining lease balance in these flats are 82 years. Meaning the flats are about 17 years old, which is still relatively new. And the average sizes of the different flat types are also comparable to Kent Heights. 

Source: Ohmyhome Research, Data.gov.sg

As the flats are relatively new, the sizes are relatively bigger and as they are very close to Boon Keng MRT station (about 240-260m), their sale prices are also slightly higher. But as mentioned earlier, do check out your eligibility criteria for the available grants that are currently in place. 

Source: HDB, Ohmyhome Research

Compared to the blocks at Race Course Road, the EIP quota is slightly different. If you are a Chinese Singaporean/ Malaysian SPR buyer, you are only able to purchase a flat from Chinese sellers, regardless of their citizenship. 

However, if you belong to the Malay, Indian and other ethnic groups, you are able to purchase from any flat sellers, regardless of their citizenship. This information is accurate as of November 2021. 

A neighbourhood with schools and health facilities 

For newly-wed couples and families with children, this would be a suitable location for you to live in. There are a good number of schools in the neighbourhood, such as Northlight School, Hong Wen School, Bendemeer Primary School and Bendemeer Secondary School. 

Source: NHGP

The neighbourhood has a nearby supermarket such as Sheng Siong, you could head over there for your groceries and household needs. With the on-going pandemic, if you are concerned about your health, there are numerous clinics in the neighbourhood such as The Family Clinic @ Towner and Shenton Family Medical Clinic. 

But if you’re just looking for a regular health checkup or for other health emergencies – there is also a polyclinic nearby which was just recently opened on October 2nd, 2021. So you never need to worry about your health issues! 

Suggested available unit(s) at 108C McNair Road:

4R, 1,023 sq ft, $750k ($733 psf)

4R, 1,021 sq ft, $750k ($734 psf)

Neighbouring properties: 

124 McNair Road, 4R, 893 sq ft, $628k ($702 psf)

113C McNair Road, 4R, 1,001 sq ft, $920k ($919 psf)

3. Uptown@Farrer

Alternatively, If you have a sufficient budget and you are looking for something a little more luxurious, there is also a new launch in the vicinity of Kent Heights. It is called Uptown@Farrer.  

Source: Ohmyhome

Project details:

Property Type: Condominium 

Developer: Perumal Development Pte Ltd

Tenure: 99-year leasehold

TOP: 2021

Launch Date: 2019

Total units: 116

Nearest MRT station: Est. 140-150m to Farrer Park Station (North East line)

Source: Onemap, Ohmyhome Research 

Uptown @ Farrer is a 99-year leasehold mixed condo development comprising residential and commercial components. It has a total of 116 residential units that goes up to 21 levels and also houses 7 commercial units on the ground floor. 

Some of the notable features in the development include a tennis court, swimming pool, jacuzzi and a gym. The development provides ample space that provides a leg-up in luxurious living, with its modern elegance and trendy finishes. The development offers various unit sizes, which is an ideal project for singles as well as big families.

A wide array of dining, retail and entertainment options 

The project shares a similar attribute to the earlier mentioned Blocks 681 to 685 at Race Course Road/Tessensohn Road. However, Uptown@Farrer is situated even nearer to the City Square Mall(180-190m). So all of your food, retail and entertainment options are basically at your doorstep and even more accessible. 

Source: GrabFood

And if you are feeling a little tired, or you’re planning to laze off your Sunday afternoon, there are plenty of food options available for delivery as well – and you could probably save on delivery fees too! 

Living in Uptown@Farrer also serves as an excellent accessibility feature for you, if you are hoping to travel to the Orchard Shopping Belt and the Central Business District (CBD). Farrer Park station is just  2 stops away from the Dhoby Ghaut interchange and one station away from Little India, where you can easily access the North-South Line, Circle Line and the Downtown line respectively.  

Source: Ohmyhome Research, URA Realis

Average unit prices during launch was around the $1,800 psf mark and it subsequently dropped to around $1,700 psf mark in October 2021. This was a 4.9% drop in average prices. This is a reasonable entry price point, as the average prices in the district ranges are about $1,700-$1,900 psf – based on the transactions from the first 10 months of 2021. 

Suggested available unit(s) at Uptown@Farrer: 

3BR, 926 sq ft, $1.4m ($1,577 psf)

3BR, 1,001 sq ft, $1.9m ($1,931 psf) 


Comparing the 3 suggested properties, the blocks at Race Course Road / Tessensohn Road clearly holds the distinct advantage in terms of location and benefits. The prices for these flats are in the affordable range as compared to Uptown@Farrer, given its accessibility to the MRT station and the amenities that are nearby. Not forgetting that the sizes of these flats are relatively bigger as compared to Towner heights as well. And with the existing grants that are in place and especially, if you are also a couple looking for immediate occupation, the flats at Race Course Road / Tessensohn will be the ones to go for.

Cover Image: HDB

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