According to HDB’s classification in their BTO (Built to Order) and SBF (Sale of Balance Flats) exercises, these are the mature vs non-mature estates in Singapore:
- Ang Mo Kio
- Bukit Merah
- Bukit Timah
- Marine Parade
- Pasir Ris
- Toa Payoh
- Bukit Batok
- Bukit Panjang
- Choa Chu Kang
- Jurong East
- Jurong West
Now that we have identified the mature vs non-mature estates, let’s talk about the commonly held myths about both types of towns.
There is a common misconception that mature estates tend to be more centralised, or located nearer to the city, while non-mature estates are in far-flung areas with poor amenities and inconvenient transport systems in place.
However, this myth can be easily debunked if you compare the distance of mature estates, like Tampines, to the city, which is approximately 15km, with non-mature estates like Hougang, Bukit Panjang or Yishun, which are about the same distance away from the city — or arguably nearer.
Another inaccurate definition of mature estates is that they are all older than 20 years. However, towns like Yishun and Jurong with flats that are clearly more than 30 years old are still classed as non-mature while “younger” areas like Pasir Ris are categorised as mature estates.
Then there are the truly paradoxical places like the brand-new Bidadari estate, nestled within the mature and very sought-after town of Toa Payoh, which marks it as a mature estate despite being fresh out of the oven. This is very telling that the “age” of an estate is hardly an accurate indicator of its “mature” or “non-mature” classification.
3. Amenities and accessibility
There is also the baffling myth that mature estates have better amenities and accessibility than non-mature ones. However, a glance at non-mature estates like Punggol, Sengkang and Woodlands will reveal a well-connected transport system with bus routes, MRT stations, and a plethora of amenities, including malls, parks, and new housing concepts that embrace smart and sustainable designs.
Hougang, despite being a non-mature estate, is known to be in close proximity to a large number of prestigious schools. The accessibility and surfeit of amenities in these non-mature estates are comparable to that of the mature ones like Tampines, Ang Mo Kio, or even Toa Payoh.
There are also non-mature towns like Woodlands with five MRT stations across two lines, compared to mature estates like Clementi with only one current MRT station.
Contrary to popular belief, flats in non-mature estates are not necessarily cheaper. It is usually the age and size of the flat that determines its price tag.
A quick search on property listing portals will show you that non-mature estate Punggol has 4-room flats going for as high as over $700,000 while 4-room flats in mature towns like Bedok can average about $400,000 to $600,000.
Younger flats mean many more years on the remaining lease, as well as much fresher interior design and much better resale conditions. It is no wonder some non-mature estates are commanding higher prices than their mature counterparts.
Are the myths about mature and non-mature estates true or false?
|True or False?
|Believed to be in abundance
|Believed to be scarce
|Distance to city
|Believed to be nearer
|Believed to be further
|Not necessarily true
|Believed to be higher
|Believed to be lower
|Not necessarily true; price usually depends on the size and remaining lease of the property
|Believed to be higher for short-term gains
|Believed to be better in the long run
|Believed to be well-connected and convenient
|Believed to have in-progress transport systems or scarce options
|Tends to be noisier and higher population density
|More tranquil with intended developments like parks, greenery, eco-towns
With some of the myths debunked, which would you go for: a mature or non-mature estate?
For those aiming to get BTO flat in a mature estate, you have to fit the below two criteria:
1. You cannot be single
Even upon turning 35, singles cannot purchase a BTO flat on their own in a mature estate. Their best bet on getting a BTO is a 2-room flat in non-mature estates. There is no such restriction for resale flats for singles aged 35 and above.
2. You have to form a family nucleus for a better advantage in landing a BTO within a mature estate
Families applying under the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS), Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS) or simply just applying for a BTO flat will stand a larger chance of getting BTO flats in mature estates as there are a higher number of them set aside for this demographic.
When choosing a home, we recommend buyers to focus on the more important aspects of the property, such as the remaining lease, the conditions of the unit, and the available amenities in their immediate surroundings.
Non-mature estates are also fast evolving. The Business Times has reported that the price gap between mature and non-mature estates has and will continue to shrink in coming years as buyers avoid decaying leases while younger estates are transforming into mini-hubs with an abundance of amenities, enhanced accessibility, and modern conveniences.
Looking for a place in a particular estate but can’t find a match?
Let Ohmyhome’s smart data-matching technology MATCH you with the right home, according to your specific needs. Submit your preferences to us and our algorithm will filter all our available listings based on those, and we’ll WhatsApp them to you once we find a match. We’ll also send you relevant content that you can use for your research and inform your home buying decision, so you no longer have to spend hours searching online for the information that you need. Because at Ohmyhome, we’re always by your side, always on your side.
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