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This Hidden Feb 2024 BTO Market Trend Will Surprise You

Maelyn Lagman

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I’ve been following the Feb 2024 BTO sales exercise closely and was surprised at how much more interest there was in the Matilda Riverside project in Punggol than the only Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) project of the month, Tanglin Halt Courtyard in Queenstown. When I compared the monthly search trend for these 2 Feb 2024 BTO projects on Google Trends, there was higher interest in Matilda Riverside compared to Tanglin Halt Courtyard.

Here’s the recent Google Trends report on the keywords “Queenstown BTO” and “Punggol BTO” in the past 7 days.

And here’s the result using more specific keywords “Tanglin Halt Courtyard” and “Matilda Riverside” in the same time period.

Comparing BTO Feb 2024 Projects: Tanglin Halt Courtyard vs Matilda Riverside

There may be an expectation for prime BTO flats to perform better in terms of application rates as demand for central properties is often higher due to their proximity to the city and more premium amenities, as well as, of course, the potential for future price growth. True enough, Tanglin Halt Courtyard was the most popular project in the BTO Feb 2024 sales exercise, with 1,300 applications for 251 units, or 5.2 times subscribed.

Is Tanglin Halt Courtyard’s 10-year MOP a disadvantage?

However, with the new BTO classification in place and Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) tagged with a longer Minimum Occupation Period of 10 years, the longer holding period may be a disadvantage.

New BTO classification: Standard, Plus & Prime

StandardPlus
From H2 2024
Prime
(Existing PLH Model)
Since Nov 2021
Can be found islandwide
Bulk of supply
Attractive locations within each region (near MRT or malls) but less central than PrimeChoicest locations
Mainly central areas
Regular subsidies ($)More subsidies ($$)Most subsidies ($$$)
Standard restrictions:
– 5-year MOP
Tighter restrictions:
– 10-year MOP
– $14k couples income ceiling (also upon resale)
– Buyer to return additional subsidies upon resale (smaller clawback than Prime)
Tighest restrictions
– 10-year MOP
– $14K couples income ceiling (also upon resale)
– No whole flat rental
– Buyer to return additional subsidies upon resale
– No ownership or sale of private property in the last 2.5 years

As a PLH flat, Tanglin Halt Courtyard has a 10-year MOP, which subjects buyers to a 10-year MOP and an 8% clawback subsidy upon sale. In comparison, Matilda Riverside, as a non-mature flat, only follows the standard 5-year MOP, not to mention it is a Shorter Waiting Flat — in fact, it has the shortest waiting time of 3 years and 1 month in this exercise.

Read our full review of Tanglin Halt Courtyard below.

More BTO flats offered for sale in Punggol at lower quantum

There is also the price difference to consider. After grants, Matilda Riverside is priced between $51,000 and $419,000 for 2-room Flexi and 5-room flats. Meanwhile, Tanglin Halt Courtyard is priced between $155,000 and $520,000 for 2-room Flexi and 4-room flats — and this is after grants.

Artist render of FBTO Feb 2024 Matilda Riverside

As a smaller BTO project, there’s a significantly lower number of units available at Tanglin Halt Courtyard compared to Matilda Riverside. This also includes the range of units on offer. Buyers have more options in Punggol, as it offers 2-room Flexi, 3-room, 4-room, and 5-room flats, compared to Queenstown, which only offers 2-room Flexi and 4-room flats.

With a wider range of flat sizes to choose from and more flats offered for sale at a lower quantum, without any subsidy clwabacks, it does make sense for there to be a higher interest in Matilda Riverside compared to Tanglin Halt Courtyard. Additionally, with fewer flats offered for sale in Queenstown, units at Tanglin Halt Courtyard are reserved for seniors, so new couples or growing families will have to wait for the balance flats, if any.

Read our full review of Matilda Riverside below.

Why Punggol is an up-and-coming town to watch

Those who applied to the Punggol BTO Feb 2024 project will not have to compromise connectivity to the city and access to amenities, which the new batch of BTO buyers have noted to be deal-breakers when choosing a home. Where Matilda Riverside is located, next to Punggol Reservoir, there are 3 LRT stations — Farmway LRT, Cheng Lim LRT, and Soo Teck LRT — within a short walking distance. Numerous schools are also within the vicinity. You can get the full list of amenities for Matilda Riverside here.

Punggol Reservoir view from Matilda Riverside BTO Feb 2024

Punggol also stands out as an attractive location to the new batch of BTO buyers, who have higher expectations for their quality of living, due to its comprehensive development into a smart and sustainable town. It is Singapore’s first eco-town, emphasizing sustainable living with initiatives for clean energy, water, and waste management. While this may sound like lip service for the town of Punggol, it is undeniable that Singaporeans today are highly educated and care deeply about the environment and sustainability.

The development of the Punggol Digital District (PDD) further enhances its appeal by integrating technology and innovation into daily living, promising more job opportunities close to home in key growth sectors of the digital economy. This initiative is expected to generate 28,000 new jobs, making Punggol a hub for the future workforce.

Moreover, Punggol is designed with community-centric and connected neighborhoods, offering residents a high quality of life with its mix of green spaces, waterfront living, and smart housing options. The town’s emphasis on being car-lite and prioritising the movement of people over vehicles, alongside the development of cycling paths, supports a healthier and more active lifestyle.

The range of innovative technologies and infrastructure, such as the Pneumatic Waste Conveyancing System and integrated Facilities Management System, aim to enhance liveability and reduce the carbon footprint. Additionally, the deployment of IoT and sensor technologies in PDD and surrounding residential areas like Punggol Northshore supports smart-enabled homes, allowing Punggol residents to enjoy greater convenience and a modern living environment.

So while PLH flats remain to be a good bet on paper, the changing needs of home seekers in Singapore today reflect the underlying shift in market demand.

However, do take note that this is a specific comparison between Matilda Riverside and Tanglin Halt Courtyard based on Google Search Keyword Trends and therefore should not be considered a comprehensive analysis of the BTO Feb 2024 sales exercise.

Find resale HDB flats and condo units for sale and rent in Punggol on Ohmyhome.

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