Every quarter, couples face the headache of deciding which Build To Order (BTO) plot to apply for, in the hope of landing their dream home. But understanding the consequences that come with your choice of BTO plot can be difficult. This is especially so when HDB only provides a screenshot of a map with only a few lines of details. To help you ace the BTO game, here’s a breakdown of the most essential information of the five new estates in Tengah, Sembawang, Sengkang, Tampines and Yishun.

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For November 2018, only one project will be in a mature estate, i.e. Tampines. The rest of the BTO launches will be in non-mature estates.

For the first time, there will be a BTO launch in the up-and-coming estate of Tengah. Tengah is touted as the next generation public housing estate with plans to make it the first estate with driverless vehicles in Singapore. Aspiring HDB homeowners, get your notebooks ready to copy down these notes:

1. Tengah

For forward-looking couples, Tengah seems to be the place to live in. That being said, it is now still a barren piece of land (not really, since the Tengah forest is still standing tall). However, with Tengah estate outlined with plans to become an innovation district and designed as a Forest Town, you are probably looking at the future of public housing in Singapore with Tengah.

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Smarter transportation. HDB plans to pilot-launch autonomous vehicles in Tengah at the Plantation District (where this plot sits) to provide convenient first- and last-mile connection to key transport nodes. Imagine not having to wait 10 to 15 minutes for your bus to come; simply press some buttons via a smartphone app and your transport will be there for you.

More community spaces. The plantation district will also come with common spaces for residents to gather and interact with each other. This will be at the community squares that will feature a small stage for community events such as exhibitions, bazaars and community performances. There will also be a linear pedestrian mall comprising of eateries and retail outlets. Not to forget, there will also be other amenities like childcare centres and schools.

Energy-saving tech. Tengah will also be powered by a centralised energy software system that will analyse how each household and neighbourhood, as well as the entire town uses energy. This system will then tap into artificial intelligence to spot patterns and anomalies in energy flow to minimise disruption to services and optimise the use of energy. Sounds futuristic, doesn’t it?

The catch is… Don’t forget that the estate is still new and there aren’t many amenities until a few more years down the road. You will need to share those amenities with your friendly neighbours in Jurong while you wait for yours.

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2. Sembawang

While Sembawang isn’t the typical central location that most couples would prefer, it offers a decent housing location at a very affordable price. Based on historical prices of BTOs in Sembawang, the average cost of a 3-room flat is between S$155k and S$185k.

Flat Type Min. (Based on historical prices) Max (Based on historical prices)
3-room flat $155,000 $185,000
4-room flat $240,000 $300,000
5-room flat $315,000 $390,000


One interesting thing about the upcoming Sembawang plot is the number of condominiums located in the vicinity. From Canberra residences to The Nautical, there is no lack of nicely designed condos. With so many located in the area, it makes you feel like you are living in one without paying for the price of one. Who knows, the condos in the area might even help to elevate the value of your HDB.

Nearest MRT Sembawang (NS 11)
Nearest shopping mall Sembawang Shopping Centre

Sun Plaza

Nearby amenities Sembawang CC

Canberra-Sembawang Park Connector

Yishun Park Connector

Bukit Canberra (Sports & Community Hub)

Schools in the area Sembawang Primary School

Canberra Primary School

Wellington Primary School

Endeavour Primary School

Sembawang Secondary School

Commute time to City Hall MRT 53 – 60 mins
Commute time to nearest shopping mall 25 – 30 mins by bus

20 mins by walking

Opening date of Canberra MRT (North-South Line) December 2019
Types of flats offered 3-room



Estimated number of units 310

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3. Sengkang

For couples who are looking to start a family soon, this plot in Sengkang is a choice to consider. Like many other plots in the North East region, there is an abundance of schools in the vicinity. There are around seven primary schools for potential parents to choose from. The only downside of this launch is the limited food choices, especially for couples who are both working.

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Flat Type Min. (Based on historical prices) Max (Based on historical prices)
4-room flat $275,000 $340,000
5-room flat $360,000 $420,000

If you are looking to apply for this launch, make sure you go down to check out your food options in the vicinity. Having a coffee shop that is 5 minutes away from your home can sometimes be a real lifesaver, especially one with a zichar stall.

Nearest MRT Sengkang (NE 16)

Buangkok (NE 15)

Nearest shopping mall Greenwich V

Compass One

Nearby amenities Interim Sports Facilities

Anchorvale CC + Sengkang Sports Centre

Schools in the area Fernvale Primary School

Fernvale Gardens School

Sengkang Green Primary School

Anchor Green Primary School

Nan Chiau Primary School

Nan Chiau High School

Springdale Primary School

Fern Green Primary School (under construction)

North Vista Primary School

Commute time to City Hall MRT 53 – 60 mins
Commute time to nearest shopping mall 20 mins by walking + LRT

25 mins by walking + bus

Types of flats offered 4-room


Estimated number of units 330

4. Tampines

This is the only plot that will be in a mature estate for the BTO launch in November 2018. However, the size of this plot is bigger than usual with 1,080 units available for application. Although this plot is defined as the Tampines estate, people familiar with the area will point out that this plot is more like a 50 per cent Bedok / 50 per cent Tampines plot. This is a more accurate depiction of the location of this plot, rather than what the name suggests.

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Flat Type Min. (Based on historical prices) Max (Based on historical prices)
3-room flat $200,000 $250,000
4-room flat $300,000 $350,000
5-room flat $400,000 $480,000

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One thing that this plot offers to its future owner is the convenience of an MRT station right at your doorstep. All you have to do is to go through the underpass to enter Tampines West station, which makes travelling much more convenient. If you are travelling to town, you can just take the downtown line. It will bring you to stations like Downtown station, Bencoolen or Telok Ayer.

Nearest MRT Tampines West (DT 31)

Tampines (EW 2)

Bedok (EW 5)

Nearest shopping mall Tampines Mall

Century Square

Tampines One

Tampines Hub

Nearest amenities Tampines Park Connector

Plenty of food choices

Tampines West CC

Bedok Reservoir

Schools in the area Tampines Primary School

Tampines Secondary School

Junyuan Primary School

East View Primary School

St Hilda’s Primary School

St Hilda’s Secondary School

Pasir Ris Secondary School

Springfield Secondary School

Temasek Poly

Commute time to City Hall MRT 40 mins
Commute time to nearest shopping mall 8 mins by MRT

21 mins by walking

Types of flats offered 2-room Flexi




Estimated number of units 1,080

5. Yishun

Within every BTO launch, there are bound to be ‘good’ plots and ‘bad’ plots. In terms of location, this is probably ranked among the lowest. It takes around 24 to 30 minutes to reach the nearest shopping mall. However, there are two important silver linings.

One is the Yishun Park hawker centre, which is only a 17 minutes’ walk away. You can find affordable and yummy food there that will meet your food needs. There is also an estate shopping area around Yishun Ring Road where you can find Giant and NTUC Fairprice.

Flat Type Min. (Based on historical prices) Max (Based on historical prices)
3-room flat $170,000 $200,000
4-room flat $250,000 $320,000
5-room flat $320,000 $390,000


Another silver lining is that the plot is closely located to the Yishun Polyclinic, Khoo Teck Phuat Hospital and Yishun Community Hospital. If you have elderly folk living with you who require medical care, this would be a good location to settle down.

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Nearest MRT Yishun (NS 13)
Nearest shopping mall Northpoint

Yishun Mall

Nearby amenities Yishun Park Hawker Centre

Khatib Bongsu Park Connector

Yishun Swimming Complex

Lower Seletar Reservoir

Yishun Community Hospital

Khoo Teck Phuat Hospital

Yishun Polyclinic

Schools in the area Northland Secondary School

Xishan Primary School

Yishun Town Secondary School

Yishun Primary School

Huamin Primary School

North View Primary School

Gems World Academy

Northbrooks Secondary School

Northland Primary School

Rainbow Centre – Yishun Park School

Chung Cheng High School (Yishun)

Commute time to City Hall MRT 64 mins
Commute time to nearest shopping mall 24 – 33 mins by bus + walking

31 mins by walking

Types of flats offered 3-room



Estimated number of units 456


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Text: Si Jie Lim

This article first appeared on BankBazaar.sg. BankBazaar.sg is a leading online marketplace in Singapore that helps consumers compare and apply for financial products such as credit cards and loans.