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August 2022 HDB BTO in-depth review: Bukit Merah

·13-min read

If you want to live close to the city centre, look out for the Bukit Merah BTO. In the August 2022 HDB BTO launch, HDB will be offering two projects in this mature estate.

August 2022 Bukit Merah HDB BTO at a glance

Location

- Along Alexandra View
- Along Havelock Road

Classification

Mature estate

Number of units

- Alexandra View: 780
- Havelock Road: 870

Flat types

3-room and 4-room for both projects

Number of blocks

TBC

Estimated waiting time

TBC

Estimated completion date

TBC

Nearest MRT

Redhill MRT, Havelock MRT

Notable amenities

Redhill Market and Food Centre, Beo Crescent Market, Tiong Bahru Plaza, Valley Point, Great World City, Delta Swimming Complex and Sports Hall, Singapore General Hospital, Alexandra Hospital

Alexandra View Bukit Merah August 2022 BTO
Map of Bukit Merah BTO along Alexandra View. Source: HDB
Havelock Road Bukit Merah August 2022 BTO
Map of Bukit Merah BTO along Havelock Road BTO. Source: HDB

August 2022 Bukit Merah HDB BTO indicative price range

HDB hasn’t released the price range yet. So for now, you can refer to SRX’s estimations based on nearby resale transactions and launch prices from recent BTO launches.

Flat type

Price range 

3-room

S$370,000 – S$530,000

4-room

S$540,000 – S$770,000

Source: SRX. These estimations have been adjusted for differences in property age and location. If a launch is nearer to an MRT or commercial development, it’s likely to be more expensive.

Estimated downpayment, monthly instalment and income

Based on these pricing forecasts, we can estimate the downpayment, monthly instalments and household income needed to pay for the August 2022 Bukit Merah BTO flat. These estimates are based on the following assumptions:

  • An HDB loan is taken, maximising the 85% loan-to-value (LTV)

  • The loan tenure is 25 years, with the current interest rate of 2.6%

  • There is no other housing loan to service

To illustrate, we’ll use the median of the estimated price range and won’t be taking into account any CPF grants or savings to be used. We’ll also be using a mortgage calculator to do the math.

Another thing is that for public housing, you can only use up to 30% of your monthly household income to service the home loan. This is called the Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR), which you can calculate using our MSR calculator. By taking this into account, we can then find the estimated household monthly income needed for the flat.

Flat type

Median price

Loan amount (85%)

Min. downpayment (15%)

Estimated monthly instalment

Estimated monthly household income

3-room

S$450,000

S$382,500

S$67,500

S$1,735.00

S$5,783.33

4-room

S$655,000

S$556,750

S$98,250

S$2,526.00

S$8,420.00

What we noticed about the August 2022 Bukit Merah HDB BTO

The first thing that caught our eye is how close both projects are to the MRT station. The nearest MRT of the BTO plot along Alexandra View is Redhill MRT. While for the Havelock Road BTO, Havelock MRT will be its nearest MRT.

Because of their close proximity to the MRT and the city centre, there’s a very high chance that they will fall under the Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) model. We think it would be just like Bukit Merah Ridge that was launched last May, which is around 600m from the Alexandra View BTO and around 900m from the Havelock Road BTO.

We also want to point out that the Alexandra View BTO was initially planned to be launched in last May’s exercise, but was later postponed to this August launch.

August 2022 Bukit Merah BTO: The Pros

Accessibility

Besides the central location, what we like most about both Bukit Merah BTO is that both are close to the MRT. In fact, both are just around a five-minute walk away from their nearest MRT: Redhill MRT which is right next to Alexandra View BTO, and the upcoming Havelock MRT on the new Thomson-East Coast Line for Havelock Road BTO.

Residents of Havelock Road BTO will also have direct access to the East-West Line, with Tiong Bahru MRT an eight-minute walk away.

Both BTO are ideal for those working in the CBD, as you can reach there within three to four stops. And for those who drive, the CBD is just within a 15-minute drive away.

The Central Expressway (CTE) is also just a couple of streets away, connecting you to the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE), Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) and Seletar Expressway (SLE).

Food and retail amenities

Both Bukit Merah BTO are within walking distance to neighbourhood centres, where you can find hawker centres and supermarkets.

The Alexandra View BTO, in particular, is just around a seven-minute walk to Redhill Market and Food Centre. Here’s also where you can find a Giant supermarket. Closer to home, there’s an NTUC Fairprice on the first floor of the neighbouring Artra condo.

Likewise, if you managed to snag a flat at the Havelock Road BTO, you’ll just be five minutes walk away from Beo Crescent Market. Walk a little further west and you’ll find an NTUC Fairprice.

If you’re looking for one that’s closer to food and retail amenities, we suggest going for the Havelock Road BTO. It’s just around an eight-minute walk to Tiong Bahru Plaza, and a 12-minute walk to Valley Point and Great World City.

Tiong Bahru Bakery
Tiong Bahru Bakery

This BTO is also closer to the eateries and cafes at Tiong Bahru (10-minute walk) and Robertson Quay (18-minute walk).

Childcare centres

We also like that some childcare centres are available within walking distance of both BTOs.

For the Alexandra View BTO, there’s the Cambridge Pre-School at the neighbouring Artra condo. There’s also a few options within a 10-minute walking distance, such as Alora Child Care at Leng Kee CC, PCF Sparkletots at Redhill Close and My First Skool at Henderson Crescent.

For the Havelock Road BTO, the nearest childcares include Superland Pre-School at Ganges Avenue, MY World Pre-School at Boon Tiong Road and Maple Bear Pre-School at Havelock Road. All are within 10 minutes walking distance from the BTO.

Schools

Both BTOs are within a 1km radius of at least two primary schools. For the Alexandra View BTO, these are Alexandra Primary and Gan Eng Seng Primary. For the Havelock Road BTO, these are River Valley Primary, Alexandra Primary and Zhang De Primary.

Other nearby schools include Crescent Girls’ Secondary, Gan Eng Seng Secondary, Bukit Merah Secondary and APSN (Tanglin School), that’s right next to Alexandra View BTO.

Recreational facilities

Like the Ang Mo Kio BTO, there’s a good range of recreational facilities here. The Alexandra View BTO is especially ideal for those into sports. It’s right next to Delta Swimming Complex and Sports Hall, which also has a hockey pitch. Currently, both are closed for renovation.

The sports facilities are still located pretty near the Havelock Road BTO, but it will take around a 13-minute bus ride to get there.

On top of that, both Bukit Merah BTO are close to parks. For instance, you can head to the Henderson Park Connector nearby that’s linked to Telok Blangah Hill Park and Mount Faber. The park connector is also connected to the Rail Corridor, where you can head to Tanjong Pagar or Kranji for the times when you fancy a long walk.

Healthcare facilities

Healthcare facilities are also pretty accessible from both BTOs, with two hospitals within a short drive away.

Singapore General Hospital and Alexandra Hospital are both within a 10-minute drive away from both BTOs. SGH is closer to the Havelock Road BTO (a six-minute drive), while Alexandra Hospital is closer to the Alexandra View BTO at a seven-minute drive away.

For acute illnesses and non-emergencies, there’s also Bukit Merah Polyclinic nearby. It’s around a 15-minute bus ride from Alexandra View BTO, and a 25-minute bus ride from Havelock Road BTO.

August 2022 Bukit Merah BTO: The Cons

No 5-room flats available

Like the Bukit Merah Ridge in the previous launch, we have one major gripe on both projects: they don’t have 5-room flats.

There’s also the likelihood that these will be PLH flats with a 10-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP), so it can be a tight squeeze for those expanding the family within those 10 years.

So if you’re looking for a bigger space, we suggest going for the Ang Mo Kio BTO, Choa Chu Kang BTO or Tampines BTO.

Or go for resale flats in the area, which are not restricted by the PLH restrictions.

HDB flats for sale in Bukit Merah

See all listings

45 Kim Cheng Street Photo
45 Kim Cheng Street Photo

45 Kim Cheng Street

Singapore 160045 · D3

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

1

947 sqft

$749,000

129 Kim Tian Road Photo
129 Kim Tian Road Photo

129 Kim Tian Road

Singapore 160129 · D3

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

947 sqft

$550,000

105 Bukit Purmei Road Photo
105 Bukit Purmei Road Photo

105 Bukit Purmei Road

Singapore 090105 · D4

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

980 sqft

$678,800

127C Kim Tian Road Photo
127C Kim Tian Road Photo

127C Kim Tian Road

Singapore 163127 · D3

bedroom
bedroom

2

bathroom
bathroom

2

667 sqft

$580,000

105A Depot Road Photo
105A Depot Road Photo

105A Depot Road

Singapore 101105 · D4

bedroom
bedroom

2

bathroom
bathroom

2

721 sqft

$615,000

93A Telok Blangah Street 31 Photo
93A Telok Blangah Street 31 Photo

93A Telok Blangah Street 31

Singapore 101093 · D4

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

1,000 sqft

$920,000

75 Telok Blangah Drive Photo
75 Telok Blangah Drive Photo

75 Telok Blangah Drive

Singapore 100075 · D4

bedroom
bedroom

2

bathroom
bathroom

2

721 sqft

$428,000

64 Telok Blangah Drive Photo
64 Telok Blangah Drive Photo

64 Telok Blangah Drive

Singapore 100064 · D4

bedroom
bedroom

2

bathroom
bathroom

2

721 sqft

$370,000

64 Telok Blangah Drive Photo
64 Telok Blangah Drive Photo

64 Telok Blangah Drive

Singapore 100064 · D4

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

990 sqft

$520,000

86 Redhill Close Photo
86 Redhill Close Photo

86 Redhill Close

Singapore 150086 · D3

bedroom
bedroom

2

bathroom
bathroom

1

635 sqft

$380,000

 

Oversubscription (for second-timers)

Judging by the application rate for the nearby Bukit Merah Ridge in the previous launch, we think first-timers may have a shot at securing a queue number.

During the May 2022 BTO launch, the application rates for first-timers were 0.6 for 3-room flats and 3.2 for 4-room flats, which were actually lower than the application rates for Kim Keat Heights, Lakeside View and Yishun Beacon.

May 2022 BTO application rate
Source: HDB

This could be due to the PLH restrictions that make the project less popular than expected.

But if you’re applying as a second-timer, note that your chances of securing a queue number here may be lower.

As you can see from the table above, there were 21 applicants competing for each 3-room flat and 46 applicants for each 4-room flat. So there’s more intense competition among second-timers.

August 2022 Bukit Merah BTO: Where are the best stacks with the best views?

HDB hasn’t released the site plans yet. So for now, we’re just looking based on the surrounding areas of the projects.

If you’re looking for unblocked views, you may want to give Alexandra View BTO a skip. It’s mostly surrounded by condos and HDB flats. At the north, there’s Echelon. At the west, there’s Artra. Both condos are 43 storeys high.

URA master plan of Alexandra View BTO in Bukit Merah
The blue drop pin is where the Alexandra View BTO will be at. Source: URA

At the south of the BTO, there are older (and shorter) HDB blocks. But when we looked at the URA master plan, we noticed the residential plots here come with a high gross floor area (the plots are actually the Redhill Close blocks that were SERS’ed around 10 years ago).

The high gross floor area means these plots can be redeveloped into very tall housing projects. So even if you get the south-facing stacks that face the Southern Ridges, your view might get blocked in future.

URA master plan of Havelock Road BTO
The blue drop pin is where the Havelock Road BTO will be at. Source: URA

For now, we think there’s a better chance of getting unblocked views from the upper floors of the Havelock Road BTO. Here’s where you can get views of the GCBs at Chatsworth Park at the northwest. You might also get a view of Sentosa and the sea from the upper floors of the south-facing stacks.

At the same time, we note there’s a residential plot along Kampong Bahru that doesn’t have a gross plot ratio yet, so there’s a high chance the developments here will block the view of Sentosa and the sea in future.

August 2022 Bukit Merah BTO: What’s the potential price appreciation?

Over the past 10 years, the average price psf has generally increased by 11.78% for 3-room and 4-room flats at Bukit Merah. In general, there’s not much drastic increase or decrease in the average price psf. This could be due to the older age of the flats here, so they generally don’t command such a high price.

Bukit Merah Aug 2022 BTO price trend
Bukit Merah Aug 2022 BTO price trend

So far, there are no BTO flats in the Tiong Bahru area. The BTO projects in the estate have mostly been launched in the Telok Blangah area, such as Telok Blangah Towers, Telok Blangah Ridgeview and Telok Blangah Parcview.

The newer flats here are the SERS replacement flats such as City Vue @ Henderson, Havelock View, Tiong Bahru View and Kim Tian Green.

Looking at the average price psf for 3-room and 4-room flats in these developments, they’re generally higher than the average price psf in Bukit Merah. They have been hovering at around S$780 to S$900 for the past five years.

Price trend of newer flats in Tiong Bahru
Price trend of newer flats in Tiong Bahru

Kim Tian Green and Havelock View have seen a high appreciation of 10.56% and 12.64%, respectively. Meanwhile, the newer flats from Tiong Bahru View and City Vue have so far seen a lower price psf increase of 2.12% and 1.92%, respectively.

August 2022 Bukit Merah BTO: Should you apply?

Yes, if you prioritise living close to the city centre. Both BTOs are within easy reach of plenty of amenities as well.

At the same time, you should prepare to live here for a long time.

This is because these Bukit Merah BTO flats are most probably PLH flats. They come with stricter conditions, such as a 10-year MOP and subsidy clawback. So you may not want to ballot here if you’re thinking of upgrading.

Also, note that PLH flats tend to be smaller, measuring around 89 sqm for 4-room flats. On the other hand, a typical 4-room BTO flat usually spans around 93 sqm. The flats here may not be ideal if you’re looking for bigger space.

Will you apply for the August 2022 Bukit Merah BTO? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook post.

If you found this article helpful, check out our overview of the August 2022 BTO projects and in-depth reviews:

Frequently asked questions

How much is an HDB BTO flat?

It depends on the location. For instance, in the previous BTO exercise in May, a 4-room flat in Yishun costs between S$328k to S$418k, while a similar flat type in Bukit Merah was priced between S$540k to S$737k.

What is the downpayment for a BTO flat?

Assuming you’re maximising the loan-to-value ratio, the downpayment of a BTO flat is 15% if you’re taking an HDB loan, or 25% if you’re taking a bank loan.

Can I buy BTO if I already own an HDB flat?

Yes, if you have only bought a new HDB/DBSS flat or received one CPF Housing Grant so far. Do note that you’ll have to sell your flat within 6 months of collecting the keys to your BTO flat.

The post August 2022 HDB BTO in-depth review: Bukit Merah appeared first on 99.co.

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