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Top HDB neighbourhoods with the best amenities

fiona.ho@edgeprop.sg

Set up in the 1960s to solve the nation’s housing crisis, HDB flats have today become a Singapore icon that is synonymous with quality and affordable living.

Clustered into towns, HDB neighbourhoods are vibrant living environments that have a huge cultural significance to our collective identity, because 80% of our residential population live in them.

Even if you don’t live in a HDB flat, you would have come across or utilised some of the amenities in a HDB neighbourhood, whether it is a hawker centre, the neighbourhood mall, clinic or sports centre. But while a myriad of commercial, recreational and social amenities can be found in all HDB neighbourhoods, the truth remains that certain neighbourhoods do stand out above the rest.

In this article, we pick the top 5 HDB neighbourhoods (in no particular order) with the best range of amenities based on their proximity to the following:

i) Transportation links (such as MRT stations and bus interchanges);

ii) Schools and educational institutions;

iii) Shopping and lifestyle amenities (such a malls and food centres)

iv) Recreational facilities (such as nature parks or reserves)

We also factored in the pricing of flats across HDB estates as part of our assessment.


Median resale prices by town and flat types for 3Q2018


(-) indicates no resale transactions in the quarter; Asterisks (" * ") refer to cases where there are less than 20 resale transactions in the quarter for the particular town and flat type. The median prices of these cases are not shown as they may not be representative. Source: HDB


Also read: HDB home prices then and now



1) Bishan


Various facilities are available in the neighbourhood, including the CPF Building (shown in pic), hawker centres, a swimming pool, stadium and sports hall, and a Community Club.



Bishan is home to some of Singapore's best-known schools, including Catholic High School (shown) and Raffles Institution.


Located in the central part of Singapore, Bishan is one of our top picks for its easy accessibility and various conveniences. For a start, it is home to some of the nation’s best-known schools, which includes Catholic High School and Raffles Institution.

It is also one of the best connected neighbourhoods around, being served by Bishan Bus Interchange and Bishan MRT station, which sits along both the North South Line and the Circle Line. For drivers, Bishan is easily accessible from the Central Expressway (CTE).

An extensive array of shopping and lifestyle amenities can be found in the Bishan neighbourhood. This includes the bustling Junction 8, a popular heartland mall that offers a hive of dining, retail and entertainment activities. Within the area, you will also find the Bishan Branch Office, the CPF Building, hawker centres, a swimming pool, stadium and sports hall, and a Community Club.

Bishan also has its very own skate park for enthusiasts of the sport. The Bishan Harmony Skate Park opened in 2009, and is located at the junction of Bishan Road and Braddell Road.

Based on HDB data, in 3Q2018, median resale prices for units in the neighbourhood were:

4-room: $558,000

5-room: $741,500

While prices are slightly on the steep side, they are comparatively lower than the median resale prices of flats in the neighbouring Toa Payoh (shown above), which in our view, contributes to the neighbourhood’s appeal.



2) Punggol


The Punggol Waterway Park is a great place for park users to enjoy a fun-filled day of leisure activities. Image source: National Parks.



​The 4.2km-long Punggol Waterway offers a gamut of leisurely activities and scenic views along the landscaped promenade for folks living within and beyond Punggol. Source: National Parks.


Punggol has undergone rapid development in recent years, and is now home to many young families. Naturally, to meet the demand of these families, a number of primary and secondary schools have been built in the estate in recent years.

According to the Ministry of Education, two more primary schools – Valour Primary School and Northshore Primary School – will open in Punggol in 2020. Meanwhile, Yusof Ishak Secondary School will relocate to Punggol in 2021, bringing the number of primary schools in the estate to 11, and the number of secondary schools in the area to four.

Punggol residents can also look forward to better connectivity links in the near future. According to the Land Transport Authority (LTA), residents of Punggol North can look forward to a new MRT station – the Punggol Coast station – by 2023. The Punggol Coast station will come with the construction of a 1.6km extension of the North-East Line (NEL), which aims to cut travelling time to the city from 45 minutes to just 30 minutes, LTA said in a press release.

On top of that, the 4.2km-long Punggol Waterway offers a gamut of leisurely activities and scenic views along the landscaped promenade for folks living within and beyond Punggol. Given its extensive range of lifestyle amenities, green living facilities and easy accessibility, it is no wonder that Punggol is one of the most searched HDB neighbourhoods on EdgeProp.sg.

Based on HDB data, in 3Q2018, median resale prices for units in the neighbourhood were:

3 room: $356,500

4 room: $450,000

5 room: $438,000

Executive: $545,000



3) Bukit Merah


Within Bukit Merah New Town, Tiong Bahru estate has emerged as a popular hangout, with the eclectic cafes and eateries that have sprouted in the vicinity.



Bukit Merah is served by the Bukit Merah Bus Interchange located in the Bukit Merah Town Centre, as well as various MRT stations along the East West Line.


Bukit Merah New Town comprises five estates; Tiong Bahru, Telok Blangah, Redhill, Bukit Purmei and the HarbourFront district. Within the new town, Tiong Bahru estate has emerged as a popular hangout, mixing nostalgia with contemporary living with the eclectic cafes and eateries that have sprouted in the vicinity.

The township comprises several Primary and Secondary Schools. They include Alexandra Primary School, Cantonment Primary School, Gan Eng Seng Primary School, Bukit Merah Secondary School and Crescent Girls’ School.

Recreational facilities such as Mount Faber Park and Telok Blangah Hill Park are popular spots amongst nature lovers within Bukit Merah. There is also the Henderson Waves, the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore at 36m above Henderson Road. Part of the Southern Ridges, the bridge connects Mount Faber Park and Telok Blangah Hill Park.

It is served by the Bukit Merah Bus Interchange located in the Bukit Merah Town Centre, as well as various MRT stations along the East West Line. Its central location, convenience and vibrancy has also made

Based on HDB data, in 3Q2018, median resale prices for units in the neighbourhood were:

3 room: $355,000

4 room: $660,000

5 room: $810,000

As with most mature estates, prices hover on the higher side. However, they are comparatively lower than the median resale prices of flats in the neighbouring Queenstown, which in our view, adds to its appeal.



4) Yishun


Yishun residents can get their shopping and groceries done at Northpoint City, the largest shopping mall in the North Region.



Under the Remaking Our Heartland (ROH) programme, Yishun Park was transformed into Yishun Pond Park, which has a 3-storey lookout tower amid the landscaping of Yishun pond.


Developed in the 1980s, Yishun was one of the three pilot towns to be rejuvenated under the Remaking Our Heartland (ROH) programme in September 2018.

Under the ROH programme, Yishun Park was transformed into Yishun Pond Park, which has a 3-storey lookout tower amid the landscaping of Yishun pond. A 94m winding ramp leads up to the viewing deck, where a panoramic view of Yishun Central can be observed.

Elsewhere, residents of the neighbourhood can get their shopping and groceries done at Northpoint City, the largest shopping mall in the North Region. Located right beside Yishun MRT Station, the shopping mall was previously known as Northpoint Shopping Centre. It underwent its first expansion in 2010.

Yishun folks will also be able to enjoy greater connectivity in the very near future, when the new Yishun Integrated Transport Hub opens in 2019. The hub will include an air-conditioned bus interchange, with an underpass link to Yishun MRT station. The hub will be part of the Northpoint City development that will include private residences, a retail mall, a community centre, and a town plaza. Its pre-existing and upcoming range of amenities have made the neighbourhood one of our top picks.

Based on HDB data, in 3Q2018, median resale prices for units in Yishun were:

3 room: $263,000

4 room: $350,000

5 room: $440,000



5) Tampines


Tampines is one of the largest towns in Singapore and is incredibly self-sufficient, making it a popular location for both buyers and renters alike. Image source: HDB



New transportation links and an abundance of lifestyle amenities in the neighbourhood have made Tampines one of our top picks. Image source: HDB


Tampines is one of the largest towns in Singapore and is incredibly self-sufficient, making it a popular location for both buyers and renters alike.

For a start, Our Tampines Hub, which opened in August 2017, is Singapore’s first integrated community and lifestyle hub, housing a variety of sports facilities, a regional library, a hawker centre, a Public Service Centre, a Festive Arts Theatre, and many other facilities under the same room for the convenience of both residents and visitors.

The retail and lifestyle amenities aren’t the only factors that make Tampines such a desirable place to live in. It also hosts a numbers of schools and educational facilities. They include St. Hilda’s Primary School, Angsana Primary School, East Spring Secondary School and Ngee Ann Secondary School.

The new Downtown Line 3 extension also brings greater connectivity to various locations in the East, as it includes interchange stations at Macpherson, Tampines and Expo. The upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line will further boost the ease of commute for residents, providing more MRT links to the city and to the northern parts of the island.

Based on HDB data, in 3Q2018, median resale prices for units in the neighbourhood were:

3 room: $335,000

4 room: $425,000

5 room: $532,500

Executive: $668,400

Which other neighbourhoods do you think should be on the list? Let us know in the comments section below!

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