Holy hell it’s already August?!
2021 really is just flying by isn’t it.
But alas, we’ve reached the 8th month of the year. And for us, August SCREAMS Singapore.
National Day, Flags hanging out on windows, The nation collectively working to attain the vaccination target.
But really, nothing screams SINGAPORE in August quite like another BTO launch.
Prepare your Singpass-es, whip out your $10 and put on your reading glasses for some intensive reading, cause it’s BTO time again baby.
If you wanna read up on the guides for the other sites in this launch,
There are only 3 constant things in life - Change, The rise in Covid cases when 'travel bubble' gets mentioned and Purple line stations getting BTOs.
From the very first BTO launch in 2001 that featured Sengkang and Punggol, we’re finally back to Hougang (or more specifically, Kovan).
What is probably the most hyped sale in this launch, the Hougang BTO is highly sought after for good reason.
- One of the lots is right beside an MRT Station
- That MRT Station has an above-average connectivity to other lines
- As much as I hate bringing politics into it, I’m pretty sure the political party that’s in charge of Hougang plays a part
What you may NOT know is that even after the 2k+ people who’re going to move into this BTO, the % of HDB people in Kovan will STILL be lesser than the people staying in Condos and Landed property. I’ll touch more on this in the investment section below.
Ky-stradamus’s BTO Name Prediction
What I think it’ll be called: Kovan Court, Kovan Edgeville, Kovan Walk or something lame like that
What I want it to be called: Kovan’s Coven
What it’s actually called: Kovan Wellspring and Hougang Citrine
That being said, let's get into the nitty gritty.
This upcoming sale has 2 different plots, 1 that’s closer to Kovan MRT and the other that’s closer to Bartley MRT.
So, instead of having to continuously differentiate between the two, for the rest of the article, I’ll be referring to plot that’s closer to Kovan MRT in purple and the Bartley one in orange.
For this lot, 586 units of 2-rm flexi, 3-rm and 4-rm are available.
For this lot, For this lot, 749 units of 2-rm flexi, 3-rm, 4-rm and 5-rm are available.
Fyi; for those who are unaware about sales with multiple plots, you can’t choose which plot to bid for. The bidding process works as per normal, you get a queue ticket number, and you get to choose out of the 1335 units.
This block of units is situated to be along Upper Serangoon road and Tampines road.
Mentally prepare yourselves to have congested roads at times because this is at an intersection where Upper Serangoon Road (an already busy road) has a Tampines exit.
This block of units is situated to be along Hougang Avenue 3 and a future extension of Hougang Avenue 1.
Compared to the Kovan lot, traffic seems to be a lot milder here. The future roads (the ones in dotted lines) also don’t seem to be major roads so there shouldn’t be too much traffic.
Just take note that the road outside Hougang bus depot, that’s opposite this lot, may be slow moving at times, cause … you know … buses.
Also fyi, both lots are super close by Paya Lebar Air Base, so it’ll be safe to say that you’ll often get bombarded with airplanes flying over you.
Ok la I’m gonna be honest here, one of these lots is much better than the other when it comes to the transport situation.
For this lot, it’s right beside Kovan MRT. But of course, everyone who’s interested in this lot already knows this.
Honestly, the best part about it is your convenience to Serangoon, which opens up 4 other MRT lines, but you won’t have to deal with the absolute cluster-f that is Serangoon MRT.
Bus isn’t too bad either. The bus stop right at your doorstep has services that go to AMK, Punggol & Tampines.
For those who drive/ride, you have access to the PIE and KPE.
For this lot, You’ll have to travel a bit if you plan to take the MRT. I wouldn't even recommend walking because it seems to be quite a distance unless you're looking to soak in that Vitamin D. The next alternative would be taking buses, which brings me to my next point.
There seems to just be 1 bus stop outside this lot. The odd thing is that, none of the services will bring you to Kovan MRT. Instead, you have services that will bring you to Hougang/Serangoon Interchange, which will be the closest stop at an MRT station should you need the train.
Good thing is, there seems to be an upcoming bus depot for the CCL6 lines (Keppel, Cantonment, Prince Edward Road). It’s highly suspected that because of this (and the fact that 740 units are gonna be built), more bus services will include the bus stop at your doorstep as part of their route. Even if it's just a feeder bus that serves the Kovan area.
Bad thing is, for people with vehicles, the bus depot means more buses, which may mean slower traffic for you. I mentioned above that the road opposite this lot is already experiencing slow traffic because of the present bus depot, it’s projected to be the same for the roads at your estate. So just prepare yourselves for that.
But, you'll still have the same access to the PIE and KPE.
Mini game; If you combine all the letters that are underlined, you’ll get my honest opinion of the transport situation for the Bartley site.
For this section, I’ll talk about amenities as a whole since it’s all in the vicinity.
If you wanna get together and gooooooooooooooooo …
The most obvious one will be Heartland Mall. As its name suggests, this mall is located in the heartland of Kovan. It’s a family mall with over 100 stores. It basically covers all the essentials for each member of the family - groceries, play areas, tuition centres, boutique stores.
For many families, this would probably be the most valuable and strongest asset. And as a great man once said,
“Nothing’s stronger than family”- Dominic Toretto, Fast 1-9 (and probably 10)
Alternatively, you have bigger, more established malls that are also near you. NEX @ Serangoon and Hougang Mall @ …… Hougang are both 1 train stop away.
Onto healthcare, regardless of whether you’ve taken fries-her, moderna family, sino🅱️ac or none (not judging, it’s a safe space), COVID and general illnesses are still rampant (especially in this hot-ass weather).
Firstly, there’s Hougang Polyclinic that’s in the area, just about a 3-6 min drive.
Alternatively, if you’ve already gotten a warning from the doctor that you’ve been geng-ing a lot, there’s an upcoming healthcare facility that caters for families at the Bartley site.
There’s no indication as to what kind of health services this would provide - it could range from a hospital to a polyclinic to a nursing home. However, given the size of the plot, it may turn out to be a dental/veterinary clinic instead.
If you have an active lifestyle and you’re looking for options, the closest one to you will be the JForté Sportainment Centre (honestly it sounds like a wrestling promotion).
While there is also a Anytime Fitness outlet in there, the main attraction will be Forté Bowl, a bowling alley. Like most other alleys, they also do a cosmic bowling night on the weekends, and it’s probably the closest you can get to experiencing you’re at Marquee now.
(also if you have time, go read their Google reviews and sort it by lowest, the person in charge of the responses has the patience of a saint)
That being said, the Hougang ActiveSG Sports Complex is also nearby, with a swimming pool, a stadium, and a sports hall which you can book for badminton.
So if you’re bored of using your fingers to play with balls, you can always go and hit some shuttlecocks.
If you need somewhere to pray in hopes that your BTO becomes a $1mil HDB unit, this Hougang BTO launch has about 8 Chinese temples, 5 churches, 1 mosque
and blackpink in the area.
The closest Sikh and Hindu temple I can find are the ones at Towner road, in the area of the Kallang/Whampoa BTO.
Personally, I’ve never seen so many places of worship in a cluster.
Like just take a look at this stretch, wew.
Apart from the noteworthy schools that I’ve listed in the infographic, I’ll just mention a few upcoming schools that will be near this BTO.
Firstly, disclaimer, I will exclude Serangoon-Anderson JC in both the infographic and this section because it’s bound to return to the new campus at YCK MRT. By the time people actually move into this BTO, it’s a high chance that the school would have already moved back, or are in the last year at the Kovan campus.
Secondly, there will be 2 new schools, and will be especially close to the Bartley lot.
The good thing is you’ll be living right next to 2 schools, so your children are lucky enough to wake up at 7.15am and still make it to morning assembly on time.
The bad thing is .. you’ll be living right next to 2 schools, so not only do you have to get used to the occasional airplanes flying over your head, but you may have to get used to the daily national anthems and school bells ringing as your new alarm ringtone.
Currently, there’s no indication of what kind of schools these may be, but it’s highly likely that it’ll be a mixed primary and secondary school.
Firstly, I know there are some people who just scrolled down to this portion so, Hey! Welcome.
Secondly, obligatory disclaimer,
I'm not forcing you to sell your house.
I'm just sharing some info with you because I think it's your right to know about this before choosing a BTO location ...... (also cause just in case a Karen wants to find me in 5 years time.)
When it comes to looking at when's the best time to sell your house for maximum profit, the core concept here is the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP).
Simply put, when you buy a house, you need to stay in it for at least 5 years before you can sell it.
This one Gahmen say one, not me.
For example, if you sell your Bishan/Novena house after clearing that 5 year mark, you'll tend to get a really good price back because Bishan/Novena properties are in a good location (central, developed, matured)
For Hougang, it’s looking good, but not for the typical reasons.
Here’s what I think the BTO lifespan for the Hougang BTO will look like.
The first rise in #1 is common in all BTOs.
Since it’s subsidized public housing, it starts below market price, and slowly gravitates towards the market value after 5 years, the period in which you can sell it.
The real rise at #2 is dependent on 2 main factors.
Firstly, the Bartley lot is right next to a potential industrial estate that’s currently being subjected to detailed planning.
Business parks tend to lead to an increase in property value around the area because employees on said business park may be looking for a unit that's closer to their workspace.
Secondly, and more importantly, I think a major reason why you’ll experience a rise in value in #2 is because of the upcoming Defu MRT Station.
Located along Tampines road, and a 5 mins walk away from Kovan MRT, Defu is bound to be part of the Cross Island Line (CRL), which connects the west to the east. It’s not only set to be a more streamlined version of the current green line, but this line connects areas in the central of Singapore (AMK, Bright Hill, Serangoon).
It is set to begin operations around 2030, but will truly see a spike in value when more stations of the CRL are built and operating in 9-10 years after moving in.
A lil’ insider info, there are a couple of other CRL stations that are bound to prosper, and properties in those areas are on a straight route for mega profit if owners decide to sell them.
But the reason why the CRL might be valuable to you and the value of these units is because it WILL be a valuable line.
The Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) is arguably the most important expressway in Singapore because of the connectivity from one end of the island to the other, making it more accessible to travel.
The CRL is essentially the MRT version of the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE), and since Defu Station will be near this BTO, it’s offering you that connectivity.
For the area in the X, I made the choice to make it look stagnant to not falsely raise any hopes, so take what I'm about to say with just a pinch of salt.
Your property value MAY rise again during this period.
Coming back full circle, if you recall the intro, I mentioned that the % of people who stay in Condos and Landed houses is more than the % of people staying in HDBs for the area of Kovan.
What this means is that the average $/sqft in the Kovan area is pretty high because of the sheer abundance of private housing units.
What this also means is that this naturally increases the value of HDB units if people are looking for houses in Kovan.
This is because you have the same access to the amenities in the Kovan area (the malls, the MRT stations), but the value of your property is cheaper compared to the rest. So think about it, when people are looking for houses in Kovan, and they’re not particular about whether they stay at a condo or an HDB, why would they pay $300k more to stay in a condo that shares the same amenities in the vicinity, when they could choose a HDB unit like this BTO?
Tl;dr - In my opinion, probably the best BTO sale this launch in terms of offering a family place while having a high upside for those looking for some profit after the MOP period. I personally have 2 close friends applying for this sale, and 1 of them just told me that they have 4 other friends applying for this too. Not so hot take, this will be the most oversubscribed sale in this launch. And good reason to be. You have good amenities for family activites, in your area and in the vicinity. All that's left honestly is those hoping to get the lot at Kovan MRT gets a queue ticket that allows you to do so.