HDB BTO Application: We Ask 5 Singaporeans Why Feb 2022 Geylang BTO Was More Popular Than Kallang/Whampoa PLH BTO

Mary Wu
HDB BTO Application: We Ask 5 Singaporeans Why Feb 2022 Geylang BTO Was More Popular Than Kallang/Whampoa PLH BTO
It’s been a few months since the February 2022 HDB BTO exercise, but the launch is still a hot topic. Mainly due to the two key projects being in mature towns: the Feb 2022 Geylang BTO launch (Dakota Crest) and the Feb 2022 Kallang/Whampoa BTO launch (King George’s Heights). The latter was a much-anticipated project, and also the second BTO project launched under the Prime Location Housing (PLH) model.
While some bet the ‘star’ of the Feb 2022 BTO launch would be the PLH launch, it turned out that the city fringe Dakota Crest project came out tops.
This was different from what we saw during the Nov 2021 HDB BTO launch, where the Central Area (Rochor) BTO flat was the most sought-after launch.
With likely two PLH offerings in the upcoming May 2022 BTO exercise, it got us thinking: do people prefer PLH BTO or city fringe BTO projects? With this in mind, we asked Singaporeans who applied for either the Geylang or Kallang/Whampoa project in the last exercise which project they applied for and why.

HDB BTO Application: Feb 2022 Geylang BTO vs Kallang/Whampoa PLH BTO

Before we jump in, here’s a quick recap of the Feb 2022 HDB BTO application rates and prices.

Feb 2022 HDB BTO Application Results for 3-room and Larger Flats (Non-Elderly)

Feb 2022 Geylang BTO (Dakota Crest)
Feb 2022 Kallang/Whampoa BTO (King George’s Heights)
Source: HDB

Feb 2022 HDB BTO Application Results for 4-room Flats (Non-Elderly)

Feb 2022 Geylang BTO
From $352,000
From $522,000
Feb 2022 Kallang/Whampoa BTO
From $353,000
From $488,000
As you can see from the data above, the Feb 2022 Geylang HDB BTO flats were the clear ‘winner’, and by quite a large margin.

What BTO Applicants Think: Feb 2022 Geylang BTO vs Kallang/Whampoa PLH BTO

Those Who Preferred the Feb 2022 Geylang BTO Launch

View of Old Airport Road area.
Gayle Hsiao, 28, agonised with her fiance over the 2 projects before they finally settled on the Dakota Crest Geylang BTO.
She says: “The Dakota BTO has more school options, including some ‘brand name’ ones that my boyfriend and I feel would be good for our future kids. Although we like the location at King George’s more as it’s nearer to our work, the additional restrictions and fewer school options were a dealbreaker. The price of both BTO projects and the public transport around are about the same for us.”
Another applicant for the Geylang BTO is Samuel Tay, 36, who managed to snag a unit there with his wife. For him, the choice was clear – he studied at the school nearby so he was ultra-familiar with the area (he also lived nearby, around Joo Chiat). He says: “Of course Dakota lah! Having studied at Broadrick as a boy, I have so many memories of the area. Living there would be a dream and it feels like I’m coming home. Another bonus is that this was a last-ditch effort as I tried applying for other BTO flats but kept failing!"
“East Coast Park is also nearby, and the PCN where my group of friends always met up to cycle and jog will be just behind our new home. Many of my schoolmates also stayed in the old HDB blocks in this area, so in the future when they visit me it’s like how I used to visit them when I was young!”
We also spoke to Siti Hajar, 32, who applied for the Geylang BTO but was unsuccessful. She says: “I want to have the freedom to rent out my whole flat later, to sell the unit to anyone I want, and don’t want to worry about paying back subsidies. Plus by the time the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of the PLH flat is over, I’ll be middle-aged already! So sian, you know? As a free-spirited person, having fewer restrictions is best, hence I prefer this ‘normal’ BTO to the new PLH model at Lavender. My family also feels the same.”

Those Who Preferred the Feb 2022 Kallang/Whampoa PLH BTO Launch

King George’s Heights, the Feb 2022 PLH BTO flats. Source: HDB
Susan David, 43, applied for the Kallang/Whampoa BTO without hesitation. A resident in the King George’s area since her parents’ time, she’s more than happy to continue staying in the area with her family, albeit this time in a new flat.
She says: “Finally! There will be new premium flats in this old estate. I’m very excited about them, and moving over will be a breeze for us. We of course plan to be occupier-owners for as long as possible, and we’re so happy there are additional subsidies and the 10-year MOP means there will be more serious buyers like us. It’s nice to have the same neighbours you’re comfortable with, instead of seeing new faces after a short while or having to bid goodbye to someone you’ve gotten close to.”
Thomas Teo, 29, applied for the Kallang/Whampoa BTO with his fiancee. He says: “Got this type of premium HDB flat, must ‘whack’. Apply first, get liao then think. We feel that the investment will be well worth it, both in terms of our convenience and in future if we want to sell the flat after MOP."
"The Lavender area is such a bustling place, we’ll never run out of things to do, never get bored, and there are so many amenities and nice cafes around. Love it that there are so many MRT lines (versus Geylang BTO, which only has Circle Line), with more to come when the flat is ready! The restrictions are actually no big deal. Look at the total number of people who applied, this shows that a lot of fellow Singaporeans are very interested. If want to sell, confirm earn!”

Feb 2022 Geylang BTO vs Kallang/Whampoa PLH BTO: Applicants’ Rationale

While we found many who were interested in the projects, most of them did not participate in the ballot due to various reasons, including the high price of the projects, timing (their MOP wasn’t up yet) and location (looking for a place near their parents or close to their desired primary school).
But for those who did, here are their summarised opinions and the difference between the two projects
Bounded by Old Airport Road, Jalan Enam and Dakota Crescent
Bounded by King George’s Avenue and Syed Alwi Road
Connectivity (MRT stations within 10 minutes’ walk)
Dakota (Circle Line), Mountbatten (Circle Line); good to have two MRT stations nearby, but both on Circle Line
Lavender (East West Line) Jalan Besar (Downtown Line); more options with two MRT stations from different lines nearby
Nearest Bus Interchange
No nearby bus interchanges. Nearest bus stop is Blk 22 (Old Airport Road)
No bus interchange. Nearest bus stop is Aft King George’s Ave
Nearest Schools
More nearby schools: Broadrick Secondary School, Kong Hwa School, Chung Cheng High School (Main), Dunman High School, Tanjong Katong Secondary School, Tanjong Katong Girls’ School
Fewer nearby schools: Stamford Primary School, Farrer Park Primary School, Bendemeer Primary School
Other Nearby Amenities
Mountbatten Community Club, City Plaza, Katong Community Centre, Goodman Arts Centre, Old Airport Road Food Centre & Shopping Mall, Kallang Wave Mall, Singapore Indoor Stadium

Geylang Park Connector (PCN) is a stone’s throw away; can cycle to East Coast Park
Jalan Besar Community Club, Kitchener Complex, Jalan Besar Plaza, Jalan Besar Stadium and Swimming Pool, Kampong Glam Community Club, Golden Mile Food Centre, Mustafa Centre, City Square Mall

Rochor river is close by, can access PCN all the way to Kallang Riverside Park
Minimum Occupancy Period
5 Years
Extended to 10 Years (under PLH model)
Subsidies (and subsidy recovery)
Enhanced Housing Grant (EHG)
EHG + additional subsidies for PLH flats, but with subsidy recovery upon resale
Other Limitations
Usual quota for Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS); eligibility criteria as per usual for resale; able to rent out the whole flat after MOP
Reduced quota for MCPS; resale buyers subject to BTO eligibility criteria; renting out of whole flat not allowed

Upcoming May 2022 BTO Launch

Coming up next month is the highly anticipated May 2022 BTO launch. This will include popular estates Bukit Merah, Queenstown and Toa Payoh, where BTO and HDB resale prices have been known to be some of the highest, if not the highest.
Will HDB be launching their third (or fourth) PLH project(s) in the May 2022 BTO release? It’s not impossible, as Queenstown and Bukit Merah have been known to be prime areas.
If you’re still in your late teens or early twenties, lucky you. When you’re ready to buy a home, you can look forward to the 6,000 BTO flats in the Greater Southern Waterfront area and 1,600 units at Farrer Park that will be launched in the next three years. In addition, there’s also the Mount Pleasant site near Toa Payoh that will eventually be launched. Whether or not they are PLH projects, only time will tell.
Whatever it is, we expect to see insane competition for the May 2022 BTO launch. And if a PLH project is also released, how will it measure up against those in city fringe mature estates? We can’t wait to find out!
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This article was written by Mary Wu, who hopes to share what she’s learnt from her home-buying and renovation journey with PropertyGuru readers. When she’s not writing, she’s usually baking up a storm or checking out a new cafe in town.
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More FAQs About HDB BTO Application and PLH BTO Flats

The same BTO eligibility rules apply. What’s affected are the reduction in MCPS quota, additional subsidy on top of EHG, and an extended MOP of 10 years.

The government goes mainly by location, so “prime” BTO projects that could come under the PLH model might be those in the upcoming Greater Southern Waterfront area and around the city centre or city fringe areas.

Yes, it’s the same BTO eligibility rule.

Those who successfully got their PLH BTO flat and who want to resell it after their 10-year MOP must pay back the additional subsidy recovery in addition to the resale levy if they are buying another subsidised flat (HDB or EC).