BTO 4 Reasons Why Alexandra May Just Be The Next Hottest BTO Launch Site
- Ryan J
- January 6, 2022
- 6 min read
Getting a good BTO flat location is a proven windfall; and demand for PLH sites, even with all their restrictions, is proof of that. For homeowners, the site at Alexandra ticks all the right boxes; and it’s already being discussed as the location to wait for. Here’s what’s important about this location:
Where is the Alexandra site?
The site is along Prince Philip Avenue, near the Alexandra Canal and Park Connector. This puts it in Bukit Merah, or within the Central Area HDB flats. It’s expected to yield around 1,500 homes.
This is the first time in over two decades that we’ve seen a BTO launch in this area. While there were formerly HDB flats on this site, they were demolished long ago in the 1990s. The closest HDB blocks are now at Henderson Crescent across the road.
What makes this site so special?
Anything that comes up here will be one of the best-located HDB developments to date. This site is around an eight-minute drive to Orchard Road, and it’s possible to bike all the way to the Orchard Central / Centrepoint stretch in around 11 minutes.
The heart of the CBD, Raffles Place, is a bit further out at a 10-minute drive.
That aside, some notable highlights include:
- Highly accessible by public transport
- Right next to the Alexandra Park Connector
- Quick access to Tiong Bahru
- Estimated six schools within priority enrolment distance
1. Highly accessible by public transport
Depending on the exact location of your block, it’s an estimated eight to 10-minute walk to Redhill MRT station. This is on the East-West Line, and it’s four stops to Holland Village (via the Buona Vista interchange) and four stops (direct) to Raffles Place MRT.
Dover MRT station, which is right next to Singapore Polytechnic, is also just four stops away.
Several major bus routes (122, 139, 186, 51, and 970) are also in the area, making this one of the best accessible HDB sites by public transport.
2. Right next to the Alexandra Park Connector
The Alexandra Park Connector isn’t just nice for nature walks. This connector runs from Tanglin Road to Zion Road. This means it hits several key amenities along the way, including Valley Point Shopping Centre, Great World City Shopping Centre, and Robertson Quay.
And if you are adventurous (or fit enough), you could even walk all the way to Raffles Place on a pretty scenic route!
For those who cycle, this could potentially put Valley Point 2 minutes away (or around 5 minutes on foot if you want a slow stroll). Raffles Place is definitely longer, but at around 15 minutes it also isn’t prohibitively so to do it daily.
3. Quick access to Tiong Bahru
Some home buyers love the hipster vibe of Tiong Bahru but struggle with the high cost of resale flats there (especially younger couples, who have to contend with advanced lease decay).
We think the Alexandra site presents an ideal solution if you’re lucky enough to get a flat here. From the Redhill MRT station, it is only a single stop to Tiong Bahru MRT. By car, the trip is only around four to five minutes via Henderson Road.
While we don’t think BTO flats here are going to be cheap, they’re almost certainly not as pricey as Tiong Bahru resale flats can get.
And needless to say, having Tiong Bahru nearby means having a whole host of quirky diners, artisanal cafes, boutique stores, etc. nearby.
4. Estimated six schools within priority enrolment distance
We estimate around six schools within the one-kilometre Home School Distance (HSD) of Prince Philip Avenue:
- Alexandra Primary (320 metres)
- Zhangde Primary (870 metres)
- Gan Eng Seng Primary (880 metres)
- Gan Eng Seng (300 metres)
- Crescent Girls’ School (540 metres)
- Henderson Secondary (670 metres)
Along with Singapore Polytechnic being four direct train stops away, this could mean access for children all the way from Primary up to the Poly level. And if this site does fall under the PLH ruling, having options for your kids does mitigate that 10-year minimum stay requirement too.
Sounds too good to be true? There may be a catch:
We know that Prime Location Housing (PLH) is meant to mitigate the windfall effect, of getting flats in highly desirable locations.
While we can’t predict what HDB will designate as prime, the Alexandra site certainly fits the bill. BTO flats here will fall within the highly desirable Central Area and boast better connectivity and amenities than almost any other launch we’ve seen in years.
In fact, the only one that comes close would be the Rochor BTO site in 2021, which was the first PLH site.
We also need to consider the pricing for such a prime area. While we don’t know HDB’s exact formula for pricing BTO flats, we do know it’s at least partly based on resale values in the overall area. Now, take a look at resale prices for Bukit Merah flats of late:
As of end-December 2021, prices for 4-room flats averaged $708 psf.
(For comparison, the average price of a 4-room flat island-wide is $493 psf).
According to realtors on the ground, a resale 4-room flat, in the better parts of Bukit Merah, can reach quantum as high as around $740,000.
Given the surrounding prices, any BTO flats in the area will probably require larger subsidies from the government. This is one of the functions of the Subsidy Recovery (SR) in PLH flats: a larger subsidy is given to make the flats affordable but is clawed back from the first batch of buyers upon resale.
In light of all this, we think there’s a high chance the Alexandra site will be a PLH site. HDB has said they aim to have one PLH site per year; and with no hint of any other Central Area site up for grabs, it looks like Alexandra is “it” for 2022.
This means that, while the location is jaw-droppingly good, buyers may have to contend with a 10-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP), SR costs, and flats that they can’t buy as singles.
In any case, this site will be closely watched by homebuyers in the coming years; and even with a pool of 1,500 flats, anything that comes up here is going to be oversubscribed.
We’ll keep you up to date as further plans are revealed, so do follow us on Stacked. We’ll also provide you with reviews of new and resale condos alike, and trends in the Singapore private property market.