First-timer BTO flat applicants will not get additional ballot chances

Image credit: HDB

First-timer BTO flat applicants will not get additional ballot chances confirmed the Minister for National Development in Parliament on Nov 4. He was responding to an MP who asked:

“How effective has the current grant of an additional ballot chance for each failed attempt by a first-timer in securing a BTO flat been; and whether HDB will review and consider alternatives such as the improvement of chances by multiples of 20% for each attempt so that the applicants will have almost guaranteed success after more than three attempts.”

In responding to the question, the Minister said that first-timer BTO flat applicants are given two ballot chances when HDB shortlists flat applicants to book a flat. first-timer BTO flat applicants who have been unsuccessful in two attempts for BTO flats in the non-mature estates will be given an additional ballot chance at their subsequent application for a BTO flat in the non-mature estates.

The Minister assured that as a result, in recent years, virtually all first-timer BTO flat applicants have been successful within their first three tries for a BTO flat in the non-mature estates.

The Minister said that his ministry will continue to review and update its policies where necessary to ensure that new HDB flats remain accessible to all first-timer BTO flat applicants.

First-timer BTO flat applicants can look out for this month’s BTO launch provides a number of options for Singaporean homeowners in estates like Tengah, Ang Mo Kio and Tampines. Check out what we think of each of these BTO launches in November 2019 BTO.

First-timer BTO flat applicants should check out our home loan comparison tool here to find the best home loan deal in town.

Ang Mo Kio/Yio Chu Kang BTO: Plenty Of Education Options vs Limited Amenities

First-timer BTO flat applicants
Map 1: Ang Mo Kio BTO, HDB

There are two very distinct points about this BTO launch in Ang Mo Kio.

The first one is that you can hardly find any amenities (i.e. shopping mall) within the area. The closest one is one MRT station away in Ang Mo Kio. Fortunately, there are still coffee shops and market nearby to help you settle your three daily meals. But if you are looking for a supermarket to do your groceries, you might have to travel to Ang Mo Kio to get your daily needs.

The second distinct point about this BTO launch in Ang Mo Kio is that there are many schools in the surrounding area. If you are a parent, you have a plethora of options to send your kids to. With Anderson Serangoon Junior College and Nanyang Polytechnic, you even have schools to the Junior College/tertiary level. If you manage to ballot for a unit in this BTO, it can alleviate your logistical worries of sending your kids to school. After all, the schools are few bus stops away from your house.

Ang Mo Kio/Yio Chu Kang BTO Facts

Nearest MRT Yio Chu Kang MRT, Lentor MRT (u/c)
Nearest shopping mall Ang Mo Kio Hub, Djitsun Mall, Jubilee Plaza
Nearby amenities Yio Chu Kang Stadium, Yio Chu Kang Swimming Complex, Yio Chu Kang Squash & Tennis Court, Ang Mo Kio Library

Thye Hua Kwan Hospital, Health & Medical Card facilities (u/c)

Schools in the area Anderson Primary School, Mayflower Primary School, CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ Primary School, Ang Mo Kio Primary School

Presbyterian High School, Yio Chu Kang Secondary School, Anderson Secondary School, CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ Secondary School, Mayflower Secondary School, Ang Mo Kio Secondary School

Anderson Serangoon Junior College, Nanyang Polytechnic, ITE College Central

Commute time to City Hall MRT 32 minutes
Commute time to nearest shopping mall 17 minutes (by train)
Types of flats offered 2R Flexi, 3R, 4R
Estimated number of units 450

Table 1: Ang Mo Kio versus Yio chu kang BTO amenities

Tampines BTO: The Dream Place For Easties But Only Apply If You Think You Are Lucky

Tampines BTO
Map 2: Tampines BTO, HDB


If you have been living as an Eastie, or plan to become and Eastie, then this Tampines BTO launch is the right one for you. Located just behind Our Tampines Hub, it is a gateway to all kind of amenities that Tampines has to offer. From exercise venues like swimming complex and stadium to shopping malls to the two MRT lines at Tampines, it is a highly liveable area that every Eastie dreams of.

However, there’s a catch. With only 650 units available, you need to be REALLY REALLY lucky (it’s not a typo) to get a good ballot number. Plus, even if you get a ballot number, you might not be able to get the unit type that you want. That’s because 650 units include flats from 2R Flexi to 5R. By the time it reaches your ballot number, the flats offered might have ran out. Don’t say we didn’t warn you that the Tampines BTO will be oversubscribed.

Tampines BTO Facts

Nearest MRT Tampines MRT (East West Line + Downtown Line)
Nearest shopping mall Tampines Mall, Tampines One, Century Square, Our Tampines Hub
Nearby amenities Our Tampines Hub Swimming Complex, Our Tampines Hub Stadium, Our Tampines Hub Libray, Tampines Polyclinic, Tampines Park Connector, Mosque
Schools in the area Poi Ching School, St. Hilda’s Primary School, Junyuan Primary School, Tampines Primary School

Junyuan Secondary School, Springfield Secondary School, St. Hilda’s Secondary School, Tampines Secondary School, Pasir Ris Secondary School,United World College of South East Asia (East Campus)

Temasek Polytechnic

Commute time to City Hall MRT 32 minutes
Commute time to nearest shopping mall 10 minutes (by foot)
Types of flats offered 2R Flexi, 3R, 4R, 5R
Estimated number of units 650

Table 2: Tampines BTO flat amenities

Tengah BTO: Living Among The Lush Greenery vs Distance From CBD

Tengah BTO
Map3: Tengah BTO, HDB


Did you know that the most expensive area in New York is actually the area that is right beside the Central Park? That’s because people want to live near to the greenery. But what if, instead of living beside the greenery, you can live within the greenery? That’s precisely what Tengah BTO plans to bring to Singaporeans. Living in Tengah will be like living among the lush greenery, which explains the name ‘Forest Town’. If you are a nature lover, Tengah BTO is definitely THE ONE for you.

There is some downside to living in Tengah though. One of the greatest drawback of living in Tengah is that it is a distance away from the Central Business District (CBD). So, if you are working in the CBD, you can expect to spend 2 hours per day on your daily commute. However, if you are working in the West (think Tuas) or planning to work at the upcoming Jurong Innovation District, you might find the Tengah BTO an ideal living location for you.

Tengah BTO Facts

Nearest MRT Tengah Plantation MRT (proposed), Tengah Park MRT (proposed), Tengah MRT (proposed), Hong Kah MRT (proposed), Lakeside MRT,
Nearest shopping mall Tengah Town Centre (proposed), Sunshine Plaza, Lot One, Boon Lay Shopping Centre
Nearby amenities Proposed Health & Medical Care Centres, Jurong Polyclinic, Blue Cross Thong Kheng Home, Nursing Home (u/c), Boon Lay Place Market/Food Village, Proposed Neighbourhood Centre, Proposed Park, Jurong Innovation District, Bukit Batok Driving Centre, Home Team NS Adventure Centre @ Bukit Batok
Schools in the area Jurong Primary School, Princess Elizabeth Primary School, Shuqun Primary School, Rulang Primary School, Corporation Primary School, St Anthony Primary School, Dazhong Primary School, Choa Chu Kang Primary School, Concord Primary School

Bukit Batok Secondary School, Fuhua Secondary School, Yuhua Secondary School, Hua Yi Secondary School, Dunearn Secondary School

Canadian International School, Dulwich College (Singapore), Millennia Institute, Eden School (Special Education), Grace Orchard School, Proposed School (Special Education), Delta Senior School (Special Education)

Commute time to City Hall MRT 51 minutes (Will be reduced once the MRT line is ready)
Commute time to nearest shopping mall 35 minutes (by bus & train to Lot One)
Types of flats offered 2R Flexi, 3R, 4R, 5R, 3Gen
Estimated number of units 3,460


Table 3: Tengah BTO flats amenities

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Written by Ravi Chandran


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