4-Room Keppel Club BTO Flats Going At An Estimated S$700,000

Deborah Gan

Deborah Gan

Last updated 14 April, 2022

The upcoming BTO launch at Greater Southern Waterfront (GWS) located at the Keppel Club site is expected to cost upward of S$700,000 for a four-room unit and is due to launch within the next three years. Here’s what we know.

When the Minister for National Development Desmond Lee announced on 12th April 2022 plans to redevelop the 48-hectare Keppel Club golf site after its lease expires on 31 March 2023, waves of excitement ensued among potential homeowners.

Adding to the buzz were the eye watering costs analysts have projected to own a unit from this highly coveted development. 

Though BTO flats are generally subsidised housing for Singaporeans, analysts claim that the 4-room prices of this launch may cost more than S$700,000, if it is sold as a regular BTO project. For astute buyers who are thinking long term, the high costs of buying a Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) unit are unlikely to be a deterrent. 

Read on to find out the hype surrounding the particular development and judge for yourself if it’s worth the exorbitant price tag.

Greater Southern Waterfront BTO flats

The Keppel Club site will be transformed into the Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW) BTO project - the first to be launched in the area.

This followed the announcement by Mr Lee in November 2020 that a range of housing types including two-room flats and rental housing will be constructed in prime locations like the GSW.

With the recent slew of off city centre PLH home launches such as King George’s Heights, there was earlier speculation that more BTO projects may be launched in locations where resale flats have transacted for more than $1 million. Mr Lee Sze Teck, senior director of research at Huttons Asia noted that as PLH flats can only be sold to buyers with an income ceiling of $14,000 per month currently, this may serve to cap the increase in resale prices.

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How much will it cost?

Estimated price (regular BTO project)Estimated price (PLH model)
Three-room flatS$400,000 - S$520,000S$380,000 - S$480,000
Four-room flatS$600,000 - S$720,000S$500,000 - S$700,000

In an earlier interview, Ms Christine Sun, senior vice president of research and analytics at Orange Tee and Tie, reportedly estimates three-room units to cost between S$400,000 and S$520,000, four-room units priced between S$600,000 to S$720,000, while five-room units are unlikely to be offered as the price would be too expensive.

This is why many suggest that it should fall under the PLH model to lower the prices and make it affordable. Due to the longer occupation period, projects under the PLH model tend to be cheaper than regular BTOs, along with additional subsidies for flats in an attempt to make them more affordable.

If it were to be under the PLH model, Ms Sun estimates that three-room flats should cost between S$380,000 to S$480,000 while four-room flats will be from S$500,000 to S$700,000.

Do note that these figures are purely estimates based on Ms Sun. Other property analysts have their own differing views on the expected price points too.

Why does it cost so much?

Source: Desmond Lee on Facebook

For starters, the development oversees an idyllic backdrop surrounded by nature with waterfront views. Nature-lovers will be thrilled to know that the development will be in close proximity to numerous nature parks like Labrador Nature Reserve, Southern Ridges and Berlayer Creek. The site also encompasses a 30km coastline from Gardens by the Bay to Pasir Panjang.

On top of that, an additional 10 hectares of land will also be set aside for future developments including parks and open land, to allow for more recreational space for the residents.

In terms of connectivity, this BTO development is also extremely appealing as it will be situated near two MRT stations on the Circle Line — Labrador Park and Telok Blangah stations. If you want to take the North-East Line, Harbourfront MRT station is just one stop away, while the East-West Line at Buona Vista is just a mere five stops. It’s also a short 10-minute drive to the CBD area.

Located near Harbourfront MRT, residents will also be able to access VivoCity mall. As one of the largest malls in Singapore, dining and retail options are aplenty. It will also be near offices in Mapletree Business City and One-North, making it an attractive development for office-goers.

However, due to its location, GSW may fall under the PLH model. Analysts claim that if it does fall under the PLH model, prices might be more affordable due to the higher subsidies to compensate for the longer occupation period. But this still remains unclear.

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What do I need to know about the PLH model?

Extended MOP

The PLH model is for HDB flats that fall in prime areas and central locations. HDB flats under this model will be subjected to a longer Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP) of 10 years instead of five years, to ensure that homebuyers do not exploit these government-subsidised flats by selling and profiting once they reach their MOP.

Subsidy clawback

On top of that, homeowners will also be entitled to subsidy clawbacks when they choose to sell their units in the future. Since such flats located in prime areas will “naturally command higher market values”, the units will have additional subsidies on top of the subsidies for regular BTO flats.

However, owners will have to pay a percentage of the unit’s resale price to HDB to offset some of the additional subsidies they provided at the start. The subsidy recovery rate will be based on how much additional subsidies were provided at the start, and the same rate will apply when the house is sold.

Some of the BTO projects that were part of this model were the River Peaks I and II located in Rochor, and King’s George Heights located in Kallang/Whampoa launched in February 2022.

Stricter resale buyer criteria

Resale flats under PLH modelTypical resale flats
Citizenship- At least one applicant has to be a Singapore citizen
- Household must comprise at least one Singapore citizen and one PR
- At least one applicant has to be a Singapore citizen or PR
- Household can comprise only PRs
Family nucleusMust have an eligible family nucleus eg. married coupleMust have an eligible family nucleus, or a single at least 35 years old
Income ceilingS$14,000 or S$21,000 (if purchasing with extended/multi-generation family)NA
Private property ownershipMust not own or have any interest in a private property and have not disposed of any in the last 30 monthsAllowed, but must dispose of private property within six months of buying the resale flat
Source: CNA

Lower quota for priority scheme

The quota for priority allocation under the Married Child Priority Scheme will be reduced. 

Currently, 30% of BTO units are allocated for individuals who want to live with or near their parents or children in the area. However, the quotas will be adjusted depending on their location. Other eligibility criteria remain the same.

What available grants do I have?

The grants available for BTO units under the PLH model will be the same as regular BTO units:

Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG)

  • Up to S$80,000 in grant money
  • Based on monthly household income of up to S$9,000

How do other BTO flats compare?

If you compare this BTO development to other launches under the PLH model, this development might be on the steeper end because of its unobstructed waterfront views.

In the recent February 2022 BTO launch, there were two BTO projects that fall under the PLH model as well — River Peaks I and II located in Rochor, and King George’s Heights located in Kallang/Whampoa.

For River Peaks I and II, a four-room unit was priced between S$582,000 and S$688,000, while a four-room unit in  King George’s Heights was going at a range between S$488,000 and S$675,000.

If we compare it to nearby developments, the newest flats near to Keppel Club would be Telok Blangah Towers which is already eight years old. Mr Lee Sze Teck mentioned that "the prices of a 3-room flat range from $558,000 to $680,000 while 4-room flats are sold for $765,000 to $975,000."

He added that when Telok Blangah Towers was launched in 2007, "the 3-room flats were priced at $187,000 to $238,000 while 4-room flats were priced at $308,000 to $402,000. The flats have appreciated more than 2 times its launch prices."

Is it worth applying?

Despite its close proximity to two MRT stations, its relatively central location and appealing waterfront views, prices are still considered to be quite steep. Though you might be able to sell for higher once the MOP is up, there are other considerations if you’re purchasing it for long-term residence.

If it happens to fall under the PLH model, prices might be more affordable, but you’ll have to wait out the 10-year MOP before you choose to rent it out for rental yield or sell it. Ultimately, it depends on your financial situation and your priorities when it comes to house-hunting.

Regardless of your choice, this particular BTO project is definitely going to be extremely popular, so you can expect fierce competition. Mr Lee Sze Teck added that "this is definitely a prime location and the BTO flats are expected to be heavily over-subscribed. We expect the subscription rate to be more than 10."

Are you looking for a home? Compare the best rates for home loans in Singapore so you’ll know what to expect.

Read these next:

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HDB Downpayment Guide 2022 - Resale, BTO, Staggered Downpayment
Where To Stay While You Wait For BTO And How Much It'll Cost

A mahjong addict with an undying love for dogs, Deborah is always on the hunt for cheap deals because she is always broke. That is why she is attempting to be more financially savvy to be.. less broke