HDB May 2021 BTO In-Depth Review: Woodlands

9 min read

Update as of 25 May 2021: This article has been updated with new information released during the May 2021 BTO launch.

In the May 2021 BTO exercise, four projects across two mature and two non-mature estates will be launched, with 3,879 units available. One of the projects will be in the non-mature estate of Woodlands, in which 1,540 units of 2-room Flexi, 3-room, 4-room and 5-room flats will be offered. 

Artist's impression of Woodgrove Ascent
Source: HDB

Here’s 99.co’s detailed review of the May 2021 BTO at Woodlands

Project name: Woodgrove Ascent

Location: Along Woodlands Avenue 1

Classification: Non-mature estate

Number of units: 1,540 units (2-room Flexi, 3-room, 4-room, 5-room)

Number of blocks: Seven

HDB’s estimated completion date: Q3 2025

Indicative price range:

Estimated floor area (sqm) Number of units Price range (excluding grants)
2-room Flexi (Type 1) 38 146 S$98,000 – S$119,000
2-room Flexi (Type 2) 48 540 S$121,000 – S$148,000
3-room 69 84 S$185,000 – S$219,000
4-room 93 411 S$275,000 – S$373,000
5-room 113 359 S$372,000 – S$491,000

The last BTO launch in Woodlands was less than a year ago in August 2020 for two projects — UrbanVille @ Woodlands and Champions Bliss. With an application rate of 5.8 for 4-room units at that time, we can expect this Woodlands BTO to have a similar subscription rate. 

May 2021 Woodlands BTO full map
Source: HDB

Let’s dive into the pros and cons of the May 2021 Woodlands BTO project. 

May 2021 Woodlands BTO — The Pros

Accessibility

  • The nearest MRT will be Woodlands MRT which will be a 10-minute walk away. 
  • Through Woodlands MRT, residents will have access to both the North South Line and Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), in which the second phase will open in Q3 this year. When fully operational in 2024, residents will be able to reach the south and east areas like Katong faster. 
  • Woodlands North MRT, which will also serve as the Singapore – Johor Bahru RTS Link terminus, will just be one stop away. When it’s ready end-2026, you’ll be able to cross the border in five minutes. 
  • Plus, the BTO will be near the upcoming Woodlands Regional Centre, which is set to be a key commercial, industrial and innovation hub in the north. 
  • As for the drivers, Seletar Expressway will just be a few minutes drive away. 

Food and retail amenities

  • When it comes to food and retail offerings, residents here will be spoiled for choice. Within walking distance are The Woodgrove (five-minute walk), Woods Square (six-minute walk), Causeway Point (10-minute walk) and Marsiling Mall (11-minute walk). 
  • A hawker centre is also available at Marsiling Mall. 
  • For even more variety, there’s also JB where you can get your food and retail therapy at a cheaper price. 
  • There are many supermarkets nearby as well, with the nearest being NTUC Fairprice Finest at The Woodgrove and Sheng Siong at Marsiling Mall. With both opening 24 hours, you don’t have to rely on just 7-Eleven for all the late-night snacks. 

Schools

  • Another major highlight about the Woodlands BTO is that there are a lot of schools in the vicinity. The nearest one, Si Ling Primary, is within a five-minute walk.  
  • Si Ling Primary won’t be the only school within the 1km radius. Fuchun Primary and Secondary, Singapore Sports School and Yishun Innova JC (from 2026 onwards) will be within the radius as well. 
  • On top of that, other schools in the area include Marsiling Primary, Woodgrove Primary, Innova Primary, Woodlands Primary, Woodlands Ring Primary, Woodlands Secondary, Marsiling Secondary, Riverside Secondary, Woodgrove Secondary, Christ Church Secondary and Republic Polytechnic.  
May 2021 Woodlands BTO site plan
Source: HDB

Childcare centres

  • A number of childcare services are available in the area for those with children. For instance, My First Skool at Blk 347 and Sparkletots at Blk 334 are within a 10-minute walk from the Woodlands BTO.
  • A childcare centre will also be available within Woodgrove Ascent.

Healthcare facilities

  • Woodlands Polyclinic will be around an 11-minute bus ride. 
  • Woodlands Health Campus, a fully integrated acute and community hospital with specialist outpatient clinics, and intermediate and long-term care facilities will be ready from 2023 onwards. This also means that the north region will have one more hospital beside Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. 
Artist's impression of Woodlands Health Campus
Artist’s impression of Woodlands Health Campus. Source: MOH

Type of flats

  • Among all the May 2021 projects, the Woodlands BTO is the only one offering 2-room Flexi, 3-room, 4-room and 5-room flats. If you’re looking for a bigger space, whether it’s for a bigger family or to set up a workspace, you might want to ballot here. 

Price

  • Prices here are at the lower end of the spectrum. The project’s location in a non-mature estate makes it one of the more affordable ones this May 2021 BTO launch.
  • In fact, flats in Woodgrove Ascent are the cheapest in this launch. For instance, 4-room flats have an indicative price range of S$275,000 – S$373,000.

May 2021 Woodlands BTO — The Cons

Accessibility

  • Given its location in the north-most part of Singapore, the Woodlands BTO isn’t as accessible as the other projects in the launch. You’ll need to be prepared to take a longer travelling time to other parts of Singapore. 
  • It’s also not an ideal home for those working in areas closer to the south, like the CBD. 
  • What’s more, residents will only have close access to two MRT lines, with other interchanges several stops away. Before the first stage of the Jurong Region Line (JRL) opens in 2026, the closest MRT interchanges, Caldecott (for Circle Line) and Jurong East (for East West Line), are both seven stops away. 

Price appreciation

  • Price appreciation won’t be as high as those in mature estates and the city fringes. For instance, a 4-room flat that just hit MOP was sold last month for S$510,000, which isn’t as high compared to more central locations like Bishan. 
  • While there will be an increase in price due to the upcoming Woodlands Regional Centre, it will take some time as the hub will only be ready in the next 15 years. 

Recreational facilities

  • Consisting of a stadium, sports hall, gym and swimming complex, Woodlands Sports Centre will just be an 11-minute walk. 
  • If you prefer nature, Woodlands Town Park East will be a 20-minute walk from the BTO. A roof garden will also be available on top of the multi-storey car park.
  • But other than these facilities, there are not many choices in the area. 
Artist's impression of Woodlands Regional Centre
Artist’s impression of Woodlands Regional Centre. Source: JTC

What else we noted about the May 2021 Woodlands BTO

  • With 1,540 units available, this BTO offers the highest number of flats in this launch. In fact, it’s nearly twice the number of units offered for the Tengah BTO
  • The Woodlands BTO will be surrounded by residential developments on all four sides. At the north, east and west are HDB blocks, while Woodhaven condo is at its south. 
  • If you manage to secure a north-facing flat on the upper floor, there’s a slim chance of getting a view of the Johor Straits. 
  • If you just want an unblocked view, it’s best to go for a flat in the south-facing  stack (Block 373B)  the condo is only five storeys high. 
  • Among the projects in the May 2021 BTO launch, this site has the highest number of schools in the vicinity. So you might want to ballot here if you have or plan to have children. On the other hand, Si Ling Primary is just 300 metres away from the BTO, so expect some heavy traffic and noise in the morning and afternoon. 

Our verdict on the May 2021 Woodlands BTO

In terms of proximity to the MRT, it’s not as good as the Geylang BTO or the Tengah BTO, as you’ll have to walk for 10 minutes. It can also get a little noisy due to the school nearby. 

On the plus side, this Woodlands BTO has a pretty decent location as it’s within walking distance to various amenities like malls and schools. For a non-mature estate, Woodlands generally provides a wide range of amenities. So you won’t need to travel further for access to facilities like schools and malls. 

Plus, as Woodlands Regional Centre takes shape, you can expect more exciting developments and further price appreciation in the area. 

If you’re looking for more variety, you can always head to JB (the pandemic should have ended by then) and reach there within minutes when the RTS Link opens in 2026. 

May 2021 Woodlands BTO: Should you apply? 

This is the most affordable BTO out of the four projects in this launch. You’ll also have a higher chance of securing a flat here since 1,540 units will be available. Woodgrove Ascent is also one of the two projects in this launch with the shortest waiting time of less than four years. 

Compared to Tengah, the other non-mature estate in this launch, you won’t have to wait for a few more years for more amenities to be available. Plus, if you like going to JB, you might as well live near the border. 

So the answer is yes, you should apply for this Woodlands BTO if you’ve always wanted to live in the north, and don’t mind the long travelling time to the rest of the island. 

But if you’re looking for a little more accessibility and don’t mind waiting, the Hougang BTO coming up in August 2021 — one of the sites will be right next to the MRT. But if the four- to five-year wait is too long for you, there’s always resale

Check out our reviews on the other May 2021 BTO launch: 

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