How much do you need to earn to buy the most expensive BTO flat In Bidadari?

Build-To-Order (BTO) application for the February 2016 launch closed earlier this week with an overwhelming application for the 5-room flats at Bidadari. On paper, this should come as no surprise. Large-sized flats in the centralised mature estates have always been on high demand.

Bidadari is an interesting case. When you look at the Singapore Map, it's difficult to see why it is classified under Toa Payoh. It isn't walking distance from the Toa Payoh MRT and it's a lot closer to Woodleigh or Potong Pasir MRT. It takes at least 35 minutes to reach well-know iconic places in Toa Payoh such as the HDB Hub and Singapore Press Holdings office via public transport near the estate.


Photo: Dollars and Sense

Nonetheless, flat prices are not cheap. Excluding the government grant, the flat prices start at $546,000 and goes up to $633,000. So how much would a couple need to pay for such a flat? More importantly, are the flats priced too high in consideration to the HDB salary ceiling of $12,000?

How much do you need to earn to buy a $633,000 flat?

Based on an assumption that the couple pays the 10 per cent down payment for the flat and borrows the remaining 90 per cent required based on a 25-year loan with 2.6 per cent per annum interest, the monthly mortgage repayment that they will need to repay would be $2,585 per month.


Photo: Dollars and Sense

If we want to use no more than 30 per cent of our income to pay off the mortgage, a minimum combined income of $8,616 per month is required in order to do so.

If you are intending to service your mortgage purely by the use of your CPF Ordinary Account (CPFOA), then each individual would need to contribute $1,293 from their OA each month. That translates into earning a monthly salary of $5,620 per month per person. In total, we are looking at a combined income of $11,240 per month, which is pretty darn close to the income ceiling.

An argument can of course be made that a couple who earns a salary of $11,240 each month might be able to take a smaller loan by paying a higher down payment. But please take note that we are calculating the amount required based on the worst-case scenario.

High demand for Bidadari BTO flats

  • Located in the central region of Singapore, Bidadari is bounded by Bartley Road to the north, Upper Serangoon Road to the west, Sennett Estate to the south and Mount Vernon Road to the east.
  • It is well-served by Woodleigh and Bartley MRT stations on the North-East Line and the Circle Line respectively.
  • Bidadari will be a tranquil urban oasis, where residents can relax and connect with family and friends in a garden-like setting.
  • Some of the plans for Bidadari Estate include six distinctive neighbourhoods, each with unique identities through the use of varied building forms that respond to the different characteristics of Bidadari; and public spaces for community gathering and events within a garden-like setting.
  • A 10 ha Bidadari Park with a lake that will form the new green lung for the estate.
  • Large BTO flats emerged the star draw in the latest HDB sales exercise, with more than 3,000 applicants chasing 236 five-room and multi-generation flats in Bidadari's Alkaff Oasis project.
  • The flat prices start at $546,000 and goes up to $633,000. If a couple wants to use no more than 30 per cent of their income to pay off the mortgage, a minimum combined income of $8,616 per month is required.
  • HDB flats are only an investment even if you have intention to cash out and move to a cheaper place in the future. The truth is that most will either stay put or look into upgrading our homes.

Is your HDB flat really an investment?

In the past decade, it has become common to see Singaporeans simply going for the biggest BTO flat in the best location that they can find.

One of the reasons for that could be the idea that everyone has towards HDB resale market. Everyone tends to think that they can easily make money on their BTO flats after 5 years. Because the HDB resale market has always been climbing upwards for many years, people tend to think this will continue indefinitely. That is a dangerous mindset to have.

In addition, your HDB flat is only an investment even if you have intention to cash out and move to a cheaper place in the future. The truth is that most of us will either stay put or look into upgrading our homes. Downgrading to a smaller flat in a less accessible location is a lot easier said than done.

Therefore, buying your first HDB flat is an important decision that should never be taken lightly. Before committing to the purchase, do work out how much you are able to afford first.

4,170 flats launched in first BTO exercise of the year

  • West Plains @ Bukit Batok

    2-room Flexi (with grants): From $5,000

    3-room (with grants): From $93,000

  • 4-room (with grants): From $211,000

    5-room (with grants): From $357,000

  • Anchorvale Plains

    2-room Flexi (with grants): From $4,000

    3-room (with grants): From $101,000

  • 4-room (with grants): From $212,000

    5-room (with grants): From $314,000

  • Alkaff Oasis

    2-room Flexi (with grants): From $114,000

    3-room (with grants): From $273,000

  • 4-room (with grants): $425,000

    5-room (with grants): $536,000

    3-Gen (with grants): From $543,000

Plans unveiled for 3 new housing estates

  • Located in the central region of Singapore, Bidadari is bounded by Bartley Road to the north, Upper Serangoon Road to the west, Sennett Estate to the south and Mount Vernon Road to the east.
  • Bidadari, located near Serangoon, will have a park a tenth of its total size as well as a cycling path for its six neighbourhoods. These will serve residents of its 11,000 flats.
  • Bidadari Estate will be a tranquil urban oasis, where residents can relax and connect with family and friends in a garden-like setting.
  • Some of the plans for Bidadari Estate include six distinctive neighbourhoods, each with unique identities through the use of varied building forms that respond to the different characteristics of Bidadari; and public spaces for community gathering and events within a garden-like setting.
  • Tampines North is envisioned to be a new "green shoot" and extension of Tampines Town. The vision for Tampines North is "Tampines in Bloom: Budding Communities within a Green Tapestry".
  • Guided by this vision, Tampines North will capitalise on its existing greenery and proximity to Tampines Town to create an attractive living environment, through five key strategies.
  • A "Blossoms Walk" within the Boulevard Park will create a local yet distinct identity; and a 10 ha Quarry Park which could connect to Pasir Ris Town in the future.
  • Under the Phase 2 master plan for Punggol New Town unveiled in Oct 2012, Punggol will feature seven distinctive eco-town districts, each with a unique identity and character.
  • Capitalising on its proximity to the waterfront and taking inspiration from its heritage, the Matilda district of Punggol is set to be an attractive waterfront housing district with many flats commanding waterfront views.
  • Planning for Matilda was inspired by the 'verandah' feature of the old Matilda House and its surrounding lush greenery. Hence the vision of Matilda District - Verandah by the Waterfront".
  • Some of the new plans for Punggol Matilda include new housing forms with integrated landscaped decks that provide "door-step" accessibility to the precinct amenities; and a Community Street leading to the waterfront, designed as an urban verandah with "living rooms" as rest points for residents to sit and chat.
  • In addition, leafy walkways will provide seamless sheltered connectivity between the residential precincts and the waterfront promenade; and there will be a vibrant waterfront shopping mall, as well as recreational amenities and parks for community events.


DollarsAndSense.sg is a website that provides bite-sized and relevant articles to help Singaporeans make better financial decisions.

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