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HDB November 2021 BTO in-depth review: Rochor (under the new PLH model)

HDB November 2021 BTO in-depth review: Rochor (under the new PLH model)

Update as of Nov 17, 2021: This article has been updated with information released during the November 2021 BTO launch. 

This November 2021, HDB is launching 4,501 units in the upcoming BTO sales exercise. On top of the seven projects announced around three months ago, HDB and MND have announced late last month that they will launch the first project under the new Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) model during the November 2021 BTO sales launch. The new BTO will be located in Rochor in the Central area. It will comprise 960 units of 3-room and 4-room flats for sale, and 40 units of 2-room rental flats.

Here’s’s detailed review of the November 2021 BTO at Rochor 

Project name: River Peaks I & II

Location: Kelantan Road and Weld Road

Classification: Mature estate

Number of units: 960 units (3-room and 4-room); one block will comprise 40 units of 2-room rental flats

Number of blocks: Six 47-storey residential blocks

HDB’s estimated completion date: Q2 2028

Price range: 

The Rochor BTO will occupy two plots of land. One plot was where the Sungei Road flea market (aka Thieves’ Market) used to be, before it vacated the premises in July 2017. The other plot of land, which is next to Sim Lim Tower, used to be an open-air car park.

With that, let’s dive into the pros and cons of the November 2021 Rochor BTO project.

November 2021 Rochor BTO — The Pros


  • Among the November BTO projects, the Rochor PLH flats have the best accessibility to MRT stations.
  • For starters, Jalan Besar MRT on the Downtown Line is right in front of the BTO plot.
  • And there are other MRT stations on the other lines in the vicinity as well, such as Rochor MRT (Downtown Line), Bugis MRT (East West Line and Downtown Line) and Little India MRT (Downtown Line and North East Line). All these stations are within an eight- to 12-minute walk, giving you direct access to two other MRT lines.
  • This BTO also makes it an ideal home for those working in the CBD. Through Bugis MRT, you can reach the CBD in two to three stops. For those who drive, this will be within a 10-minute drive.
  • There’s also the upcoming North-South Corridor (NSC) along Sungei Road to be completed in 2027. This will allow you to commute to the city centre by public transport or by bike faster.
  • And just across Rochor Canal is Queen Street Bus Terminal, where you can take the bus to Johor Bahru.

Food and retail amenities

  • Another thing that makes the Rochor BTO stand out is the variety of food available here within walking distance.
  • For instance, Berseh Food Centre is just around four minutes walking distance. There’s also Tekka Centre around nine minutes walk away, where you can find a hawker centre and a market.
  • Currently, the nearest supermarket is Sheng Shiong at Syed Alwi Road at around a five-minute walk.
  • For even more options, you can find a variety of cuisines along Jalan Besar, Arab Street and Haji Lane.
  • There’s a number of shopping malls within walking distance as well. Bugis Junction and Bugis+ around a 12-minute walk away. Sim Lim Square is also within walking distance if you’re looking for cheap electronics and gadgets.
  • Don’t feel like walking too far? You can just head downstairs where there will be a supermarket and some F&B outlets.


Healthcare facilities

  • The nearest hospital is Raffles Hospital, which can be reached within a 10-minute walk or a three-minute drive.
  • For more minor ailments, the nearest polyclinic you can head to is Kallang Polyclinic, at around 12 minutes away by bus.

Recreational facilities

  • There’s quite a number of recreational facilities you can find here as well.
  • Jalan Besar Sports Centre will just be around nine minutes away on foot. Here, you can find a stadium and a swimming complex.
  • Alternatively, you can head to Sports Hub in three stops via Bugis MRT.
  • And for those who love nature, Fort Canning Park is just two MRT stops away.

Price appreciation

November 2021 Rochor BTO — the cons

Childcare centres

  • There will be a childcare centre in the development, located at River Peak I.
  • But outside of the two BTO projects, there’s only a couple of childcare centres within walking distance.
  • This includes Lavender Meadows Academy at Veerasamy Road (around a two-minute walk) and Life Child Care Centre at Prinsep Street (around a nine-minute walk).
  • A little further is PCF Sparkletots at Kampong Glam at around 16 minutes away on foot.


  • On top of that, there are very few school options nearby the Rochor PLH flats.
  • Currently, the nearest schools to the plot are Stamford Primary and Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah. Both are just five minutes walk away.
  • However, Stamford Primary will merge with Farrer Park Primary in 2023, moving to the site of the latter school.
  • So this leaves you with only two primary schools within 1km: Farrer Park Primary and St Margaret Primary (which will move back to the nearby Wilkie Road in January 2024).
  • Plus, your kids will need to travel further for Secondary school. Apart from School of the Arts (SOTA), your kids will need to take around a 30-minute bus ride to the nearest secondary schools, such as Outram Secondary and Bendemeer Secondary.
  • On the other hand, the flats are closer to tertiary institutions like LaSalle College of the Arts and NAFA Campus, with both around a 10-minute walk away. SMU is also just one stop away.

Type of flats

  • Only 3-room and 4-room flats will be available for sale. So these Rochor BTO flats are more suitable for those with smaller families. This includes couples without kids, or those with one or two children.


  • According to HDB and MND, given the higher market price, PLH flats will come with additional subsidies on top of the usual subsidies that come with BTO flats. This is to ensure that they’re still affordable for Singaporeans.
  • Despite the subsidies, the Rochor BTO is still the most expensive one in this November 2021 launch. The starting price for a four-room flat is S$582,000.
  • Not only is this due to the city centre location, but also that the MRT will just be in front of the project.


  • We expect that application rates will still be pretty high. But it probably won’t be as high as what we’ve seen for the Telok Blangah flats in May 2021. Back then, it had an overall application rate of 30.3 within three days of launch for 4-room flats.
  • Given the restrictions for these PLH flats, like the 10-year MOP and the ban on renting out the entire unit, we think not as many people will be willing to apply.

What else we noted about the November 2021 Rochor BTO

  • Given the pandemic, these days HDB only announces the exact location of the BTO projects three months before the launch. So during the May 2021 BTO launch, HDB only announced the rough details for the November 2021 BTO that around 3,100 to 3,600 flats will be launched in Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Jurong West, Kallang/Whampoa and Tengah.
HDB announcement on November BTO
Source: HDB
  • During the next BTO launch in August 2021, HDB mentioned that around 4,400 flats will be launched (more than what’s previously announced), listing the five estates. And sometime later, HDB revealed the exact location of the projects in these five estates, but not the Rochor BTO.
HDB announcement on November 2021 BTO
Source: HDB
  • So it’s interesting how this Rochor BTO was announced so late, as it’s announced together with the new PLH model in late October. HDB probably needed more time to firm up the details of the PLH model, so they didn’t announce the project sooner.
  • According to the URA master plan, both sites are designated for residential use with commercial space on the first floor. This is where the supermarket and F&B outlets will be.
  • And if you’re looking for an unblocked view, you might want to opt for the north west stacks at the plot next to Sim Lim Tower, as they face shophouses. Alternatively, go for the south stacks that’s facing Stamford Primary.
  • Aside from that, the 10-year MOP also means that if you have a neighbour from hell (touchwood it won’t happen), you won’t be able to move out and have to tahan for 10 years.
  • Besides the 6% clawback, the quotas for the Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS) will be reduced to two-thirds of the original quotas. Up to 20% will be allocated for first-timers, and up to 2% will be for second-timers.
  • And with a waiting time of nearly six years, this project has the longest waiting time out of all the November 2021 BTO projects.


Our verdict on the November 2021 Rochor BTO

Now that HDB has announced this Rochor BTO, we think this project wins hands down in terms of location. Although it’s not located in the CBD like Pinnacle@Duxton or in the Greater Southern Waterfront, it’s still in a prime location. And one that’s right in front of the MRT.

We also like that this is a step towards making these flats more affordable. With measures like the 10-year MOP, income ceiling for resale, subsidy clawback and ban on renting out the whole unit, all these restrict the PLH flats to those who want to buy for their own stay, and not for investment purposes. They can potentially reduce the lottery effect and resale prices.

On the other hand, there will be the knock-on effect of driving up prices of projects in prime locations, such as Pinnacle@Duxton and those in Dawson and Redhill.

Another gripe we have is the eligibility criteria for when the PLH flats enter the resale market, as only those that HDB considers a family nucleus can apply. This means singles (including the LGBTQ+) won’t be able to buy these PLH flats in the resale market. While this means that the model isn’t totally inclusive, this move isn’t surprising either, given the government’s pro-family stance.

Nevertheless, HDB said that they’ll “continue to review the parameters over time and make adjustments where necessary to ensure they remain relevant to the needs of Singaporeans”. So, hopefully the PLH model will be more inclusive, especially given the growing number of singles in Singapore, as reported in Census 2020.

November 2021 Rochor BTO: Should you apply? 

Only apply if you really want to set up a home here and don’t see yourself upgrading within 10 years of living in the flat. With the project completing only in 2028 and a 10-year MOP, this means that you can only sell it from 2038 onwards. As with the purpose of the restrictions, these flats are not for those who buy a BTO for investment purposes.

We think the Rochor BTO is more suitable if you’re a small family not looking to have more kids, given the 10-year MOP. It’s also not exactly an ideal home if you have school-going children during the 10-year MOP given the lack of primary and secondary schools here. So you might want to apply here only if you and your kids don’t mind travelling further for school.

HDB resale flats for sale in Central area

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633 Veerasamy Road

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818 sqft


5 Tanjong Pagar Plaza

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2 1

635 sqft


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807 sqft


1B Cantonment Road

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1,001 sqft


1G Cantonment Road

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1,012 sqft


1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza

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2 1

635 sqft


1E Cantonment Road

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3 2

1,130 sqft


672B Klang Lane

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3 2

1,130 sqft


1F Cantonment Road

Singapore 085601 · D2

3 2

1,022 sqft


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