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Property Herald: New HDB flats Planned for Gillman Barracks and Yishun


New HDB flats planned for Gillman Barracks and Yishun
New HDB flats planned for Gillman Barracks and Yishun

New housing district at Chencharu, Yishun

 

In June 2024, the government plans to launch a new BTO project at Chencharu, near Yishun. The initial development will consist of 1,270 flats. Eventually, 10,000 homes will be built in the Chencharu area, which is located southwest of Khatib MRT station.

 

The previous BTO project at Yishun that HDB launched was in November 2022, which received mixed response. The application rate for the 2-room flats was rather poor. The application rate from first-timers and second-timers were both 0.1 times for the small-format flats.

 

The application rate from first-timers for the 3-room and larger flats ranged from 1.0 to 2.6 times, which can be described as lukewarm response.

 

One reason for the relatively poor response in November 2022 was that HDB offered a large number of flats in the three Yishun projects located along Yishun Avenue 1. There were a total of 2,994 flats, consisting of 1,191 2-room flats and another 1,803 3-room and larger flats.

 

Furthermore, the November 2022 BTO project came close on the heels of another BTO project at Yishun in May 2022, consisting of 646 flats. Hence, the market needed some time to digest the large supply of new housing units.

 

However, this upcoming BTO project at Chencharu could enjoy better response.

 

This new 1,270-unit BTO project is located closer to the Khatib MRT station than the three BTO projects released in November 2022. The location of the Chencharu project is about 1 km from the Khatib MRT station, while the Yishun Avenue 1 projects were about 2 km away.

 

Secondly, the upcoming Chencharu project would be released about 18 months after the November 2022 Yishun projects. Sufficient housing demand could have built up since then.

 

New residential area at former Gillman Barracks

 

Future housing developments at the Gillman Barracks area will be highly popular due to its city-fringe location, proximity to public transportation, such as the Labrador Park MRT station, nearby mature housing estates at Queenstown and Telok Blangah which offer retail amenities. Furthermore, it is also not far from parks and greenery in the southern waterfront.

 

To taper the expected housing demand and to build an inclusive community, HDB will likely launch the BTO flats at Gillman Barracks as Prime flats, which comes with more restrictions, such as a 10-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP).

 

There are several low-rise colonial-style army buildings at Gillman Barracks. Some of the army buildings are quite similar architecturally. In my opinion, the authorities should keep just a few iconic buildings and clear the rest to make way for higher density housing development.

 

These former army buildings should serve a utilitarian purpose. They could be turned into shops, food courts, childcare centres and other facilities to serve the future residents in this new housing district.

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