Areas close to Bukit Timah Turf City, such as Watten Estate, Sixth Avenue, Namly Drive and Coronation Road, have high concentrations of low-rise housing estates that are home to many high-income Singaporean families. These estates were previously safeguarded with height controls on new developments.

In contrast, high-density, high-rise private condominiums such as Maplewood, the Tessarina, the Nexus and the Cascadia are found along the stretch of Bukit Timah Road between Sixth Avenue and Jalan Anak Bukit.

Many parents move to Bukit Timah to improve their children’s chances of being admitted into popular primary schools. However, new launches have been limited in the area, which significantly drives up home prices. Perfect Ten, launched in 2021 by Pacific Enterprises Development, has sold at over S$3,600 per square foot, while Watten House, launched in 2023 by UOL, has sold at over S$3,200 per square foot.

Many parents could, hence, be priced out of living in Bukit Timah. If they cannot afford to own or rent property within 1km to 2km from popular schools in the area, and they would not be able to secure a place for their children through distance-based prioritisation in the Primary 1 registration exercise.

With more land set aside for new private residential developments in Turf City, developers could increase the supply and help moderate prices of new homes in Bukit Timah.

New BTO flats and mid-priced private housing will diversify the area’s housing mix, which will lessen the concentration of high-income families in time. The 20,000 new public and private homes could help Bukit Timah and its popular schools become less segregated and more inclusive.

Sing Tien Foo is the Provost’s Chair Professor at the Department of Real Estate, NUS Business School, National University of Singapore. Views are those of the author and do not represent those of NUS and its affiliates.


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