The Lottery Effect In HDB Explained & How It Applies To Greater Southern Waterfront HDB

Lottery effect? You mean Toto? Or 4D?

Well…not exactly, but kind of.

If anyone has ever applied for a BTO, you’ll know that you’ll have to be really lucky to get a good ballot number.

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So, moving on to the ballot number.

I know of friends who’ve applied at least thrice but were still stuck with the lower floors or worst – units next to the garbage chute.

Image: Giphy

I myself haven’t had much luck in the BTO lottery department.

High Demand For Public Housing

So what’s the reason for this? Why is it so hard to get a good HDB unit, or even one at all? Well, it all boils down to simple demand and supply.

A great many families, couples and uhm.. investors are vying for the same flats and estates as you are, unless you’re applying for a flat in Yishun that is.

Reason being, HDBs are a lot more affordable and can be sold at a much higher price after a brief minimum occupation period (MOP) of 5 years. This is especially true when it comes to estates such as the up and coming Greater Southern Waterfront.

Case Study: [email protected] 

Our first real taste of the “Lottery Effect” cropped up when [email protected] was launched. So what made this estate so very delectable to the hungry property buyers?

Image: Visit Singapore
  1. It’s a prime location in Tanjong Pagar
  2. 5-room units were priced at a steal – $343,100 to $451,500

To give you a gauge of what a good investment snagging this property would be, a few 5 room flats were sold for over S$1 million after the 5-year MOP in 2014. Unsurprisingly, that was the highest ever resale price for an HDB during that period.

So yes, naturally, investors were circling the property like hawks and the demand was extremely high. Thus, being lucky enough to get a unit here was equivalent to striking the lottery, in terms of luck and earning moolah.

The only drawback? They die die have to stay there for five years. Which isn’t a problem, really.

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Greater Southern Waterfront

And experts are saying the exact same situation is likely to happen at Greater Southern Waterfront.

I mean, think about it.

It’s in the central of Singapore and located near to Sentosa and more entertainment hotspots in the future.

Plus, the government cannot charge too high for their HDB units because they want a healthy mix of income levels in the area and not just the super-rich.

So after the MOP of five years is up? You betcha ass the prices are going to shoot up faster than Apple’s stock prices when they release a new iPhone.

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Except, It Might Not Happen

There are plans to build 9,000 private and public housing at the Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW), and we definitely don’t want a repeat of the [email protected] situation.

Experts have suggested that some measures can be put in place to deter investors and others who don’t actually plan to live there. These include:


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  1. Shorter lease or higher resale levy
  2. A longer MOP than just five years

The resale levy is based on the size of the flat and ranges from $15,000 for a 2 room flat to $50,000 for an executive flat.

So will GSW be a lottery or a good place to live in? Only time will tell.


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