One of the best performers in the Aug 2021 BTO launch were the Hougang BTOs, more precisely Kovan Wellspring, which sits right next to Kovan MRT. Hougang Citrine, the other Hougang BTO that was launched, isn’t packed with as many amenities nearby, but it does have 5-room units to choose from. We look at both sites in our analysis and see the best units to go for.
t a glance
Hougang CitrineKovan WellspringLocationAlong Hougang Ave 3, opposite Singapore Girls’ HomeNext to Kovan MRT stationNo. of units749586Unit types2-room flexi, 3-, 4- and 5-room2-room flexi, 3- and 4-roomNo. of blocks64No. of floors12 to 13 storeys13 to 18 storeysOn-site and surrounding amenitiesNeighbourhood Centre: Hougang N1 Centre at Hougang Ave 1 (~10-min walk)
Hawker Centre/Wet Market: Hougang Hainanese Village Centre (~10-min walk)
Supermarkets: Prime Supermarket along Hougang Ave 1 (~12-min walk) and FairPrice Maple Tree 18 (~20-min walk)
Other eateries: 134 Lorong Ah Soo coffee shop (~10-min walk)• Integrated with Paya Lebar Kovan Community Centre
MRT stations: Kovan MRT on the North-East line (~2-min walk) and future Defu MRT on the Circle line (~18-min walk)
Shopping mall: Heartland Mall (~2-min walk)
Hawker Centre/Wet Market: Kovan 209 Market & Food Centre (~2-min walk)
Supermarkets: Cold Storage at Heartland Mall (~2-min walk) and FairPrice Finest at Hougang St 21 (~6-min walk)
Other eateries: Restaurants, cafes, fast food and supper spots at mixed-use development, Stars of Kovan and along Upper Serangoon Road (~4-min walk)Schools within 1km (estimated)Paya Lebar Methodists Girls’ (Primary)Xinghua Primary SchoolEstimated completion dateFirst quarter of 2025Third quarter of 2026Pros & Cons of both BTOs• Earlier completion date
• Quieter surroundings
• Lack of amenities
• Stacks have less impact from traffic and car park
• Car park located far away
• Most areas surrounding the site not yet developed, so likely to face some construction down the road once living in• More surrounding amenities mean extra convenience, but it also means a noisier surrounding
• Most stacks have a North-South orientation (breezier flats)
• Better lift to unit ratio
We can understand why Kovan Wellspring was so well received during the Aug 2021 sales exercise. The site, currently a car park, is sandwiched between Heartland Mall on one side and a wet market/food centre on the other. You also have Kovan MRT station right next to it. Within the site itself will be a revamped Paya Lebar Kovan Community Centre.
Site for Kovan Wellspring. Stars of Kovan (mixed-use development) to the left and the neighbourhood centre to the right.
Site for Kovan Wellspring. The site is also surrounded by a hawker centre, seen here at the far end of image.
Just opposite the BTO along Upper Serangoon Road is a line of eateries popular amongst foodies, with famed eats like Yaowarat Thai Kway Chap and Punggol Nasi Lemak. The mixed-use development across the road, Stars of Kovan, also contains a number of eateries. There’s no shortage of food options here.
Along the intersection between Upper Serangoon Road and Tampines Road.
Besides the hustle and bustle because of the amenities in this Kovan BTO, traffic was also pretty heavy along Tampines Road and Upper Serangoon Road. The former is more of a concern, since there are stacks at Kovan Wellspring that are facing Tampines Road directly. This arterial road also leads into expressway, KPE, so traffic will likely be always busy.
Along arterial road, Tampines Road.
There is less fanfare over at Hougang Citrine as it has fewer amenities around the site. It sits at the edge of an industrial district and several depots. One of the newest additions near the site include a stack-up complex, Defu Industrial Park. This industrial park is set to collate a few of the existing industries around the site under one building and will house a workers’ dormitory as well as a Defu City Centre (~18-min walk) that will provide a range of amenities including F&B options, convenience stores, medical clinics and childcare centres.
Site for Hougang Citrine. Much of the area is still relatively undeveloped.
The downside to being near this new industrial city is that traffic along Hougang Ave 3 will likely pick up significantly once the industries move into the industrial complex. So there might be an increase in heavy vehicles moving about and around the area.
Along Hougang Ave 3
Currently, the main amenities are located at the neighbourhood centre along Hougang Ave 1, approximately a 10-min walk away. There is a Prime supermarket there, a food centre and wet market as well as a couple of coffee shops. The area’s amenities are likely to be boosted by the upcoming Hougang BTOs in this area (set to launch in Nov 2021).
Both BTOs sit relatively near Paya Lebar Air Base, which is set to relocate only from 2030 onwards, so aviation noise is still going to be an issue for a few years down the road if you move in by 2025 or 2026.
Site Map for Kovan Wellspring.
Looking at the amenities for both sites, Kovan Wellspring is undoubtedly the winner. Most of the stacks there also have a North-South orientation, which will translate to breezier units. But being surrounded by all these amenities and having a community centre on site will mean foot, vehicular traffic and noise levels around the area will be significantly higher. The car park for the community centre is located on the site as well.
For Hougang Citrine, its car park is located quite a distance away from some of the blocks. The good thing about this is that there is less noise and traffic impact from being near the car park, but the drawback is that drivers will have to walk quite a distance just to collect their vehicles.
4-room unit comparisons: Hougang Citrine versus Kovan Wellspring
Save for the 4-room units, there aren’t major differences for the rest of the unit types for both BTOs. Do note that only Hougang Citrine has 5-room units available. If you are opting for a 4-room flat, here’s a look at the two layouts available at Hougang Citrine and Kovan Wellspring:
Here’s a comparison of the 4-room layouts:
Hougang CitrineKovan Wellspring• Larger layout at 95 sqm
• Dedicated foyer area
• Likely to have a galley kitchen layout to maximise counter space
• Weird column in the middle of the flat
• Each window panel is slightly separated from the next one
• Might have an awkward wardrobe layout in the master bedroom
• Able to hack the internal walls of all three bedrooms
• Window for common bathroom looks out into service yard• Smaller layout at 93 sqm
• Possibility of a larger living room, by knocking down adjacent bedroom wall
• More conventional BTO layout
• Spacious master bathroom
• Long stretch of windows
• Structural wall between two common bedrooms i.e. cannot hack to enlarge area
Which unit to go for at Hougang Citrine?
The 2-room units are located at blocks 178A, 178B and 179A. Type 2s are bigger, giving you the option of an extra bedroom that can contain a single-sized bed.
If you want a quieter stack, choose one that isn’t facing the areas where people tend to gather like the playgrounds and fitness corners. Do avoid stacks that are facing the main road and the site reserved for school. The site map indicates that all the main roads surrounding Hougang Citrine will have bus stops. Because buses run on a regular frequency, it can get quite noisy if you go with a road-facing stack. These are the stacks to pick for peace and quiet: 108, 110, 112, 186 and 188.
For privacy, you’ll want to for a corner unit, away from the lifts and rubbish chutes and preferably one that is standalone without being attached to an adjacent unit. These are the best 2-room stacks for privacy: 116 and 134.
Some of the stacks aren’t blocked by another stack in front of it, which can mean a breezier interior if you open the doors and windows to your unit. These stacks are likely to be relatively windy: 104, 144, 172.
For 3-room flats, you can choose from stacks 106, 148, 156, 176, 182, 202, 206 and 230.
You’ll have to choose between the stacks facing the pavilion (156, 230), the fitness corners/playgrounds (106, 146, 202, 206) and stacks facing the future school site (182, 176). Take note that stack 182 also faces an upcoming bus stop.
For privacy, stack 182 is your best choice seeing as it’s a corner unit. Do note that it isn’t a standalone stack though.
Based on the sun directions in Singapore (northwest and southwest depending on the time of the year), most stacks here are likely to get the afternoon sun. However, you’ll also want to check if there are neighbouring buildings that can provide some shade (the 3D model of the unit at HDB Hub will help). Stack 156 might be able to receive a little bit of shade from the sun coming in the southwest direction because of the neighbouring stack.
For 4-room units, you get to choose from stacks 100, 102, 148, 150, 154, 158, 160, 164, 166, 170, 198, 200, 204, 208, 214, 220, 222, 224, 226 and 228.
Stacks 208 and 222 are the best for privacy because they are corner units, away from the lifts and rubbish chutes and they don’t have an adjoining adjacent stack.
In terms of the afternoon sun, stacks 220, 222 and 228 might get some shade from the neighbouring stacks so they are likely to be relatively cool when you come home in the evenings.
For a quieter stack, consider stack 208 since it is somewhat further away from the playground. The rest of the 4-room stacks are either facing the future school, in close proximity with the playgrounds, pavilion and fitness corners, or are facing the main roads.
5-room buyers, you’ll have your pick from three blocks at stacks 152, 162, 168, 196, 210, 212, 216, 218 and 232.
In terms of privacy, stacks 152, 162, 210 and 216 are good options. For stacks 152, 210 and 216 though, it’s likely that the service yard can be seen from the common corridors.
Stacks likely to be shaded from the afternoon sun from neighbouring blocks include stacks 196 and 212.
For peace and quiet, you can consider a unit on a higher floor for stack 218. It faces the 5-storey car park, but you can avoid fumes and traffic noise if you get a unit on a higher floor upwards of fifth floor. Other 5-room stacks are either facing the future school, near the main roads or are facing the pavilion and drop-off points.
Which unit to go for at Kovan Wellspring?
Pick from the following stacks for 2-room flats: 108, 110, 112, 114, 116, 118, 120, 122, 146, 148, 150, 152, 158, 160, 166, 168, 176 and 178.
We wouldn’t recommend going for a stack (146, 148, 150, 152, 176 or 178) that faces Tampines Road. Not only will traffic noise be an issue seeing as Tampines Road is such a busy one, the dust and fumes from on-going traffic will also be a problem.
For 2-room units, 158 and 160 are pretty decent choices if you don’t want a stack that is too noisy. They are away from the main road, away from the hustle and bustle of the neighbourhood centre, and don’t face any playgrounds or fitness corners where noise levels are high as people tend to congregate at those zones.
For stacks that are likely to get some shade from the afternoon sun, look to these ones: stacks 120, 122, 158 and 160.
In terms of privacy, go with stacks 116 and 152. These are corner units that don’t have an adjoining unit next to them.
Pick from the following stacks if you are going for 3-room units: 136, 154, 156, 170, 172 and 174.
You will have to choose from a stack that is near the Paya Lebar Kovan Community Centre (136), stacks that are facing the main road (172 and 174) or stacks that are overlooking the playground and fitness corners (154, 156 and 170).
Units on the 4th floor and below at stack 136 might get some shade from the afternoon sun thanks to the adjacent CC. The rest of the 3-room stacks are likely going to receive some afternoon sun.
For privacy, we would recommend 136 and 170, which are standalone stacks and corner units.
These are the 4-room stacks to choose from: 100, 102, 104, 106, 124, 126, 128, 130, 132, 134, 138, 140, 142, 144, 162, and 164.
For privacy, go for stacks 102, 104, 126, 128, 134 140, 142 and 164. While they aren’t standalone stacks, they are corner units with some privacy.
Look out for stacks 124, 126 and 138 if you want a quieter home. These stacks are inward looking, so they don’t face Tampines Road or the neighbourhood centre. They are also not located next to the CC or directly facing the playground.
You might get some respite from the afternoon sun if your unit is located on the 4th floor or lower at stacks 132, 134, 138 and 140.
Still have questions on either Kovan Wellspring or Hougang Citrine? Let us know in the comments or through our socials!
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