Gillman Barracks, Yishun to study for residential use in Singapore

The BTO Project is just a stones throw away from the former Orto Leisure park, which relocated to 27, West Coast Highway near Haw Par Villa.

Nicholas Mak is the chief research officer for He said that a BTO was last launched in Yishun in November 2022. The response from the public was “lukewarm”, resulting in 4,453 applications for 2,994 available units at three Yishun developments.

Mak explained that due to its proximity with Khatib MRT Station the future project at Chencharu may enjoy better responses.

In the long term, the Government is exploring the possibility of introducing new residential neighbourhoods at Gillman Barracks. These would house both public flats as well as private property.

Lee explained that Gillman Barracks was a place with a long history, and it is also home to some former colonial buildings. The new residential neighbourhood, which will give Singaporeans more options to live nearer the city centre and the old colonial buildings, can also build on their character and charm.

The minister said that residents would also be able to access recreational and green areas such as Southern Ridges and Labrador Nature Park Network.

Gillman Barracks falls under the “Reserve Sites” zone of the Master Plan 2019 and is currently home to offices, cafes, galleries and lifestyle centers. These tenancies are set to expire over the next decade.

Environmental and heritage study will start around the second quarter in 2024.

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Chencharu, Yishun is planning a new housing estate of around 10,000 houses. The first project will launch in June 2024.

And art enclave Gillman Barracks might be converted into a neighbourhood with public and private housing after 2030. This will likely attract a large demand for new houses in central locations.

The median prices of condominiums transacted around Gillman Barracks, in Q4 20,23, ranged from S$1,576psf up to S$2,191psf. This was according to Christine Sun. She is the chief researcher and strategy at OrangeTee Group.

Singapore’s central regions, such as Pearl’s Hill or Mount Pleasant and Turf City are to be redeveloped with new homes. The government has also released land for development, including through the relocation Paya Lebar Air Base.

As of February 2018, the government has launched over 67,000 HDB units, which is more than two-thirds (or a third) of its commitment to build 100,000 new HDBs by 2025.

Private housing production has also increased. Lee stated that in 2023 the Government Land Sales program (GLS), which launched 9250 units, was the biggest annual supply in 10 years. The H1 2024 list confirmed will provide 5,450 more private homes.

Rents have stabilised and HDB and private residential price increases have moderated in 2023. Rents for public housing decreased by 0.4% from Q3 2023 to Q4 of 2023. This is down from the 1.9% increase in Q3. Private housing rents declined by 2.1% over the same period, the first decline in more than three years.

BTO applications have decreased from a high rate of 5.8 per flat in 2010 to 2.9 per flat this year. The volume of transactions in the private housing sector fell by 13 % from 2022. It was also at its lowest level since 2016

Along with its plans to build more housing, it will also activate and curate recreational spaces on the island. These will include sports, art, nature, culture and wellness. Connecting recreational spaces are cycling and pedestrian pathways, park connectors, and other features.

Indranee replied to a MP Nadia Ahmad Samdin’s question (Ang Mo Kio GRC), regarding the impact of the upcoming Long Island on marine wildlife. She explained that environmental studies include surrounding marine habitats, such as the intertidal and coral communities.

Long Island, a new island to be built by the government, will cover about 800 ha of land on East Coast. Indranee explained that agencies would explore natural solutions to reduce the environmental impact.

Desmond Lee (Minister for National Development) said that 80% of homes in Chencharu are set aside as public housing. He made this statement during his Ministry’s Committee of Supply discussion on Tuesday, March 5.

In June of 2024, the first Build-To-Order Project in Chencharu’s area will begin. The 1,270-unit development will consist of two-room flexi and three, five, and four-room flats.

It is expected that the housing demand will be strong for both private and government housing if Gillman Barracks were developed.

Telok Blangah Beacon was the site of the last BTO exercise in Telok Blangah, in May 20, 2021. In that year, 175 units drew a total of 4,078 requests, or a 22.3% application rate.

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