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Neighbourhood Estate Guide: Why Hougang Is No Longer The Backwater Of Singapore

More than just the opposition ward

For the more politically-inclined locals, Hougang represents the stronghold of Workers’ Party (WP). Despite being under its banner for 30 years, since 1991, Hougang is more than just the face of the resistance to Singapore’s most successful political party.

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Hougang or its dialect pronunciation “Au Kung” means “at the back of the river” – in reference to the river at the end of Upper Serangoon Road. The area was largely populated by Teochew communities, which is why there is still a strong association to the dialect group today. Its legacy can still be seen from the road names to institutions and landmarks in Hougang.

Besides the Teochew settlement, there was also a sizeable Eurasian community along with other Hokkien and Hainanese dialect groups. The main commerce activities during the 19th century in the area involved pig farming and gambier and pepper plantations before it made way for coconut plantations and fruit orchards by the pre-world war years.

Pushing for modernisation, HDB transformed Hougang into a residential town in the late 1970s. Today, it remains the largest housing estate by land size – with over 57,000 HDB housing units interspersed with pockets of private residential enclaves. Located in the north-eastern part of Singapore, Hougang is bounded by Punggol in the north, Upper Serangoon Road in the south, Sungei Serangoon in the east and Yio Chu Kang in the west.

Over the years, the housing estate boasted many “first in Singapore” features. This included the first McDonald’s outlet in a housing estate, a gigantic rainbow mural, the first housing estate to have a bowling alley and an all-entertainment complex. Another feather in its cap was that the last HDB maisonettes ever built were also in Hougang.

With the construction of the Cross Island Line by 2030, it will not only connect residents across the island, but also to major employment nodes and recreational sites in the northeastern region with greater convenience.

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Business Activity

One of the key town planning strategies since 2013, has been to redesign commercial clusters outside city centre so as to bring jobs closer to homes. This is expected to reduce congestion and traveling time to and from the city centre.

In this aspect, residents can look forward to more jobs when the Defu lndustrial Park is redeveloped. This will see its total industrial floor space increase by five-fold to 2.1 million sqm. The Defu Industrial Park will be divided into three zones. The Northern and Central zones will be occupied by strategic industries such as logistics, precision engineering, info-communications and media, electronics, clean energy and biomedical. Whereas, the Southern zone will be set aside for modern industrial complexes to house existing industrialists. HDB will also develop a new Defu City Centre, beside the Defu Industrial Park, making it the focal point of commercial activities, providing amenities such as F&B outlets, convenience stores, medical clinics and childcare centres.

Aside from the Defu Industrial Park, residents in Hougang Town can also look forward to new jobs at the upcoming Lorong Halus Industrial Park. It is Singapore’s first industrial park to be built on a former landfill. The new generation industrial park is targeted at the light and clean industries such as food, lifestyle and logistics and will boast a vibrant riverfront lined with lush greenery. Once fully developed, the Lorong Halus Industrial Park will be a major employment centre in the North-East Region supporting both jobs and recreational amenities for the enjoyment of workers and residents.

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Residents in Hougang can easily travel to other parts of Singapore via public transport. Currently, there is a bus interchange and two MRT stations in Hougang Town. The buses from the interchange bring commuters to central areas such as Bukit Merah, Clementi and Shenton Way. It also connects to regional centres in the North – Woodlands and West – Jurong and other employment nodes as such the Changi Airport, Seletar Aerospace Avenue and Buona Vista.

The North East Line (NEL) rail network connects Hougang Town to the rest of the island via two stations – Hougang and Kovan. These stations connect residents to central areas such as Dhoby Ghaut, Clarke Quay, Chinatown and Harbourfront to Punggol, at the very end of North East. By 2030, the Hougang MRT station will be developed into an integrated transport hub, encompassing the bus interchange, with the MRT station linking residents to both the NEL and new Cross Island Line (CRL) rail networks.

Two new CRL stations – Hougang and Defu, will cut the journey time from Hougang to Sin Ming by half, to around 20 minutes and equally to reach the Loyang industrial estate from the Hougang MRT station. More than 100,000 households are expected to benefit from the new CRL, which will serve residential and industrial areas such as Loyang, Tampines, Pasir Ris, Defu, Hougang, Serangoon North and Ang Mo Kio. The new line will serve existing and future developments in the eastern, north-eastern and western corridors, linking major hubs such as Jurong Lake District, Punggol Digital District and the Changi Region.

Lastly, there are plans for road improvements along Upper Serangoon Road, Upper Paya Lebar Road, Tampines Road, Lorong Ah Soo and Hougang Central, which will smoothen traffic flow and improve vehicle accessibility when fully completed. Motorists can easily connect to major expressways, such as the Tampines Expressway (TPE), Kallang Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) and the Central Expressway (CTE) that surround the town to travel to any part of the island with ease. For example, it would take a drive of around 15 to 20 minutes during non-peak hours to reach the shopping belt of Orchard Road from Hougang central via Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 and CTE or travel to the Airport within 25 to 30 minutes by Punggol Road, TPE and PIE.

Despite having an Outside Central Region (OCR) status, Hougang is well positioned and connected to major transport nodes, making travelling to other parts of Singapore relatively quick and easy.

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Hougang is part of district 19 that consists also of Punggol and Sengkang. There is a good mix of public and private housing types to cater to a range of needs and preferences. Over the past decade, there has been numerous HDB BTO launches as part of plans to rejuvenate the town and many private condominiums were also built, attracting new homebuyers.

We shall take a look at the overall affordability of resale HDB flats in Hougang based on EdgeProp’s HeatMap tool.

Annex 1: HeatMap of overall HDB Resale Prices in Hougang

Source: EdgeProp

From the above Annex 1, we can see the prices for HDB flats are generally affordable as the different zones in Hougang are mostly shaded in darker green. The average prices for the different zones are as follows:

S/No Zones Price S$ PSF
1. Hougang Central 488
2. Hougang East 481
3. Houang West 387
4. Kangkar 443
5. Kovan 363
6. Lorong Ah Soo 391
7. Trafalgar 391

It should be noted that the above prices are the average taken from Feb 2019 – Sep 2021 and the current HDB prices in the different zones may be higher than the average prices.

Next, we compare the HDB prices in Hougang to the other towns in Singapore using SRX’s heatmap tool.

Annex 2: HeatMap of HDB Prices across Singapore

Source: SRX

Once again, by looking at the colour codes of the different towns in Annex 2, we can see the prices in Hougang are cheaper compared to neighbouring towns such as Serangoon and Sengkang. Furthermore, prices in Hougang are also considered to be within an affordable range as the PSF prices are within the green colour code. Based on this information, HDB flats in Hougang may be a value buy as they offer a lower entry to housing in the OCR that has a relatively convenient and short traveling journey time to city centre.

Up until this year, there were no new BTO launches in Hougang since the launch of Buangkok Woods in 2016. Hougang Citrine and Kovan Wellspring were released in August 2021 to great demand and oversubscription. BTO applicants can also look forward to two new projects that will be released in the November HDB 2021 launch. Based on the HDB resale prices, we believe the BTO prices will also be attractively priced for home applicants.

Read Also: August 2021 HDB BTO Sales Launch: Location Guide – Hougang, Jurong East, Kallang/Whampoa, Queenstown, Tampines

Next, we look at the private housing in Hougang. Annex 3 below shows the heatmap of the condominium prices across the different districts in Singapore. Unfortunately, the condominium prices in District 19 are lumped together with the condominium prices in Sengkang and Punggol, therefore, we are unable to single out the Hougang prices as we did above with HDB resale prices using Annex 2. Nevertheless, based on the colour code, the PSF prices in District 19 are in the median range of around $1,700 to 1,800. Our search on property portals also shows the average condominium prices in Hougang are listed for as low as around $750 to $900 PSF to as high as $2,000 to $2,200 PSF.

Annex 3: HeatMap of Condo Prices across Singapore

Source: SRX HeatMap

Moreover, various other initiatives were also implemented to enhance the overall living environment and to strengthen the residents’ connection with local history that includes the one-stop community club with a hawker centre, a healthcare facility and an arts centre – Ci Yuan Community Club built in 2015. Other enhancements include more retail amenities at Kovan, Hougang Central, Houang Avene 7, Buangkok Drive and Jalan Pelikat; and the launch of Hougang Heritage Trail in 2020 which was the National Heritage Board’s 20th heritage trail. The trail brings explorers through 18 sites showcasing Hougang’s diverse communities and interesting history.

These developments and the future development plans will make Hougang an attractive place to live in for many years to come.

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As a mature town, the educational institutions are well set-up in Hougang. There are plenty reputable schools for parents of school going children to choose from.

Moreover, based on the recently announced changes to the P1 registration framework, that increases the number of reserved places under phase 2C and with the revised calculation for the Home-School Distance to be based on the School Land Boundary, more children living nearby to these primary schools will have a higher chance of getting a place than before, benefiting residents.

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We have listed the MOE-based schools in Hougang for easy reference.

MOE Kindergartens
No Name of School Location
1 MOE Kindergarten @ Hougang 1 Hougang Street 93, Singapore 534238
2 MOE Kindergarten @ Punggol 61 Hougang Avenue 8, Singapore 538787
MOE Primary School
No Name of School Location
1 CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity 1257 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534793
2 Holy Innocents’ Primary School 5 Lorong Low Koon, Singapore 536451
3 Hougang Primary School 1 Hougang St 93, Singapore 534238
4 Montfort Junior School 52 Hougang Avenue 8, Singapore 538786
5 Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Primary) 298 Lorong Ah Soo, Singapore 536741
6 Punggol Primary School 61 Hougang Avenue 8, Singapore 538787
7 Xinghua Primary School 45 Hougang Avenue 1, Singapore 538882
8 Xinmin Primary School 9 Hougang Avenue 8, Singapore 538784
9 Yio Chu Kang Primary School 1 Hougang Street 51, Singapore 538720
MOE Secondary School
No Name of School Location
1 Bowen Secondary School 2 Lorong Napiri, Singapore 547529


2 Holy Innocents’ High School 1191 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534786
3 Hougang Secondary School 2 Hougang Street 93, Singapore 534256
4 Montfort Secondary School 50 Hougang Avenue 8, Singapore 538785
5 Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary) 296 Lor Ah Soo, Singapore 536742
6 Serangoon Secondary School 11 Upper Serangoon View, Singapore 534237
7 Xinmin Secondary School 11 Hougang Avenue 8, Singapore 538789
8 Yuying Secondary School 47 Hougang Avenue 1, Singapore 538884



Hougang is home to several neighbourhood parks and precinct parks. Moreover, residents, have easy access to many major parks in the north-eastern region via the 26km North-Eastern Riverine Loop (NERL) that links to four parks, that runs through the heartlands of Buangkok, Sengkang and Punggol and continues into the rustic landscapes of Punggol Beach, Punggol Promenade and Lorong Halus Wetland. For the nature enthusiast, they can look forward to more recreational sites when the NERL eventually becomes part of the 150km Round Island Route (RIR) that goes around Singapore. It will provide more opportunities for recreational activities such as cycling, skating, jogging and hiking. These connections along with the many parks that are set to be enhanced will bring a “City in Nature” experience for all residents.

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Criteria Ratings Remarks
Pedigree Very Good The town has a long history and is given recognition to its past through NHB’s Hougang heritage trail.
Accessibility Good As a town, it is well connected by bus and rail services. It also takes a short drive of under 30 minutes to reach the shopping belt area of Orchard Road and the Airport. With the Cross Island line and the integrated transport hub, connectivity to other parts of town and employment nodes will be quicker and easier.
Affordability Good In terms of public housing, the average prices in Hougang are relatively cheaper than the neighbouring towns such as Serangoon and Sengkang. The average HDB resale PSF prices in the town are at an affordable range of around $400 to 450.
Schools Above Average There are plenty of options when it comes to education institutions, with some schools having long history and reputation.
Recreation Good Nature lovers will appreciate the proximity to the many parks and park connectors in Hougang. Residents can enjoy the nature trail along the North-Eastern Riverine Loop and can also look to better connectivity to other bigger parks as the Round Island Route is fully completed. This will give adventurers a longer distance to explore outdoor spaces by walking or cycling.
Investment Potential Very Good Given the affordability of property prices in Hougang and proximity to major employment nodes in the northeast region, there is potential for further upside as prices in Hougang catch up to the property prices in neighbouring towns when other value accrediting projects (like the CRL) in the town are completed.

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