District 23’s Bukit Batok neighbourhood feels like a world away for those that don’t stay there, with its most famous feature being Bukit Batok Hill. But there’s actually a lot hidden under that unassuming facade, so let’s dive in and find out a little bit more about the Granite Hill!
A rock solid origin
Bukit Batok’s name comes from the Malay word “Bukit” or Hill, and “Batu”, meaning Granite. Placed together, Bukit Batok means granite hill, which has some basis in reality once you look at some of the natural features in the area.
The 111,500 HDB dwellers in Bukit Batok that reside in over 33,728 units of flats also enjoy some of Singapore’s more unique landscapes, with hills and quarries forming a great living environment.
A great example would be the oft-forgotten “Little Guilin”, which is an abandoned granite quarry. This place was repurposed into a place to walk around in, with landscaped footpaths and great views. This place was named by the locals as a result of its resemblance to the granite formations of Guilin, in China’s Guangxi Province.
Fancy You Castle on the Hill?
Because of its location, many homes in Bukit Batok are affordable to buy or to rent. A 1292 sq ft, 5- room flat in Bukit Batok West Avenue 2 would set buyers back about $390,000, or approximately $301 per sq ft.
A quick search would reveal that most properties in the district command a range of $300 – $450 per square foot, with some very rare and spacious HDB Maisonette units available for sale at the upper ends of that range. Rentals aren’t lacking as well, with units fetching a price of $1.70 – $2.90 per sq ft.
Private properties in the area seem to be a little more exclusive than expected, and we’re chalking it up to the fact that Bukit Batok’s serenity helps to up the exclusivity factor.
Units at Bukit Batok’s Guilin View condominium are going at a solid price, with a 1701 sq ft unit commanding a $1.4 million price tag. That comes down to about $828 per sq ft. Qingjian Realty, developers of the new condominium Le Quest is asking for an even higher price, with 818 sq ft units going at $1.023 million, or $1250 per sq ft.
Rentals of private property, however, take on a very different face. A great example would be a very reasonably priced 969 sq ft Hillview Regency unit going at $2.48 per sq ft, or the larger 1808 sq ft Park Natura units going for around $2.65. per sq ft. This is on par with the rentals at neighbouring Choa Chu Kang.
I like the fact that there’s nature within walking distance at Bukit Batok, but there’s also convenience in the form of West Mall. This 8 storey, 183,000 sq ft mall might be a no-frills type of space, but doesn’t miss out on the necessities.
It is home to dozens of mass-market eateries, and houses Bukit Batok’s Community Library as well. More importantly, the mall has both a Cold Storage and a Sol Mart, so residents will never need to worry about groceries. Finally, the recently opened Cathay Cineplex ensures that moviegoers in the area won’t need to travel far for an afternoon matinee.
Bukit Batok isn’t a fancy neighbourhood like Jurong East, but Bukit Batok’s primary draw is an easy, laid back living that is both affordable and convenient.
If you’re in the market for a place that has the basics laid out, and within striking distance of a natural environment, then Bukit Batok’s quiet surroundings are the perfect place for you to set up your home!