Thursday, September 24, 2009

Condo News The subsale breakdown

As posted in on 23 Sep 2009 by John Condo News The subsale breakdown

The subsale breakdown

The recent subsale market data published by Savills Singapore revealed some really interesting nuggets of information. We ranked the subsales by gains, by losses and so on and the situation became a whole lot clearer.

Come see. We’ve got a nice PDF you can take home with you too!

(We’ve taken what we could from the original table in the Business Times and did some fancy Excel work on it. View the original table here.)

Most Subsale Gains

The Centris at Jurong turned out to be very popular. Next came One Amber near East Coast, Casa Merah at Tanah Merah and The Metropolitan at Redhill. Apparently Casa Merah benefitted from recent sold-out launch of Optima @ Tanah Merah.

Most Subsale Losses

Montebleu at Balestier took the top spot when it came to losses. Coming in an unwanted second is The Fernhill by Stevens Road. Casa Merah also came in third in the subsale losses scale, but obviously this was a result of the high number of subsales it had.

Gains to Losses (Top 20)

This we feel is a more ‘accurate’ view of the subsale data. We took the number of gains as a percentage of the number of subsales and ranked the top 20.

Carabelle in the West Coast stood out prominently with a 100% record, even as they registered a high number of sales (41). The gain for that condo is an acceptable 10%. Note that it’s pretty close to the upcoming Hundred Trees. Another stand out is Southbank at North Bridge Road where all 26 of it’s subsales went through with an amazing gain of 45%!

Centris also did very well too, considering the high number of subsales, it converted at 98.57% and garnered an 18% gain. Apart from the '100-percenters', other condos of note include One Amber and The Quartz which both registered a 19% gain.

Gains to Losses (Bottom 10)

With the exception of Montebleu, The Parc Condo and Botannia, the other seven spots were taken by more upmarket condos in District 4 (Sentosa) and 9 (Orchard). As expected, upmarket condos were hit hard.

Interestingly enough, Carabelle, Botannia and The Parc Condo are all in the West Coast along the AYE and are quite close to each other. Even though all three share a somewhat similar location, only Carabelle did very well. Weird.

Biggest Gains and Biggest Losses

We'll not spend too much time here. Obviously the upmarket condos would take the top spots with their higher sale values and wider price fluctuations. It's high stakes, high risk gambling speculation at those places. The Thomson condo Sky @ Eleven is the odd one, appearing in both these tables and located furthest away from the city.

No point looking at dollars, let's look at percentages...

Biggest Average Gain by Percentage

Now things become juicier. Look at Southbank, 45% gain! If only we had a time machine! One Amber crops up again here. The Quartz in Buangkok deserves a shout out here too. One of the rare mass market condos appearing in this list.

Biggest Average Losses by Percentage

No surprises here with The Sail and St. Regis taking the top spots. The Fernhill appears once more in the losers, something must be going on there.

Winners and Losers
So many tables, so many numbers. Which condo is ultimately the winner and the loser here? (Obviously, luxury condos would be the biggest winners and losers due to their volatile fluctuations, but apart from them...)

Clearly, top spot goes to Southbank for that 100% gains-vs-losses and the crazy 45% gain. Coming in second is a toss-up between Jurong's The Centris (98.57% gains-vs-losses, 18% gain) and East Coast's One Amber (97% gains-vs-losses, 19% gain).

We think The Fernhill takes the crown as the speculator's bitter pill. And it's a giant pill to swallow. It has only 1 subsale that made a gain of 3% (which would be negated by stamp duty and other expenses) and the rest lost money at one of the highest average loss of 16.3%. Montebleu deserves a special mention too, having the highest number of subsale losses among all 43 condos here.

[UPDATE 24 SEP 2009:We've got some news for you -The Fernhill is disqualified! The name Fernhill sounded familiar, so when we used our tag search for Fernhill, we found out that it was a single China investor who got burnt badly thanks to the DPS. Read about it here and here. Montebleu is now promoted!]

The lesson learnt here is there is no hard and fast rule as to what factors decide which condos made the highest or lowest gain. One can argue proximity to MRTs could play a part with increasing the gains (The Centris, Casa Merah, The Metropolitan, etc), that's quite plausible. But there are many condos elsewhere that did well, without any MRT nearby.

And it's clear that luxury condos offer the highest reward. The downside is that you need a good $5 million spare change to take that fall. But in the end, unless you have a crystal ball that can look into the future, try not not bite off more than you can chew.

As promised, the PDF of the tables.

What do you think? Your comments here.

Source: Savills Research and Consultancy. Extracted from this table in the Business Times - "A look at the leaders of subsale market this year". Read also Strait Times - "'Flippers' hit in sub-sales"
Note: Savills tracked the caveats up till 28 Aug 2009.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Property Launches The Interlace: Block location and map overlay

As posted in on 15 Sep 2009 by John Property Launches The Interlace: Block location and map overlay

The Interlace: Block location and map overlay

We've got more details just in. The Interlace is one complex condo. Took us some time to figure it out but we've got it done eventually. We've got all the 23 blocks labelled for you, including those that are released for sale, and we've broken down the individual tiers with a 'cool' animation. Come in and see!

Map Overlay

Image: Google Maps. Note: This is an estimation only. Not to scale.

What cannot be seen here is that the project is sitting on elevated land. And note that from the west to the south-east your view is completely unblocked. One will get the green views of Portsdown area, the Hortpark, Gillman Village and Telok Blangah Hill Park. To the east some flatted factories will be in your way. North-views are not too good with the AYE, an small industrial park and AIA Alexandra building in your way.

It looks to be quite some distance from the coast though, so perhaps only the top few floors might get a sea view. Maybe someone who lived at the old Gillman Heights can enlighten us?

URA Masterplan
A check with the URA Masterplan 2008 shows that directly to the south, the land there is slated for residential use, but at the moment, still "subject to detailed planning", so you don't have to worry for now.

Image: URA Masterplan 2008

Blocks and Facilities
The block layouts confused us for a while. We always thought there were to be 31 blocks because the project is made up of 31 long block segments. Apparently not. There are a total of 23 blocks, so where did the rest go? Well, think of each lift shaft as a block, as the lift shaft goes through various stacked block segments, we have 23 lift shafts, hence 23 blocks. As a result, each segment gets two lift shafts or blocks.

Here's the map of the blocks and the facilities:

View the hi-res version.

Segment by segment
We've also broken up each block segment into tiers, so you can see how the units are stacked.

So that's a total of 23 lift lobbies and 31 block segments

Animated Version

Does it look clearer now?

This “Condo Worth Waiting For Project” will be launched in October 2009, take action now and be among the first to register and get attractive pre-launch discounts before the public. Hurry and register by email at or call 65 9853 3323 now!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Property Launches The Interlace: details and floorplans

As posted in on 9 Sep 2009 by Francis Property Launches The Interlace: details and floorplans

The Interlace: details and floorplans

We have managed to get our grubby hands on details and some floorplans of The Interlace in District 4 which to no surprise will launch in phases due to the large amount of units. Please keep in mind all these early details are subject to change and might be inaccurate, so take this info with a pinch of salt.

Although we do not know the exact breakdown on how many of each unit types there are, we noted that unit sizes buck the current trend of "Mickey Mouse" units. For example, 2 bedroom units are a good size of between 807 and 1346sf.

While this means that serious home buyers can finally find a decently sized home, total prices will add up quickly.

Below are some details which we have got wind of:

Tenure: 99 years wef 11 Feb 2009

Site Area: est 869,320 sqft

Plot Ratio: 2.1

Expected TOP: 31 March 2015

Car Park Lots: 1,132 (10 handicap lots) and 76 strata lots (2 lots per garden house)

Lap Pool (50m), Kids Pool, Family Pool, Jacuzzi Pool, Tennis Courts, Multi Purpose Court, Play Zone, Outdoor Exercise Station, Gardening Zone, Clubhouse, Lotus Pond, BBQ promenade, Pet Zone, Jogging Track, Party Pavillion, Central Square, Play Hills, Spa Valley, Theatre Plaza, Bamboo Garden and more...
Units: 1,040 residential units + 8 retails shops

Unit Sizes (estimated):
2 bedroom: 807-1,346sf
2 bedroom with PES: 1,572-1,604sf

3 bedroom: 1,259-1,905sf
3 bedroom with PES/Private Roof Garden: 2,110-3,789sf
3 bedroom with Family/Study: 1,593-2,271sf
3 bedroom with Family/Study with PES/Private Roof Garden: 2,809-5,253sf

4 bedroom: 1,938-2,519sf
4 bedroom with PES/Private Roof Garden: 3,089-5,694sf
4 bedroom Multi Generation: 1,991-2,594sf
4 bedroom Multi Generation with PES/Private Roof Garden: 2,820-5,328sf

Penthouse: 3,154-6,308sf
3 bedroom Garden House: 2,874-3,380sf
4 bedroom Garden House: 3,369-3,886sf

Maintenance Fees (estimated): $3.48 per share value before GST
Type A (2 bedroom) - $248 to $289
Type B (3 bedroom) - $289 to $494
Type C (3+ study/family) - $289 to $578
Type D (4 bedroom) - $331 to $620
Type E (Multi Generation) - $331 to $578
Type F (Penthouse) - $415 to $662
Type G (3 bedroom Garden House) - $415 to $456
Type H (4 bedroom Garden House) $456 to $495

Some typical floorplans:

Type A

Type B

Another varient of Type B

Type C

Another Varient of Type C

Type D

Another varient of Type D

Type E

Phase 1 launch:

Site plan

Block 194 and 196

Block 188 and 198

Block 192 and 194

Block 198 and 200

Block 190 and 188

Block 192 and 190

Block 188 and 198

Block 222 and 220

Nice big and comfy units like we said eh? Take your time and soak in the really is massive and even we took abit of time to get a grasp of it. Just remember to take this early info with a pinch of salt.

Images: brochure

This “Condo Worth Waiting For Project” will be launched in October 2009, take action now and be among the first to register and get attractive pre-launch discounts before the public. Hurry and register by email at or call 65 9853 3323 now!


Monday, September 7, 2009

Condo News The Interlace: Site Layout and Photos

As posted in on 7 Sep 2009 by John Condo News The Interlace: Site Layout and Photos

The Interlace: Site Layout and Photos

We've trawled online and found some hi-res pics of CapitaLand's The Interlace. Looks pretty awesome we must say, though it seems to be one really complex condo - good luck to the future brochure designer!

We've managed to find a site layout as well. Guess what facilities we see?

Located on the site of the old Gillman Heights Condo, top floors might potentially get a view of the Pasir Panjang container port. (And no, we don't think there's any connection between this design and the aforementioned containers... or is there?)

BIG BIG DISCLAIMER: These are obviously architecture renders and definitely NOT the finalized design, so take this with a pinch of salt. Nevertheless it's good fun to speculate.

Site Layout

No indication of where north is but it's safe to assume that top = north, bottom = south. you see a 50m lap pool? We also spy with our little eyes 3 distinct tennis courts, 1 FULL length basketball court. We also spot a long snaking jogging track. Looks like there are plenty of roof gardens as well as possible "spa villas" dotted all over the site too. We don't see any parking lots here, so that means underground parking for the residents. So you see, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words!

More images below:

Potential container sea view

A possible view from Alexandra Road

Do you see what looks like a waterfall feature at the bottom? If it is it looks to really big! Hope it's good fengshui for all.

We see a kids pool right behind the main pool.

Images: OMA via ArchDaily and World Architecture News.

This “Condo Worth Waiting For Project” will be launched in October 2009, take action now and be among the first to register and get attractive pre-launch discounts before the public. Hurry and register by email at or call 65 9853 3323 now!


Friday, September 4, 2009

Condo News Former Gillman Heights Condo now The Interlace

As posted in on 4 Sep 2009 by Francis Condo News Former Gillman Heights Condo now The Interlace

Former Gillman Heights Condo now The Interlace

The former Gillman Heights Condo, will be redeveloped into The Interlace, a massive 1,040 residential unit condominium.

According to the press release, the architect is internationally acclaimed and is responsible for other projects such as the China Central Television Station and the Television Cultural Center in Beijing. In good style, The Interlace (24 storeys) will also be just as daring;

"The Interlace explores a dramatically different approach to tropical living with an expansive and interconnected network of communal spaces with the natural environment.

Thirty-one apartment blocks, each six stories tall, are stacked in a hexagonal arrangement to form eight large-scale courtyards.

The interlocking blocks resemble a ‘vertical village’ with cascading sky gardens and both private and public roof terraces"

Notably, the large 871,884 sf site sits close to the southern ridges and will likely provide some lucky residents with a great view.

Of great interest is how the market (or rather west coast area) will absorb this mammoth of a project with 1,040 units to clear.

Capitaland also has another massive en bloc site at Farrer Road (Former Farrer Court), which could roughly mean another 1,500 more units to clear after.

This “Condo Worth Waiting For Project” will be launched in October 2009, take action now and be among the first to register and get attractive pre-launch discounts before the public. Hurry and register by email at or call 65 9853 3323 now!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Property Launches Elliot at East Coast launching soon

As posted in on 22 July 2009 by John Property Launches Elliot at East Coast launching soon

Elliot at East Coast launching soon

This freehold condo near East Coast Park is going to be launched in September this year. Elliot at East Coast (District 15) has 119 units of 1, 2, 3, 4 bedrooms and penthouse apartments. Built over the old Palm Beach Garden which was enbloc-ed in 2007, this project is developed by Guocoland.

8 Blocks of 5-Storey & 1 Block of 3-Storey Condominium with Basement Car Park

· Site Area – Approx. 127,600 sqft

· 119 Units

Typical Unit Types

· 1 Bedroom (4 units) – Approx. 500 sqft

· 2 Bedroom (12 units) – Approx. 950 to 1,600 sqft

· 3 Bedroom (40 units) – Approx. 1,300 to 2,100 sqft

· 4 Bedroom (40 units) – Approx. 1,600 to 2,700 sqft

· Penthouse (23 units) – Approx. 1,600 to 2,800 sqft

Prices yet to be announced.

We'll keep you updated as soon as we get more info.

Drop me an email at for a full brief on the project.


Trevista Official Launch on Sat 5th Sep 2009

In preparation for Official Launch on 5th Sep 2009 (Saturday), the showflat will be closed on 3rd Sep 2009 (Thursday) and 4th Sep 2009 (Friday). Expect prices to increase.

NTUC Choice Homes has sold 410 of the total 460 units it released for the preview of its Trevista condo in Toa Payoh last week. NTUC Choice Homes is expected to release more units in the 590-unit project this weekend when it does an official launch, accompanied by an advertising campaign, for the project.

Singaporeans bought 87 per cent of the total 410 units. Permanent residents made up 7 per cent and foreigners, 6 per cent, of buyers.

The majority of PRs and foreigners were from China; some were also from Indonesia and Malaysia; there were also a few Swiss nationals, an NTUC Choice Homes spokeswoman said.

She said 70 per cent of the buyers have HDB addresses and the other 30 per cent, private addresses.

About 80 per cent of buyers purchased on the normal progress payment scheme. The remaining 20 per cent who opted for interest absorption scheme are being charged a 2 per cent price premium, the Choice Homes spokeswoman said.

When sales in the 99-year leasehold condo began on Friday morning for the first batch of 210 units, the average price was $898 per square foot, but with two subsequent batches of additional units released, prices were adjusted marginally upwards, although this also had to do with the newer units being on higher floors and having better orientation.

The average price currently is understood to be around $920 psf.

What’s left are a limited number of two-bedroom units, with the majority of what’s available being three- and four-bedroom apartments, BT understands. The remaining 130 units in the condo are expected to be released this weekend and they include prime pool-fronting units.

Call me at 98533323 if you have interest in a unit.


Condo Reviews : Trevista

As posted in on 2 Sep 2009 by John Condo Reviews Condo Review: Trevista

Condo Review: Trevista

About Trevista

The Trevista is a 99-year leasehold, District 12 condo consisting of 590 units in three 39-storey blocks. Developed by NTUC Choice Homes, Trevista has a unit mix of studio, 1+1, 2, 2+1, 3 and 4 BR apartments.

Expected to TOP in late 2012, this is Toa Payoh’s first condominium in more than a decade. In fact, Trevista is Toa Payoh’s third condo after Oleander Towers and Trellis Towers.

This project comes with ‘full condo facilities’. Notable ones include a tennis court, a 50m lap pool and a rock climbing wall.

Parking lots are underground. Unfortunately there are only about 590 lots available so your guests will have to find somewhere else to park. There’s a HDB MSCP right across the street in case they want to pay you a visit.

Trevista is without doubt a mass market condo, with 590 units sharing a 50m lap pool and a single tennis court, this place is as ‘mass’ as it gets.

First Impressions

Immediately we noticed the proximity to Braddell MRT. It’s about an 80m walk, cutting through the HDB blocks, you’ll get there in about three to five minutes. That’s a huge plus.

The land area is quite small and the apartments begin on the first floor and end all the way on the 39th. No ‘Sky Garden’ on the 24th floor, no fancy facilities occupying the first three floors, no ‘Sky Villa’ at the top, it's just apartments from start to finish.

Looking at their brochure, it’s straight to the point - there aren't any photos of a young couple having wine with the city view in the background nor photos of a bikini-clad woman relaxing by the pool and so on. You turn the first page and you get the site layout. It’s like buying NTUC Fairprice’s house brand tissue - zero packaging but yet still does its job.

The showflat was quite crowded when we visited and if you’ve been paying attention, many units have been taken already, so if you like this place head down to Toa Payoh as soon as you can.


It’s pretty good actually. Apart from the MRT nearby, you get all the frills associated with living in an established estate. For example, right across the street is the Toa Payoh Wet Market and Food Centre, a short walk north gets you to a small cluster of shops along Lorong 1 consisting of clinics, pharmacies, McDonald’s and coffeeshops.

Toa Payoh Central and Toa Payoh MRT are also within walking distance, though it’s a better idea to take the bus – they're only two bus stops away. From Braddell MRT, Bishan is one stop away and Orchard, four stops - that's quite convenient don't you think?

If you’re driving, Toa Payoh is served well by two major expressways – CTE and PIE. Plus because it’s a small estate, traffic doesn’t get heavy at all.

The environment around Trevista is quiet too. Toa Payoh has a small population and is one of the oldest estates in Singapore. Friends who’ve lived there tell us that apart from the busy town centre, the rest of Toa Payoh is peaceful and rather sleepy. Maybe that’s due to the multitude of elderly folk there. It doesn't have the 'vibrancy' of Ang Mo Kio for sure.

Unit Type and Estimated Sizes (sqft)
*We exclude sizes of units with PES

19 x Studio (463)
25 x 1+1 BR (689-721)
117 x 2 BR (861 – 947)
19 x 2+1 BR (1,012)
298 x 3 BR (1,098 – 1,281)
98 x 4 BR (1,561 – 1,819)
14 x 4+1 BR (1,776-1,808)

Total: 590 units

Choice of Units

Trevista is one of those rare projects that isn’t north-south facing. The blocks are built at a 45 degree angle, in a north-west orientation. As a result, many of the units face the noon sun.

The project is also surrounded by HDB blocks, some of which go up as high as 30 storeys. And let’s not forget the 42-storey The Peak @ Toa Payoh which is to the project’s south-west.

The best views are those units facing south-east, with only Kheng Cheng school in the way chances are you might have a view of the city.

If you don’t like idea of your room becoming a temporary sauna at 4pm during the hot months, then we suggest high floor units in stacks 07 and 16 (which you have to get via sub-sale as they are sold out!). However, we take special preference to high floor units in stack 08, 11 and 12, even though they do get the noon sun. We’ll tell you why in the next section.

Interior and Layout

The showflats available for viewing were the 3BR and 4BR ones. What stood out the most for the 3BR (Type C2, stack 11 and 12) was the bay window in the living room. If you look at the floorplan, you actually get the balcony on one side and the bay window on the other. The units will get plenty of natural light and a great view too (if you don’t mind the afternoon heat)! Sadly the bay windows are limited to 3BR (Type C2) units only.

And if you have the money, we really like 4BR (Type D1, stack 08) units. They are a good deal bigger than the 3BR (about 400 sqft more) and they have this – a kitchen balcony! What a great place to have that morning cuppa. Look at the floorplans and you’ll see what we mean. Like the 3BR above, you’ll have both the north and south views of Singapore either side of your apartment.

Kitchen Balcony

The fittings are slightly above average too. The kitchen comes equipped with Teka (a very good brand) cooker hood, hob and oven. Sign-up as a NTUC Union member on the spot and get an integrated fridge too.

The bathroom comes with Hansgrohe fittings and Bravat toilet bowls (which sadly are not quiet-close). One gets a choice of ‘His and Hers’ sinks in the master bathrooms for the 4BRs. Dirty old men living across the street would have a field day peeping into your bathrooms though, so blinds are a must.

Unfortunately, only 4BRs and above get the marble finishes for the living room. Furthermore, the kitchen for the 3BR is quite small and so are its rooms. Only the 4BR showflat feels spacious enough for decent human habitation.


Here’s what we found out on the day of the visit.

28 Aug 2009
13 flr, 463 sqft 1BR - about $530k or $1,145 psf
8 flr, 689 sqft 1+1BR - about $674k or $978 psf
9 flr, 861 sqft 2BR - about $776k or $901psf
22 flr, 1,270 sqft 3BR - about $1.198m or $943 psf

29 Aug 2009
7 flr, 689 sqft 1+1BR - around $704k or $1,021 psf
24 flr, 926 sqft 2BR - around $925k or $998 psf
15 flr, 1,012 sqft 2+1BR - around $1.007m or $995 psf
30 flr, 1,270 sqft 3BR - around $1.232m or $1,030 psf
27 flr, 1,733 sqft 4BR - around $1.468m or $847 psf

*Note that prices are indicative and always change, especially if the developer thinks the units are in demand. We'd advise that you check with your agent for the current price.

Definitely nowhere near the average of $898 psf as reported earlier. That was probably a VVIP preview price.

An analysis of the 99-year, 11-year old Oleander Towers’ caveats brought up an average of $710 psf over the months from May to July 2009. Oleander Towers is right next to Toa Payoh MRT.

The freehold Trellis Towers’ caveats clocked in at an average of $934 psf for the months May to July 2009. Trellis Towers is about a 10 minute walk away from Toa Payoh MRT.

Final Word

Sometimes when you walk into a showflat, you know the developers are trying hard to sell you a ‘lifestyle’ or a ‘brand’. Not with the Trevista, they have a very direct take-it-or-leave-it approach. Were they so confident of their product? Or did they not have the time to come up with a fancy branding campaign, rushing to catch the buying wave?

Either way, Trevista’s approach seemed to have succeeded, it’s almost sold out less than a week after launching.

According to NTUC Choice Homes’ website, their mission is “to help more Singaporeans meet their aspirations to own private property by delivering quality housing at fair and affordable prices”.

So what’s ‘fair and affordable’ now? Things have certainly changed since February when the benchmark for a mass market condo used to be in the range of $550 to $750 psf. That’s obviously no longer the case now.

In a way, one can thank Centro Residences for that. The Ang Mo Kio project created a new yardstick to measure all suburban condos against. Any mass market condo would seem like a big bargain when placed side-by-side with the $1,200 psf project.

The fact of the matter is that prices have skyrocketed to the point where a $1,000 psf, 99-year suburban condo seems ‘fair and affordable’. Going by that standard now, we have to say that’s the case with Trevista. It’s in an established estate, it’s near the MRT, the interior fittings are just above average and some units do get great views - so it's not too bad after all.

Honestly speaking (note that we’re not being paid or co-erced at gunpoint into saying this), we think the Trevista is one of the better condos we’ve reviewed so far.

Drop me an email at for a full brief on the project.