Sunday, February 28, 2010

63 percent of survey respondents primarily search online for properties

Only 22% first look for properties in newspapers

In a recent Singapore online survey, 63.1% of 1,000 participants said that they primarily search for properties on the Internet. This compares strongly with the surprisingly low 22.3% of participants who still opt to look for properties in the local newspaper classifieds first.

Even fewer participants or 7.3% of them start with their real estate agent first when it comes to buying a home.

"It's clear that more people in general are going online to websites like for their property search and information needs, rather than relying traditionally on newspapers," said Mr Patrick Grove, Executive Chairman of the Group.

A whopping 88.5% of the participants said they look for properties for sale when using the Internet for property research. Some 38.1% of them used the Internet to research property market trends while 33.8% look for property news online.

Of the participants, 66.1% generally looked for information of completed condominiums online while 40.1% of them looked for information of new condominium launches on the Internet. Some 25.5% of them are interested in completed landed properties.

When queried about their main motivation for buying a property at the moment, 35.4% of them said their main aim was for investment purposes. Some 26.6% of them said they are looking to buy for own stay.

Friday, February 26, 2010

More Condo Launches brought forward

If you're looking for a new condo to buy, great news - developers are pushing their new condo launch dates forward. Approximately 6 to 7 new developments will be launched in the next three months.

Some new upcoming launches:

1. D'Mira - 65 units (Mar 2010)
2. The Residences at W (Sentosa Cove) - 228 units (Mar 2010)
3. Condo at Chestnut Avenue - 429 units (Apr 2010)
4. Condo at Pasir Ris - 642 units (Jun 2010)
5. Condo at soon-to-be former Copthorne Orchid Hotel - 150 units (Jul - Aug 2010)
6. Condo at Dakota Crescent - 616 units (Apr - May 2010)
7. Former Rainbow Gardens site - 172 units (Apr - May 2010)
8. Former Flamingo Valley site - 393 units (2010 Q2)

Other condos to note include The Interlace (1,040 units), the former Farrer Court site (1,500 units) and The Cascadia (536 units). All in all, looks like supply for new condo units will be up, up, up.

It looks like developers are trying to catch the wave of good buying sentiment. In fact, developers are launching so many of their projects that REDAS president Simon Cheong said, 'Many of us are now caught with a depleting land bank'.

As posted in by Yeo ZH

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Property Tax revised

Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced in his lengthy Budget 2010 speech yesterday that there will now be a tiered taxation structure as opposed to the old flat rate set way back in 1994.

We've done some calculations. It's true! 'Poor' folk like us will have to pay less tax!

The tax rate for owner-occupiers (that is people who own the home they live in) will be adjusted from the current 4% flat rate to:
  • 0% for the first $6,000 of Annual Value
  • 4% for the next $59,000 of Annual Value
  • 6% cent for the balance of Annual Value in excess of $65,000

Annual Value is the estimated annual rent your property will get if it is rented out. So if your home can be rented out for $1,500 a month, the annual value will be $1,500 x 12 = %18,000.

Non-owner-occupied residential properties and other properties are taxed at 10%.

So under the current system of 4%, your property tax will be $720. Under the new system, your tax will be $480, giving you a savings of $240 a year.

Incidentally, IRAS just raised the Annual Values of HDB flats last November, but gave a 50% rebate capped at $120. This new tax structure means HDB owners will pay less than before.

Under existing 4% structure for an average 4RM with AV of $9,000:
Tax on AV: $360
Less GST Rebate: $50
Sub-total: $310
Less HDB Rebate (50% or $120): $120
Total Tax Payable: $190

Under the new structure:
Tax on AV: $120
Less GST Rebate: $50
Sub-total: $70
Less HDB Rebate (50% or $120): $35
Total Tax Payable: $35

Via Singapore Budget. Required reading: Annual Values explained and IRAS E-Tax Guide for 1 Jan 2010.

As posted in by John

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Breaking News: Seller Stamp Duty introduced, Loan Limits slashed

MAS has new cooling measures to tame any bubbles forming in the property market. This time it is in the form of Seller's Stamp Duty and lowering of loan limits! The measures were apparently in reaction to the recent spike in property sales.

So far, these are the possible implications from what we gather:

  • Sellers will also have to pay Stamp Duty if they sell within a year of purchase (purchase = exercise option or sign S&P). This means if you buy a condo and sell it within a year, you will get hammered by both the Buyer's Stamp Duty and Seller's Stamp Duty.
  • The new Sellers Stamp Duty is similar to the old Buyers Stamp Duty: 1% for the first $180,000 of the consideration, 2% for the next $180,000, and 3% for the balance.
  • In short this will discourage short term flipping, especially for new projects.
  • The Seller's Stamp Duty will not affect HDB flats, but will affect Executive Condos and HUDC flats.

  • There are no more 90% bank loans for any property even if it is for own stay. The highest is now 80%, meaning buyers will have to cough a lot more down payment.
  • This could also mean banks will lower the borrowing bar across spectrum (previously 90% was for stay and 70-80% was for investment, now 80% for stay and 60-70% for investment?).
  • 90% loan, direct from HDB is still available (if you qualify).
  • PR's (both spouse) buying resale HDB flats will have access only to 80% bank loans (ouch).
  • The new 80% loan limit will apply to Option to Purchases granted on or after 20 February 2010 (Tomorrow!)
Full press release from MND as below:


1 The Government announced today the following measures to ensure a stable and sustainable property market:

Introducing a Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) on all residential properties and residential lands that are bought after today and sold within 1 year from the date of purchase1; and Lowering the Loan-to-Value (LTV) limit to 80% for all housing loans provided by financial institutions regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

2 In September last year, the Government introduced a set of measures2 to temper the exuberance in the private residential market. The Government has continued to monitor the property market closely. While the September 2009 measures helped to cool the property market, there are recent signs that it is starting to heat up again.

3 Demand for private housing units has spiked sharply in January this year. The number of units sold by developers in January was triple that in December 2009 and was the highest monthly total since September 2009. Prices have also increased sharply in the second half of 2009, at a faster rate compared to previous rebounds from the troughs of property cycles, and the price increase has continued in January. Mortgage lending has also increased steadily by around 12% year-on-year through 2009.

4 While the current level of speculative activity in the market is still lower than what it was at the height of the property market boom, and overall price levels are below the previous peak, there is a risk that the market could overheat in the next few months, fuelled by low global interest rates and positive sentiments associated with the economic recovery.

5 Any excessive exuberance will make the property market vulnerable to the continuing risks in the global economy. Should growth turn out weaker than expected, property buyers and speculators could face capital losses as the market corrects. Conversely, if the recovery stays on course, interest rates will eventually rise and drive up financing costs with severe implications for those who have overextended themselves.

6 Therefore, the Government has decided to introduce calibrated measures now to temper sentiments and pre-empt a property bubble from forming. We will tighten the supply of credit to the housing market to encourage greater financial prudence among property purchasers. The Govern ment prefers to take small steps early, rather than be forced to impose more drastic measures after a bubble has formed.

7 The Government will continue to monitor the property market closely and will introduce additional measures if required later, to promote a stable and sustainable property market.

Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) on Residential Properties Sold within 1 Year
8 The SSD will be levied on sellers of residential properties and lands3 bought on or after 20 Feb 2010, and sold within one year from the date of purchase4. Properties bought before 20 Feb 2010 will not be subject to the SSD.

9 The objective of this new tax measure is to discourage short-term speculative activity that could distort underlying prices. It is not targeted at the purchase of properties for owner-occupation or longer term investment.

10 The SSD will be applied at the standard ad valorem stamp duty rates5 for the conveyance, assignment or transfer of property.

11 The SSD will not be applicable to HDB flats as they are already subject to a minimum occupation period of at least one year6.

12 IRAS will be releasing an e-tax guide on the circumstances under which SSD will apply and the procedures for paying SSD. The e-tax guide will be available at Taxpayers with enquiries may call IRAS at 6351 3697 or 6351 3698. The telephone lines will be opened till 6.30 pm on 19 February 2010 and from 8.30am to 1.00 pm on 20 February 2010.

Lowering Loan-To-Value (LTV) Limit to 80% for Housing Loans
13 The LTV limit will be lowered from 90% to 80% for all housing loans provided by financial institutions regulated by the MAS. The 80% LTV limit will apply to all housing loans granted by financial institutions for private residential properties, Executive Condominiums, HUDC flats and HDB flats (including those under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme, or DBSS flats).7

14 Loans granted by HDB for HDB flats (including DBSS flats) will still have an LTV cap of 90%. This is because HDB flats are already subject to other criteria to prevent speculation and encourage financial prudence e.g. minimum owner occupation period and restriction on ownership to one flat per household. HDB loans are offered to only eligible first-time flat buyers or second-timers who are upgrading. They are required to utilise all of their CPF Ordinary Account balance before HDB loans will be granted. This is in line with HDB's home ownership policy of helping eligible buyers, especially first-time buyers, purchase public housing in a financially prudent manner.

15 Financial institutions' lending standards have remained prudent. Currently, less than 10% of housing loans are granted at LTVs greater than 80%, although there are signs that more housing loans are originating at higher LTV bands. In line with the objective of ensuring a stable and sustainable property market, lowering the LTV limit sends a clear signal to the financial institutions to maintain credit standards, and encourages greater financial prudence among property purchasers.

Adequate Supply in the Pipeline
16 The Government will also continue to ensure that there is adequate supply of housing to meet demand. Sites that can yield 10,550 private housing units have already made available in the Confirmed and Reserve List of the Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme in the 1st Half of 2010. This is the highest supply quantum in the history of the GLS Programme.

17 In addition, the Government placed 8 residential sites, including 2 Executive Condominium sites, which can potentially yield about 2,900 units on the Confirmed List. This was close to the highest ever potential supply of about 3,000 units (in the 2nd Half 2007 GLS Programme) from the GLS Confirmed List, since the Reserve List / Confirmed List system started in 2001. If necessary, the Government would inject more supply in the 2nd half 2010 GLS Programme.

18 Apart from the supply from the GLS Programme, there were also 60,476 uncompleted units of private housing from projects in the pipeline as at 4Q2009. Of these, 34,234 units were available or could be made available for sale. These comprised units that had been launched for sale by developers, units that had pre-requisite conditions8 for sale and which could be launched for sale immediately, as well as units with planning approvals for which pre-requisite conditions for sale could be obtained quickly from the Government and made available for sale.9


1 For example, if a property is bought on 15th March 2010 and sold within 12 months, i.e. on or before 14th March 2011, SSD will apply.

2 The measures were the removal of the Interest Absorption Scheme and Interest-Only housing loans, resumption of the Confirmed List under the Government Land Sales Programme in 1st Half of 2010, and non-extension of property-related measures announced as part of Budget 2009 which expired in January 2010.

3 The SSD will apply to the transfer or disposal of interest (including sale and gifts) of residential lands and residential units (whether completed or uncompleted).

4 The date of purchase for computation of the holding period for SSD shall be the date when a buyer (i.e. Buyer A) exercises the option to purchase the property, or signs the sale and purchase agreement, whichever is earlier. The date of resale of the property shall be the date when the subsequent buyer (i.e. Buyer B) exercises the option to purchase the property from Buyer A, or signs the sale and purchase agreement, whichever is earlier.

5 1% for the first $180,000 of the consideration, 2% for the next $180,000, and 3% for the balance.

6 Executive Condominiums and HUDC flats that are purchased on the resale market are not subject to the minimum occupation period, and SSD will therefore apply to them.

7 The 80% LTV limit will apply to transactions where the date on which the option to purchase (OTP) was granted falls on or after 20 February 2010; or if there is no OTP, where the date of the sale and purchase agreement falls on or after 20 February 2010. For the avoidance of doubt, the date of purchase for the lowering of the LTV is the date the OTP is granted; while the date of purchase for the levying of the SSD is the date the OTP is exercised.

8 Refer to private residential developments with Housing Developer Licence and Building Plan Approval. Under the Housing Developer (Control and Licensing) Act, a sale licence must be obtained for a project with more than 4 units, if the developer intends to sell uncompleted residential units in the development. However, the sale of the residential units can only commence with the approval of the building plans of the development.

9 Refer to uncompleted private residential developments without pre-requisites for sale but with Written Permission or Planning Permission granted. The sale licences could be obtained within 5 working days and building plan approvals could be obtained within 7 working days from the date of application for cases where clearances from various technical agencies are obtained and relevant documents are in order during formal submissions.

Jointly Issued by: Ministry of National Development, Ministry of Finance &
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Date: 19 February 2010

What in the world??? This time the government has ambushed speculators still dizzy from the Chinese New Year. All of us at are still reading through the full press release and digesting what it means.

As posted in by Francis

Friday, February 19, 2010

2010 promisiong for property

Rawr! 1476 new private properties were sold in January, up from 481 units in December! What good news to usher in the Tiger year!

With some experts agreeing that Tiger years are often filled with danger and opportunity, it looks like the market is assuming this will be one filled with the later and is taking preemptive action.

The big winners?

  • Cube 8 (167)
  • The Shore Residences (144)
  • RV Edge (91)
  • Urban Suites (88)
  • Parvis (73)
  • Holland Residences (63)
  • Livia (59)
  • Siglap V (50)
  • Cyan (37)
  • Espada (33)
  • Residences Botanique (32)
  • Double Bay Residences (31)
  • The Interlace (24)
  • Meadows @ Pierce (23)
  • Cerelia Vista (21)
  • Trilight (18)
  • Trevista (18)
  • Mi Casa (15)

Apart from the obvious surge in the amount of units sold, the high end and luxury segments seem to be gaining momentum.

Looking closer at the numbers from URA, there seem to be even more good news hidden beneath - with number of new units sold (1476) exceeding the number of units launched within the month (1424).

Month on month, 2010's January is the most spectacular we have seen in a while.

As posted in by Francis

Friday, February 12, 2010

Number of ready to launch condos swelling

The number of condos that are waiting to be launched is swelling, and it is obvious that they are all waiting for the Chinese New Year to pass first. The end of the Chinese New Year usually marks the start of the home buying frenzy season in Singapore.

We have been getting tip offs of agents being briefed at multiple projects across the island, and briefings by developers usually mean that the projects will be launched within a week or two. We compiled a few notable condos for you guys to watch out for:

Altez@Enggor Street
District: 2
Developer: Far East Organization
Tenure: 99yrs
Estimated TOP: ?
Floors: 62
Units: 280
total, 1BR, 1BR loft, 2BR, 3BR loft, PH
Typical Sizes:
1BR (530 - 608 sqft)
1BR loft (805 - 896 sqft)
2BR (837 - 1029 sqft)
3BR (1636 - 1729sqft)
Penthouse (2444 - 4054 sqft)

The Vision (West Coast Crescent)

District: 5
Tenure: 99yrs
Estimated TOP: Mid 2013
Floors: 33
Units: 295 total, 2BR (93), 3BR (154), 4BR (32), PH (2), Strata House (14)
Typical Sizes:
2BR (853, 954, 949 sqft)
3BR (1304- 2200 sqft)
4BR (1641 - 2365 sqft)
Penthouse (2773 sqft)
Strata Houses (4467 - 4855 sqft)

  • 40m Lap Pool
  • Aqua Gym
  • Jacuzzi
  • Gym
  • BBQ

RV Edge
District: 10
Tenure: Freehold
Estimated TOP: 31 December 2015
Floors: 7
Units: 108 total, 1BR (70), 1+1BR (15), 2BR (5), PH (18)
Typical Sizes:
1BR (366 - 474 sqft)
1+1BR (463 - 474 sqft)
2BR (495 sqft)
PH (2BR) (646 - 1,066 sqft)


  • Swimming Pool
  • Jacuzzi
  • Gym

The Estuary
District: 27
Tenure: 99-year leasehold
Site Area: 290,077 sqft
Estimated TOP: 31 December 2013
Floors: 15-17
Units: 608 total, 1BR (85), 2BR (153), 2+1BR (50), 3BR (265) and 4BR (55)
Typical Sizes:
1BR (592 - 603 sqft / 678sqft)
2BR (904 - 926 sqft / 1,098 - 1,119sqft)
2+1BR (1,119 and 1,281 sqft)
3BR (1,184 - 1,302 sqft / 1,302 - 1,442 sqft)
4BR (1,453 - 1,528 sqft / 1,614 sqft)

Centennia Suites

District: 9
Tenure: Freehold
Developer: Lippo Group
Site Area: 60,400 sqft
Estimated TOP: 2012
Floors: 36
Units: 97 total, 2BR, 3BR, 4BR and PH
Typical Sizes:

2BR (1,238 sqft)
3BR (1,755 - 1,819 sqft)
4BR (2,217 - 2,303 sqft)
PH (3,300 sqft and 4,400 sqft)

District: 4 (Sentosa)
Developer: Ho Bee Group & IOI Properties
Site Area: 157,108 sqft
Estimated TOP: 2012
Floors: 8
Units: 151 total, 3BR (77), 4BR (54), PH (18), Sky Villa & Sea Villa (2)
Typical Sizes:

3BR (2,164 - 2,336 sqft)
4BR (2,669 - 4,069 sqft)
PH (3,380 sqft and 4,252 sqft)
Sky Villa & Sea Villa (6,631 sqft and 9,666 sqft)


  • Swimming pools
  • Club house
  • Steam rooms
  • Gym

The Waterline
District: 19
Tenure: Freehold
Developer: GuocoLand Group
Site Area: 86,900 sqft
Estimated TOP: ?
Floors: ?
Units: 103 total, 1BR (13), 2BR (8), 3BR (48), 4BR (16) and PH (18)
Typical Sizes:

1BR (530 - 830 sqft)
2BR (940 - 1,200 sqft)
3BR (1,030 - 1,650 sqft)
4BR (1,500 - 3,090 sqft)
PH (1,500 sqft and 2,700 sqft)

The launches seem to be spread out evenly across the island with most market segments represented. And perhaps we are even just looking at the tip of the iceberg with many more launches wrapped behind the curtains.

Images: Brochures
As posted by by Francis

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Potential En bloc Condos for 2010 - 2011

A list of "might/could be" en bloc sites have been compiled here. Looks like the En bloc fever is catching on again.

Potential En blocs:

Pearl Bank Apartments (D3) Asking S$750 million
Pender Court (D3)
252-258 Pasir Panjang Road (D5) Sold
Westvale (D5)*
Asia Gardens (D8)
Elizabeth Towers (D9)
Mackenzie Mansions (D9)*
Meng Garden (D9)
Peace Centre/Mansion (D9)
Riviera Point (D9) Asking S$70 million
Shophouses along Devonshire (D9)
Balmoral Condominium (D10) Sold S$141 million
Crystal Towers (D10) 
Dalvey Court (D10)
D'Grove Villas (D10)
Dynasty Garden II (D10)
Holland Hill Lodge* (D10)
Holland Tower (D10)
Kellock Lodge (D10) 
Ming Arcade (D10)
2 - 8 Robin Road (D10) Asking S$58 million
Robin Court (D10) Sold
Robin Star (10) Sold S$47 million
Royalville (D10) Asking S$370 to S$400 million
Tanglin Park (D10)
Tanglin Shopping Centre (D10)
Tulip Garden (D10) Asking S$600 million 
Villa D'Este (D10)
Chong Kim Apartment (D11)
Grand Tower (D11) Sold S$88.5 million 
Newton View (D11) Sold S$147 million
Pastoral View (D11) Sold
Whitley Heights (D11) Sold S$159 million (pending approval)
Diamond Tower (D12)
Goodwill Mansion* (D12)
Waldorf Mansion (D12)
Daisy Apartments (D13) Sold S$14.62 million
Leong Bee Court (D13) Sold
MacPherson Green (D13) Sold S$105 million
Grandlink Square (D14)
Guillemard Court (D14) Sold
Amber Glades (D15) Sold S$118 million
Amber Park (D15)
Amber Towers (D15) Sold S$162 million
Amber Garden (D15)
Camay Court (D15) Sold S$31 million
Culford Garden (D15)
Fortredale (D15) Sold S$65 million
Haig Mansions (D15)
Hawaii Tower (D15) Asking S$700 million reserve price
Katong Plaza (D15)
Katong Shopping Centre (D15)
Laguna Park (D15) Asking S$1.2 billion
Neptune Court (D15)
Mandarin Gardens (D15)
Marine Point (D15) Sold S$101 million
Mellow Mansions (D15) Sold
Meyer Place (D15)
Parkway View (D15)
The Makena (D15)
Telok Ville (D15) Sold S$17 million
Telok Kurau View (D15) Sold
TK Apartments (D15) Sold S$6 million
St Patrick's Garden (D15) Asking S$188 million
Tampines Court (D18)
Bartley Terrace (D19) S$40 million
Cardiff Court (D19)*
Glenville (D19) Sold
Goodrich Park (D19)
Kensington Park (D19)
Naung Court (D19) Sold
Faber Garden (D20)
Astor Green (D21)
Brookvale Park (D21)
Green Lodge (D21)*
Mayfair Gardens (D21)*
Pandan Valley (D21)
Pine Grove (D21)* 1.7 billion reserve price

*already launched

If you know of a potential en bloc or want your condo listed here too, just drop us a comment or mail. You could even contribute your background/unraveling story behind each potential enbloc condo which we will update here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Condo Review : Waterfront Key

Living at the water's edge, residents are separated from the scenic waters of the reservoir by only the four-lane Bedok Reservoir Road.
About Waterfront Key
Situated right in front of Bedok Reservoir, the 437-unit Waterfront Key is jointly developed by Far East Organization (Centro Residences) and Frasers Centrepoint (8@Woodleigh). This 99-year, District 16 condo is made up of eight 15-storey blocks with a unit mix ranging from 2BRs to Penthouses. TOP is scheduled for Dec 2015 (that's 6 years from now!).

Marketed heavily as waterfront living (their brochure proudly proclaims "Live at the water's edge"), residents are separated from the scenic waters of the reservoir by only the four-lane Bedok Reservoir Road. So this is not some sales and marketing spin (like when 'near' is not so near or when a '3 minute walk' is actually 10 minutes), one is literally living at the water's edge.

Facilities are "full condo" which include a 50m lap pool, tennis courts, hydro-therapy pool and jogging track.

Interestingly the next door Waterfront Waves (launched circa late 2007) is also developed by the same pair above, so they share the same showroom and the same waterfront living concept.

First Impression
One cannot help but notice the calming presence of Bedok Reservoir, the view is fantastic and the sunsets are something worth looking forward to. We noticed immediately the two tennis courts in the scale model, something of a rarity these days. The condo also sits on large plot of land, hence they can afford to dedicate a significant area to facilities like tennis courts, gym, sauna and function rooms. Parking is all underground.

Residents get to choose from two views - the Reservoir view and the Bedok Town Park view. Reservoir views are limited to the larger 3 and 4 BRs while the smaller 2BRs are left with the Park (and canal) view.

There was also some kind of promotion going on, we saw a mini notebook, a mountain bike and some other freebies placed in the corner. Apparently when you buy a 'star' unit, you get to keep all those items. We were wondering if that's more counter-productive - would buyers think there's something wrong with the unit if freebies must be thrown in to sweeten the deal?

While we were there, all the 2BR units were sold (according to the agent) and only five of the eight towers were released - Blocks D, E, F,G and H.

Waterfront Key units facing the reservoir get a wonderful view


Undeniably the proximity to Bedok Reservoir is a big plus. The view is truly unique and few mass market condos in Singapore can lay claim to true waterfront living. One can sit by the shore and have an enjoyable picnic in the evenings, go for a relaxing run or canoe even.

Buying a car would be a good idea if you want to live here. Waterfront Key is some distance away from the amenities, MRTs and shopping malls in Tampines and Bedok. If you wish to get to either of those places by bus, the bus stop is located conveniently outside the condo. The trip will take about 15 to 20 minutes.

There are plenty of schools nearby, notably Temasek Polytechnic right across the reservoir. The future fourth university and Changi Business Park are a 10 minute drive away. The Bedok Park Connector, which leads to the East Coast Park is close by as well.

Note that the future Downtown Line could be running right below the project, with the proposed "Reservoir" MRT station about 800m away (Source: SinGeo. Edit 08 Aug 2009: There is no official information from LTA as to where exactly this station will be.) The line is scheduled to be completed by 2016.

Location Map (Image: Google Maps) - [Edit 11 Aug 2009: "Reservoir MRT" removed as location is not confirmed by LTA]

Unit Types and estimated Floor Sizes (sqft)
Sadly, the brochure gave no indication of the number of units and its sizes, here's what we could gather online:
2 BR - 866 to 1,178
3 BR Compact - 1,007 to 1,108
3 BR - 1,133 to 1,742
3+1 BR - 1,331 to 1,880
4 BR- 1,488 to 1,566
PH - 2,860 to 3,038
Choice of Units
The best units would be the ones with an expansive view of the reservoir, which means all those north facing units from blocks A to E. Anything above the sixth floor would guarantee an unblocked view (we hope). One might also want to check where the bus stops are when choosing units. We feel the best apartments would be Units 02, 05, 12, 13 and 15 on floors 10 and above.

Site layout (Image: Brochure)

Interior and Layout*
The interiors are standard fare - bay windows, large balconies and average-sized bedrooms. All units come with bomb shelters which open into the kitchen. The kitchen itself feels small and rather crammed. Appliances include the cooker hood and hob. The bathroom fittings are average, nothing too fancy. However, the finish of the bathroom walls and floors look good. Of note are the living room floors, which are marble. Bedrooms have timber flooring.

*We'd like to point out that in the brochure given to us, there were no details regarding the type of fittings, the appliances and finishings of the units in Waterfront Key. In fact, apart from core info like features and layouts, very little information was provided about the unit sizes, the type of units, the security features, etc.

Information regarding the finishings and so on were obtained from the property agent who guided us through the showflat. We suggest buyers ensure that they know in detail what they are getting when they sign on the dotted line.

Living room



Another bedroom

Master bathroom

While we were there, a 7th floor, 1,518 sqft 4 BR unit facing the reservoir was going for around S$1,449,000, which works out to S$955 psf. However, they were willing to give a 'special 10% discount' which then computes to around S$860psf. A 14th floor, 1,173 sqft 3BR Compact unit (facing the Bedok Town Park) came to S$1,020,000 or S$869psf, after 'discount': S$783 psf.

Note that the developers have raised their prices, it was reported on July 20 (BT - "50-60 units sold at Volari, 120 at Waterfront Key") that prices were averaging S$735psf.

It's obvious that the quantum for 3BR units and above (around S$1.2 million and above) is putting off buyers with a tighter budget, like the current crop of HDB upgraders. They are snapping up units under that magic $1m mark, which is why the 2BR here are apparently all sold out.

Next door Waterfront Waves (TOP late-2012) had the last five caveats lodged (as of 7 Aug 2009) at an average of S$710. A 1,292 sqft unit went for S$1,081,190 (or S$837psf) in July 2009. Another 1,281 sqft unit went for S$754,400 or S$589 psf.

Baywater (TOP 2006) - which is also next door - averaged S$620 psf for the two caveats lodged in June 2009

Selected floorplans below:

Tower D - 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th, 13th and 14th storey floorplan

Tower F - 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th, 13th and 14th storey floorplan

Tower G - 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th, 13th and 14th storey floorplan

Tower D - 15th storey PH floorplan

Final Word
With 437 units at Waterfront Key, this would be one crowded condo. The location is not the best too. However, the view and proximity to the reservoir are big pluses, and the developers have done well to play that unique selling point up.

Buyers can consider the potential appreciation that comes with the Downtown line in 2016, but you have to wait a good seven years or longer for that to happen (if it happens). Even so, you should also look at the other condos that are much closer to the proposed Reservoir station. Note also that there are other condos near existing MRTs (Optima and Double Bay Residences) going around the same price or lower.

If you like living near Bedok Reservoir and don't really need the view, then it would be prudent to look at other condos nearby which offer a more competitive rate.

Condos can command a premium by virtue of it's location, especially if it's very close to an MRT or close to the CBD. In the case of Waterfront Keys, we're just not sure if being beside Bedok Reservoir justifies that extra cost. If you're comfortable paying premium, then we feel you should only think about those units with the Reservoir view. It's pointless forking out more if you don't at least get to look at sunsets from your bedroom.

Images: Brochure and Google Maps
As posted in by John

Monday, February 8, 2010

Condo Photo Review : Riveredge

With elegant scenic views of Kallang Basin

Hot off the shelf, Riveredge just reached Temporary Occupation Status (TOP) not too long ago. A short distance away from the upcoming Mountbatten MRT and recently relaunched Leisure Park shopping mall, this iconic District 15 condominium sits by the river's edge - as its name suggest.

When we toured the condominium, it was already dusk. Thus we caught on film the twilight hour which only brought out the best in it. The condominium itself is long and slim, reflecting a similarly proportioned piece of 99yr leasehold land. There are roughly 135 units distributed among its long slim profile.

Overall, we liked the location, but noted the presence of nearby HDB blocks. Here are some photos of the estate we took:

Reflections of the sunset caught some beautiful colors, making this look like one of those picture perfect moments only seen in showroom brochures. Note the presence of HDB flats. Another shot of the generous lap pool - typical in condominiums that sit on long slim parcels of land. A shot of the poolside area. Deckchairs lay about. We really envied units with a balcony overlooking the picturesque poolside. The so called BBQ area with seats and sink. A shot of the gymnasium. We were not sure if the gym was fully fitted with equipment yet. We know it takes some time for condos to go fully operational even on TOP. Multi-purpose room for you functions. A different sort of basement parking... The real basement car park. A parting shot of the estate. At the moment, the south-west facing units seem to enjoy the perfect view...looking downriver.

Details and more pictures of Riveredge that we took while it was still under construction.

As posted in by Francis

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Condo Photo Review : Caribbean @ Keppel Bay

The 1st truly waterfront district designed for those who love to live by the sea.

The Caribbean at Keppel Bay is likely one of the most popular condominiums for high-end expats in District 4. With a true waterfront lifestyle, fantastic sea views, and Vivocity mall just beside it, it's not hard to see why this project has one of the highest rental yields in Singapore.

The condominium is found at the south end of Singapore, just north of Sentosa Island and 10mins away from the CBD.

The Caribbean features plenty of water features, natural and man made.

True waterfront living.

Check out the BBQ pavilion perched by the sea (white circular structure).

A shot through the estate with nice blue skies and more BBQ pits.

A wading pool, with yet another BBQ pit, albeit smaller.

Yet another huge pool. Note the patios sticking out of the top level units.

We simply loved the bridges running over waterways.

Quite possibly the only condo at the moment that looks like this.

The Marina at Keppel Bay is just in front of the condominium - pretty convenient for those with a boat parked there.

Jacuzzi (top left) and yet another pool.

The picturesque bridge leading to the Marina at Keppel Bay can be seen.

The condominium does not rise up any higher then this throughout. The Reflections by Keppel Bay condominium being constructed beside it though, will feature high-rise.

Another shot of a small wading pool by a BBQ pit.

Excellent water features to keep the kids entertained.

No lack of playground facilities.

We are guessing these are small gardening plots...

More playgrounds...

Three full sized tennis courts to keep all the residents happy.

A lounge for some quiet.

Gym looks well kept.

Plenty of free weights and machine presses to keep residents in shape.

The gym overlooks the main pool and features some sophisticated cardio machines.

Another shot of the lounge, although we doubt anyone would pick this over the wonderful seaside breeze.

A condominium that features its very own 7-eleven outlet.

Steam rooms to keep the missus happy.

Close up of the smaller BBQ pits.

The larger type BBQ pits found beside the waterways.

This condominium does not lack BBQ pits...

Some fancy looking fitness equipment.

No excuse not to have a little soul amongst the steel and concrete.

Water features line the residences too.

More fancy looking playgrounds and fitness equipment.

Fanciest playground seen in a condo - so far.

A street basketball court, with good size.

Yet even more fitness equipment. Note how well maintained they are.

Another shot of the gardening space.

Even more fancy looking playgrounds.

Another shot of the tennis courts.

Basement parking to keep your vehicles out of the sun.

Click here to view its location and its surrounding amenities.

As posted in by Francis