5 new launch RCR condos with units below $1.5m (2021)

5 new launch RCR condos with units below $1.5m (2021)
PHOTO: Stackedhomes

Covid-19 or not, the Singapore private property market has been on a roll. And with the eye-popping prices of new prime region condos, most of us will have to settle for the next best alternative: city fringe or Rest of Central Region (RCR) condos.

They may be an additional 10 minutes’ drive, but that’s easy to justify for those on a tighter budget. Plus with work from home becoming a reality for many, that further location may actually just make more sense too.

The good news too is that recent RCR condo launches haven’t been as out of reach as you may think: these developments all have 2 and even 3 bedroom units that are potentially below $1.5 million:

1. The Antares

Location: Mattar Road (District 14)

Developer: FKSH Development

Lease: 99-years

TOP: 2022

According to Square Foot Research, the median developer price was $1,897 psf as of January 2021. The lowest developer price was $1,797 psf, and the highest was $1,899 psf.

The take-up rate as of January 2021 was 27.2 per cent.

Recent transactions below $1.5 million:

These are the last five transactions that were below $1.5 million:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Price
Feb 6, 2021 667 sq. ft. $1,850 $1,234,732
Jan 21, 2021 667 sq. ft. $1,899 $1,267,140
Jan 21, 2021 710 sq. ft. $1,897 $1,347,720
Jan 20, 2021 732 sq. ft. $1,797 $1,315,080
Dec 28, 2020 667 sq. ft. $1,787 $1,192,680

Last seen asking prices below $1.5million:

Date Unit Size Asking Price PSF Asking Price
Nov 8, 2020 883 sq. ft. $1,481 $1,308,040
Nov 8, 2020 603 sq. ft. $1,575 $949,949
Nov 8, 2020 667 sq. ft. $1,753 $1,169,000
Nov 6, 2020 667 sq. ft. $1,753 $1,169,320
Nov 3,2020 603 sq. ft. $1,646 $992,460

Highlights:

The Antares has received a bit of a mixed reaction; but those of you who need to live near the CBD (on a budget) owe it to yourselves to know about this place.

The immediate location of The Antares is not very exciting: there are no nearby malls, no cinema, no lifestyle zones, etc. Barring the FairPrice at Block 77 nearby, there isn’t much to do. However, what The Antares offers is a simple convenience:

It’s right next to the Mattar MRT station (Downtown Line), and it’s an 7.7 kilometre (roughly 12-minute drive) to Raffles Place.

Now we wouldn’t usually mention schools here, as $1.6 million is for smaller units and we assume most of you aren’t family buyers.

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But just in case, do know that The Antares is practically next door to two schools: Canossa Convent (155 metres away), and MacPherson Primary (215 metres away). When your child grows up, MacPherson Secondary is just 610 metres away (about a six-minute walk).

Geylang Methodist Primary and Secondary schools are also within the one-kilometre radius (around 870 metres); a bit far too far to walk, but close enough to help with enrolment.

(For families who happen to be interested, three-bedder units are mostly around $1.9 million at 1,152 sq. ft.)

The mixed reaction to The Antares could also be because the Mattar Road area is characterised by ageing HDB flats, and there’s an admitted lack of…well, vitality in the area. But given the city fringe location, it’s fair to expect rejuvenation efforts to kick in at some point.

But put aside these issues, and what you have is an accessible condo next to an MRT station.

2. Penrose

Location: Sims Drive (District 14)

Developer: NovaSims Development Pte. Ltd.

Lease: 99-years

TOP: 2024

Number of units: 566

We have a full review of Penrose on Stacked.

According to Square Foot Research, the median developer price was $1,786 psf as of January 2021. The lowest developer price was $1,629 psf, and the highest was $1,802 psf.

The take-up rate as of January 2021 was 74 per cent.

Recent transactions below $1.5 million:

These are the last five transactions that were below $1.5 million:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Price
Jan 30, 2020 797 sq. ft. $1,792 $1,427,000
Jan 29, 2021 797 sq. ft. $1,802 $1,435,000
Jan  21, 2021 797 sq. ft. $1,786 $1,423,000
Jan 16,  2021 969 sq. ft. $1,629 $1,578,080
Dec 28, 2020 1,044 sq. ft. $1,430 $1,493,000

Last seen asking prices below $1.5 million:

Date Unit Size Asking Price PSF Asking Price
Nov 8, 2020 807 sq. ft. $1,400 $1,130,000
Nov 7,2020 1,055 sq. ft. $1,398 $1,475,000
Nov 7, 2020 474 sq. ft. $1,551 $735,000
Nov 5,2020 1,055 sq. ft. $1,398 $1,475,000
Nov 5,2020 807 sq. ft. $1,674 $1,351,000

Highlights:

Now that Parc Esta is sold out, buyers who were slow to get a unit are starting to move for Penrose (the remaining units at least, it was 60.3per cent sold on launch weekend ). The simple reason is proximity to Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ), which is one of Singapore’s newest commercial hubs.

Parc Esta was across from Eunos MRT station, which is just one stop from Paya Lebar. Penrose is just 400 metres from Aljunied MRT station (five minutes’ walk), which is also one stop from Paya Lebar.

Aljunied MRT station is also on the East-West line, which provides a direct link to Raffles Place; the CBD is just five train stops away.

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Another advantage is that Bugis is just three stops away. District 7 has seen a surge in property values due to the unfolding of the Rochor-Ophir Corridor, so those who are priced out of the Bugis / Beach Road stretch are also inclined to consider Penrose as an alternative.

That said, Penrose is not for everyone. The location is definitely convenient, and even comes with the advantage of being near the Geylang foodie haven; but this area is densely packed and quite crowded.

Some people also consider Geylang to be a stigmatised area (even though Penrose is not within the red-light area).

General feel of the area might not be described as too homely, so potential homeowners should definitely take a few trips down to get a good feel of the area – despite the condo itself boasting good facilities focused on family homeowners.

3. NoMa

Location: Guillemard Road (District 14)

Developer: Macly Group

Lease: Freehold

TOP: 2023

Number of units: 50

The above pattern is to almost all sales (34 units) occurring in August 2020, with a low volume of transactions afterward. For this reason, we will reflect the developer pricing in August.

The median developer price in August 2020 was $1,639 psf, with the highest price being $1,808 psf. The lowest price was $1,480 psf. At present, the given median price is $1,569 psf.

The take-up rate as of January 2021 was 72 per cent.

Recent transactions below $1.5 million:

These are the last five transactions that were below $1.5 million:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Price
Dec 12, 2020 388 sq. ft. $1,802 $698,400
Sep 2, 2020 657 sq. ft. $1,569 $1,030,055
Sept 1, 2020 657 sq. ft. $1,569 $1,030,000
Aug 31,2020 667 sq. ft. $1,635 $1,091,200
Aug 30, 2020 646 sq. ft. $1,638 $1,057,600

Last seen asking prices below $1.5 million:

Date Unit Size Asking Price PSF Asking Price
Nov 8, 2020 614 sq. ft. $2,241 $1,376,000
Nov 5, 2020 614 sq. ft. $1,618 $993,692
Nov 4, 2020 614 sq. ft. $1,618 $993,692
Nov 3, 2020 850 sq. ft. $1,529 $1,300,000
Nov 3,2020 388 sq. ft. $1,773 $688,000

Highlights:

Let’s start with the most unusual issue here:

There are two houses in the middle of NoMa that are not part of the development. This is because two owners refused to sell when the plot was bought up, and NoMa was built around their properties. From our understanding, one of these is a residence, while the other is a prayer hall.

This does result in a bit of an unusual layout, although we’d say the owners of the two houses are the ones who are worse off for it .

With that out of the way, NoMa manages to be even closer to Paya Lebar than even Penrose. It’s just 550 metres, or a seven-minute walk, to Paya Lebar MRT.

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This is also the heart of PLQ, where you’ll find major malls like Paya Lebar Square and the revamped SingPost centre (along with over 1 million square feet of grade A office space, if you’re thinking of rental income).

NoMa is also just 450 metres from Kinex (formerly OneKM mall). This makes it hands-down one of the best developments for singles who prize retail and dining; especially at its price point.

The downsides are quite similar to Penrose above; apart from being in quite a densely packed area, NoMa’s units are definitely on the small side. There’s also the usual issue that comes with boutique developments – at just 50 units, maintenance fees are likely to be higher.

That said, we doubt you’ll find many other (new) freehold properties near Paya Lebar for under $1 million.

4. Verdale

Location: De Souza Avenue (District 21)

Developer: C&C (JJK) Pte. Ltd.

Lease: 99-years

TOP: 2024

Number of units: 258

According to Square Foot Research, the median developer price was $1,723 psf as of January 2021. The lowest developer price was $1,654 psf, and the highest was $1,823 psf.

The take-up rate as of January 2021 was 24.8 per cent.

Recent transactions below $1.5 million:

These are the last five transactions that were below $1.5 million:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Price
Jan 31, 2021 463 sq. ft. $1,823 $843,900
Jan 23, 2021 732 sq. ft. $1,654 $1,210,400
Jan 13, 2021 614 sq. ft. $1,723 $1,056,900
Jan 10, 2021 474 sq. ft. $1,777 $841,800
Dec 31, 2020 614 sq. ft. $1,738 $1,065,500

Last seen asking prices below $1.5 million:

Date Unit Size Asking Price PSF Asking Price
Nov 8, 2020 614 sq. ft. $1,625 $998,000
Nov 6,2020 614 sq. ft. $1,571 $964,400
Nov 6, 2020 463 sq. ft. $1,706 $790,000
Nov 5, 2020 463 sq. ft. $1,708 $791,000
Nov 5,2020 614 sq. ft. $1,721 $1,056,900

Highlights:

Verdale will appeal to those who want to live in Bukit Timah, but are looking for something more private and in a less congested environment.

We would suggest looking up our article on The Hillford as well, as this is right next to Verdale; it has many of the same locational benefits (but don’t compare the two directly, as The Hillford has a 60-year lease).

Verdale also presents a way to take advantage of recent transformations at Beauty World, without living right next to a noisy mall / train station (ala The Linq @ Beauty World).

This condo is just 1.2 kilometres from Beauty World MRT, or about a three-minute drive; far enough to be spared the bustle, but close enough for convenience. It isn’t great if you’d have to walk to the MRT everyday though.

Verdale is between Bukit Batok Nature Park (about 800 metres away), and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (about 1.5 kilometres). This should provide hikers and bird-watchers with their outdoor fix.

Verdale is often seen as a close alternative to View at Kismis (see below), with prices closely matched.

5. View at Kismis

Location: Lorong Kismis (District 21)

Developer: RP Ventures, TE2 Development

Lease: 99-years

TOP: 2023

Number of units: 186

According to Square Foot Research, the median developer price was $1,728 psf as of January 2021. The lowest developer price was $1,682 psf, and the highest was $1,775 psf.

The take-up rate as of January 2021 was 80.6 per cent.

Recent transactions below $1.5 million:

These are the last five transactions that were below $1.5 million:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Price
Feb 10, 2021 603 sq. ft. $1,709 $1,030,000
Feb 10, 2021 700 sq. ft. $1,709 $1,231,000
Feb  8, 2021 893 sq. ft. $1,688 $1,490,000
Feb 8, 2021 700 sq. ft. $1,688 $1,189,000
Feb 3 2021 689 sq. ft. $1,665 $1,147,500

Last seen asking prices below $1.5 million:

Date Unit Size Asking Price PSF Asking Price
Nov 5, 2020 710 sq. ft. $1,675 $1,189,000
Nov 4, 2020 689 sq. ft. $1,665 $1,147,000
Nov 3, 2020 883 sq. ft. $1,585 $1,398,888
Nov 1, 2020 893 sq. ft. $1,616 $1,443,000
Nov 1,2020 592 sq. ft. $1,693 $1,002,000

Highlights:

Much of what we mentioned about Verdale (see above) also applies to View at Kismis; to date, buyers have tended to view this development as the even smaller, more private counterpart to Verdale.

Although both developments are not big, View at Kismis is even smaller with just 186 units. One key difference is that Verdale is surrounded by more private condos; Charisma View, Grand Chateau, and The Hillford are around it.

View at Kismis, however, is surrounded almost entirely by landed homes; buyers who are emphatic about low-density surroundings may prefer this.

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On the downside, View at Kismis is further from nature parks; it’s around 2.7 kilometres, or a five-minute drive, to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. As a possible trade-off, View at Kismis is slightly closer to the hub of Jurong East; about 4.9 kilometres or a nine-minute drive, whereas Verdale is 5.7 kilom3etres.

Both condos, however, are an equal distance to Beauty World MRT.

Given that pricing is neck-and-neck, it will come down to the facilities and design of the development, and the layout of individual units for those looking at the area.

With gradual decentralisation, it’s time that home buyers and investors alike look further away than the CCR

Singapore is actively moving toward a decentralised CBD . In another two or three decades, the concept of a “city centre” may be little more than an academic notion.

As property is a long-term investment, it pays to look ahead – don’t just look at what’s desirable now, but also how the city is likely to change in the long run.

At any rate, even in the near-term, bear in mind that economic downturns can afflict the CCR sooner than the RCR .

This article was first published in Stackedhomes.

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