7 condos in District 9 you could possibly own for $1.6m or less

7 condos in District 9 you could possibly own for $1.6m or less
PHOTO: Stackedhomes

While District 7 may have taken the headlines in recent months, you can’t deny that District 9 is still a top area on most Singaporean’s wish list of places to live at.

So despite online shopping ruling the roost when it comes to shopping for the foreseeable future, there is still something extremely appealing about living a few minutes – on foot – away from places like Takashimaya or Orchard Central.

Now, District 9 is undoubtedly an expensive place to live in. Don’t be expecting a 3 to 4 bedroom unit at this quantum (clearly, this article is for singles and couples not planning to have kids).

But if you’re willing to settle for older or smaller units, you may be surprised at what you can find for the price of a mass-market ($1.6 million-ish) condo.

In light of that, we’ve put the spotlight on some District 9 condos, with transactions of $1.6 million or below in 2020. Here they are, starting from the cheapest and up:

How we compiled the list

We have included condos that have the following:

  • Recorded transactions at $1.6 million or below in 2020
  • Spotted asking prices of $1.6 million or below in 2020
  • A combination of the two

Note that some of these properties have a low volume of transactions (e.g. possibly only one transaction this year at the given price).

As such, it may be an outlier and discrepancies are possible; but we have tried to back these up by showing actual asking prices as well.

1. Attitude at Kim Yam

The current price range is $1,538 to $1,967 psf, with an average of $1,753 psf.

Last recorded transactions in 2020:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Quantum
Sept 22, 2020 657 $1,538 $1,010,000
July 9, 2020 366 $1,967 $720,000
March 3, 2020 689 $1,742 $1,200,000

Spotted asking prices:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Quantum per cent Difference Over Last Transaction
Oct 25, 2020 689 $2,322 $1,600,000 33.3 per cent
Oct 14, 2020 602 $2,034 $1,225,000

Address: Kim Yam Road

Developer: King & King Development Pte. Ltd.

Lease: 999-years from 1841

Top: 2011

Number of units: 33

Profile:

Attitude at Kim Yam is a boutique development with just 33 units, spread out over 10 storeys.

Despite its small size, it was a headline development in the days of its launch: it’s not often that you find a 999-year property (effectively freehold) within 520 metres of Somerset MRT station (about eight minutes’ walk).

River Valley Primary School is only a five-minute walk way; but given the small size of most of the units (around 366 to 689 sq. ft.), there won’t be much interest from families.

Also, as is the case with many boutique developments, you’re not getting much in the way of facilities. You have a swimming pool, but not the full suite of BBQ pits, clubhouses, etc.

2. Illuminaire on Devonshire

The current price range is between $2,130 to $2,173 psf, with an average of $2,152 psf.

Last recorded transactions in 2020:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Quantum
Aug 25, 2020 441 $2,130 $940,000
May 8, 2020 636 $2,173 $1,380,000

Spotted asking prices:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Quantum per cent Difference Over Last Transaction
Oct 14, 2020 635 $2,409 $1,530,000 10.8 per cent
Oct 14, 2020 441 $2,472 $1,090,000 15.9 per cent
Oct 13, 2020 635 $2,409 $1,530,000 10.8 per cent

Address: Devonshire Road

Developer: El Development (Devonshire) Pte. Ltd.

Lease: Freehold

Top: 2011

Number of units: 72

Profile:

Illuminiare at Devonshire is just 230 metres from the Somerset MRT station, just behind TripleOne Somerset. This is even closer to the MRT station than many other developments on this list; and the property is freehold to boot.

This 19-storey development has had its view somewhat eroded, by the emergence of other developments like The Metz (see below).

In addition, some investors may be put off by the proximity of several competing developments, which have the same advantage of location.

If you’re more about own-stay use, however, this is a solid choice for singles or couples not intending to have children (units are small).

3. Espada

The current price range is between $2,038 to $2,601 psf, with an average of $2,320 psf.

Last recorded transactions in 2020:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Quantum
Oct 2, 2020 667 $2,038 $1,360,000
Sept 9, 2020 377 $2,601 $980,000
Jan 15, 2020 560 $2,126 $1,190,000

Spotted asking prices:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Quantum per cent Difference Over Last Transaction
Oct 24, 2020 452 $2,655 $1,200,000 9 per cent
Oct 23, 2020 355 $2,662 $945,000 -5.8 per cent
Oct 21, 2020 560 $2,375 $1,330,000 11.7 per cent

Address: St. Thomas Walk

Developer: Novelty Orchard Development Pte. Ltd.

Lease: Freehold

Top: 2013

Number of units: 232

Profile:

A full review of Espada is available on Stacked Homes.

Espada is just 300 metres from the Somerset MRT station, and about a 10 minute-walk from the Orchard shopping belt. You can think of it as a newer, bigger version of Attitude at Kim Yan (see point 1).

As with the earlier entry, this is not a development for families. The units are on the small side, mostly from 377 to 721 sq. ft (although penthouse units reach up to 1,212 sq ft., with a single unit at 1,313 sq. ft.)

While you do get the full suite of condo facilities, they’re nothing outstanding; more on par with a mass-market condo than what you’d expect from District 9 properties.

What stands out is the freehold nature of the property, and the distance to the Orchard shopping belt.

4. Liv on Sophia

The last recorded price was $2,237 psf.

Last recorded transactions in 2020:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Quantum
Sept 21, 2020 527 $2,237 $1,180,000

Spotted asking prices:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Quantum per cent Difference Over Last Transaction
Oct 21, 2020 528 $2,178 $1,150,000 -2.5 per cent
Oct 21, 2020 538 $2,323 $1,400,000 18.6 per cent
Oct 18, 2020 538 $2,323 $1,250,000 5.9 per cent

Address: Adis Road

Developer: RH Mount Sophia Pte. Ltd.

Lease: Freehold

Top: 2016

Number of units: 64

Profile:

Liv on Sophia was developed with rental income in mind. About 64 of the two-bedder units are dual-key; and it’s obvious from the location it’s meant to capitalise on students at KAPLAN, NAFA or La Salle.

This property is close to the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station (about six minutes’ walk), which is one stop from Orchard. But as a nice bonus, you can also walk into Little India in about 11 minutes. Orchard is about the same walking distance.

The retail amenities are not as great as the Orchard properties listed here; but you do have access to The Cathay, and Plaza Singapura.

5. Killiney 118

The last recorded price was $2,002 psf.

Last recorded transactions in 2020:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Quantum
Sept 7, 2020 624 $2,002 $1,250,000
Jan 30, 2020 570 $1,963 $1,120,000

Spotted asking prices:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Quantum per cent Difference Over Last Transaction
Oct 28, 2020 570 $2,246 $1,280,000 14.2 per cent
Oct 24, 2020 570 $2,246 $1,280,000 14.2 per cent
Oct 22, 2020 570 $2,246 $1,280,000 14.2 per cent

(Maybe they’re all teaming up to set the price!)

Address: Killiney Road

Developer: Creslin Pte. Ltd.

Lease: Freehold

Top: 2013

Number of units: 30

Profile:

This small 30-unit development is tucked away behind the Singtel Comcentre; And it has the wonder of not feeling like it’s in Orchard. Nearby there’s a row of shophouses, that include some coffee shops.

(Bonus Stacked tip: If you live around here, go to the Comcentre canteen. The food portions are generous for the price).

The development is about 350 metres from Somerset MRT station (a four-minute walk), and across that is the Orchard shopping belt.

We just wish this development looked better from the outside – it’s a rather drab, brownish block, and looks more like a government building than a residence.

Of course, design is always a subjective thing – we’ve heard people describing it as a lovely boutique development as well.

6. The Metz

The last recorded price was $2,199 psf.

Last recorded transactions in 2020:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Quantum
Jan 26, 2020 581 $2,199 $1,278,000

Spotted asking prices:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Quantum
per cent Difference Over Last Transaction
Oct 6, 2020 581 $2,668 $1,550,000 21.2 per cent
July 15, 2020 581 $2,719 $1,580,000 23.6 per cent
July 15, 2020 581 $2,719 $1,580,000 23.6 per cent

Address: Devonshire Road

Developer: MCL Land (Devonshire) Pte. Ltd.

Lease: Freehold

Top: 2007

Number of units: 169

Profile:

Probably the closest competitor to Illuminaire on Devonshire (see above).

Illuminaire has the advantage of being slightly newer by four years; and some may argue it’s more exclusive because it’s got fewer units (although the difference isn’t likely to be felt – The Metz is also quite a small development at 169 units).

Do note that, unlike Illuminaire, the units here don’t have balconies; buyers tend to either love that or hate that. (Balconies are either essential, or a waste of space that’s hard to keep clean, depending on who you ask).

Other than that, most of the issues will be similar to Illuminaire: rather small units, and a lot of competition in the area.

7. The Peak @ Cairnhill

The last transaction was at $1,404 psf.

Last recorded transactions in 2020:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Quantum
Sept 25, 2020 926 $1,404 $1,300,000

Spotted asking prices:

Date Unit Size Price PSF Quantum per cent Difference Over Last Transaction
Oct 12, 2020 592 $2,111 $1,250,000 -7.4 per cent
Oct 9, 2020 592 $2,534 $1,500,000 11.1 per cent
Oct 7, 2020 592 $2,703 $1,600,000 18.5 per cent

Address: Cairnhill Circle

Developer: TG Development Pte. Ltd. / TEE Development Pte. Ltd.

Lease: Freehold

Top: 2014

Number of units: 52

Profile:

The Peak @ Cairnhill I is slightly smaller than its sister development (Peak @ Cairnhill II), with 52 units instead of 60.

This development isn’t too close to the Newton MRT station unfortunately, being about 1.2 kilometres on foot. This might cause it to be overshadowed by more recent developments, like Kopar @ Newton. It’s about equidistant to the Orchard area.

That all puts this development in a bit of a weird spot: it’s centrally located, but not exactly great in terms of public transport access.

It’s close to Orchard, but isn’t really in Orchard per se. It seems very exclusive with just 52 units, but there’s another 60 in its counterpart right next door.

Nonetheless, its location is still one that many home owners envy; and it’s a freehold property to boot.

Most of the developments are on the smaller end, but some buyers prefer good location over big units

So if you’re single, not intending to have children, chasing rental gains, etc., don’t be too quick to assume you’re priced out of District 9 condos.

There are owners of Orchard-area condos who aren’t in the super-rich crowd, but enjoy the same amenities and convenience.

This article was first published in Stackedhomes.

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