Buying 4 Upcoming ECs In 2022 For Sandwiched Buyers To Look At
- Ryan J
- December 20, 2021
- 10 min read
With private property prices still on the high (we’ve obviously yet to see the effects from the latest cooling measures), Executive Condominiums (ECs) are the only hope for some buyers this coming year. So far, there are just four sites on the radar; and with demand at a peak, you’ll probably have to move fast to get a unit. So save some time by pre-emptively checking them out here:
Note on likely TOP dates: it’s too early to get the official TOP date for these, but it’s expected that completion will take place sometime in 2025 to 2026; this may change depending on how Covid-19 plays out.
1. Tengah Garden Walk EC
Location: At the end of Plantation Crescent and Tengah Garden Walk (this road is still under construction) in Tengah (District 24)
Site area: Around 22,2020 sq. m.
Developer: City Developments Limited and MCL Land
Number of units: Estimated at 620, spread over 12 blocks at 14 storeys each
This EC will be a milestone for Tengah, which is Singapore’s newest town. Tengah Garden Walk EC will be the first condo in the area, and is expected to be priced at between $1,190 to $1,250 psf (the developer paid around $603 psf for the land plot). At a size of 22,020 sq m, it is around the same size as something like Stirling Residences (to give you a better idea).
The keyword for buyers here is “long haul”.
We’ll say straight up that Tengah Garden Walk will not be convenient or inaccessible, for some time to come. Even some of the roads nearby haven’t yet been built, and Tengah Plantation MRT is only expected to be up in 2028. Even after TOP, you may be waiting around three years for easy MRT access.
As for now, if you ask us about amenities, all we can say is: a lot of greenery and open space. For anything else, be prepared to venture out.
That said, Tengah Garden Walk will be in a great spot once the town is established. Tengah Plantation Station will be within walking distance of this EC, making it one of the few ECs that can boast good MRT access.
The neighbourhood centre for Tengah will also be within walking distance. Neighbourhood centres usually denote the centre of the town, so you can expect that future hawker centres, markets, neighbourhood malls, etc. will be clustered here.
In a wider sense, Tengah also has the appeal of lower density. HDB foresees only 42,000 homes spread across five residential areas, so it won’t be as packed as many other estates. Coupled with a car-lite policy, this could be a Bukit-Timah like area, further into the future.
All of this will probably take around a decade at least. Nonetheless, we can foresee one of the selling points is going to be “after 10 years your EC will be fully privatised, then with the surrounding developments, there is strong potential for gains!”
Fair enough, we’d say they’re right.
But this project will be rough on initial buyers, who will find there are few schools nearby, and little in the way of amenities. This is one for the pioneers.
2. North Gaia EC
Location: Yishun Ave. 9 (District 27)
Site area: Around 21,515 sq. m.
Developer: Sing Holdings
Number of units: Estimated at 617
North Gaia EC is next to the Khatib Bongsu Nature Park; and it’s likely the developer will take advantage of the good view (this is also a waterfront view, beyond the park). The sales pitch will probably also mention schools; there’s an impressive six of them within one-kilometre priority enrollment distance:
- Chongfu (710 metres)
- Xishan Primary (750 metres)
- Huamin Primary (840 metres)
- Northland Secondary (490 metres)
- Yishun Town Secondary (740 metres)
- North View Secondary (810 metres)
There are no ballpark prices yet, but we do know the developer paid around $576 psf for the plot. In terms of land size, it is similar to Tengah Garden above – so you can use Stirling Residences as a reference too.
While there’s no MRT station nearby, North Gaia is at least close to Junction Nine mall. At present, we estimate the distance to be a short walk (Yishun Avenue Nine to Junction Nine is only a one-minute walk).
There is also Northpoint, a major mall nearby; this is around an eight-minute drive, and we’d be surprised if there wasn’t a shuttle bus. Ditto for Yishun MRT station, which isn’t walkable, but is around a seven-minute drive.
North Gaia can benefit from a lot of adjoining Canberra, thanks to the upcoming Bukit Canberra sports and family hub (around a 10-minute drive). Buyers who were previously unable to secure a unit at Parc Canberra may want to take a look at this project.
Note that Symphony Suites, another mid-sized condo, is just next door to North Gaia. However, this area is not so dense that it would be too much competition in future. We also believe, speculating on the plot, that North Gaia actually has a better overall view than Symphony Suites; it’s closer to the nature park, with a more direct view toward the waterfront. It’s currently entirely unblocked, with a view towards the sea and Johor. Do note that the entire area is currently a massive reserve site – with 40ha set aside for the upcoming Khatib Bongsu Nature Park so this will definitely change in the future.
Overall, North Gaia is not in a mature location; but it makes up for it somewhat by having retail nearby. It’s also a good family condo, given the number of schools nearby, and fairly open surroundings. This will probably be popular among family units, upgrading from flats.
3. Tampines Street 62 (Parcel A)
Location: Tampines Street 62 (District 27)
Site area: Around 23,799 sq. m.
Developer: Qingjian Realty & Santarli Construction
Number of units: Estimated at 590
This EC plot of land was keenly contested, with a total of 9 bids. This was eventually won by Qingjian Realty & Santarli at $422 million, which works out to a land rate of $659 per sq ft per plot ratio (the highest price for an EC GLS site so far).
The EC here will be the only condo on its side of the TPE, next to Citylife EC (which is all the way over in Tampines Avenue 9). All the other condos with one kilometre, such as D’Nest and Elias Green, are on the other side of the expressway.
This is to the advantage of any EC that pops up here, as there’s little in the way of alternatives. On the downside, this will be quite a built-up area once the surrounding BTO projects are finished; this isn’t a good spot for those who dislike clusters of HDB blocks nearby.
The Tampines Eco Green Park is also nearby; but sadly, we can’t say it’s nice greenery all around, due to the density of nearby HDB flats.
Like most ECs, there’s currently no MRT access; the closest is Pasir Ris MRT, which is close to a kilometre away. That said, there will be the upcoming Tampines North MRT station on the Cross Island Line (2030 though, so quite some time away).
The hub of Tampines, where you’ll find the Tampines 1, Tampines Mall, and Century Square, is about a seven-minute drive. Those who work in Tampines Hub probably have the most to gain from this EC: it’s close to work and the major amenities, but far enough that you avoid the traffic problems.
IKEA Tampines, incidentally, is about the same driving distance.
Overall, we’d call this an above-average location for those working in Tampines Hub, and an okay location otherwise. The reason is the number of affordable condo units already in the Tampines area, which is getting a bit saturated.
4. Bukit Batok West Avenue 8 EC
Location: Bukit Batok West Ave. 8 (District 23)
Site area: Around 12,500 sq. m.
Number of units: Estimated at 375
This yet-to-be-named EC will be around 300 metres (about four to five-minutes) walk from Le Quest mall, making it quite convenient. While small, Le Quest has an NTUC Fair Price Finest, a Guardian, a Food Court, and probably the 3 biggest fast-food chains in Singapore (McDonald’s, KFC, and Pizza Hut).
This plot is unusual in terms of the expected unit count. The property market is used to seeing ECs that number 500 or 600 units; 375 units make for a smaller and more exclusive development, which may appeal to some (it could mean higher maintenance fees though). It also means the developer will have to show some innovation, to fit facilities into the smallish 12,500+ sq. m. plot.
The other issue is that, apart from having Le Quest around, the immediate area is quite void of amenities; it’s mainly a lot of HDB flats nearby. There’s also no MRT station within convenient walking distance; we know that there are ads that claim Bukit Batok MRT is nearby, but a check shows it’s over a kilometre from the site location. Even the upcoming Tengah Park MRT station will be some distance away.
Ultimately though, we think this will be of interest to those who need to live in the west. It’s been almost six years since we last saw a condo in this region; and there’s some scarcity value in the fact.
It’s an okay location (not the best, given the lack of easy MRT access and just one small mall for amenities); but it could do well if the developer knows how to take advantage of the exclusivity. It doesn’t hurt that there are few EC options to compete in this area.
There are other ECs from 2021 which may still be available
There were five other ECs in 2021, although many may be selling out by the time you read this. If you can get your hands on those, these next four may be your only choices for the year (it remains to be seen who will win the recently announced Bukit Batok EC plot).
This new EC site at Bukit Batok West Avenue 5 can hold about 495 units, and will be in demand given there isn’t much supply of new EC projects in the west.
Note that 2022 will see fewer new launches than 2021, across the board (around 30+ new launches, as opposed to 50+). That, and the fact that the latest cooling measures should have a limited impact on EC buyers as the increase in ABSD rates will not affect that group. As such, homebuyers can expect more competition as demand in this price group should remain unabated.
For more updates as these ECs are completed, and in-depth reviews of new and resale properties alike, follow us on Stacked.