Property Picks 6 ECs With Units Less Than $1 Million And More Than 1,000 Sqft + Big Price Gap
- Ryan J
- March 4, 2021
- 12 min read
To some Singaporeans, resale ECs are guaranteed money-makers: they’re halfway to full privatisation, there’s no Minimum Occupation Period (MOP), and no upfront Additional Buyers Stamp Duty (ABSD) if you’re upgrading.
What buyers should also consider, however, are the prices of regular condos in the same district. In some districts, the price gap may be narrow enough to justify getting a resale condo instead. In others, the gap is so wide it’s more sensible to get a resale EC.
So in this piece, we decide to take a look at ECs with units that are more than 1,000 square feet, with prices of less than $1 million. Yes, it’s quite specific. But in light of the current situation, there’s definitely been a shift in buyer’s preferences of looking for bigger spaces in their homes. And needless to say, at a more affordable quantum. Here are some of the more notable cases:
Resale ECs that are notably cheaper than district counterparts:
Note: For the following, we focused on developments that are in the same district as the EC, and in the same lease start year where possible. We have also skipped developments with too few recorded transactions.
|Executive Condos||$PSF||Lease Remaining||District||Difference||Lease Difference||EC Tnx||Apt/Condo Tnx||% Difference|
|AUSTVILLE RESIDENCES||$ 875||88||19||$ (232)||–||46||15||-21%|
|CHESTERVALE||$ 660||75||23||$ (16)||–||13||14||-2%|
|EASTVALE||$ 697||74||18||$ (137)||–||5||18||-16%|
|FORESTVILLE||$ 874||90||25||$ 142||1 year off||1||4|
|LA CASA||$ 728||82||25||$ (1)||3 years off||16||9|
|LILYDALE||$ 645||77||27||$ (57)||1 year off||15||43||-8%|
|NORTHOAKS||$ 589||75||25||$ (87)||–||27||6||-13%|
|PINEVALE||$ 714||75||18||$ (132)||–||7||6||-16%|
|SUMMERDALE||$ 698||75||22||$ (155)||1 year off||10||7||-18%|
|THE CANOPY||$ 814||88||27||$ (125)||–||28||16||-13%|
|THE FLORAVALE||$ 657||75||22||$ (196)||1 year off||29||7||-23%|
|THE FLORIDA||$ 699||75||19||$ 4||–||11||17||1%|
|THE QUINTET||$ 742||81||23||$ (185)||2 years off||11||24||-20%|
|THE RIVERVALE||$ 711||75||19||$ 16||–||18||17||2%|
|THE TERRACE||$ 884||91||19||$ (223)||1 year off||1||49|
|THE VALES||$ 948||92||19||$ (453)||–||2||2|
|WESTMERE||$ 813||74||22||$ (40)||–||4||7||-5%|
|WESTWOOD RESIDENCES||$ 890||92||22||$ (495)||1 year off||1||2|
|WHITEWATER||$ 721||80||18||$ (45)||2 years off||15||50||-6%|
|WINDERMERE||$ 620||75||23||$ (55)||–||10||14||-8%|
|WOODSVALE||$ 601||75||25||$ (75)||–||32||6||-11%|
|YEW MEI GREEN||$ 683||75||23||$ 8||–||21||14||1%|
Resale ECs with notable price gaps:
- The Floravale
- Austville Residences
- The Quintet
- Eastvale (tied with Pinevale)
- Pinevale (tied with Eastvale)
1. The Floravale
Location: Westwood Avenue (District 22)
Developer: Jurong West Land Pte. Ltd.
Lease: 99-years from 1997
Number of units: 754
Average price: $656.90 psf
Price difference from surrounding condos: $195.96 psf, or 23% lower
The Floravale has huge units, as is typical of 20+ year-old condos. Most notably, its 3+1 room configurations go up to a whopping 2,303 sq.ft., and this development has 4-bedders reaching up to 2,746 sq. ft. Yet at an average price of $656.90, one of the gigantic 2,746 sq.ft. units would only fall at around $1.8 million.
Along with its proximity to many schools, Floravale could be a value buy for larger families living in the west.
In terms of location, the Floravale is convenient to a specific group of buyers. If you make a lot of trips into Malaysia, for example, Floravale is one of the few properties close to Tuas Link MRT and the Tuas Checkpoint (about a 14-minute drive).
The other group of buyers will be parents, because there are six schools within a one-kilometre radius of this condo:
- Pioneer Primary (closest at 292 metres, or a five-minute walk)
Pioneer Secondary (420 metres, or seven-minutes’ walk)
- One World International School (420 metres, or seven-minutes’ walk)
- Westwood Primary and Secondary Schools (650 metres)
- West Grove Primary (740 metres)
That said, this is a condo for those who drive. There are few immediate amenities, barring a 750-metre, 10-minute walk to Gek Poh Shopping Centre. Although it will be a short walk to the Gek Poh MRT station on the Jurong Region Line, which is slated to open from 2026.
For the case of this particular EC, there was only one “fair” comparison that we could draw to – The Mayfair, as it had the most comparable lease date. It remains at a higher price point simply due to the smaller number of units (452) and it is in relative close walking distance to The Chinese Garden MRT station.
2. Austville Residences
Location: Sengkang East Ave. (District 19)
Developer: Greatearth Construction Pte. Ltd.
Lease: 99-years from 2010
Number of units: 540
Average price: $875 psf
Price difference from surrounding condos: $231.93 psf, or 21% lower
Like most ECs, Austville Residences is far from the MRT station. But unlike many ECs, Austville at least has an LRT station that’s just 350 metres away; the Kangkar LRT station is around a four-minute walk. Austville is also close to Punggol Park, which is one of the main family recreation areas; it’s 750-metres away, or about a nine-minute walk.
Austville is also within 650 metres of Rivervale Plaza; it’s not a huge mall, but it’s got a decent range of food options, and has a few shops (it also has a wet market). Most of the retail therapy will have to come from Compass One, which is about a five-minute drive away.
If you specifically want to live in Punggol, the pricing for Austville Residences is going to be the main attraction: many three-bedder units, reaching 1,087 sq. ft., have a quantum of around $950,000. This is quite hard to match for a condo that’s less than 10 years old.
There is room for price movement here, given how Austville Residences is just around three years from full privatisation, and surrounding condos of the same size are rarely under $1 million.
In terms of comparison to condos of similar vintage, there were 3 that were available in the same district – Terrasse, Parc Vera, and The Scala. To be fair, these are quite tough comparisons to be drawn against. While they are all in the same district, their actual locations are rather different to begin with. In short, it is arguable that Kovan and Hougang are in better locations – hence the price disparity.
As for The Scala, I doubt many would argue that it is in a much better location. Plus that close proximity to Lorong Chuan MRT station and you can easily see why there is such a big price gap between the two despite the same lease start date.
3. The Quintet
Location: Choa Chu Kang Street 64 (District 23)
Developer: CPL Choa Chu Kang Pte. Ltd.
Lease: 99-years from 2003
Number of units: 459
Average price: $741.73 psf
Price difference from surrounding condos: $184.65 psf, or 20% lower
The Quintet is just 650 metres, or an eight-minute walk, to Yew Tee MRT station. This makes it one of the rare few ECs that has good MRT access. Also, note that Yew Tee is just four train stops from Jurong East interchange, and one stop away from Choa Chu Kang station (Lot One, the largest mall in Choa Chu Kang, is located next to the Choa Chu Kang station).
The Quintet’s residents also got lucky recently: they’ll benefit from the revamp of Limbang Shopping Centre, which should be ready by 2022. There’s already an NTUC here, and we understand the revamped mall will include several more shops and restaurants. This mall is only 230 metres, or a three-minute walk, from the Quintet.
If you work at Yew Tee Industrial Estate, it’s also worth noting that The Quintet is only 1.1 kilometres or about a three-minute drive away.
That downside is that The Quintet is in a densely-packed area, with a lot of HDB blocks nearby. So while it’s one of the more conveniently located ECs, it’s not for those who like wide open spaces or a lot of greenery.
For those looking for condo alternatives would have to contend with either The Warren or The Jade for ones in a similar era. In this case, there wasn’t any so we had to make do with these two despite the 2 year lease start date difference.
Nevertheless, even with The Quintet being newer, the price gap is quite evident for The Warren. Again, it is arguably in the better located Choa Chu Kang plus it is situated right next to the MRT station.
Location: Boon Lay Drive (District 22)
Developer: Boon Lay Executive Condominiums Pte. Ltd.
Lease: 99-years from 1997
Number of units: 432
Average price: $697.50 psf
Price difference from surrounding condos: $155.36 psf, or 18% lower
Summerdale is one of the most popular Boon Lay-area condos, due to having three schools in short walking distance: Boon Lay Garden Primary is just down the road (175 metres away), while Dunearn Secondary is just 211 metres away. A little further away is River Valley High, which is still just 380 metres away, or about six minutes on foot.
The other reason for its popularity is proximity to Jurong Point Mall, which is just 800 metres away (about a 10-minute walk). This is currently the largest suburban mall in the west-end of Singapore. As unorthodox proof of its convenience, we’ll point out that someone once managed to live in it for four straight years. It has a 24-hour NTUC!
Summerdale is also around 900 metres from Boon Lay MRT station; not really a convenient walk at 12 minutes, but considered close for an EC.
For those looking for an equivalent condo comparison, you’d have to turn to The Mayfair again. Despite it being a year older (in terms of lease start date), it still commands a higher psf price difference of 22.2 per cent.
5. Eastvale (tied with Pinevale for 5th place)
Location: Pasir Ris Drive 3 (District 18)
Developer: Pidemco Land Ltd.
Lease: 99-years from 1996
Number of units: 312
Average price: $696.60 psf
Price difference from surrounding condos: $136.68 psf, or 16% lower
ECs are rarely near MRT stations, so Eastvale is a rare exception. It’s located just 650 metres, or about an eight-minute walk, from Pasir Ris MRT. Eastvale is also right next to Hai Sing Catholic School, and Casuarina primary school is about a 10-minute walk away.
Eastvale has seen a significant boost due to the development of Downtown East, which is right across the road. This is one of the largest family recreation hubs in Singapore, with retail, dining, and Singapore’s largest water park (Wild Wild Wet).
The reason Eastvale’s price hasn’t skyrocketed is the presence of Sea Horizon. This EC is just a 10-minute walk from Eastvale. but is much newer; it was completed in 2016. Sea Horizon is just about to reach MOP sometime this year. While it’s a bit further from Downtown East than Eastvale, some buyers are likely waiting it out, and contemplating between the two.
If you are looking for a resale condo comparison, the two within a similar lease start year would be The Tropica and Eastpoint Green. Admittedly, they are both located in very different locations as well, so we can’t say that too much can be drawn here in terms of a conclusion.
6. Pinevale (tied with Eastvale for 5th place)
Location: Tampines Street 73 (District 18)
Developer: Pinevale Condominium Pte. Ltd.
Lease: 99-years from 1997
Number of units: 322
Average price: $714.43 psf
Price difference from surrounding condos: $131.90 psf, or 16% lower
Pinevale is one of those condos which wins “close, but not quite” for a great location. On the one hand, it’s within 1.1 kilometres of Tampines Hub, with its desirable cluster of three malls, office spaces, etc.
On the other hand, the distance can’t be considered a convenient walk (around 18 minutes); and the immediate surroundings of Pinevale lack amenities. There is a FairPrice outlet at Tampines Street 83, about 400 metres away, but that’s about it.
(Ps. Because the question invariably comes up, Pinevale is a six-minute drive from IKEA Tampines.)
Irritatingly, the short distance to Tampines Hub may also not be worth driving or cabbing; not given the heavy traffic and parking issues at Tampines Hub. So perhaps those who cycle will find Pinevale’s location most appealing.
Besides its proximity to Tampines Hub, Pinevale is also next to United World College (East Campus). Poi Ching School is also very close, at 265 metres or around a four-minute walk; and Junyuan Secondary is 530 metres away, or around a six-minute walk.
Overall, if you want to live near Tampines Hub but don’t want to bust your budget, take a closer look at this EC.
Like Eastvale, the price gap here is in a similar vein – but again, it’s hard to put too much to it because of the differences in location between Tampines and Simei despite them being located in the same district. Plus, Modena and Tropical Spring are located at just a 3-minute and 4-minute walk respectively to Simei MRT station. This is a far cry from the 18-minute walk from Pinevale to Tampines MRT station.
Finally, a parting note on the nature of full privatisation
Some of the ECs on the lists above are already privatised, whereas some – like Austville Residences – are more than halfway there. This is a good time to address the issue of prices and full privatisation.
If we go back to the early 2000’s, it was easy to predict that full privatisation would help to raise EC values. However, it’s become more debatable in today’s context.
Full privatisation would allow foreigners and companies to purchase an EC unit – but in 2021, the Additional Buyers Stamp Duty (ABSD) on foreigners is 20 per cent, and it’s 25 per cent on entities. This means that the two groups allowed to purchase ECs are also less inclined to do so, given the high tax rate. This has led to the argument that ultimately, it’s reaching the five-year MOP that boosts EC prices, with full privatisation contributing much less.
There hasn’t been an in-depth study on this yet; but if you’re thinking of buying a resale EC, it’s worth thinking about, If you have any questions, do contact us to ask.