Property Picks 6 Lesser-Known Townhouses In North Singapore For More Space
- March 27, 2022
- 15 min read
Townhouses are a rare breed of having a landed home feel (and space), without having to compromise on facilities and security. If you’ve been following this series, I’ve recently covered townhouses in the West and East of Singapore. As such, if you’re looking for a landed home with facilities in North Singapore, and do not mind a 99-year leasehold property, here are 6 townhouses for you to consider. One is the largest strata landed unit I’ve covered to date (over 5,000 sq ft) whilst two others have lovely unblocked greenery and water views (probably among the best nature views you can find in Singapore!), so read on to find that ideal home for yourself and your family.
(Note: at the time of writing, there were no townhouses for sale in D26 or D27.)
Kovan Regency (99-year leasehold from 2012, $3.95- $3.988 million)
A 393 unit development at Kovan Rise which TOP-ed in 2016, Kovan Regency stood out to me for the wrong reason initially: it was one of the few condos I’ve reviewed with an under 4-star rating on Google! (It has a 3.9 average out of 95 reviews, the only one in this article under 4.0 stars.) As many Google reviews are often by people who don’t even live in the development, I thought I should take a closer look at the comments to see if they did justice to the condo, and it appears that the opinions are quite polarised.
Whilst some people appear happy with their stay at Kovan Regency, most of the negative comments revolve around noise, so do take note if you need peace and quiet.
On the bright side, Kovan Regency is close to Kovan MRT (a 5 minutes walk or 250km away, although some Google comments mentioned that it’s difficult to walk out when it’s raining) and there are many cafes and shophouses, literally a stone’s throw away.
There are a total of 22 blocks, 15 of which are townhouses on a plot of 384,145 sq ft. The 15 townhouses are lined up and border Simon Lane which consists of mostly single-level landed houses (at least for now) so the ventilation of the backyards should be decent. (The front of the townhouses, unfortunately, face the 15-story towers.)
Each 3,700 sq ft strata-house has 3 stories plus an attic and a basement. Most of the strata houses I’ve reviewed so far have been 2 stories, so the ones here are unusually tall, which may be why the developers included a home lift (in case you get tired of climbing all the stairs!)
Things to note:
- Foreigners are eligible to buy these townhouses.
- There is no tennis court.
- Xinmin Primary & Xinghua Primary are within 1km
- Maintenance is $540 a month.
Kingsford Waterbay (99-year leasehold from 2014, $3.95 to $3.988 million)
Developed by Kingsford Huray and TOP-ed in 2018, this mega-development has 1,165 units on a rather small land size of 293,768 sq ft. (For comparison, Meadows at Peirce has under 500 units and grounds of 469,986 sq ft whilst Clementi Park’s 400+ units sprawl over a plot of 973,984 sq ft.) It’s one of the handicaps of newer developments today, they don’t have the expanse that the older ones enjoy.
Moreover, unfortunately, Kingsford Waterbay had many issues in its early days, from being penalised twice for safety issues during the construction phase to getting a stop-work order and complaints about the finishings by buyers…
On the bright side, Kingsford Waterbay boasts a waterfront location along Upper Serangoon View and is quite convenient. It has retail units inside the development and, if you can’t get what you need on-site, It’s only a 4-minute walk to Hougang Capeview where there is an NTUC, coffeeshop, clinic, and other amenities. Moreover, as with Kovan Regency, foreigners are eligible to buy these strata-landed units, which are a rarity. There are only 8 in the entire 1,165 unit development!
6 of them are 1,625 sq ft duplex terrace houses with communal areas downstairs and 3 bedrooms/2 bathrooms on the second floor. The layout is quite interesting as your (covered) car park lot is on the same floor as the kitchen, bomb shelter, powder room, living, and dining room, which are all relatively well-lit. (Typically, the rooms on the same level as the car park lot are in the basement & dark and dingy.) The second floor on which the bedrooms are located leads you out to the facilities.
These houses have amazing views of Sungei Serangoon, as well as balconies off the living areas to enjoy the surrounding nature. (As there is a park connector in between which leads you to Coney Island in under 30 minutes, I’m not sure what the noise level is like.) Although they’re called “landed houses”, the terrace units don’t really have a private front yard or back yard, although they do have a tiny outside corridor in front of the front door, which leads to a small pool. (There are 3 of these “pools” for the 6 terraces. If you can’t imagine what they look like, watch this video.)
The other 2 strata landed units are semi-detached houses around 1,593 sq ft. Interestingly enough, the strata landed houses are divided into 2 areas, with the terrace houses on the leftmost end of the plot and the semi-Ds on the rightmost end, next to 2 side gates. (Most developments just lump them all together.) In addition, the terrace houses are actually slightly larger than the semi-Ds!
Other than that, the layout of both are quite similar (i.e. they are both 2-stories with the car park lots on the same floor as the communal areas, and the bedrooms on the upper floor that brings you to the facilities (note: you get 2 car park lots and a small storage space by these lots for the semi-Ds.)) However, the terrace house has 2 outside spaces, whilst the semi-D only has 1. (Click here for a video.)
The last thing to point out is that, as a mega-development, Kingsford Waterbay has a ton of facilities, but here’s the advantage of bigger developments – the maintenance is quite low: the maintenance for a semi-D was only $328 per month in 2021.
Note: to fully benefit from the river view, the strata-landed all get some East-West sun, which is usually abhorred in a hot country like Singapore.
We’ve covered Kingsford Waterbay in a couple of articles previously so I won’t bore you guys with the same points here. Click on these links if you’re wondering about:
- How mega developments have performed as an investment and Kingsford Waterbay in particular
- Future appreciation
- How it compares to its neighbours (Note: Kingsford Waterbay has a relatively high asking PSFs versus the nearby waterfront developments as it’s a newer condo)
Thomson Grand (99-year leasehold from 2010, $4.1- $4.9 million)
Located at Sin Ming Walk, Thomson Grand has the largest townhouse I’ve reviewed so far at over 5,000 sq ft. With 339 units + 22 townhouses, this condo TOP-ed in 2015 and is within walking distance to the new Bright Hill MRT (under 10 minutes) as well as near to Singapore Island Country Club & Windsor Nature Park.
Judging from the sculptures dotted around the grounds (which measure 224,406 sq ft), the golf simulator, cocktail lounge, and Fendi, Armani/Versace furnishings in the clubhouse, and private lifts, it seems that Thomson Grand is aiming for a semi-luxurious feel. It’s worth noting that recently the MCST filed a lawsuit against the developer, and the two contractors (Lian Beng Group and Paul Y. Construction and Engineering) accusing them of a breach of warranties and negligence.
I’ve lifted this part from Mingtiandi: “Homeowners in Thomson Grand said common property defects in the 99-year leasehold complex include deficiencies in the lap pool, carpark, driveways, roof, staircases and lift lobbies.”
The townhouses here are 2 storey strata-terrace houses, not including the basement & roof terrace. The external design rather reminds me of that of The Vision over at West Coast. I really like how these houses resemble actual houses, in which you have a front yard, back yard and front door, unlike the typical strata landed house. This also means that the space here is much more usable. Most strata houses include 2 car park lots in the basement (which is factored into the build-up). All is well and good if you have 2 cars but, if you don’t the space becomes wasted space, as you can’t really do much with a car park lot in a dark and gloomy basement besides store stuff!
At Thomson Grand, you still have 2 car park lots, but only one is in the basement and the other is located on the ground floor, making it MUCH more practical. If you don’t need the second lot, you could always use that front yard space as a garden, patio, or play area!
Moreover, 2 of the 4 bedrooms have access to their own outside space, which is very handy if someone needs to be quarantined for COVID. (I know many people find balconies a waste of space in Singapore but the ones here aren’t overly large and, imagine being trapped in a room for 7 days, you’d probably be VERY happy to have that balcony!)
Although there is no private lift in the townhouse, the developers have catered for Singapore’s ageing society by including a bedroom, with a bathroom next to it, on the ground floor, perfect for Grandma or Grandpa. This bedroom is next to the main door, and there is a generous setback in front of the house, so the room has a nice unblocked view.
The backyard opens to a private patio where you have your own jacuzzi which, for some units, is next to a communal lap pool that borders the main road. (Thanks to the thick hedge, the pool is quite private and you don’t really see the cars (and vice versa) but you’ll probably be able to hear, and smell them. If it wasn’t for the proximity of the road and lap pool (noise), this would be my favourite of all the townhouses that I’ve reviewed so far.
Click here for a tour of the townhouse at Thomson Grand.
Things to note:
- Foreigners are eligible to buy these townhouses
- If you’re not a fan of townhouses, a few of the flats at Thomson Grand are quite large: you can find ones over 2,000 sq ft (about 5 I believe.)
- Most condos boast about their 50m lap pools, here the pool is 74m long!
- Thomson Grand is within 1 km of Ai Tong Primary.
- The master bedroom here is of a good size (it has an entire split-level to itself_ but the other bedrooms are quite small considering there are only 4 in total, and the townhouse is over 5,000 sq ft.
- The living and dining rooms are also very comfortably proportioned but, if you like to cook, the kitchen isn’t the roomiest. I’ve seen bigger ones in smaller condo units!
- There is a bomb shelter in the basement, next to the helper’s toilet.
Woodhaven (99-year leasehold from 2011, $2.93-$3.08 million)
Developed by Far East, Woodhaven TOP-ed in 2015 with 337 units, ranging from 500 sq ft flats to over 3,000 sq ft townhouses. (If you’ve been following my series on townhouses, you’ll realise that Far East is literally the king of townhouses, having developed most of the ones currently on the market.)
Woodhaven follows the standard Far East formula for strata-landed units: they’re typically terrace houses, with 2 car park units in the basement, that line the communal pool and have direct access to the pool from their private patios. However, unlike some of the other Far East developments, the roof terrace here is almost 100% outdoor space (in the Far East townhouses on my previous lists, there was a bathroom and family room on the top floor in addition to the roof terrace, which I personally find a more practical arrangement when you have guests over, for example, and are dining on the rooftop, they can just pop inside to use the loo without having to go down the stairs.)
Click here for a tour of the unit.
The location is also pretty convenient: the bus stop right outside the side gate has buses going to 2 MRT stations (Admiralty & Woodlands.) Moreover, as there is an HDB estate next door, you are close to a coffee shop and mini-mart.
Things to note:
- it is not step-free access from the car park unit to the house, as you have to climb 3 steps to get into the house. As many who purchase townhouses are looking for multi-generational homes, this may be an issue for those with elderly family members
- Woodsgrove Mall is less than 5 minutes walk away
- Woodhaven is a full facility development, with a tennis court on the roof (!)
High Park Residences (99 year leasehold from 2014, $2.59- $2.68million)
One of the biggest condos in Fernvale, High Park Residences is a mega project by CEL Development, with 1,399 units, 14 of which are strata landed homes (4 detached and 10 semi-Ds.) The development which TOP-ed in 2019 covers 366,176 sq ft of land, is within walking distance to Seletar Mall and next door to Thanggam LRT (which would bring you to Sengkang MRT.)
Note: We covered this condo in-depth in one of our videos– when we filmed 1 year ago, there had already been over 222 profitable transactions.
The semi-Ds here range from 2,303 sq ft- 2,422 sq ft, only about half the size of Thomson Grand but bigger than the ones at Kingsford Waterbay (and the maintenance is even lower, $244 per month!) The bungalows, on the other hand, are 2,723 sq ft in size.
The units are nice and bright, thanks to the large windows and double volume living space. I am normally a huge fan of double volume areas but am ambivalent about this one as it’s located in the middle of the property thus helping to brighten what is normally a gloomy part of the house. However, as the ceiling over the entry area is normal height, the house doesn’t feel as expansive as double volume properties usually do.
There is no private lift in the semi-D, but a granny room has been included on the ground floor. The strata landed houses are arranged along Jalan Kayu, which is a private landed estate, so most have nice unblocked views and don’t feel too squashed. (Weirdly enough, instead of orienting all the semi-Ds in the same way i.e. facing Jalan Kayu on 1 end, with the other end facing into the development, CEL has chosen to have 3 semi-Ds totally face into the development i.e. there are 3 different orientations for the semi-D units. (Refer to the development map below if this doesn’t make sense.)
Click here to see a Semi-D strata landed at High Park Residences.
Things to note:
- Fern Green, Fernvale, and Sengkang Green Primary School are within the 1km radius
- The tennis court is a sunken one
- There is a cycling trail and indoor movie theatre
- There are 9 commercial units in the development, including restaurants and a childcare centre (If that is full, there are another 14-15 childcare centres/ kindergartens in the vicinity)
- It’s linked to the LRT
- Jalan Kayu has lots of nice eateries
RiverTrees Residences (99 years leasehold from 2013, $2.1million)
Located along Fernvale Close, the 495-unit RiverTrees Residences was developed by Far East, Frasers & Sekisui House and completed in 2017. There is a side gate to Layar LRT (which connects to SengKang MRT) and it is only one LRT stop away from Seletar Mall as well as down the road from Jalan Kayu (so quite near High Park Residences.) For nature lovers, there is a park connector that brings you to Seng Kang Riverside Park.
The 8 townhouses here are very similar to the ones at Kingsford Waterbay:
- They are duplexes of similar size (1,528 sq ft here)
- However, the communal areas and 1 car park lot are on the upper floor, with the 3 bedrooms on the lower level
- They border the park connector and face nature
Things to note:
- The maintenance fee for the townhouse is $360/month.
- The condo has a 150m direct river frontage (over 90% of units have some form of water views’ though not all are unblocked.)
- There is a side gate to the park connector
- There is an upcoming community hub in the vicinity
- The gym, which is next to the pool, has glass walls, allowing the light to stream in.
- I’ve covered RiverTrees Residence so click on the link if you want to read more about other condos in the vicinity.
Have you seen a unit that catches your eye? If not, join me next week as we cover townhouses in Central Singapore.