Property Picks 7 Rare Townhouses In West Singapore For Those Looking For Space And Facilities
- March 15, 2022
- 14 min read
Given the interest in bigger living spaces we’ve seen since 2020, it seemed appropriate to do a series on townhouses in Singapore. I suppose as, like real landed houses, townhouses (and cluster houses) offer more space, but often at lower price tags. In this series, we’ll be covering East, West, North, South & Central Singapore, starting with D5 and D21 in West Singapore today. (At the time of writing, there were no townhouses listed for sale in Districts 22, 23, and 24.)
The first question most people ask is: “What’s the difference between a townhouse and a cluster house?”
It can be confusing as the terms are often used interchangeably in Singapore (especially in property ads!) as both are strata-landed units. However, the key difference is that foreigners and PRs currently cannot own a cluster house in Singapore, without approval from the Singapore Land Authority, so there will be a smaller pool of buyers if one wishes to sell in the future. (To find out more about what cluster housing in Singapore entails, click here.)
This used to not be the case for townhouses i.e. strata-landed/landed property within an approved condo development. However, things changed a few years back and now foreigners are only eligible to buy strata-landed units in developments approved before 2012. For example, foreigners & PRs are automatically eligible to buy the townhouse units at SeaHill & The Vision (because of their completion date) but they would need approval for Waterfront@Faber and Kent Ridge Hill Residences.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s have a look at the various townhouses in D5 & D21 that were on sale at the time of writing. The first 3 developments on this list – Seahill, The Vision & Waterfront@Faber – all offer some semblance of waterfront living:
Table Of Contents
1. Seahill (99-year leasehold, $3.8-$4.4 million)
I previously covered both Seahill and The Vision in my article on “affordable waterside living in West Singapore.” However, as the townhouses are low-rise, you won’t get an unblocked sea view from them, sad to say. The bright side is that the developer (Far East) has situated the houses further away from West Coast Highway and the tower blocks which are in-between should help act as a noise buffer. (This is the case for the houses at The Vision as well.)
There are only 18 townhouses in this 338-unit development, each about 3,500 sq ft and with 4 bedrooms that are spread across 4 stories (this includes a basement and roof terrace.) Each unit comes with 2 car park lots and some also have a private lift inside. These terrace townhouses have their patios next to the communal pool, which means you can jump in from the deck right outside your living room.
Click here if you want to see what a townhouse at Seahill (TOP 2016) is like.
- Located between a sea & hill, with a McDonalds (& West Coast Park) right across the road (this also applies to The Vision as it is next door)
- The port opposite will be moving away as part of the Great Southern Waterfront transformation.
- There are serviced apartments & SOHO units on-site
- Facilities include 3 swimming pools, 2 of which are elevated on the 5th and 24th floors respectively, and face the sea
- The roof terrace level is not 100% outdoor space: there is also an indoor area (large enough to put seating & a TV) as well as a powder room, which makes entertaining more convenient.
2. The Vision (99-year leasehold, $3.6 million)
The Vision, which TOP-ed in 2015, has even fewer strata-landed houses. It offers just 14 out of 295 units in total so a townhouse here is a relatively rare commodity. (The other units are in two 33-story towers.) The townhouses are about 4,900+ sq ft and 3 stories high, not including the basement and roof terrace (which is 100% outdoor space.) Besides the 2 private car park lots in the basement, there is also space to park an additional car on the ground floor, bringing that to a total of 3 cars, which should be more than enough for most families.
Unlike NEWest and Seahill, The Vision has chosen not to have the units border the communal pool. Instead, they each have a small spa pool in their backyard. On the minus side, despite there being so few townhouses, they’re arranged in parallel rows, so you might feel like an animal in the zoo when making use of your backyard (people in the neighbouring townhouses or the tall tower can peer over.)
As of 2021, the monthly maintenance was $880 per month for a townhouse. Whilst this isn’t exactly high given the unit’s size, I am always somewhat bemused by the fact that townhouses pay one of the highest MCST fees in condos whilst benefitting the least from it (e.g. if there is a private lift in the townhouse, which I don’t believe is the case at The Vision, owners have to pay for maintenance out of their own pocket. I understand that it is currently about $2,000 per year to service a Mitsubishi lift.)
You can click on this link to see what the townhouse at The Vision looks like.
- You can drive to and park on the ground floor as well as in the basement car park
- Including the space in the front yard, each townhouse can fit up to 3 cars (it’s usually only 2)
- Each townhouse has private front & back gardens, which includes a small spa pool
- It’s one of the larger townhouses around (almost 5,000 sq ft in size)
- “Posh” facilities such as a Sky Clubhouse with massage rooms, a sky gym, media room, wine cellar lounge and bar, etc
3. Waterfront@Faber (99-year leasehold, $3.18 million, 2,949 sq ft build-up)
The last waterfront condo on this list is a 210 unit development (including the 11 strata-landed units) by World Class Land Pte Ltd. Located at Faber Walk on a land 15,125 sqm in size, Waterfront@Faber TOP-ed in 2017 but has a lease that dates from 2013. Despite being low-density, it benefits from full facilities, including a 50m lap pool, a large children’s pool, and my personal favourite – a Sky Park that traverses the rooftops of Blocks 44-50 and faces the waterfront, allowing residents of non-water facing blocks to enjoy the views. The condo even has a shuttle bus that takes you to Clementi MRT & Mall, which I find impressive for such a small development. Unfortunately, the bus stop is not right outside but it is very close by.
I also like the fact that there is direct access from the side gate to Ulu Pandan Park Connector, which takes you all the way to Marina Bay. And if that’s not enough nature for you, Faber Heights Park is right next to the condo.
In terms of the townhouse specifics, each townhouse is a 5 bed, 5 bath with 2 dedicated car park lots (right at their basement doorstep) as well as a private lift that traverses the 4 stories (1 of which is the basement). (If your 2 lots are insufficient, the condo has another 203 lots to 199 apartments, so there are 4 “extra” spaces.) The living room has a nice high ceiling and opens up to its own small, private spa pool. This helps to make it feel more spacious than it really is and the larger windows help to keep the unit bright, despite being a terrace. The kitchen, which is on the same floor, is also of a good size, but unfortunately, the dining area is tiny. (I guess you could always dine al-fresco on the patio?)
If 2,949 sq ft is not enough space for you, there is also 1 bigger unit at 3,208 sq ft – House 18 (lucky number!) which, unfortunately, is not currently for sale. Another thing to note is that (discounting the size) not all the townhouses are created equal: 4-5 of them have the coveted North-South facing whilst the rest are East-West facing. All the townhouses, however, benefit from being situated next to the private landed estate (so should not have their airflow and light blocked by towering buildings in the future.)
If you have kids, you’ll be interested in the fact that the popular Nan Hua Primary is within the all-so-important 1 km radius. To find out more, click here to see a video of an inter-terrace at Waterfront@Faber.
Note: foreigners require approval to purchase a terrace unit at Waterfront@Faber.
- Direct access to the park connector which leads to Marina Bay
- Shuttle bus to Clementi MRT
- SkyPark to enjoy the water views
- “Quiet” facing overlooking a landed enclave
4. NEWest (956 years leasehold from 27 May 1928, $2.55 million)
NEWest is a 277-unit development at West Coast Drive that borders the AYE. 136 of the units are residential with another 141 commercial units on the first story. Of the 136 residential units, 77 are townhouses that are branded as “triplexes” in this condo (i.e. over half.) These come with a home lift and range from 226-276 sqm spread over 4 floors, one of which is the basement. (All the triplexes are 4-bedders.)
The land size is about 165,000 sq ft but, unfortunately, the townhouses are extremely cramped and built very close to each other. In terms of facilities, there is a swimming pool and a tiny gym (but no tennis court.) With 145 residential car park lots and 92 commercial i.e. 237 in total + 5 disabled parking lots, there are more than enough lots for residents. The commercial and residential lifts are separate to ensure the security of the residential units (you also need an access card to get to the residential units.)
NEWest is similar to Seahill in that the patio of each house opens directly onto the pool. I can see how this would be ideal for families with children (they can just jump in from the house) but child-free residents may find such a layout rather noisy. (You have the choice of facing the pool or facing the highway here, so there won’t be a “quiet” facing unit, so to speak.) However, given that there are 3 primary schools within the 1km radius: Qi Fa, Nan Hua, and Clementi Primary, perhaps families with young children are the target audience for this development?
To find out more, click here to see a video of a cluster house at NEWest.
- Commercial units on site (although there doesn’t seem to be an anchor tenant)
- 3 primary schools within 1 km
- Only 1 car park unit per townhouse
For those who are not in a hurry to move, here are 3 more condos with strata-landed units that you can consider:
5. Kent Ridge Hill Residences (99-year leasehold, expected TOP Q4 2024, $2.9-$3.4 million)
Kent Ridge Hill Residences is a new development built on the site of the former Vista Park (50 South Buona Vista Road) which went en-bloc in December 2017. According to Google Maps, Pasir Panjang MRT is about 700m or an unsheltered 9 minutes walk away, where the train will take you to Vivocity (Singapore’s largest shopping mall) in a matter of minutes. It’s also an easy drive to the CBD.
Whilst there aren’t many amenities right beside this 319,000 sq ft development, there is a yoga studio, care, and HaoMart at Bijou condo (opposite Pasir Panjang MRT) as well as a hawker centre (at the foot of Pasir Panjang MRT.) However, the key selling point of Kent Ridge Hill Residences is its proximity to nature- several of the units boast greenery views (it is next to Kent Ridge Park, hence the name)- and its setting in a private residential enclave (associated with being “quieter” in Singapore.)
Kent Ridge Hill will have 498 units (in 11 5-story blocks) and 50 townhouses. Unfortunately, these are on the smaller side, with a build-up of 1,830 to 2,067 sq ft (this includes the space allocated for your car park unit I believe) and 4-5 bedrooms & 3-4 bathrooms each (!!). If you’ve read my previous articles, you’ll know that I’m a great fan of duplex units but, to be honest, with such a small floor area, I’d prefer everything to be on a single floor plate (or 2 at the most!)
As each unit has 2 stories and a basement, the square footage of each floor works out to approximately 600-700 sq ft – let’s not forget that the stairs & AC ledge (according to the floor plans, there appears to be at least 1 ledge per floor) will take up space, so the liveable internal area may even be as little as 500 sq ft per floor. There isn’t an internal lift though, which isn’t great for elderly folk but you do save on a little bit of interior space on the bright side.
One thing to note is that Pasir Panjang is home to many freehold condos (such as Bijou & Pepys Hill – Oxley Holdings itself developed the freehold The Verandah Residences, just a few minutes away), so future buyers may be quite price-sensitive once lease decay sets in (which admittedly is a long time in the future). There is also currently no Primary school within the coveted 1 km radius. However, there are several tertiary institutions (NUS is practically next door). Kent Ridge Hill also has the advantage of being a larger development (lower maintenance fees and more facilities) in an area teeming with smaller boutique developments.
As of today, Oxley had already sold 46 of the strata-landed units despite the fact that foreigners would need permission to buy these units.
- Protected views (Kent Ridge Park is zoned as a park so residents don’t have to worry about the greenery turning into a high-rise condo in a few years.)
- Side gate that leads directly to the 47ha Kent Ridge Park, which is part of the 10km Southern Ridges Trail and linked to Telok Blangah Hill Park, Mount Faber Park, Hort Park & Labrador Nature Reserve
- Situated on sloping terrain that is elevated 10m above street level (it’s always nice to be on higher ground)
- The non-townhouse units are in 5-story blocks so there won’t be tall buildings looming over the strata-landed units and blocking their airflow/ light – big plus in my book!
6. Parc Clematis (99-year leasehold, $4.1-$5million, expected TOP 2023)
This is a mega development with 1,468 units by Sing-Haiyi Gold Pte Ltd, over 300 of which were sold on the first day alone. The land size is 633,644 sq ft, which sounds huge, but it is smaller than Clementi Park, which has under 500 units. As we have previously done an in-depth review of Parc Clematis, I won’t repeat myself here.
Despite the large number of units, there are only 18 landed units here, of which at the time of writing, there are just 4 left. 2 corner terraces and 2 bungalow units ranging from 3,466 to 3,832 sq ft in size.
7. Normanton Park (99-year leasehold, TOP Dec 2023 (around $3 – $3.15 million)
Another mega-development with even more units. It has a total of 1,862 units, which will make it the second-largest development in Singapore – click here for our comprehensive review of Normanton Park. Something important that I have to mention though is the no-sale license that its developer, Kingsford Hurray Development, received in 2019 due to issues at its other project, Kingsford Waterbay. Still, despite that handicap, they’ve sold more than 90% of the unit since – which is very impressive, to say the least.
Of the 1,862 units, 22 are terraces, each at a size of 2,110 sq ft.
Now that we’ve reached the end of our list of townhouses, has 1 caught your eye? If not, join me again next week as we move to a different part of Singapore.