Condo Reviews Costa Del Sol Review: Seafront Living With A Good View
- Ryan J
- November 7, 2020
- 21 min read
Our Verdict: Costa Del Sol
Upkeep of Property
Quality of Finishings
Costa Del Sol is perfect for those who love great accessibility to the sea and work in the east, but not so much for those who want to stay near other big developments.
Reviewed by Ryan J. Ong. on November 07, 2020
What we like
- Good sea view from many units
- Minutes away from the beach
- Upcoming MRT station across the road
What we don't like
- —A big development, next to two other even bigger developments (that’s a lot of competition)
- —Currently not a very accessible location.
- —No malls or schools nearby unless you drive
|Project:||Costa Del Sol|
|Tenure:||99-years from 1997|
|No. of Units:||906|
|Site Area:||425,551 sqft|
|Developer:||Japura Development Pte. Ltd.|
For those unaware, Costa Del Sol is actually a region in the south of Spain (and a famous beach resort). But in the context of Singapore, Costa Del Sol is the smallest of three condos nestled along Bayshore Road; but “small” is a comparative term. It has 906 units, whereas The Bayshore has 1,038 units, and Bayshore Park has 1,093 units.
Usually investors don’t like so much competition – but Costa Del Sol has appreciated well over the years. This is mainly thanks to its beach access, and east-side living vibe. What’s especially exciting, however, is the opening of the new Bayshore MRT station right across the road from this condo; an event that’s prompted whispers of potential en-bloc interest.
This is a special game changer for Costa Del Sol, as it solves one of the condo’s long standing issues: accessibility.
Let’s have a closer look in our insider tour.
Costa Del Sol Insider Tour
|Lap pool||Diving pool||Wading pool|
Costa Del Sol was completed in 2004, so it is getting on in years – however, it’s still the newest of the Bayshore cluster of condos (The Bayshore was completed in 1997, while Bayshore Park was completed in 1986).
This is the sole entry and exit point for cars though, so again it can be a bit congested. For 906 units this definitely is a point of contention. Not to mention aside from the upcoming MRT station, transport accessibility here was always an issue – so you can be sure most people here are reliant on cars.
Also, be sure to keep your keycard on you when going out; the guards are quite strict checking for it when you want to go in (which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong).
One slightly annoying issue is that the walk to the entrance roundabout is not fully sheltered.
Despite its age, the condo is generally well maintained, and it’s visibly the newest in the area. The point of entry and exist is the roundabout, which can get quite busy in the mornings and evenings.
During heavy rain, you’ll need your umbrella to walk your children to the school bus. If you use taxis or Private Hire though, you can just get them to pick you up at the underground car park instead.
Although skateboards, scooters, are technically banned along these passageways, it doesn’t seem very well enforced. It’s usually not a problem as the walkways are quite wide, but it could annoy some people.
Nonetheless, Costa Del Sol is well landscaped, and you can see the effort that goes into maintaining the greenery. For a development that is 16 years old I must say that the upkeep and maintenance is an area to be proud of.
Also at this entrance point, you can find a family clinic, a minimart, and a laundromat.
The minimart has most of what you need for day-to-day groceries. They can bring your groceries to your door as well, if you request it.
There is also a clinic, which makes it convenient to get your MC for the inevitable flu, cough, etc. It closes early (1pm) on Saturdays though, and is closed on Sundays.
Interestingly, the laundromat also sells snacks and other food for the more health conscious (yogurt, kale chips, etc.) There’s a “clean eating” joke somewhere in there.
Another important amenity – which is not on the condo grounds – is the large preschool just across the road: The Alphabet Playhouse.
If you live at Costa Del Sol or any of the Bayshore Park condos, it’s easy to walk your pre-schoolers here (there is only one traffic light when crossing the road). The preschool is also behind the nearest bus stop.
Moving on to the residential blocks, the architecture has a perennial feel. It’s not dramatic, but it has a nice, clean look that’s kept it looking fresh after 16 years.
That said, unlike another Spanish-inspired development (Spanish Village), it’s hard to see here where the Spanish component lies. In fact, it does remind me of some developments in Hong Kong, where the units are all tightly bunched together.
Moving to each block is via an outdoor pathway that is flanked by the evidently well taken care of landscaping. As mentioned above, it isn’t sheltered so in the event of a sudden outpour of rain you will have to head to the basement carpark instead.
As with the strict security on the outside, it is the same inside, with resident’s requiring key card access to get to the lift lobby.
(The white stand is temporary; the lifts were being upgraded at the time).
Additionally, the lifts are key card operated – you can only go to the ground floor, basement, and to your own floor. The lift on the right is reserved for residents, while the visitor lift is on the left (it will come down for visitors when a resident sends it).
There is underground carpark available at Costa Del Sol, with sufficient parking for the number of units.
Inside the units, the sea view is one of the main highlights (if not, the highlight) and the living rooms feature a floor-to-ceiling window to show it. Here’s what it looks like from inside a unit:
This is from an 11th floor unit, which is just enough to get above the treeline.
In fact, having that bit of blue with the blanket of green trees is to me an even better view than just a view of the sea – it certainly isn’t something that you get to see much in Singapore.
You can also get a good view of the pool area from some of the units. This is looking out another corner of the same window:
Costa Del Sol is a great condo for swimmers, as you can tell from the number of pools. It is a minor downside for some of the older condos, where land space is ample but the swimming pool is tiny in comparison (Pandan Valley comes to mind).
It’s even one of the few condos that has a diving pool. As you can guess from the name (Costa Del Sol is a famous resort in Spain), the emphasis is on resort-style living.
Now I know diving isn’t exactly a popular sport in Singapore, but nonetheless, more swimming pools are always welcome in my view. Next to the diving pool there’s actually a passage to the beach, which I’ll talk about further below.
The design of the pool areas are particularly energetic and colourful, to really play on the whole “vacation resort” angle.
It is a rather big one, with more than decent space for avid swimmers and sun worshippers.
Along with that resort theme, the pool side umbrellas and deck chairs are very generous.
Again, unlike some of the older condos, where the pool side seatings can be stingy – this absolutely isn’t the case here.
It’s also from the swimming pools that you are able to truly gauge the size of Costa Del Sol. At 425,552 square feet of space, it actually sits on a rather big plot of prime sea facing land.
As you might have seen from the view from the unit, there is also a proper lap swimming pool at Costa Del Sol.
It definitely isn’t something that you’ll see much of nowadays, but I do like that there is a separation between a proper swimming pool and a leisurely one. If you do want to engage in swimming as an exercise, it does sometimes get slightly annoying when you have to share the pool with floaters.
The children’s pool has a nice organic feel to it, and blends well into the landscaping. I really like the lagoon-like sloped entry as it does make the introduction to water a lot easier for younger kids.
Also, note the green tarp covering the sides (maintenance works, at time of writing), there’s actually a little river-like pool that runs in front of some of the blocks.
Another nice aspect of the pool is that the gym looks out on it. This ensures that you can keep an eye on the children, while you’re on the treadmill or doing your weights. Notice how the line of treadmills face out to the pool view.
Note that the taped-up machines are not broken; they’re closed off for social distancing (due to Covid-19). The gym is decent in terms of equipment offering – but it definitely isn’t a size I would say is comfortable for the number of units.
However, the upside here is the proximity to the beach and East Coast Park. I’m sure there are many more people who would rather exercise basking in the surrounding natural elements.
This gym is located in the clubhouse, which also includes a multi-function room, and an open area above for Zumba, flea markets, Christmas events, or whatever else the residents organise. It is quite known for an active resident’s committee.
This is the open area on the top of the clubhouse. While it isn’t sheltered at all, it is a very nice open area that offers a nearly 360 view of your surroundings.
There’s also a bistro / café here, which is quite popular for its Indian cuisine and pizzas (an odd combination, but it works). It’s cleverly next to the function room in the clubhouse, which helps to facilitate parties.
The children’s playground isn’t much to shout about however – it’s pretty small, and the faded colour clearly shows its age. The main attraction for your children is going to be splashing in the water.
Next to the playground, you’ll find the two tennis courts.
What is especially impressive is that there is a third tennis court, located at the corner of the front of the development.
Even with a total of 3 courts, it can get a bit busy on weekends, with so many residents. It does make you wonder of the squeeze on newer developments like the Stirling Residences, 1,259 units sharing just one tennis court sounds like a real tight spot.
From the front you can see each block does have its own drop off point, but given how short it extends to the front – it doesn’t look to be the most useful in the event of a heavy downpour.
There are of course the ubiquitous barbecue pits. These are located by the ECP, so I wouldn’t say it is the most conducive if you want to have a quiet get-together.
Also, many residents will prefer to go right to East Coast beach for a barbecue instead; it’s less than five minutes’ walk there via the underpass.
Finally, we come to the best part of living in Costa Del Sol. It begins at this magic gate:
From here, residents can use their keycard to access an underpass. This takes them straight to the skate park and BBQ area at East Coast beach.
This is the underpass that takes you to the beach. It takes about three minutes to walk across.
And this is where you’ll emerge at the beach.
It’s great for joggers and cyclists. It’s also really nice that residents can choose to take a dip in the sea, if the pools get boring. A little further down from this stretch is the lagoon food village (about a 12-minute walk), so you have that extra option for dinner.
I’m not one to be overly exuberant on features usually, but the accessibility to East Coast Park is really unparalleled. It’s really quite something to be able to just have a stroll here on the weekends or even in the evenings after work.
Another bonus: the Xtreme Skate Park is next to where you emerge from the underpass. This area is quite popular with the residents’ children (even if they don’t skate).
Having convenient access to the beach is one of the key highlights of living at Costa Del Sol; and you’ll get the most out of it if you like fishing off the pier, swimming, camping on the beach, etc. Camping on East Coast beach is especially nice when you can walk home to use the bathroom, get extra supplies, and so forth.
Costa Del Sol Location Review
At this time of writing, the location is poor in terms of accessibility. Costa Del Sol isn’t near any major malls, and the MRT stations are far out of walking distance. This is really a condo for those who drive, or are okay to walk out to the bus stop.
This is about to undergo a big change. Bayshore MRT station, on the Thomson – East Coast Line (TEL), is expected to be up by 2023. The station is right across the road from Costa Del Sol, and is a significant fix to the accessibility issue.
|Bus station||Buses Serviced||Distance From Condo (& Est. Walking Time)|
|‘Opp. The Summit’||10, 13, 14, 43,48||500 metres (two minutes’ walk)|
Closest MRT: Tanah Merah or Bedok MRT station; but at around 2.5 kilometres for either, they’re not walkable
|Key Destinations||Distance From Condo (& Est. Peak Hour Drive Time)|
|Raffles Place||13.9 km (18 min drive)|
|Orchard Road||15 km (20 mins drive)|
|Suntec City||11.1 km (13 mins drive)|
|Changi Airport||6.6 km (6 mins drive)|
|Tuas Port||43.5 km (40 mins drive)|
|Paya Lebar Quarters||7.3 km (18 mins)|
|Mediaopolis||21.6 km (23 mins)|
|Mapletree Business City||20.3 km (22 mins)|
|Tuas Checkpoint||40.5 km (36 mins)|
|Woodlands Checkpoint||37.1 km (32 mins)|
|Harbourfront Cluster||17.5 km (19 mins)|
|Punggol Cluster||19.3 km (22 mins)|
Immediate road exit:
From Bayshore Road to Upper East Coast Road
Location in the east means very good access for those working at Changi Airport, or Changi Business Park. Landlords looking to rent to aviation industry workers, take note. The Singapore Expo is along the way of course; and some may enjoy the quick access to places like the Changi Jewel.
|Name of Grocery Shop||Distance from condo (& Est Time)|
|Minimart||Within the condo|
|Cold Storage & Giant – Parkway Parade||6.4km, 11-min drive|
|Educational Tier||Number of Institutes|
The Alphabet Playhouse (preschool) – 450 metres (2 min walk)
Temasek Primary School – 1.2 km (16 min walk) or 2.5 km (6 min drive)
Temasek Junior College – 1.7 km (21 min walk) or 2.7 km (6 min drive)
- Future prospects
One notable issue is the large size of the development, plus the two other 1,000+ unit developments next to it (Bayshore Park and The Bayshore). While Costa Del Sol has a clear edge in being newer, some investors may worry about the competition for future tenants or buyers. Also, with such close proximity, the en-bloc and redevelopment of any of the three could mean a lot of pollution for the other two.
Nonetheless, this may be offset by the upcoming Bayshore MRT station. This will fix the greatest issue of facing Costa Del Sol, which is limited accessibility.
- Ownership breakdown
According to Square Foot Research, less than half (47.4 per cent) of owners at Costa Del Sol are Singapore citizens. 20.8 per cent are foreigners, and over 11 per cent of the condo is owned by companies.
- Close by food options
Costa Del Sol can look misleadingly barren in terms of good food options, but it’s actually not the case. Upper East Coast road, leading toward Siglap / Joo Chiat and i12 Katong (currently being renovated till 2021), takes you straight to foodie paradise. It’s only around five minutes by bus. Also, the East Coast Lagoon Food Village (currently closed for renovation) is about a 12-minute walk from the underpass on the beach.
Costa Del Sol Development Site Review
The curved layout of the blocks is particularly clever. Notice that, because of the curve, every block is able to provide a clear view of the sea. What matters is mostly the floor your unit is on – around the 10th floor and up will give you a fairly clear view above the treeline.
The layout – with the blocks side by side and minimising obstruction to each other’s view – make Costa Del Sol feel less dense than its 906 units would suggest.
Water is the key theme here, with pools of various shapes and sizes. These are clustered in a central area around the clubhouse. It’s convenient to have them located so close to each other; but it does also mean a more densely packed crowd – especially on weekends when everyone and the relatives / friends are congregating there.
The clubhouse, in particular, can feel overburdened at times: the changing rooms and showers are in the clubhouse, the sauna is in the clubhouse, the function room is in the clubhouse, yoga or flea markets are on the roof of the clubhouse, the cafe is in the clubhouse, the gym is in the clubhouse, the lockers where you pick up unattended parcels is in the clubhouse, the children are playing in pools surrounding the clubhouse…now imagine all of that going on at once. That’s a reality on some weekends.
That said, 425,551 sq ft. is pretty spacious; and if you don’t like being in the epicentre of activity, there’s plenty of beautiful landscaped areas to stroll elsewhere. And the beach is just a few minutes away.
|2-bedroom||Approx. 947 sq. ft.|
|3-bedroom||Approx 1,227 sq. ft. to 1,755 sq. ft.|
|4-bedroom||Approx 1,475 sq. ft. to 2,967 sq. ft.|
|Penthouse||Approx 2,045 sq. ft. to 2,250 sq. ft.|
There’s a wide mix of unit types, which can cater to wide buyer demographics. However, one thing that may disappoint some buyers is the lack of compact units – the larger unit sizes here mean a higher quantum, that may price out new investors.
As you might expect from older condos, space is more generous compared to new launches.
One interesting aspect is the open balcony at the back of the kitchen, for many of the units. The view isn’t great (that’s not the point of it), but it helps a lot with ventilation. Like many older condos though, do the floor plans generally don’t use open kitchen concepts (it’s separated from the dining room).
Ground floor units are invariably noisier, as they directly flank the lift lobby. Ground floor units in block 82 or 80, being further from the epicentre that is the clubhouse and pools, tend to experience a little less noise (with the drawback that you’re walking a little further to get to the facilities).
The ground floor units also do allow for decking and patios.
Units at the 10th floor or above have a good line of sight above the treeline, and onto the beach. One you get up to the 25th floor or higher however, you may see more white sky than you do sea.
In terms of maintenance costs, the rate at time of writing is $77 per share value.
We’d say blocks 68, and 76.
Block 76 is the closest to the clubhouse; but block 68 is closest to the entrance (if you care to be).
The layout of the blocks is very clever though, so you won’t really get a “bad” block; as pointed out above, they’re deliberately positioned to ensure each one has a good sea view.
Costa Del Sol Price Review
|Project Name||Tenure||TOP||Average Price (PSF)|
|Costa Del Sol||99-years||2004||$1,252|
Competition is an issue for Costa Del Sol: it’s one of the three condos clustered along Bayshore Road. And as mentioned above, these are not three small or boutique developments, but large ones (906 in Costa Del Sol, 1,038 in The Bayshore, and 1,093 in Bayshore Park).
All three properties, however, are 99-year leasehold properties. This is what gives Costa Del Sol its advantage; the Bayshore is on a 99-year lease from 1993, whereas Bayshore Park is on a 99-year lease from 1982. That said, do note that Costa Del Sol’s lease actually begins from 1997.
Also, unfortunately for owners of The Bayshore, the emergence of Costa Del Sol cut off the sea view for some their units. This is why we constantly cautioned readers to review the URA Master Plan, as new condos “stealing” your view really does happen.
Thankfully, a review of the URA Master Plan shows that Costa Del Sol is up at the very edge of the ECP, and beyond that is just green space; there isn’t room for another condo to interpose itself between Costa Del Sol and the beach.
Costa Del Sol does have the best sea view of the three, and that will help to keep its edge.
Buyers who don’t mind the age factor, however, may still be inclined toward the cheaper Bayshore or Bayshore Park; if you’re a landlord, for instance, your tenant doesn’t care about your remaining lease. They may not pay significantly more for Costa Del Sol, given the location and beach amenities are broadly the same across all three condos.
Costa Del Sol’s pricing is already above average for District 16. At the time of writing, the average for this area is just $1,070 psf. At $1,252 psf, I’m not sure how much more room Costa Del Sol still has to appreciate.
Ask a property agent, and they’ll tell you the completion of the Bayshore MRT station is sure to boost prices. However, we feel it’s probable that – being just three to four years from completion – the prices now have already factored in the MRT.
In addition, The Bayshore and Bayshore Park will also benefit from proximity to the new MRT station; and both act as cheaper alternatives to Costa Del Sol. This could mitigate some of the gains.
To be clear, I do agree prices will rise after MRT station’s completion; we just don’t think a huge price explosion from the current levels is likely.
The real driver for further price appreciation, we feel, will come from the continued development of Changi Business Park. In particular, the Changi East Urban District (connecting to future Terminal 5). It also helps that the SUTD campus is located in the vicinity, as that provides an even larger group of prospective tenants; ones who may be drawn to the beach-party and lifestyle potential of Bayshore road condos.
Besides that, Costa Del Sol will continue to be attractive to aviation industry workers – it’s just rare to find such good beachfront property, near your workplace at the airport.
In the bluntest way possible, you’re buying this mostly for two reasons:
1. The beach
2. Renting it out to people at the airport or Changi Business Park
But mainly, it’s for the beach. You’d be hard pressed to find many condo developments that give you a three-minute underpass walk, directly onto the one of the most beautiful picnic / camping areas on the beach.
If you care nothing for the sun, the sea, and the sand, there are many cheaper condo options in District 16. As we pointed out above, Costa Del Sol’s average price is above the current norm for the district.
Ultimately, as an own stay option, I can see living at Costa Del Sol as an appealing one. 906 units may sound intimidating to some (and the squashed appearances of the units), but it does sit on a significant land size. With good facilities and overall maintenance, sea views and the proximity to the beach – Costa Del Sol is a worthwhile exploration for families looking to live in the East.
What this means for you
You might like Costa Del Sol if:
- • You love the outdoors:You love BBQs, picnics, jogs, and cycling along the beach, and fishing off a pier.
- • Love the sea:You want to dip in the actual sea in the morning before you get to work. It’s easy when you can walk home in a few minutes.
- • Work in the east:If you work at Changi Airport, Changi Business Park or somewhere in the east, traveling to and from home would be much more convenient.
You might not like Costa Del Sol if you:
- • Don’t work in the east:For those working outside of the east, you might want to consider looking elsewhere given that the development is not too accessible for the time being.
- • Need great access to schools:There just aren’t a lot of nearby schools in this area.
- • Don’t want to buy near other big developments:Costa Del Sol is already a sizeable development with 906 units. Add in the big developments nearby and the supply mix around the area would be easily 3,000 units strong which can make it competitive to exit or just more crowded in general.