Property Picks Here Are The Cheapest Condos Within 1 KM To A Top-10 Primary School
- Ryan J
- September 14, 2021
- 14 min read
With changes to the Home School Distance (HSD), we’re not surprised that homebuyers are taking a second look at their shortlist. For parents whose main priority is a good school, things can be tough in 2021 – from rising prices to construction delays, options are limited. As such, we’ve compiled the cheapest condos we can find, that are within one kilometre of the most in-demand schools:
How this list is derived
You have probably heard of many of the schools listed below here due to their popularity, but deriving the list requires a more systematic approach. That is why we used schlah which ranks primary schools based on a variety of factors:
- Gifted Education Programme (GEP): 20%
- Popularity in Primary 1 (P1) Registration: 20%
- Special Assistance Plan (SAP): 15%
- Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation: 15%
- Singapore National School Games: 15%
- Singapore Uniformed Groups Unit Recognition: 15%
So without further ado, let’s check out the top 10 primary schools and the cheapest resale condo within 1KM from it!
For some condos, there may not be any transactions on record. For this reason, our list only shows condos for which actual transactions have taken place. We have stuck to using price per square foot (psf); partly because the categorisation of two-bedders, three bedders, etc. would not be accurate for some older condos.
16 Sep 2021 Update: Correction on Sapphire Court information.
1. Nanyang Primary School
Cheapest condo within 1km: Lutheran Towers
Location: Tan Kim Cheng Road (District 10)
Number of units: 76
Avg. price psf: $950 psf
Lutheran Towers is ideal if your concern is mainly location, and you don’t mind a no-frills home.
The two blocks of Lutheran Towers are seldom noticed, even if you pass by all the time on the way to Serene Centre/Coronation Plaza. The façade looks so much like an HDB block, most people aren’t aware that it’s a private apartment. There are also no condo-style facilities.
However, what you get is a 540-meter distance, or 10-minute walk, to Nanyang Primary School. You’re also less than 10 minutes drive to Orchard Road. If you want to use public transport, the Botanic Gardens MRT station is less than 300 metres away, or around an eight-minute walk.
Serene Centre is within a five-minute walk of Lutheran Towers; besides restaurants and McDonald’s, there are a good number of enrichment/education services here. Walk for another two minutes or so, and you’ll get to Coronation Plaza, where you can find an NTUC and even more tuition services.
This being an old condo, unit sizes are massive, averaging 1,916 sq. ft. This places the overall quantum at around $1.8 million for most units. Nonetheless, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a price point this low for a District 10 condo; let alone one that’s within walking distance of a top school, mall, and MRT station.
2. Tao Nan School
Cheapest condo within 1km: Sapphire Court
Location: Lorong K Telok Kurau (District 15)
Number of units: 11
Avg. price psf: $664 psf
Sapphire Court is 820 metres from Tao Nan School, but it’s not within walking distance (about 15 minutes on foot). If you drive though, it should take five minutes or less.
In addition, Sapphire Court is within a one-kilometre radius of several high demand schools, including:
- CHIJ (Katong) Primary – 680 metres
- Haig Girls’ – 930 metres
- St. Patrick’s – 890 metres
- CHIJ Katong Convent – 970 metres
Sapphire Court is also about a minute’s walk to Telok Kurau Road with several buses plying through here. There are also several F&B stalls, and essential amenities like a clinic located within a 5-minute walk at Bright Centre.
This apartment is also just a five minute drive from the East Coast Road lifestyle stretch (the area from i12 Katong to around Katong Shopping Centre).
Unit sizes are huge, typically around 1,432 sq. ft., to as big as 2,862 sq. ft.; hence there are only 11 units. But at around $664 psf, the 1,432 sq. ft. units have transacted at below $1 million – a rare find among large, freehold homes.
The façade does look dated, and you won’t have condo facilities – but what you get in exchange is space, a low price, and proximity to one of the most popular East Coast stretches.
3. Catholic High School
Cheapest condo within 1km: Thomson Imperial Court
Location: Upper Thomson Road (District 20)
Developer: Ho Shin Enterprise Pte. Ltd.
Number of units: 36
Avg. price psf: $976 psf
Thomson Imperial Court is almost exactly at the one-kilometre mark for Catholic High School. It’s not a walkable distance, but it should be a nine-minute drive at most.
We feel Thomson Imperial Court is not unknown to investors, who have had their eye on it in recent years. This isn’t so much to do with the schools nearby (although that helps). The highlight is the opening of Upper Thomson MRT station, which will be within a seven-minute walk.
This will complement the Marymount MRT station, which is roughly a 10-minute walk away; and it means residents have easy access to both the Circle Line, and Thomson East Coast Line.
Besides this, the project is only a six-minute drive to Thomson Plaza, and a 10-minute drive to Junction 8 mall. Otherwise, there are commercial shops right downstairs, one of which is currently occupied by Sheng Siong.
Coupled with freehold status and relatively small size, all of this lines up to make Thomson Imperial Court look like a good en-bloc prospect (although we advise against buying for such speculative reasons).
Most of the units reach about 1,507 sq. ft., with a quantum of about $1.5 million. While it’s not the fanciest apartment, it is a highly practical one; you get huge living space, amenities downstairs, and a freehold unit in one of the most desirable city fringe districts.
4. Nan Hua Primary
Cheapest condo within 1km: NEWest
Location: West Coast Drive (District 5)
Developer: Oxley Viva Pte. Ltd.
Number of units: 136
Avg. price psf: $843 psf
A good example of what happens when developers get too clever with names. NEWest condo is hard to market online, as any searches for “Newest Condo” will show whatever the newest condos are, but not this one.
Nan Hua Primary school is just 510 metres away, or about a five-minute drive (it’s not within walking distance). However, note that the closest school is actually Qifa Primary at 360 metres, or a five-minute walk.
NEWest doesn’t have any MRT stations nearby. However, Clementi Mall – which is broadly the retail and entertainment hub of the area – is just a six-minute drive. For parents with an eye on the long term, note that NUS is also just a seven-minute drive, which is another incentive to buy here.
The current price of $843 psf is an attractive price point, for what’s effectively a freehold condo (956-year lease). It’s also surprisingly exclusive for this price point, having only 136 units. The potential for gains is quite strong, on the strength of District 5; Clementi is close to NUS, Holland V, and One-North, all major zones of interest.
Just make sure you drive, and are willing to drive out for most of your needs. The immediate surroundings are quite spartan.
5. St. Hilda’s Primary School
Cheapest condo within 1km: Pinevale
Location: Tampines Street 73 (District 18)
Number of units: 322
Avg. price psf: $728 psf
*Note: All blocks at Pinevale except 528826 and 528827 are within 1KM
Pinevale is a familiar name to most market watchers. Next to The Alps Residences and The Santorini, it’s well-known as a rental prospect; all three condos are in close proximity to United World College (UWC). Pinevale, in particular, is just a six-minute walk to UWC.
Another nearby school is Poi Ching, which is just a five-minute walk at 250 metres.
The venerable St. Hilda’s Primary is almost exactly at the one-kilometre mark, and is about a six-minute drive under most conditions.
The Tampines Hub area, where you’ll find grade A offices, and a cluster of malls like Century Square and Tampines 1, are about a six-minute drive. There’s also a Giant and an NTUC in this area.
If you have long terms plans after your child’s schooling – such as being able to rent out the condo unit – Pinevale could be outstanding for this. You have both UWC nearby, as well as prospective tenants from the offices near the Tampines Hub area.
The units – many of which are around 1,292 sq. ft. – have transacted at $1 million or below. An attractive price point, in terms of rental yield.
6. Henry Park Primary
Cheapest condo within 1km: Astor Green
Location: Pine Grove (District 21)
Developer: TM Development Pte. Ltd.
Number of units: 170
Avg. price psf: $1,164 psf
Astor Green is located just 840 metres from Henry Park Primary School, or about a five-minute drive (this is the only school within one kilometre).
This is a love-it or hate-it development, with few opinions falling in between. Critics say it doesn’t feel like a Bukit Timah area condo, because it’s close to so many other developments like Cavendish Park, The Trizon, Beaverton Court, etc.
In fact, Astor Green is in the area where Bukit Timah straddles Clementi, and has a bit of both neighbourhoods.
It’s also quite far from any immediate retail or groceries, so you should expect to head out often. You’ll probably be headed for Clementi Mall, which is around a 10-minute drive.
There’s no MRT station in easy access: while Dover MRT is often listed as a highlight, at 690 metres, note that the actual walking time is close to 15 minutes.
That said, some residents will love Astor Green. Not only is it close to Henry Park Primary, it’s only a four-minute drive to Singapore Polytechnic (where Dover MRT is also located). For those who drive, it offers the amenities of nearby Clementi, with the greater serenity of the Bukti Timah area.
The average unit size, around 1,475 sq. ft., has transacted at just around $1.63 million; a reasonable stretch to upgrade, given its solid Bukit Timah / Clementi location.
7. Anglo-Chinese School (Primary)
Cheapest condo within 1km: DLV
Location: Dalvey Road (District 10)
Developer: Heeton Holdings Ltd.
Number of units: 25
Avg. price psf: $1,252 psf
DLV is a boutique development, just within range of Anglo-Chinese School; it’s about a five-minute drive. However, note that the closest school is actually Singapore Chinese Girls Primary, at 770 metres, or a three-minute drive.
While DLV was the cheapest we could find in the area, it’s still beyond the budget range of most Singaporeans. The smallest viable family-sized units, at 1,130 sq. ft., transact at above $2 million. While there are units below $1.14 million, these are small 743 sq. ft. units, which are too tight for most families.
There are also very few units (25 in all), so transaction volumes are low, and prices can be quite volatile.
DLV is close to Orchard Road; a five-minute drive will take you to the upmarket stretch along Palais Renaissance and Tanglin Shopping Centre. There’s also good access to public transport, with Stevens MRT being just a nine-minute walk away.
Relative to the location, $1,252 psf is good value. But that doesn’t change the fact that most Singaporeans are priced out of this one.
8. Raffles Girls Primary School
Cheapest condo within 1km: The Arcadia
Location: Arcadia Road (District 11)
Developer: Arcadia Gardens Pte. Ltd.
Number of units: 164
Avg. price psf: $949 psf
The Arcadia is only around 700 metres from Raffles Girls Primary, or a six-minute drive. For families looking beyond Primary school, National Junior College (NJC) is just 870 metres away, or about an eight-minute drive.
The Arcadia is about a seven-minute drive from Coronation Plaza, where you can find an NTUC.
Other than that, The Arcadia is quite typical of a Bukit Timah condo. Abundant greenery, low traffic and density, and a nature enclave for families. The main issue will be the combination of age, and a high quantum due to unit sizes.
Most units are around 3,713 sq. ft., so even at around $949 psf, you can expect the quantum to reach a whopping $3.5 million. Even if this is the cheapest condo on a price psf basis, the quantum could be unpalatable to buyers; especially considering it’s an ageing leasehold property.
While The Arcadia is well maintained, the façade and facilities aren’t the most modern. There’s also a lack of amenities in the immediate surroundings, barring a Cold Storage at Greenwood (around 450 metres, or a seven-minute walk).
Of course, if what you want is a gigantic unit to move in with parents, extended family, etc., then these unit sizes are tough to find today.
9. Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary
Cheapest condo within 1km: Kismis Court
Location: Toh Yi Road (District 21)
Developer: Win House Co. Pte. Ltd.
Number of units: 26
Avg. price psf: $641 psf
Pei Hwa Presbyterian is just 620 metres away from Kismis Court, or about a four-minute drive. However, note that the closest school is actually Bukit Timah Primary, at 370 metres; this is a five-minute walk from the condo.
Kismis Court benefits from recent upgrades in the Beauty World area; this is now an integrated transport hub, and a hotspot for retail, dining, and entertainment. It’s just a four-minute drive from Kismis Court. There is a Giant supermarket here.
King Albert Park (KAP) has faded away as a student/community hang-out; but it is just a six-minute drive, if the area still appeals to you.
Despite the strong location, Kismis Court is quite affordable. As of end-2020, units of 1,948 and 2,131 sq. ft. transacted at $1.218 million and $1.4 million respectively. This is within reach of most HDB upgraders.
However, the leasehold status, coupled with its age, could be off-putting to the more investment-inclined.
10. CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School
Cheapest condo within 1km: Far Horizon Gardens
Location: Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9 (District 20)
Developer: Allgreen Properties Pte. Ltd.
Number of units: 272
Avg. price psf: $842 psf
Note: Only postal codes 569758, 569765 are within 1KM.
CHIJ St. Nicholas falls just on the one-kilometre boundary line, and is around a nine-minute drive. However, the closest school is actually Anderson Primary at 340 metres, or a six-minute walk.
For those looking beyond Primary school, note that Anderson Serangoon Junior College is also nearby, at a five-minute drive.
Prices here have inched up slightly in recent years. This is largely due to the Thomson East Coast line, and the opening of Lentor MRT; the station is 420 metres, or around a 10-minute walk, from Far Horizon Gardens.
Nonetheless, the prices remain affordable for a District 20 condo. Most of the family-sized units (1,151 sq. ft.) transact at well below $1 million, with smaller, 1,292 sq. ft. units spotted as low as $930,000.
Price-wise, there are inevitable comparisons to The Calrose, which is much newer (completed 2008), and ranges from $3,500 to $4,500 psf, but is a freehold property. The Calrose is just 650 metres away from Far Horizon Gardens.
Take into account factors beyond enrolment distance
Do consider issues such as noise and traffic, which can rise substantially if you get too close to a school. If your children are walking, you should also consider safety factors, such as the number of busy road crossings involved.
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