Advice Is Concourse Skyline, 76 Shenton Or The Rochester A Better Option Considering A $2 Million Budget?
- February 25, 2022
- 13 min read
Thanks for entertaining our queries! We have a budget of about $2 million, and more important than bedrooms (1-3 is fine) is that we would like to have at least 2 toilets. Haha… my wife is quite careful and always concerned about rare emergencies like 2 of us having food poisoning.
We’re quite interested in:
- Concourse Skyline (for Nicoll Highway area),
- 76 Shenton (for Tanjong Pagar area) due to the good views and finally,
- The Rochester (not CCR, but higher floors can have good views)
We’re wondering whether these developments will likely continue to appreciate. Our main concern will be to exit without major losses, in case something happens and we have to let go sooner (e.g. after 3 years) than we expect.
I think what we really don’t know as well are things like the viability of the condo for an exit strategy, although this is more for our own stay and we do foresee staying for longer than 5-6 years. We did think of the sail, but I see that there are quite a bit of unprofitable transactions.
Thank you for writing to us and thanks for sharing in detail your intended purchase and criteria.
It’s quite a pickle you are in as all three developments are located in different locations and have quite different characteristics as well.
To break it down, Concourse Skyline is located in District 7 which is in close proximity to the CBD while 76 Shenton is located in District 2 which is in the prime CBD area, and The Rochester is in District 5 which is considered under the RCR district.
Ultimately, it will boil down to a combination of price and convenience, but for the sake of comparison let’s go through the 3 options below:
With only 360 units, Concourse Skyline is a leasehold development located close to the CBD. Concourse Skyline offers great convenience to amenities and plenty of food options in the Beach Road and Kampong Glam vicinity. Connectivity-wise, it is within walking distance to the Nicoll Highway MRT station and if you drive, it is located along major roads and within close access to Nicoll Highway located at the rear of the development.
For a city development, Concourse Skyline does provide decent facilities for the number of units, and the swimming pool is quite private. The development is designed with North-South orientation with most stacks enjoying panoramic city skyline views. However, it comes with a slight compromise of the road noise for both north and south-facing units. It does also suffer from a bit of an identity crisis, as although launched as a premium project, the grounds and finishing doesn’t quite feel as luxurious as you might think.
With a budget of $2 million, you will be looking at a large 1 bedroom or a 1 bedroom + study unit which comes with 2 bathrooms. Of course, the deviation of the price will also depend on the unit condition, unit facing, and floor the unit is located in. From the graph below, we can see that price has stagnated in the past decade. This is likely due to its high quantum for similar unit types plus factoring in competition from newer developments in the vicinity (Duo Residences & City Gate) with attractive entry prices when they were launched.
In the resale market, though Concourse Skyline has a lower PSF$ for a 1 bedroom unit in terms of overall quantum, it comes with a premium asking price due to its large unit size of a similar unit mix. With a high entry price for a similar unit mix (1 bedroom), chances of another uptick in appreciation may be tough as there will be more competitions added into the area, coming from neighbouring developments, namely, The M, Midtown Modern, and Midtown Bay.
On another note, there aren’t any schools located within a 1 km range from Concourse Skyline. Comes 2023, Stamford Primary School is slated to merge over at Farrer Park Primary site. Hence future buyers especially family profiles may look at other resale options if proximity to schools is one of their main criteria.
- Proximity to the CBD
- Convenience to amenities and great road connectivity
- Panoramic city skyline view for certain stacks.
- High quantum for the smaller unit mix.
- Lack primary schools within the 1 km radius, Stamford Primary School will merge with Farrer Park primary from 2023 onwards
At 1,173 sqft, the 1 bedroom + study layout is large for a 1 bedroom + study unit type. The layout is squarish and quite well laid out. The unit opens to a small foyer area that provides some privacy which you don’t normally get for a 1 bedroom unit. It also comes with an in-unit household shelter which is good for storage, but the location makes it quite inflexible. It also comes with a good size study room which could potentially be converted into a second bedroom, a study nook, or a bigger living space.
Another good point – you do also have a spacious master bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe, definitely, a rarity for a 1 bedroom unit type.
On a less positive note, we are also not a fan of the bay windows and planters which takes up needless space. Despite the size as well, there is no yard area for laundry. The balcony would likely be used to hang clothes which takes up precious space considering this is where the views should be enjoyed
76 Shenton is a small plot development with only 202 units. It is located in the CBD district, it offers great convenience to amenities, and it is within walking distance to Tanjong Pagar MRT station and also to the upcoming CCL Prince Edward Station. Most stacks enjoy a panoramic sea view and the CBD vicinity. Do be mindful that, the area tends to be noisy with construction noise and dust added with the expressway road noise nearby. For a budget of $2 million, you could potentially purchase a decent-sized 2 bedroom unit in 76 Shenton.
As the whole development is only made up of small unit types, (1 & 2 bedders) we deem 76 Shenton as a rental project with mostly investor profile than family own stay.
We can see that price has remained stagnant in the past few years. More commonly than not, you’ll find that projects geared towards rental will have investors that have less incentive to hold out for a good price.
This is because if they’ve made their money from rent, they are more inclined to let go of their property – even at a loss if they have identified better opportunities elsewhere. This can be backed with a quick search on Property Guru, a total of 60 active listings (including duplicates) is currently being marketed for 76 Shenton. As such, many are trying to exit but may find it hard to find buyers especially since there are a few new launches that have been launched nearby and a few en-bloc redevelopment sites slated to launch sometime this year.
On another note, there aren’t many schools located within a 1 km range from 76 Shenton. Hence future buyers especially family profiles may look at other resale options if proximity to schools is one of their main criteria. That being said, only Cantonment Primary is within the 1 km range from 76 Shenton.
- Within CBD
- Convenience to amenities and great road connectivity
- Panoramic sea view and City Skyline for most stacks.
- Decent quantum for a proper 2 bedder unit.
- Only 1 Primary school within 1 km range, Cantonment Primary School.
- Competition from neighbouring developments.
At 980 sqft, the 2 bedder unit is decent in size compared to newly launched units today. It opens to a small foyer area that provides some degree of privacy. Beyond that, the unit opens up to a wide living area, with sea view frontage within sight. The unit offers spacious living, dining, and an enclosed kitchen area with a decent cabinet space area.
Another good point – both bathrooms come with ventilation windows which is good for natural ventilation. Overall, you do get a spacious-sized bedroom with a dedicated wardrobe space in the master bedroom. Although it must be said, the odd shape in the master bedroom may not be to everyone’s liking.
And while the bedroom looks spacious, the bay windows are an inefficient add-on that most buyers today will shun. Similarly, the unit lacks a yard area for laundry – a downside, especially for a large 2 bedroom unit. You will have to rely on a dryer due to the lack of a balcony here.
The Rochester is a 99-year leasehold development that was built in 2011. With only 334 units, it offers decent and relatively well-maintained facilities. Location wise, it is located with great convenience to amenities right across the street and the dual-line Buona Vista MRT station. Price-wise, we can see from the graph attached that prices have stagnated in recent years, and any further appreciation will largely depend on the overall market sentiments or newer additions to the area. This will come in the form of One-North Eden and 2 upcoming developments along Slim Barrack Rise that could be a positive point when it comes to a future exit.
Similarly, there aren’t many schools located within a 1 km range from The Rochester, only Fairfield Methodist Primary School is within the 1 km range.
- Convenience to amenities and MRT station
- Relatively well-maintained despite being a 10 year old development
- Decent quantum for a good-sized 2 bedroom unit
- Furthest away from the CBD among the 3 developments.
- Upcoming competition from neighbouring new developments.
- Only 1 Primary school within 1 km range – Cantonment Primary School.
At 1,302 sqft, the 2 bedroom unit may be spacious on paper but a lot of space is taken up by the balcony. This will be good for those who enjoy the outdoor space more, but not many people will need such a long balcony.
The unit opens to a long irregular living and dining area. The kitchen area extends out to the dining area, which makes an open layout plan with the capability of dry kitchen space and a yard area for laundry.
Another point worth highlighting – both bathrooms come with ventilation windows which are good for natural ventilation. Overall, you do get good-sized bedrooms with a dedicated wardrobe space in the master bedroom. Additionally, both bedrooms get direct access to the balcony; thus it allows light to enter the unit and allows for natural ventilation.
On a less positive note, the living and dining area is less favourable with an odd shape size. Plus, the store tucked at the entrance foyer is on the smaller side. For a unit this size, a larger store would’ve been more helpful.
As always the additional planter box is more of a negative than it is a positive here, with already such a long balcony.
Overall, all three developments are very different in terms of their location based on the budget of $2 million. You should finally be mindful that all three developments are leasehold developments, which may face competition from newer developments when it comes to future exit.
The Rochester would be our top pick for a relatively well-maintained and decent development when it comes to liveability. It’s located right across the street to The Star Vista for amenities and great MRT connectivity with the dual-line Buona Vista MRT station. It offers a good unit mix of 1-4 bedroom units, hence, caters to both investors and own-stay profiles. Road connectivity wise, it is an easily accessible drive to the CBD via AYE, though located furthest away among the three. The Rochester will likely remain attractive, especially for its convenience to amenities and the MRT station.
There is also further upside with the upcoming Rochester Commons that will feature a Grade A office tower, a hotel, 12 black-and-white heritage bungalows, and Catapult – an executive learning centre. With the number of tech firms set up in the area, the rental will be an attractive proposition here in the upcoming years.
Concourse Skyline is for one that values panoramic city landscape, located close to the CBD, within walking distance to amenities, a few food options, and an MRT station. It is also the most pricey option, and with the budget, you have in mind, it is still a 1 bedroom or 1 bedroom + study unit after all. While comfortable enough for a pair, if you are planning on having children, this may be a real downside in terms of it being future-proof. It may also cater to a smaller group of buyers when it comes to a future exit. While the area does represent a lot of transformation in the future, the newer developments (and even the current ones) may already have upstaged the Concourse Skyline for what it offers.
76 Shenton for one that likes the panoramic sea view and convenience to the CBD, amenities, and direct access to a future MRT station. It’s the best among the 3 in terms of layout for a decent-sized 2 bedroom unit, although construction and road noise would be an issue here.
There is also further upside to the area as the government strives to make the CBD a more inclusive live/work/play lifestyle, and could have better liveability options in the future. Despite WFH being a reality for many for the past 2 years, if you are likely to have to return to the CBD to work this could still be the most realistic choice.
Finally, just note that with the latest cooling measure that affects the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) with a lower loan quantum-based 55% monthly income threshold, a 2 bedroom unit will be more future proof as compared to a 1 bedroom or 1 bedroom + study unit, especially for a budget size of $2 million.
Thank you and we hope that the above pointers would help you in making your decision.
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