Advice Symphony Suites, Skies Miltonia, Or Signature At Yishun: Which 3-Bedroom Is Better For A 5-10 Year Horizon Exit?
- June 24, 2022
- 15 min read
I am currently considering a 3 bedroom unit at symphony suite, skies miltonia, and signature at Yishun. May I know what are your views of these projects if I’m looking at a property that can exit in 5 to 10 years time, which project may be a better choice?
Thank you for writing to us and sharing about your intended purchase. Since there is less detail here, we will just be sharing an overview comparison of the 3 projects.
For buyers reading this, do note that every piece of advice given can differ from person to person. From the holding period to the reason for buying (investment, own stay, or both), every circumstance can result in a different desired outcome.
In this case, we will assume that this is for an own-stay purchase (because of the 3-bedroom unit).
For the sake of those who are unaware, these 3 developments are all located in Yishun although Symphony Suites is quite a distance away from Skies Miltonia and Signature at Yishun.
Symphony Suites is an as good as new development that was completed in 2019. With a good range of facilities including four swimming pools, a lawn area, a tennis court, and a half basketball court. This makes it great for family profiles. With 660 units here, it is considered to be in the upper range of a mid-sized condo which is a good size for the right blend of facilities and affordable monthly maintenance fees.
As you can probably tell by the name, it does have a musical theme running through the development, with a Violin by the pool and musical notes forming a design pattern on some of the walls. It certainly won’t be for everyone’s tastes, but it’s not a dealbreaker either for sure.
We do also like the modern design here with its seamless glass facade but on another less positive note, the units here lack a balcony area. So while it maximises the internal space area fully with its efficient dumbbell unit layouts, the lack of a balcony may be a downside if you are one that values some outdoor space.
Location-wise, it is not within daily walkable distance from Yishun MRT station and major amenities where a feeder bus is needed to connect the development to Yishun Central. However, it is within walking distance to Junction 9 for basic amenities including supermarkets and eateries. For road connectivity, Yishun Avenue 8 is located right behind the development, with an easy connection to major expressways (CTE, TPE & SLE).
Over the years, the development has seen a gradual price increase and with the recent launch of North Gaia EC, it is seeing a higher resale transaction volume. Currently, it is transacting at $1,1xx psf on average with 28 units transacted to date. Due to its small unit size with the smallest three bedder sized at just 786 sq ft (incredible); overall it offers an attractive quantum for a proper three bedder.
Most of the three bedder stacks here are inner facing with a view of the development’s facilities but we are wary of the outer North facing stacks as it faces the neighbouring construction noise and dust with views potentially blocked by the upcoming development, North Gaia EC. Stacks closer to the slip road of Yishun Close may also be affected by the construction of Yishun Boardwalk BTO, located right across the canal.
There are a few layouts for the three bedder stacks but in this case, we will use the most common layout. At just 786 sq ft, it is undeniably small for a three bedder unit size but to be fair, it is an efficient layout (in a way, it has to be given how little space you have). With the dumbbell layout and the lack of balcony area, it offers efficiency and maximises the internal area fully (it helps that there isn’t a balcony). The main entrance opens to a small foyer area and depending on the stacks, you could get either the open kitchen layout with a decent length of countertop space or in this case an enclosed kitchen with a window panel by the suggested washer space.
With the horizontal unit layout with a few window panel panes, it allows a good amount of natural light into the unit. We do like the living and dining layout which allows for a 3 seater sofa at max and a 6 seater dining option (although you very likely will be limited by the size of the tables and chairs). Lastly, all bedrooms and both bathrooms and kitchen come with windows which is great for natural ventilation. All in all, despite the small unit size, we must say that the space is well planned with every corner fully utilised.
Now on the downsides, as the three bedder targets family’s own stay profiles, the kitchen area is on the small side, we can see that the washer area is pretty limited with the suggested fridge area right next to it. Additionally, with the lack of a proper yard area and/or balcony, drying your laundry may be an issue here unless you are the type that uses the dryer for everything.
We would say though that while the floor plan does look like it is a conceivable space, most furniture sizes would definitely make the space look small, and for more than 5 people to live here, you will definitely feel the size constraints.
Skies Miltonia is located among the Miltonia close cluster, which is on the deeper and quieter enclave of Yishun. Skies Miltonia offers a decent range of facilities considering it is a mid-sized development with only 420 units. We do like that the development comes with its own Minimart if you do need a quick grocery run.
It is also within walking distance to nearby HDB blocks for coffee shops and basic amenities. Accessibility-wise, drivers can connect to the CTE via Yishun Avenue 1 easily. There are also shuttle bus services provided; connecting residents to both Khatib and Yishun MRT stations more conveniently. This is a great initiative especially for its location; as it is definitely not within walking distance of the MRT station.
Price-wise, it is currently seeing a slight uptrend in recent months with its current average standing at $1,0xx psf. For a slightly above $1m quantum, you could get a decent size three bedder unit here.
In addition, it is seeing an uptick in terms of resale transaction volume in recent years, with 19 resales transacted thus far this year and 43 transactions for the whole of last year; this indicates healthy demand in the resale market despite its location. Although it’s worth noting that Skies Miltonia was launched during the uptrend of the property market back in 2012/2013 hence the flattish trend to date.
At 969 sq ft, it is a decent-sized unit, the internal layout is fairly efficient and is a functional layout, especially for families. We do like the small foyer area that provides some privacy as you enter the unit. There is a good-sized enclosed kitchen area with decent countertop space on both sides of the area. The unit also comes with an in-unit household shelter which could be used for storage or pantry area, but for the family types that would be staying here, this would more likely be used as a room for your helper (although the door entrance is less ideal here).
The dining and living area is decent in size while the bedrooms here are of different sizes with one of the common bedrooms smaller than the other as it can only fit a single bed. You do have a good-sized master bedroom that could accommodate a king-size bed and an attached balcony. There is also the luxury of a semi-walk-in wardrobe so storage is a little more than usual. Both bathrooms and the kitchen area also come with windows which is great for natural ventilation.
However, the unit comes with a double and irregular balcony space which may be deemed inefficient for some – but in this case, with the views, it is a plus point here.
Signature at Yishun (Newly MOP EC)
Signature at Yishun is a newly MOP EC that is very closely located to Skies Miltonia. It comprises 11 towers that stand 12 storeys tall with a total of 525 units. Its design takes reference to Singapore’s rich heritage as it was launched during SG50), and is a uniquely designed development as a whole (there’s a pineapple monogram referencing Yishun’s past as a pineapple plantation and a huge sepak takraw ball as a pavilion). Additionally, facilities range such as a huge children’s pool with slides, a nicely designed playground, a games room, and a play deck; we can conclude it definitely caters very well to families.
Location-wise; it is located away from MRT access where a feeder bus connection is needed. In terms of amenities, while it is away from major retail options, the development is located right across the street from Arcadia Breeze BTO for basic shops and coffee shops. Alternatively, more options can be found right next door in Seraca Breeze BTO. You could also walk to Wisteria Mall, where there are surprising options to be found such as a FairPrice Finest, and famous fast food joints like KFC, Coffeebean and Long John’s Silver.
For drivers, there are two options for connection to major expressways via Yishun Avenue 1 or Lentor Avenue.
Price-wise, it has risen well over the years while it just hits MOP recently, there are a few resale transacted recently with prices inching up the $1,0xx psf mark, which is honestly decent for a 5-years old development. Most of the three bedder stacks are inner facing with a view of the development’s facilities while premium stacks face the scenic Lower Seletar reservoir, although at the expense of direct west sun, hence it is a compromise for the view.
At 947 sq ft, it is an efficient and safe layout for families. The main door opens straight to the dining area though it faces a wall. A storage cabinet could potentially be added along the entrance wall since there is ample space in the living and dining area which could fit in a good-sized sofa and 6-seater dining set. We do like the good-sized kitchen layout with a U-shape cabinet where there is a decent countertop and storage space. With a transparent glass panel, it allows natural light into the space, and parents with young children could watch their children over in the dining/living area while they cook. We do also like the neatly tucked DB/Storage cabinet located along the bedroom hallway.
Similarly, all bedrooms are decent in size and the master bedroom is relatively spacious and could potentially fit in a king-size bed frame too. Lastly, both the bathroom and kitchen area comes with a ventilation window panel which is great for natural ventilation. All in all, this is a great layout for families besides the fact that you don’t have a yard or utility area here.
On another note, because the unit lacks a proper yard area for laundry, the balcony area has to double up as a drying area as well as an outdoor space.
A few weeks back, in our previous advice segment, we covered some of the district’s future potential. Since all three developments are located in the same estate, they will benefit from the upcoming developments that we will share below.
HDB upgraders demand
As many of us are aware, Yishun estate as a whole has seen quite a number of BTO launches in the last 10 years and there are many more BTO projects planned over at the Miltonia cluster recently URA has released plans to develop a whole new Simpang estate, located on the Northern side of Yishun.
With all the upcoming developments, there are chances of upgrader demand coming from potential buyers that prefer to stay in the same estate or nearby. Hence, all three developments stand to benefit and will likely see an uptick in terms of pricing and resale volume from the upgrader’s demand in the future.
On another note, Miltonia Residences will be affected most by the inconvenience of construction noise and dust where the area has mostly enjoyed tranquillity and quietness for the longest time.
This is similar to what is being faced over at Symphony Suites with the construction of both BTO and EC development in its close proximity. Hence, this is something to look at especially since you are purchasing it for your own stay unit and have young kids (it is annoying to have their sleep disrupted).
A NEW RAIL LINE ON THE CARDS
We understand that you are only looking at a 5-10 years horizon but just to share; back in 2019, the LTA has announced a feasibility study to assess whether a new rail line should be built to supplement transport options in the north and northeast regions and connect these regions to the south.
This line would connect the upcoming Woodlands North Coast residential development to the Greater Southern Waterfront, which takes over the site of the Pasir Panjang and City port terminals, possibly serving residents in Sembawang, Sengkang, Serangoon North, Whampoa, and Kallang along the way.
If the new line gets the go-ahead, there is a chance it could be operational as soon as 2040.
Measuring roughly 30 km, it would also bring the total length of the rail network here close to 400 km by the time it is completed.
LTA will assess the demand, station locations, and implementation timeline of the line, as well as whether it will be feasible for it to pass through the main Yishun Avenue 1/8 and the Lower Seletar Reservoir.
If it materialises with a possible station nearby, developments such as Symphony Suites and Skies Miltonia will benefit from it.
The new line will improve public transport connectivity for the cluster, which is in great need of one. This indirectly gives a price boost to the area in years to come and it works well since you are looking to exit beyond 2030 during the construction phase of the new line.
All in all; given the options, Signature at Yishun will be the better pick as prices are relatively decent for an efficient and squarish unit layout that is suitable for family profiles. As it just hit the 5 years MOP mark though, there will be more owners trying to exit and take advantage of the uptrend market. As Singapore’s property market is very transparent where owners could just find out transaction data with just one click; current owners will likely market their unit based on the most recent transaction and benchmark their asking prices accordingly.
With the recent EC launch, North Gaia, at an average pricing of $1,300 psf; it sets a new benchmark for the district as a whole. This indirectly brings in a positive impact on the resale price in the vicinity/district as future buyers will likely compare the resale options available. In recent months, we are already seeing an increase in prices for Symphony Suites added with a higher transaction volume. (28 thus far this year as compared to 43 for the whole of last year and only 6 transacted in the year 2020). On the contrary, units here are on the smaller side, so in reality, you will face a niche audience for such a small-sized 3-bedroom unit. The quantum here is honestly attractive though so you may enjoy some appreciation here with all the new developments coming up in the district. However, the proximity to construction surrounding the developments is something to ponder upon. Do not discount these disruptions to your lifestyle given how close the construction is to Symphony Suites.
Skies Miltonia may be a better bet if you are looking for something less dense. It does have a smaller community plus the bonus of a scenic view of Lower Seletar Reservoir for the three bedder stacks with the lower plot ratio of The Shaughnessy and The Miltonia Residences located right across the street. The great views of Skies Miltonia will remain attractive among buyers that prefer the quieter side of Yishun. That said, we would also proceed with caution as with the developments in the area, there will be a lot of construction in the next few years. Construction noise can be seriously annoying, and over an extended period of 3 to 4 years can really make or break your living environment as well.
Hence, we do foresee all three developments value to hold up in the future as they still represent one of the cheaper options comparing it to the future price of North Gaia once it hits MOP. Though it must be said, at that point you have to consider that all three developments may lose out in terms of their land tenure and older facilities; as it will be an older resale after all.
With this, we hope that this will be useful in your decision-making.
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