Kent Ridge Hill Residences is the latest in a series of new project launches by Oxley Holdings. Oxley Holdings is currently the largest developer in Singapore in terms of unsold stock and land bank. They have been very aggressive in the Singapore real estate market.
Details about the development
Kent Ridge Hill Residences is a 99-year leasehold development by Oxley Holdings. The development sits on the site of the former Vista Park in South Bouna Vista Road. Back in December 2017, Oxley Holdings paid SGD$418 million for the 319,250 square foot site with a balance of about 60 years. The price paid is about $1,096 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) and includes a $72 million payable to the state to top up the lease of the site to a full 99 years. The residential site consisted of 209 units, including 22 townhouses and the owners will receive between $1.39 million to $4.18 million each depending on the size of their units. The collective sale tender was hotly contested with five closed bids. The reserve price was set at $323 million with a guide price of $350 million.
Where is the development located?
Kent Ridge Hill Residences is located along South Bouna Vista Road. If you are driving along West Coast Highway and coming from the city, you can turn in from Jalan Mat Jambol which is the road perpendicular to Pasir Panjang MRT Station. It is after Mapletree Business Centre and just before you get to Pasir Panjang Distripark. If you continue along West Coast Highway, you will reach the National University of Singapore (NUS).
According to Google Maps, Kent Ridge Hill Residences is located 700 metres from Pasir Panjang MRT Station and it will take you 9 minutes to walk there. This is generally still rather decent although it has to be stated that the walk is unsheltered so it may be challenging to walk when it is raining heavily.
Pasir Panjang MRT Station, being on the Circle Line, does offer great connectivity. If I have one gripe about the Circle Line it is that you usually have to make a few changes to other lines to get to Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD) or places in town like Orchard Road.
If you are travelling from Pasir Panjang MRT Station to Raffles Place MRT Station, it will take you 13 minutes over 6 stations. It will cost you $1.29. You will have to make a transfer to the North-East Line and again to the East-West Line to reach Raffles Place MRT Station.
If you are travelling from Pasir Panjang MRT Station to Orchard MRT Station, it will take you 18 minutes over 9 stations. It will cost you $1.37. You will have to make a transfer to the North-East Line and again to the North-South Line to reach Raffles Place MRT Station.
If you are travelling to Harbourfront MRT Station, it will take a mere 3 stations and 6 minutes to get there from Pasir Panjang MRT Station. It will cost you $0.87.
If you are driving to Raffles Place, it will take you about 15 minutes and the distance travelled is 8.6 kilometres. My Google Maps enquiry was done on a weekend and thus during weekday peak hours, this time could be increased significantly.
Driving to Orchard Road will take 17 minutes and the distance travelled is 8.2 kilometres.
Kent Ridge Hill Residences is right next to Kent Ridge Park and Hortpark. There are no major malls in the vicinity of the development. Residents’ best option would be to travel to Vivocity or Harbourfront Centre which is not too far away. The food and shopping options are extremely adequate there.
The selling points of the development
To me, one of the main selling points would be the proximity to Kent Ridge Park. In an ever increasingly built up Singapore, to live close to such greenery is special. The surrounding is not densely built up like many areas. Moreover, the development is tucked away in a private property enclave which makes it a nice place to live.
The next selling point would be relatively decent location. As a place to purchase for your own stay, the development is still relatively near an MRT station despite being in a private property enclave. There are many such condominiums located deep within a landed property enclave where walking to a nearby MRT station is difficult. The properties along the main West Coast Highway may face issues with regards to noise and this having a development tucked away yet walking distance to the MRT Station and the main road may be a good thing.
Possible bad points about the development
If you are looking for a property to purchase for the purpose of rental yield then this development may face stiff competition from those that are located right next to Pasir Panjang MRT Station, namely Bijou by Far East Organisation. Kent Ridge Hill Residences is not the nearest condominium from Pasir Panjang MRT Station and if you are looking to purchase the property to lease it out, you must be wary of the current and upcoming competition. However, as I mentioned previously, this property seems more attractive as a property to live in rather than to rent out.
Also, developments like Bijou are freehold whereas Kent Ridge Hill Residences is sitting on a 99-year lease. This may not be an issue now but perhaps down the road as the property ages, the issue of leases running low may surface.
My thoughts about the development
Comparisons are bound to happen when there are competing developments in the area. There are a number of freehold developments around the area and these developments are located closer to Pasir Panjang MRT Station.
I will first focus my comparison to the cluster of condominiums that is located just before Pasir Panjang MRT Station if you are coming from NUS. Namely, these condominiums are Banyan Condominium, Mendon Spring, Park View Park, and Landridge Condominium. There were 10 transactions in the last 1 year with a median price of $1,200 per square foot. When you factor in the estimated selling price of about $1,700 per square foot for Kent Ridge Hill Residences, this represents an estimated 40 per cent premium over the resale market.
The rental prices in this area are relatively strong. A 2-bedroom condominium goes for about $2,800 per month with some units hitting as high as $3,300 a month. It must be pointed out that these developments are older but they are larger in size as compared to Kent Ridge Hill Residences. If you take $2,800 per month as the estimated rent per month and $800,000 as the estimated purchase price for a 2 bedroom unit, then the gross yield works out to be about 4.2 per cent. Investors do have to also account for the fact that Kent Ridge Hill Residences is located within the landed property enclave and thus a little less accessible than properties located along the main road.
A comparison which we should also make is with Bijou by Far East Organisation. Bijou is freehold and is located right next to Pasir Panjang. Transacted prices in the last 12 months are hovering from $1,709 per square foot to $2,175 per square foot. If prices for Kent Ridge Hill Residences do rival the prices at Bijou, I personally feel that the pricing may be a tad too high.
I do think that there will be a lot of competition for rent in this area especially with Bijou and Kent Ridge Hill Residences coming up. This may put pressure on rents and Kent Ridge Hill Residences may seem the least attractive to tenants if they are looking for condominiums near to Pasir Panjang MRT Station. There are many choices closer to the MRT Station. I feel that this development is something that buyers can look at for their own stay. To live near such a large park is rather different in Singapore. Moreover, the proximity to Vivocity and Harbourfront as well as the relative ease to travel to the CBD does make this condominium a decent proposition for buyers looking for a condominium for their own stay in the area.
Kent Ridge Hill Residences
I do find it rather expensive to pay in excess of $1,700 per square foot for a 99-year leasehold development in this area when the resale market is going for prices much lower and yet the properties are freehold. If you look at the quantum of the units then I guess you can say that they are affordable. The main reason developers can charge such high per square foot prices is due to the fact that they keep the unit sizes small. This is what URA is trying to curb with the latest cut in the number of units allowed to be built in condominiums.
Pasir Panjang MRT Station is a very centrally located MRT Station on the Circle Line. It is very well connected to Harbourfront and Raffles Place MRT Stations. If Kent Ridge Hill Residences were closer to the MRT Station it would be a little more ideal. However, the draw is the fact that it is close to Kent Ridge Park and in a less densely built-up area.
If the developer delivers on the renders provided then this will be a very nice place to live. They look very good with all the lush greenery. I do wonder how Oxley Holdings can handle so many developments at one go but hopefully, they do make good on delivering quality developments to buyers of all their products. They are very experienced as they have a large portfolio built up over the years. Delivering the condominium should not be an issue and hopefully, the quality of the developments will be high.
p.s. Disclaimer: I am a licensed real estate salesperson at the point of writing this review. My real estate agency is the marketing agency for Kent Ridge Hill Residences. Buyers can approach me to purchase Kent Ridge Hill Residences and I will earn a commission from the developer. My reason for writing this review is to share my personal view about the developments not as a real estate salesperson but in the neutral context of a buyer and hopefully share some insight to help buyers make a more informed buying decision.
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