It has been a rather long time since an executive condominium (EC) came onto the market. Past projects like Hundred Palms Residences along Yio Chu Kang Road and Rivercove Residences achieved very good sales when launched. In 2018, nearly 80 per cent of the 628 units at Rivercove Residences were sold at an average price of SGD$965 per square foot (psf) and all 531 units at Hundred Palms Residences were sold within seven hours of the start of booking 22nd July 2017. As there are very few executive condominiums in recent times, Piermont Grand is slated to be one of the most eagerly anticipated new project launches of 2019.
Details about the development
Piermont Grand is a 99-year leasehold condominium located along Sumang Walk. It is developed by City Developments Limited (CDL). In February 2018, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) received a joint top bid of SGD509.37 million from CDL Constellation and TID Residential. This worked out to be SGD$583 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). This is a record bid for an executive condominium plot. This was 64 per cent higher than the top bid for the previous EC tender at Anchorvale Lane which was SGD$355 psf ppr. The site area of Piermont Grand is 27,056.4 square meters and there is expected to be 820 units in the development. Units at this development are expected to cross SGD$1,000 psf.
Where is the development located?
Piermont Grand is located two bus stops away from Punggol MRT Station and Waterway Shopping Centre. According to Google Maps, it will take 11 minutes to walk to Waterway Point and the distance covered is 11 minutes.
There are two other options to get to Waterway Point. Taking a bus would take 8 minutes and taking the LRT would take 17 minutes.
If you are travelling from Punggol MRT Station to Raffles Place MRT Station it will take 27 minutes and cost $1.63. You will need to make a change at Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station to get from the North-East Line (NEL) to the North-South Line.
If you are travelling from Punggol MRT Station to Orchard MRT Station it will take 25 minutes and cost $1.63. You will need to make a change at Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station to get from the North-East Line (NEL) to the North-South Line or you can make two changes at Serangoon and Bishan MRT Stations to get onto the North-South Line.
If you are travelling from Punggol MRT Station to Harbourfront MRT Station it will take 33 minutes and cost $1.75. Both stations are on the same MRT line.
The drive to Raffles Place will take about 25 minutes. The distance travelled is about 21.7 kilometres. The optimal route would be the KPE. Do note that I did the Google Maps search at about 2 pm on a weekday afternoon. Peak hour traffic should add quite some travel time.
The drive to Orchard Road would take about 24 minutes and the distance travelled is approximately 19.3 kilometres.
The selling points of the development
To me, the main selling point about this development would be the developer. It is often understated but having a good, reputable developer does mean that the developments quality and layout and finishes should be much better. I do think that CDL is one of the best developers to buy a condominium from. Do note that executive condominiums will eventually obtain full condominium status thus we should judge them as private condominiums in terms of their quality and finishes.
The next selling point would be its proximity to Punggol MRT Station. The closest condominium to Punggol MRT Station is Watertown and next would be A Treasure Trove. Thus this would seem to be the only two competitors to benchmark against. Units at Watertown are asking in excess of $1,300 psf and in some cases more than $1,500 psf. Thus this could be something to benchmark against.
There will be units facing the Punggol Waterway which would be rather desirable. If home buyers and tenants are looking for properties facing the Punggol Waterway, then Watertown and Piermont Grand are the two options. A Treasure Trove would be out of the picture as it does not face the Punggol Waterway.
Possible bad points about the development
Although the pricing is yet to be released, word has it that it would cross $1,000 psf which would make it a first for an EC. Buyers should take a longer-term view of property investment in the current property climate. The developer bid a record price for this plot of EC land and this will be reflected in the selling price of the respective units. A mitigating point would be the fact that this is a CDL development and thus buyers are paying for quality development.
My thoughts about the development
This EC will not be cheap and buyers will have to recognise that. The large profits that owners of previous ECs obtained when selling their properties after the minimum occupation period (MOP) is unlikely to occur at Piermont Grand. In today’s slowing property market, I have often advocated taking a longer-term approach to property investing. Gone are the days whereby a buyer could purchase a unit during launch and sell it in 3 to 4 years at a healthy profit. This is perhaps why the proposition of purchasing an EC may seem viable. The MOP requires buyers to reside in their unit for a period of 5 years before they can sell it. In my personal opinion, buyers of typical private condominiums will not be able to see profits within 5 years. I have commented on this matter and did a video about this. You can find the video here:
I would think that profits may be possible if buyers hold a property for closer to a decade. Considering that it would take CDL approximately 3 years to complete the development and the homeowners have to fulfil a MOP of 5 years after that, that would be a period of at least 8 years before selling the property. In 8 years the property market should have hopefully picked up and property values of Piermont Grand would have a higher chance of appreciating substantially enough to warrant selling at a profit.
That being said, I do think that unit selection is vital. Units with waterfront facing are likely to be in hot demand. Buyers should target such units as having a waterfront condominium is rare in built up Singapore.
As a benchmark, units at A Treasure Trove are in the range of just above $1,100 psf. The highest transacted psf is $1,283 psf. These are recorded transactions after July 2018, when the government implemented the latest round of cooling measures.
Pricing (yet to be confirmed)
At the point of writing this review, the pricing has yet to be released.
While it is close to Punggol MRT Station, it is still about an 11-minute walk away. Competition should come from Watertown and A Treasure Trove which are nearer to Punggol MRT Station. However, Piermont Grand will face the Punggol Waterway and for those who would like something a little less congested and yet facing Punggol Waterway, Piermont Grand fits the bill. Of course, you would have to be eligible to purchase an EC to purchase Piermont Grand.
I have constantly been raving about CDL’s developments. I do think that this is one of the best developers you can purchase a condominium unit from. Do note that there are instances of developers not completing their developments on time or workmanship has been so bad that the authorities have had to penalise them. I do understand that price is a primary factor when deciding whether to purchase a development at a new project launch but a developer’s reputation and track record has to come in as one of the very top criteria as well. Having a well thought out development with quality finishings and ample facilities would make a development more desirable for future buyers in the resale market.
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 Piermont Grand. Buyers can approach me to purchase Piermont Grand 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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