This is a new project launch which I have been anticipating since the last quarter of 2018. It is located in an area where I feel that there is insufficient interest despite the fact that it is very centrally located.
Details about the development
Uptown @ Farrer is a 99-year leasehold development developed by Low Keng Huat (Singapore) Limited. The developer had won the site with a top bid of SGD$174.08 million during a tender exercise for the plot of land as part of the Confirmed List of the Government Land Sales programme in January 2017. There were 11 bids in total, surpassing the 7 to 10 bids that consultants were expecting. The tendered sale price of SGD$174.08 million also translates to a very bullish SGD$1,000.72 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), also surpassing some consultants’ expectations of bidding to be around SGD$800 to SGD$850 psf ppr. The site is located along Perumal Road which is just next to Farrer Park MRT Station and just opposite the current City Square Mall and Farrer Park Hospital.
The development, Uptown @ Farrer will be a mixed-development with a single 21-storey residential tower with 116 units and there will be 7 retail units on the ground level. Next to the residential tower will be an integrated 18-storey tower with 240 units serviced by Ascott named Iyf Farrer Park Singapore. Iyf Farrer Park Singapore will include co-living features such as social kitchen and a lobby that can be converted into spaces for events, meetings and a cafe-reception counter.
The residential portion of the development will be Uptown @ Farrer. The 21-storey development will start from the 4th storey. The 1st storey will be the car park and retail outlets and the 2nd and 3rd storey will be solely car parks. The development features compact 2-bedrooms (516, 527 and 538 square feet), compact 3-bedrooms (700 square feet), compact 3-bedrooms with loft (732, 764, 829, 861, 1001, 1184, 1292 square feet), compact 3-bedrooms with private enclosed space (926 square feet), compact 4-bedrooms dual key (1033 square feet), 4-bedroom (1410 square feet), 4-bedroom with private enclosed space (1550, 1927 square feet), 4+1 bedroom (1647 square feet), 4-bedroom duplex (1830 square feet) and 5-bedroom duplex (2271 square feet).
Where is the development located?
Uptown @ Farrer is located along Perumal Road. It is just opposite City Square Mall and if you come out from Exit G of Farrer Park MRT Station, it will take you about a minute to get to the condominium. This is perhaps the closest condominium to Farrer Park MRT Station.
Here is a video of the walk. This is perhaps as close as one can get to Farrer Park MRT Station.
Farrer Park MRT Station is located just at the city fringe. If you are travelling to Raffles Place MRT Station, it will take you 8 minutes and cost you $0.93. You will need to make a change at Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station.
If you are travelling to Orchard MRT Station, it will take you 6 minutes and cost you $0.93. You can make a change at Little India MRT Station of Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station.
If you are travelling to Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station, it will take you 4 minutes and cost you $0.83.
If you are travelling to Chinatown MRT Station, it will take you 8 minutes and cost you $0.93.
If you are driving, it will take you 11 minutes to get to Raffles Place and the distance travelled will be 7 kilometres.
It will also take you 11 minutes to drive to Orchard Road and the distance travelled will be 5 kilometres.
The selling points of the development
The main selling point would be the proximity to Farrer Park MRT Station. This is perhaps one of the most important factors when looking for a good property in Singapore. This is especially true for those who are looking to purchase a property to rent. Tenants value convenience and I have always stressed the fact that even during periods of weak rental demand, properties near the city fringe, next to an MRT station will still see demand. Low rent is still better than no rent and this is perhaps what many landlords are facing in today’s increasingly challenging rental market. The fact that it takes a mere minute to get to Farrer Park MRT Station from the development and it takes 8 minutes to get to Raffles Place MRT Station means that residents at Uptown @ Farrer should be about to get to the Central Business District in perhaps 10 to 15 minutes depending on the waiting time for the train.
I do like developments along the North-East Line (NEL). I do think that the NEL offers a very direct line to the city centre. I would expect residents of Uptown @ Farrer to be users of public transport more often than not as driving is simply less convenient than taking the MRT.
The next selling point would be the fact that Uptown @ Farrer is part of an integrated development with some retail element on the ground level as well as a serviced apartment managed by Ascott next to it. The serviced apartment portion of the development should be well managed by the very experienced Ascott group. For those who are looking for longer-term options at perhaps slightly more affordable rates, then Uptown @ Farrer would come across as a very viable option.
The fact that the development is located right opposite a large shopping mall, City Square Mall, is a huge draw for tenants and homeowners. The convenience of having amenities like supermarkets and easy food options is a huge plus. To get to City Square Mall, residents would just need to cross the road or take the MRT underpass to the mall. There are also many other famous food options located around the area.
Possible bad points about the development
This area often faces congestion but then this is something you would expect from a property right at the city fringe, right next to the MRT station. In some sense, this is not always a bad point as the main reason for this congestion is because of all the amenities in the area. Just do take into account the occasional traffic jam in the area if you are driving. There is also a temple next to the development which may cause some noise disturbance. This can be mitigated by choosing the right units in the development.
My thoughts about the development
I have been looking forward to this development ever since the developer obtained the plot in January 2017. I have always advocated looking at developments which are right next to the MRT station. Moreover, Farrer Park MRT Station is located right at the city fringe.
Looking at the rental transactions for City Square Residences for January 2019, a one-bedroom unit rented for between $2450 to $3000, a two-bedroom unit rented for between $3000 to $3500, a three-bedroom unit rented for between $3700 and $4200 and a four-bedroom unit rented for between $4800 and $5000. The demand is very healthy judging by the number of transactions in a month. I have often stressed that there is no data to show how long it took for a unit to be rented out from the time it is placed on the market. From my personal experience in dealing with properties in this area, namely City Square Residences, the time it takes to get a tenant, assuming the asking rent is in line with market pricing, is very short.
If you were to take into account the major developments in the area, namely those with 400 or more units in the development, there are only City Square Residences (910 units) and Kerrisdale (481 units). The other development to take note would be the upcoming Sturdee Residences (305 units) which is located along Sturdee Road and in my opinion, not comparable in terms of convenience to Uptown @ Farrer. There are not many new developments in the area and thus competition for tenants should not be strong. I do think that after reviewing so many other developments in so many other areas, this area does seem like it is a bit under the radar to many would be property buyers.
Many buyers may gripe about the environment being less than ideal as there are many foreign workers in the area and that this is an area which is close to the Little India riot a couple of years ago but the area has been significantly cleaned up and judging from the rental transactions in the area, I do not see many tenants being put off by these factors.
Uptown @ Farrer
Pricing (To be confirmed)
As of now, we are still awaiting the pricing for Uptown @ Farrer. I do hope that the developer does price this attractively.
I really like this location. There are not many upcoming developments around Farrer Park MRT Station and Uptown @ Farrer is the nearest development next to the MRT station. It is also just across the road from City Square Mall and the area is littered with amenities. If it is not already obvious enough from my review, this development is something which I am really looking forward to.
Quality and Design 4/5
I do like the fact that this is going to be part of an integrated development with a serviced apartment block which will be managed by Ascott. This should be well managed as Ascott has a brand reputation to uphold. This development should stand out among the buildings around it. If the artist’s impressions are anything to go by, the facade looks like a nice blend of contemporary colours. I do like the fact that the development starts on the 4th level, above the car parks.
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 Uptown @ Farrer. Buyers can approach me to purchase Uptown @ Farrer 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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