Irwell Hill Residences’s location in the exclusive District 9 makes it one of the most coveted addresses in Singapore, and the development is one of the rare new launches in the area. Here’s our review of the project.
Far East Organization, together with its Hong Kong based company Sino Group, is one of Asia’s largest real estate groups. The largest private property developer in Singapore, the firm is responsible for over 770 developments in the residential, hospitality, retail, commercial, healthcare and industrial space segments. It is also the largest private residential landlord and largest hotels and serviced residences operator.
Project Name: Alana
Address: Sunrise Terrace
Site area: Approx. 167,530 sqft
Tenure: 103-year leasehold
Configuration: 78 cluster terrace homes
9 Type A Series (3,358 – 3,509 sqft)
6 Type B Series (3,444 – 3,735 sqft)
34 Type C Series (3,025 – 3,261 sqft)
29 Type D Series (2,756 – 2,939 sqft)
Car park capacity: 2 lots per house
Expected TOP: 2Q2018
Alana is a cluster housing development located at Sunshine Terrace, off Yio Chu Kang Road. At time of writing (June 2016), all unit types are still available. The project is currently in Phase 3 of sales.
For interested buyers, there is a show unit on site, but viewing is by appointment only.
The development is surrounded by low-rise buildings so residents will have some nice views.
Each home is 3-storey high with a roof terrace.
And within the clusters, there are different types of units – Type A to Type D.
For Type A units, houses 162, 164, 176-182, 204 and 206 have a full pool view.
For Type B units, houses 166, 168 and 202 will have a pool view. House 184 will have a partial pool view.
For Type C units, houses 80, 88, 150, 152, 188, 190 and 202 will have a full pool view. Houses 78, 154, 160, 186 and 192 will have a partial pool view.
The show unit is of a Type A Series house. All photos in this review are from this particular unit type.
First and foremost, buyers can choose which of the pre-defined themes they would prefer to go with.
The kitchen is divided into two areas with a glass enclosure and sliding door. Cooking and cleaning are tucked away to confine cooking smells and grease, but the glass keeps it light, and allows whoever is cooking to interact with their guests.
Cabinets come with granite or solid surface countertops. A gas cooker and hob, refrigerator, conventional and steam oven, wine chiller, washing machine and stainless steel sink with mixer are also provided with the kitchen. The appliances are from Teka.
The dining area is right next to the kitchen, and can hold an eight-seater rectangular dining table quite comfortably. A round table would also work nicely in the space.
Here’s a view from the front private enclosed space (PES). From the front, the glass staircase and large windows provide open sight-lines clear to the back area. Such a space is great for entertaining, but would leave any clutter or mess in clear sight of whoever walks in the front door.
There is a bathroom behind the kitchen, in between the dining area and living area. As per usual, there is a wet and dry area. Fittings are from Hansgrohe.
The living area extends to the rear PES, and is large enough to accomodate a five seater sectional and even the wing-back armchair the developer decorated the space with. Home buyers should consider larger pieces of furniture, given the scale of the space.
The staircase eschews normal bannisters for class panels, but maintains a modern looking wood rail. The glass keeps the space light and airy, but parents with younger children might not enjoy the hand- and finger-print marks that will require frequent wiping to clean.
The two common bedrooms on the second storey can fit a queen bed comfortably and still have more than sufficient space to maneuver.
The common bathroom is in the middle of both the rooms, providing easy access to the occupants of either room.
The master bedroom is also located on the second storey.
The master bathroom is fitted with a bathtub and separate rain shower. The shower lights are recessed in the false ceiling, which leads to questions about maintenance.
The staircase ends at the third storey, and leads one up to the roof deck.
The roof terrace is ideal for having BBQ parties, morning yoga, or even a spot of rooftop gardening. Plank style-tiles are a trendy, modern finish that lend the space a warm feel.
There is another common bedroom on the third storey, with more than adequate space for a queen size bed, a desk or dressing table, and a serviceable closet.
The third storey bathroom is located right next to the bedroom, with an enclosed shower to keep splashes in the wet area. A floating vanity next to toilet makes it easy to clean and mop under. The neutral, veined tiles on the walls and floor are adequate, but would require pops of colour through decor and accessories to prevent it from looking too staid.
The basement has two private car park lots, the household shelter and yard area.
Seletar refers to the areas south of Yishun and west of Sungei Punggol, covering parts of Yio Chu Kang, the Lower Seletar Reservoir and part of Upper Thomson. The estate comprises mainly low rise homes; predominantly bungalows and semi-detached.
Getting there: Alana is located at Sunrise Terrace of District 28. If you’re travelling by train in the mornings, Raffles Place MRT is a 25-minute ride from Yio Chu Kang MRT. By car, it is a 12-minute drive to town via the Central Expressway (CTE), assuming optimal traffic conditions.
Ang Mo Kio MRT is a 5-minute drive away. From there, it is six stops down to Orchard MRT, where you have the entire Orchard Shopping Belt. There are also MRT interchanges at Bishan, Dhoby Ghaut, Raffles Place and City Hall, for enhanced connectivity.
The estate: Alana is situated within the relatively quiet Seletar Hills Estate. Surrounding the development are more private projects and landed housing.
The nearest bus stop is further ahead of the development, along Yio Chu Kang Road with services 70, 86, 854 and 857. Between them, these services cover Bishan, Ang Mo Kio, Yio Chu Kang, Yishun, Bedok, Eunos, Bugis, Sengkang, Hougang, Serangoon and the CBD area.
- Chatsworth International School
- Lycee Francais de Singapour
- Dimensions International College
- James Cook University
- United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA)
Retail and lifestyle hub Greenwich V is a 2-minute drive away. The mall features alfresco dining and casual outdoor spaces. This may be a good option for a quick bite or grocery haul or even residents looking for a relaxed evening out.
Ang Mo Kio Hub is a 6-minute drive away. Anchor tenants at the suburban mall include Cathay Cineplexes.
For some good local fare, or to enjoy late night suppers, Jalan Kayu and its laidback charm is a 3-minute drive away.
For golfers, Seletar Golf Course is a 4-minute drive away.
As for healthcare needs, the upcoming Sengkang General & Community Hospital will be a 6-minute drive away. You can easily find general clinics at any of the nearby malls and even under HDB blocks along Hougang Street 91 and Hougang Avenue 4.
Caveated transactions for Alana at time of writing (June 2016) stands at 18. Recorded transaction prices range from $2M to $3.478M (see Chart 1).
Alana’s closest competitor would be Belgravia Villas, located 1.5km away, along Belgravia Drive. Currently also under development, its median price is $848 psf to Alana’s median of $817 psf. Both projects are strata landed housing developments, so prices are calculated based on floor area.
Similar to Alana, Belgravia Villas is also made up of 3-storey terrace houses. To have a clearer understanding, we will be looking at Belgravia Villas’ inter terrace units and Alana’s Type C units. According to caveats, transactions for the units at Alana range from $2M to $2.5M, and from $2.7M to $3.7M at Belgravia Villas.
Before deciding based on these numbers alone, we should look at unit sizing as well. Units at Belgravia Villas are larger with the inter terrace ones between 3,520 sqft and 3,584 sqft. At Alana, Type C units are between 3,025 sqft and 3,261 sqft. Belgravia Drive is just off Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5 and each house at Belgravia Villas comes with a private lift. These factors combined can explain the higher prices for Alana’s competitor.
Future Rental Potential
To understand what rental prices will be like for Alana, we need to look at rental prices for other projects in the area.
The current median rental price for landed residential projects in District 28 (Seletar) is around $1.87 psf per month at time of writing, based on rental transactions for the past 4 quarters. The median rental price for properties at Sunshine Terrace however, is around $2.04 psf per month.
At these rates, a Type C unit around 3,025 sqft at Alana would go for around $7,400 a month, after factoring a 20% premium for its new build. With the median price for the unit being around $2.24M, the annual gross rental yield at the current rate would be an estimated 4%.
The median unit size of an inter terrace unit at Belgravia Villas, on the other hand, would probably fetch around $8,400 which would translate to an estimated rental yield of 3.3%.
According to the estimated figures, rental yield for Alana seems higher. An important consideration would also be the choice of nearby amenities. With the projects being quite a distance apart, this is likely to have some kind of impact on prices. Unit sizing also differs with units at Belgravia Villas being larger.
Overall however, both projects seem to be relatively safe in terms of rental yield.
The location and its relatively lower price point are Alana’s biggest selling points. Proximity to the upcoming Seletar Aerospace Park and the future North-South Expressway are also pull factors for residents.
As for shopping amenities, dining and entertainment options, there is a wide array to choose from – Ang Mo Kio HUB, Greenwich V, Seletar Mall and even Jalan Kayu. For buyers thinking about educational institutions in the vicinity, there are indeed a number of schools nearby, spanning across the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. However, none of these are within walking distance.
Another potential drawback would be the lack of an MRT station nearby. There is a bus stop in front of the project along Yio Chu Kang Road, but it’s at least a 10-minute walk away. For those who drive, major expressways like the CTE, TPE and SLE are easily accessible.
If you’re in the market for a strata landed home in a relatively quiet location, Alana is a good option.