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.
Tong Eng Group was founded by the Tong Eng Brothers after WWII. Initially involved in the trading of electrolytic tinplates used in can and bottle cap production, the brothers diversified into property development in the 1950s. Today, the firm is a leading property developer in Singapore which has owned and developed more than 100 acres of land encompassing office, retail, landed housing and apartment.
Project Name: Belgravia Villas
Address: Belgravia Drive off Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5
Site area: Approx. 401,034 sqft
100 strata terrace houses
18 strata semi-detached houses
64 inter-terrace (3,520 ; 3,584 sqft)
36 corner terrace (3,584 – 3,767 sqft)
18 semi-detached (3,929 – 4,026 sqft)
Car park capacity: 2 lots per house
Expected TOP: June 2018
Belgravia Villas is a freehold cluster housing development located along Belgravia Drive, off Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5. At time of writing (May 2016), all unit types are still available.
The name Belgravia comes from a district in Central London known for its distinctive grand homes.
For interested buyers, there is a show unit on site.
All units at Belgravia Villas are 3-storey with a basement. Each one has a roof terrace with a private lift servicing all levels including the basement.
The development is surrounded by low-rise buildings so residents will have some nice views.
The semi-detached units are the first row of houses, right behind the entry court and gym.
For inter terrace units, houses 280-292, 334-344, 374-382 and 410-412 have a pool view.
For corner terrace units, houses 284, 294, 348, 414 and 416 have a pool view.
Lastly, for semi-detached units, houses 210-216 have a view of the relaxation and wellness coves.
The entrance to Belgravia Villas.
The view of the pools between the rows of houses.
The relaxation and wellness coves.
Cabinets with granite or solid surface countertops, gas cooker and hob, refrigerator, conventional and steam oven, wine chiller, washing machine and stainless steel sink with mixer come with the kitchen. Appliances provided are from De Dietrich and Smeg.
The kitchen leads to the balcony/yard area behind.
There is also a powder room to the right of the kitchen on the first floor.
The private lift in each unit, in front of the powder room.
The dining area behind the kitchen.
The living area in front of the dining area.
The space extends to the balcony.
The view from the balcony.
The staircase leading to the basement.
Bedroom 1 in the basement is ensuite and large enough to accommodate a queen bed with extra leg room to spare.
The ensuite bathroom.
The helper’s room and water closet are right next to the bedroom.
The household shelter is right next to the staircase landing.
Overall, the basement area is ideal if you have elderly folks staying with you. It is directly accessible via the private car park and your helper can be nearby if need be. There is lift access too, so it would be pretty easy to move around.
The junior master bedroom and the ensuite bathroom on the second floor.
The master bedroom with the ensuite bathroom. It also comes with a small balcony.
There is another bedroom and bathroom on the third floor.
Lastly, the open roof terrace at the top.
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: Belgravia Villas is located along Belgravia Drive of District 28. If you’re travelling by train in the mornings, Raffles Place MRT is a 23-minute ride from Ang Mo Kio MRT. By car, it is a 12-minute drive to town via the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) and 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: Belgravia Villas is situated within the relatively quiet Seletar Hills Estate. Surrounding the development are more private projects and landed housing.
The nearest bus stop is directly in front of the development, along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5 with services 50, 72 and 88. Between them, these services cover Bishan, Ang Mo Kio, Yio Chu Kang, Pasir Ris, Tampines, Toa Payoh, Punggol, Sengkang, Hougang and Upper Serangoon.
- Chatsworth Kindergarten
- Lycee Francais de Singapour
- Dimensions International College
- James Cook University
Retail and lifestyle hub Greenwich V is a 3-minute drive away. The mall features alfresco dining and casual outdoor spaces. This may be a good option for 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 a quick bite or grocery haul, Hougang 1 is about a 5-minute drive away. The anchor tenant is FairPrice Xtra, so it should be quite convenient for residents.
For some good local fare, or to enjoy late night suppers, Jalan Kayu and its laidback charm is a 5-minute drive away.
For golfers, Serangoon Gardens Country Club is a 4-minute drive away.
As for healthcare needs, the upcoming Sengkang General & Community Hospital will be a 5-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 Belgravia Villas at time of writing (May 2016) stands at 40. Recorded transaction prices range from $2.7M to $3.7M (see Chart 1).
Belgravia Villas’ closest competitor would be Luxus Hills, located 500m away, along Luxus Hills Avenue. Currently also under development, its median price is $1,711 psf to Belgravia Villas’ median of $848 psf. The reason for this difference in unit price is the fact that Belgravia Villas is a strata landed housing project whereas Luxus Hills is a conventional landed housing development. Thus, prices for Belgravia Villas are calculated based on floor area while those for Luxus Hills are derived based on land area.
Similar to Belgravia Villas, Luxus Hills is also made up of terrace houses and semi-detached houses. To have a clearer understanding, we will be looking at the inter terrace units alone. According to caveats, transactions for the units at Belgravia Villas range from $2.7M to $3.7M, and from $2.686M to $3.448M at Luxus Hills.
Before deciding based on these numbers alone, we should look at unit sizing as well. Units at Luxus Hills are slightly larger with the inter terrace ones between 3,660 sqft and 3,714 sqft. At Belgravia Villas, they are between 3,520 sqft and 3,584 sqft. Keeping in mind that Belgravia Villas is a strata landed housing project with communal facilities, security and maintenance, perhaps the higher price is to be expected.
Future Rental Potential
To understand what rental prices will be like for Belgravia Villas, 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 current median rental price for earlier phases of Luxus Hills is $2 psf per month.
At these rates, an inter terrace unit around 3,520 sqft at Belgravia Villas would go for around $8,400 a month, after factoring a 20% premium for its new build. With the median price for the unit being around $3.009M, the annual gross rental yield at the current rate would be an estimated 3.3%.
The median unit size of an inter terrace unit at Luxus Hills, on the other hand, would probably fetch around $8,500 which would translate to an estimated rental yield of 3.7%.
According to the estimated figures, rental yield for Luxus Hills seems slightly higher. The choice of nearby amenities is pretty much the same, since Belgravia Villas is just down from Luxus Hills. Unit sizing however differs with units at Luxus Hills being larger.
Overall however, both projects seem to be safe in terms of rental yield.
The location and the fact that it’s a cluster housing project are Belgravia Villas’ biggest selling points. Proximity to the upcoming Seletar Aerospace Park and the future North-South Expressway are important considerations for residents.
As for shopping amenities, dining and entertainment options, there is a wide array to choose from – Ang Mo Kio HUB, Greenwich V, Hougang 1, 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.
A potential drawback would be the lack of an MRT station within walking distance of the development. However, there is a bus stop right in front of the project and the entire development is almost along the arterial Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5. 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 but still convenient location, Belgravia Villas is a good option.