Le Quest Review



  • Christopher Chitty
  • 1 August 2017

Interested in this project? Visit our listings page.

Project Name: Le Quest

Address: Bukit Batok West Avenue 6

Type: Mixed development

Tenure: 99-years leasehold (from 29 Aug 2017)

District: 23

Configuration:  516 residential units in 5 blocks of 12-storeys / Retail mall on first storey and childcare centre on 3rd

Unit types: 36, studio units (431 sq ft.)

96, 1BR units (495 – 614 sq ft.)

144, 2BR units (592 – 829 sq ft.)

192, 3BR units (818 – 1,206 sq ft.)

48, 4BR units (1,130 – 1,528 sq ft.)

TOP: 2021

Qingjian Realty is part of the Qingjian Group Co. Ltd conglomerate with a business portfolio that extends from real estate development to investments. The Group has been developing buildings in Singapore since 1999.

 

Project Details

Propshort: Le Quest is set to be a new defining feature of Bukit Batok West. As a mixed development, it brings a signficant boost of amenities and conveniences to its immediate area – an area that is rapidly developing after a long hibernation. The units shown at the showflat are spacious, well-designed affairs and represents a marked change of direction, albeit a positive one, for the famed Chinese developer.

Having pioneered the CoSpaceTM concept as well as deliver two of Singapore’s first smart-home executive condominiums (EC), The Visionaire and iNz Residence (among a string of other high profile projects), the Chinese developer has now moved on to construct its next big thing; a mixed-development, in the relatively quiet and unspoiled Bukit Batok West.

Le Quest

Le Quest

This gradual shift marks a turning point for the developer, like a quest finally achieved. And so, the aptly named Le Quest bears all the improvements and results of lessons that Qingjian had learned throughout its busy history of developing homes in Singapore.

The retail element of Le Quest includes two anchor tenants – Fairprice Finest and Koufu. There will also be a childcare centre on the 3rd floor of which the residents get priority though the centre itself, like the rest of the retail shops on the ground floor, are open to the public. This includes bicycle lots and shower facilities.

The condominium starts on the 5th floor and rises to the 16th. Units on the top floor have an added benefit of being loft units with high ceilings of 4.5m. Those uppermost units are a mix and therefore, not reserved for penthouses, instead available for anyone with a preference for 1BR to 4BR to purchase.

But how does the actual units measure up? Perhaps the four showunits will offer some perspective.

1BR + study (495 sq ft.)

There’s little wiggle room where the design and layout of a 1BR unit is concerned. The most anyone can expect is that the space is comfortable for one or two persons. However, there are many 1BR units in the market that fail to deliver on these basics.

1BR study

1BR study

Le Quest’s 1BR however does the opposite. As this is the + study variant, there’s a bit more room to play with if the owner chooses to use the extra space (not walled up) as something else instead. The Manhattan style, black and white kitchen runs against the wall, closest to the main door and provides a nice, elegant look to an otherwise small apartment.

 

1BR open kitchen

1BR open kitchen

The tiles for the main areas are porcelain (in all apartments) though they do have a marble-like appearance. The only bathroom is spacious and comes with a dry and wet area separated by glass panels and a door.

1BR common bathroom

1BR common bathroom

At roughly 44 sq ft., there’s little to complain about where the make and look of the bathroom is concerned.

 

The bathroom isn’t an en-suite which is a good thing for when guests come over.

2BR Deluxe + study (710 sq ft.)

At first glance, the 2BR Deluxe + study looks like a larger version of the 1BR + study and in some ways, it is. The 2BR unit has ample space for a four-seater dining table and a couch.

 

2BR deluxe living

2BR deluxe living

The living and dining area comes up to roughly 310 sq ft. and it is a good size. With the walls painted white and the door to the balcony thrown open to admit light and ventilation, the living area looks and feels great.

There are two bathrooms and the master bedroom comes with an attached bathroom. The bedroom can take a king size bed without having the walk space cannibalised by the bigger furniture.

2BR master

2BR master

The lack of a balcony may turn some people off but it’s not readily apparent that a balcony would make the space feel any bigger. If anything, the extra space can be used functionally.

3BR Deluxe (980 sq ft.)

The increase in size from 1BR to 2BR and now to 3BR is gradual since much of the look remains the same, only the space expands.

3BR

3BR

As a bigger unit, the kitchen is now enclosed and fronted by a long dining table, visible through the see-through glass partition. It’s a simple and neat look though owners may need to follow this particular arrangement of having a dining booth on the side closest to the kitchen to make the best use of the space.

 

3BR dining

3BR dining

This unit also comes with a utility room which can be converted into a study room.

 

The common bedrooms are roughly 90.4 sq ft. Clever interior design will be able to use the space well, as seen in the show unit.

 

3BR common bedroom

3BR common bedroom

The master bedroom is down the hall and for this unit, it has its own balcony.

4BR Deluxe (1,313 sq ft.)

The 4BR unit is impressively large, with a spacious living area and a long balcony that won’t groan under the weight of too many guests. It’s fantastic for a party and even better when it’s just the family home on the weekend, catching up on movies on a supposed big-screen television while reclining on a long and comfortable couch.

 

4BR living

4BR living

There is also a foyer from where you enter the apartment and several choice locations to build a shoe cabinet. It’s a nice touch, this welcome area, as it looks good while affording the residents therein a measure of privacy.

4BR shoe rack in foyer

4BR shoe rack in foyer

The kitchen is enclosed and comes with a pantry area and wash centre.

 

4BR kitchen interior

4BR kitchen interior

Bedrooms are standard which in Qingjian’s case, isn’t a bad thing as they are spacious rooms the owner can decorate or remodel to suit their preferences. There is no need to however, as what comes with looks to be of good quality.

4BR master

4BR master


 

The master bedroom on the other hand is large, with its en-suite bathroom and balcony topping off a grand looking apartment.

It is tough at this juncture to determine how closely the actual development will reflect what is seen at the showflat. Granted that things like mirrors and torn down walls, including the interior designing and furniture won’t be part of the ensemble but the space itself on display promises to continue that Qingjian trend of spacious layouts.

Le Quest

Le Quest

With its retail component, Le Quest will undoubtedly be popular and with the units already looking good, the development seems to be on track as a new defining feature in Bukit Batok.

Interested in this project? Visit our listings page.

For more 360 videos on Le Quest, click here.

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Location

Bukit Batok West Avenue 8 is undergoing much construction, with several high-rise developments expected to populate the area. Though not the first to a neighbourhood slowly filling out with new HDB estates, well-established Chinese developer Qingjian have started the development of their new 516-unit strong mixed development, Le Quest.

Le Quest development site

Le Quest development site

Bukit Batok is notable for being one of the few districts where there is heavier emphasis on greenery, with many parks and trees about for a tranquil environment. All around Le Quest for example, is the Bukit Batok Hillside Park.

It is an old town that has aged apart from the other districts with little mention in the news, which makes Qingjian’s tender of the development site unexpected. That it immediately brings attention to the area is an added bonus in Qingjian’s favour.

New HDB estates

New HDB estates

Despite the measured growth here, Bukit Batok West isn’t as remote as it appears. Several schools like Dulwich College (next to Le Quest’s showflat), Eden School, Millennia Institute (across the road from Dulwich) and Bukit Batok Secondary School are within a radius of 2km from where Le Quest is being developed.

Dulwich College

Dulwich College

Princess Elizabeth Primary is another school that is down the road from Millennia Institute. It’s located just across the road and is directly opposite the back entrance of Millennia Institute.

Princess Elizabeth Primary

Princess Elizabeth Primary

Past that is St. Luke’s Hospital along Bukit Batok West Ave 3 is less than a 10-minute drive away while Bukit Batok West Shopping Centre (an assembly of neighbourhood shops) and Sheng Siong grocery store is a sharp right from the hospital and a couple of minutes’ walk away.

It is walkable from Le Quest – no more than 15-minutes unless you walk slowly – and is the area’s hub at least until Qingjian’s mixed development is finished.

Bukit Batok Shopping Centre

Bukit Batok Shopping Centre

Bukit Batok MRT station is about 1.4km away and will be accessible via bus from the bus stop near where Le Quest will be. However, for the first two years, Qingjian will provide free shuttle bus service to the MRT station. West Mall is near the MRT station and is where residents of the area can watch movies at the Cathay Cineplex.

For drivers, Bukit Batok Road which runs parallel to Le Quest leads into the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) so getting onto the highway takes about five-minutes or less, depending on how many cars are on the road at any given time. From the PIE, residents can even drive down to Jurong East and IMM and from there, the International Business Park.

Bukit Batok

There’s plenty of sky unblocked by tall buildings in Bukit Batok West

Bukit Batok Road, in the opposite direction of the PIE, goes directly to Chua Chu Kang, passing by ITE College West on the way.

For people unfamiliar with this part of Bukit Batok, it would easy to assume that conveniences and modern trappings taken for granted are sparse. In developing towns, such things are normally true. But while there are new estates being built in the immediate vicinity of Le Quest, the entire area is far from inaccessible or lifeless.

Bukit Batok shopping centre playground

Bukit Batok shopping centre playground and shops

Students move to and from the schools, residents populate the open areas of Bukit Batok Shopping Centre, wandering into shops or walking back. Traffic is smooth but constant and taxis are aplenty which is a good indicator that the quietude here should not be mistaken for lack of activity.

The balance between high rise buildings and open sky lends the entire area a vastness simply not felt in most other districts. It just feels calm here, compared to the chaos in other, more vibrant towns.

Bukit Batok

Bukit Batok

And with a good foundation already built, Le Quest comes to the area with even more gifts of retail and recreation that will there greatly enhance the living and investment viability of this awakening neighbourhood.

Interested in this project? Visit our listings page.

 

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Analysis

When Le Quest launched on the 5th of August 2017, it did so with 200 units in phase one. Within hours however, Le Quest came to sell 286 units. Qingjian’s mixed development’s popularity exceeded expectations and the project was oversubscribed.

Le Quest transaction data 2017

Source: URA, PropertyGuru

Thanks in large part to the relatively quieter and less vibrant area, the prices are competitive and reasonable. At a relatively low threshold of SGD550K, there’s a good chance for first-time investors to score a unit at a modest price in this high potential project.

Rental

According to URA data, the median psf per month is SGD2.45. Taking the smallest unit available – 431 sq ft. – median monthly rental comes up to SGD1,267 after a 20% new build premium is added. Annual rental yield based on the indicative price for the studio apartment therefore comes up to around 2.6%. This isn’t a bad number for a relatively quiet area surrounded mostly by HDB estates. In time to come, the viability of the area will improve, in large part driven by Le Quest’s presence.

As a result, investment-wise, this is currently a good move to make, especially for first-timers since it is relatively low-entry for a large mixed development brimming with potential.

Interested in this project? Visit our listings page.

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Summary

When a development like Le Quest comes into an area, bringing with it gifts of convenience, it is hard to find fault with it. The retail elements alone will make Le Quest a constant feature in Bukit Batok West since it’s set to provide plenty of functionality not just for its residents, but for the residents in the area, including HDB owners.

Le Quest

Le Quest

Of course, Le Quest residents stand to benefit more with the commercial components, especially where the child care centre is concerned. This isn’t to suggest that the units fall short of the retail, on the contrary, the units show plenty of promise as they embody much of the lessons Qingjian had learned over its long years as a developer in Singapore.

It’s a good time to consider Bukit Batok, especially for HDB upgraders in the area with Le Quest on the horizon. As an investment, it holds much potential but as a place of residence, it too promises comfort.

Interested in this project? Visit our listings page.

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Eric Wong

Christopher Chitty

"I read, I write, I lift. I am content"