The Atelier is an upcoming 120-unit freehold luxury apartment in District 9, located within touching distance to the Newton MRT station as well as several reputable schools.
Frasers Centrepoint Limited (FCL) is an international real estate company managing properties in 77 cities across Europe, Australia, Asia and the Middle East. FCL boasts a global land bank of over 22 million square feet comprising residential, commercial, hospitality and industrial space.
Project Name: North Park Residences
Address: 930 Yishun Avenue 2, Singapore 769098
Site area: Approx. 442,234 sqft
Tenure: 99 years
Configuration: 920 units
100 Studio units (430 sqft)
90 1-bedroom + study units (549 – 560 sqft)
40 2-bedroom units (624 sqft)
240 2-bedroom deluxe units (700 – 753 sqft)
70 2-bedroom DK (Dual Key) units (624 – 635 sqft)
120 3-bedroom units (829 – 883 sqft)
80 3-bedroom + universal room units (969 – 1001 sqft)
40 3-bedroom DK units (969 sqft)
70 3-bedroom + universal room deluxe units (1098 – 1109 sqft)
50 4-bedroom deluxe units (1184 – 1206 sqft)
20 5-bedroom units (1432 sqft)
Maintenance fees: TBA
920 normal lots
7 handicapped lots
300 sheltered bicycle lots
Expected TOP: 2020
Expected legal completion: 2023
North Park Residences is a very prominent development. In addition to all the media coverage and hype, its location makes it stand out. The plot of land which used to be the former Yishun Bus Interchange is prime real estate and the project is poised to reap its benefits.
Construction for the landmark development began in April this year and is expected to be completed in 2018. On paper, TOP is scheduled for 2020.
Residents will have direct access to the MRT via Northpoint Link, an underground link way that will be built with up to 30 retail outlets along the way. (Think City Link Mall and the link way from City Hall MRT) When completed, North Park Residences should be standing right next to Northpoint Mall, Northpoint City and above the integrated bus interchange.
FCL has definitely pulled out all its chops in trying to make the development an iconic one. It is also building Singapore’s very first Community Club within a shopping mall to provide residents of North Park Residences with a fully air-conditioned environment for recreational activities.
On top of that, there are a multitude of facilities at the residences – 88 to be exact.
For kids, there are the Adventure Cove and Family Cove, with a playground and children’s pools between them.
Fitness enthusiasts can get their fix at the Energy Cove, which features a 50-metre lap pool surrounded by a generous water deck and pool deck. Other amenities include an indoor gym, tennis court, yoga deck and an outdoor fitness station.
To relax, residents can head to the Spring Cove, where they can indulge in the aquatic pond or heated spa pool. The spring villa with its waterfront setting and private Fragrance Garden serves your entertainment needs luxuriously. Other options include the Water Play Cove which features the water play pool and pavilion, the Fountain Cove and the Spa Cove.
The Party Cove offers an excellent venue for get-togethers with the party pavilion overlooking the party lawn. The party pool boasts spa and aqua seats. There are also function rooms as alternative venues or the BBQ pavilion and lounge area for barbeque sessions.
Nature lovers have the Hammock Garden and various other themed gardens to relax in and appreciate their surroundings.
It is clear that a certain kind of lifestyle is being promoted and North Park Residences carries with it, Mr Shanmugam’s (MP for Nee Soon GRC and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law) stamp of approval.
The development is also priced to sell and sales are a clear reflection of this, with only 2 and 3-bedroom units left on the market for the currently launched phase.
The lowest-priced listing available on PropertyGuru at time of writing (Aug 2015), is a 430 sqft studio unit going for $580,000, which translates to around $1349 psf. Conversely, a 1206 sqft 4-bedroom unit is going for $1,868,000 which means an estimated $1549 psf. Prices are definitely higher than The Estuary’s and the Symphony Suites’, North Park’s closest competitors. This is to be expected however, given the magnitude of the development and the sheer number of facilities.
FCL had the foresight to offer a wide range of unit sizes to cater to different types of buyers while simultaneously maximizing usable space in all of them. There are neither bay windows nor bomb shelters in any unit. What they do have to justify the price premium paid, are branded fittings to give a more luxurious finish.
Showflat units were only available for the VERANDAH (3-bedroom + universal deluxe unit (above left)) and the VIVA (3-bedroom unit (above right)). The kitchens feature homogenous, ceramic floor and wall tiles, and a fixed glass panel above the counter top. They also come with a gas hob and hood, built-in oven, washing machine and dryer from TEKA and a refrigerator from Fisher & Paykel. There is direct access to the balcony from the kitchen in the VERANDAH unit, so residents have the option of alfresco dining. There is also however, a marked difference in kitchen size between the 2 units. 2 people can be comfortably moving around in the former while the latter allows only a person to be doing any work in the kitchen at any time.
The dining and living room boasts marble tiles, a wall-mounted air-conditioning system and a television, data and telephone point. The area is rather spacious, with very high ceilings. Both the photos are of the VERANDAH flat, which is an ideal space for a family.
Bedrooms 2 and 3 from the VERANDAH unit can nicely accommodate a queen-sized bed or 2 single beds each. Both come with timber flooring, a wardrobe with sliding doors, an aircon and the television point.
Bedrooms 2 and 3 from the VIVA unit while slightly smaller than their counterparts, can still accommodate a queen-sized bed or 2 single beds each. Fittings are the same as above.
The master bedroom in the VERANDAH unit can fit a king-sized bed with sufficient room for movement. The same in the VIVA unit is spacious, but fitting a king-sized bed may be pushing it. Both come furnished with timber flooring, a timber door, a wardrobe with sliding doors and/or folding door, an aircon and a television point.
Master baths in the various types of units are all relatively spacious and come with homogenous ceramic floor and wall tiles, a timber door, vanity cabinet with basin and mixer, shower screen with shower mixer, mirror and a towel rail and/or hook.
The common bathrooms in the units come with the exact same fittings as the master bathrooms, but with a slightly smaller floor area.
The distinguishing aspect between the 2 showrooms is the universal room, which affords flexible usage. It is possible to fit a single bed in it and convert it into a bedroom. Given that it comes with the water closet, it would be an ideal room for an elderly person in a multi-generation household. Features of the room include marble tiles, a timber door and an aircon system.
Given the immense potential that North Park Residences has, it is no surprise that 561 of the 600 units launched (93.5%) have been sold. Buyers have been mostly Singaporeans (89%). PRs and foreigners make up 7% and 4% respectively. 66% of the occupants appear to be HDB upgraders.
Occupants are likely to be a good mix of home buyers wanting the convenience of an integrated development with easy access to other parts of Singapore and investors who are banking on the value of their units skyrocketing in the near future with the complete transformation of Yishun and its neighbouring estates.
Etymology: A matured estate in the northern region of Singapore, Yishun, was actually initially named Nee Soon, after Singapore pioneer and rubber magnate, Lim Nee Soon. Home to many kampongs and farms in the past, urban development of the area began in 1976 with the initiation of the Yishun New Town Project.
Today, Yishun is a sprawling estate with every necessity readily available for its estimated 186,200 residents.
Getting there: North Park Residences fronts one of Yishun’s main thoroughfares, Yishun Avenue 2. While Yishun may seem very far off to people living in more centralized parts of Singapore, the city is a mere 20-minute drive away via the Central Expressway (CTE), given normal traffic conditions. For early-morning commuters, Raffles Place is a 23-minute MRT ride and City Hall, a 27-minute ride.
Driving down Yishun Avenue 2 will get you onto the Seletar Expressway (SLE) in under 10 minutes.
After taking the SLE exit on the left, you could stay left and continue on to the Tampines Expressway (TPE) which would then take you to Sengkang or Punggol and from there, the larger North East area. Further down the TPE would be Tampines, Pasir Ris and lastly Changi.
Or, you could stay right on SLE and enter the Central Expressway (CTE) if you’re headed to areas in town like Novena, Orchard or Dhoby Ghaut.
In future, motorists will also be able to add the North-South expressway (NSE) to their travel routes. Connecting Yishun and other towns along the north-south region to the city centre, the NSE will also intersect and provide links to current expressways.
Off peak travel means getting onto the different expressways relatively quickly. However, given that Yishun is a matured estate, traffic during peak hours may not be ideal and you may end up wasting time driving. Therefore, public transport to certain locations during these hours may be a better option for some of you.
With the enhancements to public transport, including the new Springleaf MRT station along the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), estimated to be ready sometime in 2020, and the improvements made to the junction of Lentor Avenue and Yishun Avenue 1, you can expect to travel more smoothly in the future.
The much anticipated Seletar Aerospace Park brings with it the Seletar Aerospace Flyover, Seletar Aerospace Way and Sengkang West Road. What this translates into, basically, is increased connectivity with the various expressways for residents of Yishun.
The estate: Yishun has been slated for many new developments in the near future and as such, you should expect to see a fair bit of construction along the way, despite it being an established area.
However, there are also new parks and nature spots coming up as well to make up for the increasing level of development. This way, residents and future residents will not end up feeling overwhelmed by the noise and construction. Places you could visit to take in nature include Bottle Tree Park, Yishun Neighbourhood Park and the Lower Seletar Reservoir.
As for school options, Yishun Town Secondary School, Yishun Secondary School, North View Secondary School, Jiemin Primary School, Peixin Primary School and Yishun Junior College are within walking distance to North Park. There is also the upcoming international GEMS World Academy. Parents looking for ‘elite’ educational institutions however, would need to look further afield.
Entertainment options, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter. There is the iconic Northpoint Shopping Mall, which is essentially right next to the upcoming massive Northpoint City and combined, they will have an estimated 500 retail units. Just for comparison’s sake, VivoCity has an estimated 350 retail outlets. Next to that, there’s Yishun 10, which houses GV Yishun and a few other dining establishments.
This is one of the entrances for Yishun 10. There is a ‘Cheers’ outlet there as well, so if you need anything urgently in the middle of the night, you could try checking there. Opposite the convenience store is a Post Office. The recently revamped cinema now boasts 3D digital screens on top of being the first eco-friendly one in Asia.
Besides this huge entertainment hub situated right next to Yishun MRT, there also is Sembawang Shopping Centre slightly further down, as well as Chong Pang Market Food Centre which is a straight drive down from Yishun Central to Yishun Avenue 5.
For some family fun, SAFRA Yishun is perhaps a 5-10 minute drive away.
While the area surrounding North Park Residences is bustling with activity for the most part of the day, you can still find some peace and quiet in hidden pockets of green space or if you venture further into the older neighbourhoods.
Caveated transactions for North Park Residences at time of writing (Aug 2015) stands at 451, with 600 units launched to date. Recorded transaction prices range from $615K to $1.63M, with over 96 percent of the transactions coming in at $1.5M or below (see Chart 1). Market watchers have suggested that the affordable price range for most property buyers lies between $1M to $1.5M. Going by these standards, North Park is most definitely priced to sell, and sales have been testament to this.
North Park Residences’ closest competitor would be Symphony Suites, located about a kilometre away, at the junction of Yishun Avenue 9 and 6. Launched in late 2014, Symphony Suites was priced to sell as well, with its current median price at $1026 psf to North Park’s $1384 psf. Its relatively lower price is most likely due to its location. Being right next to Yishun Industrial Street, Yishun MRT is at least a 10-minute drive away.
Occupants of Symphony Suites are likely to have a similar profile to those at North Park – Home buyers and investors. These home buyers are likely to prefer to be amidst the serene and tranquil surroundings of Sungei Khatib Bongsu as opposed to the hustle and bustle of being right next to Yishun MRT and the upcoming surrounding developments, and investors looking for property that will appreciate given the plans to transform Yishun into a transport, business and entertainment hub.
Units at Symphony Suites range from 2-4 bedrooms and this in itself is an indication that the development is targeted at newlywed couples or bigger families. Conversely, North Park Residences has 190 studio and 1-bedroom plus study units in its current phase, all of which have been sold. Its 4 and 5-bedroom units have also sold out, meaning families with bigger households are equally interested in the development.
To have a clearer picture, it would be helpful to look at 3-bedroom units in particular, across both developments. According to caveats, North Park Residences’ 3-bedroom units have a median price of $1297 psf while Symphony Suites’ are priced lower at a median price of $1023 psf.
Caveated transactions for 3-bedroom, 3-bedroom dual key and 3-bedroom plus universal room units at North Park Residences range from $1.02M to $1.36M, while Symphony Suites’ 3-bedroom units range from $772K to $851K. The reason for this difference is likely to be found in the sizing of the units. 3-bedroom units at North Park have more generous proportions, starting from 829 sqft and going up to 1001 sqft. The same at Symphony Suites range from 786 sqft to 797 sqft. Going on these figures alone, it may be safe to say that North Park Residences offers more value for money.
Future Rental Potential
Since both North Park Residences and Symphony Suites are geared more towards home buyers, we will need to look at rental prices for projects in the vicinity as well. The current median rental price for District 27 (Yishun / Sembawang) is around $2.48 psf per month at time of writing, based on rental transactions for the past 4 quarters. At these rates, a 3-bedroom unit around 950 sqft at North Park would go for around $3,000 to $3,100 a month after including a 20% premium for its new build. With the median price for the unit being around $1.26M, the annual gross rental yield at the current rate would be an estimated 2.9%. If rental prices see a surge by the time North Park Residences gets its TOP, a 3-bedroom unit could potentially fetch up to $3,800. At that price, gross rental yield would move up to around 3.6%.
The median unit size of a 3-bedroom at Symphony Suites, on the other hand, would probably fetch around $2,500 a month at today’s rental rates. This translates to around 3.5% in annual gross rental yield. With the upcoming Junction 9 almost directly opposite the development, rental price for the same unit could move up to around $2,800. Annual gross rental yield would then be in the 3.9% range.
While Symphony Suites presents a potentially higher rental yield, both projects seem to be safe bets for buyers looking to rent their units out in future. The developments are approximately 1.4km apart and this makes a world of difference in terms of purchase price and future rental price. With North Park Residences being part of an iconic new integrated project, nearby amenities are quite different from Symphony Suites’. Adding to that, the size of the units, the distance to Yishun MRT and the quality of amenities and finishings all make a difference. Landlords will have to keep in mind however, that there is bound to be an increase in supply of private residential units with the upcoming transformation of the North, and price their units competitively.
North Park Residences’ location is its biggest pull factor. Being situated right next to Yishun MRT and having direct access to major expressways via Yishun Avenue 2 translates to convenience and connectivity for its residents. Add to that the fact that it is an integrated development with the upcoming Northpoint City being constructed alongside, and we’ve caught the attention of most property buyers.
With being able to get possibly anything you would want or require at your doorstop, it is difficult to think of potential drawbacks with regard to the development. Offhand, the only thing that may be of concern to potential buyers would be the lack of elite educational institutions nearby. Then again, travelling to most parts of Singapore would not take more than an hour on average. Students have easy access to public transport and driving would take about 30 minutes.
Investment potential is high and this can be seen from the sales of the studio and 1-bedroom units. North Park Residences is also an ideal place for growing families and the developer has seen to it to include childcare facilities within the development itself. 4 and 5-bedroom units in the current phase are sold out, but the 2 and 3-bedroom units are still very good options for younger families.
The Master Plan drafted by the Urban Redevelopment Authority reveals several plans already set in motion for the estate of Yishun and the surrounding Seletar and Woodlands areas. The coming transformation of the area will prove to be very exciting for residents of Yishun and having a unit at North Park Residences will definitely mean many long-term benefits for occupants.