• Christopher Chitty
  • 11 November 2015

 

GuocoLand Limited is a public listed company on the Singapore Exchange since 1978. In the past 25 years, the Group has sold 33 residential projects and over 9,000 apartments and homes in Singapore.

Name: Sims Urban Oasis

Address: 60 Sims Drive

Type: Residential with integrated shops and child care centre

Tenure: 99-year leasehold

District: 14

Configuration: 1,024 residential units/ 7 shops (including child care centre)

Unit type: 172, 1-bedroom units (409 – 527 sqft)

120, 1-bedroom loft units (463 – 474 sqft)

282, 2-bedroom units (624 – 678 sqft)

42, 2-bedroom loft units (700 – 710 sqft)

30, 2-bedroom Dual Key units (786 sqft)

18, 3-bedroom compact units (818 – 829 sqft)

198, 3-bedroom units (958 – 1,066 sqft)

66, 3-bedroom Dual Key units (958 sqft)

30, 4-bedroom compact units (990 sqft)

36, 4-bedroom units (1,206 – 1,249 sqft)

15, 4-bedroom Dual Key units (1,442 sqft)

15, 5-bedroom units (1,722 sqft)

6 shops (323 – 517 sqft)

1 Childcare centre (3,251 sqft)

Land size: approx. 257,164 sq ft.

Parking lots: TBD (Basement, Multi-storey and open air)

Expected TOP: 2019

Project Details

There’s a new way to visit a showflat from the comfort of your own home. Check out Sims Urban Oasis in virtual reality by clicking here

The showflat is available until further notice. As the project is not due until 2019, there is still a lot of time to view it. Currently, Sims Urban Oasis is undergoing Phase 1 sales, so some units, like the 1-bedroom with study are unavailable, at the time of writing.

There are still a healthy number of units on sale. Given its good location and strong capital appreciation potential and rental yield in the near future, several of the smaller units are being bought up as investment, very quickly.

Sims Urban Oasis side entrance

Sims Urban Oasis side entrance

The usual built in items like wardrobes, kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanity cabinets and air-conditioner are included. Tiles are homogeneous with timber skirting. Counter tops are solid surface. Kitchen appliances are issued by Electrolux while bathroom appliances are supplied by Roca.

Some of the facilities are:

  • four swimming pools (including one on the Sky Terrace)
  • Club house
  • Function room
  • Gymnasium
  • Aqua pools
  • BBQ pits
  • Alfresco dining

1-bedroom: From the main entrance, the bathroom is immediately available on the left, with the kitchen on the right and the living area next to it.

1-bedroom living and dining room

1-bedroom living and dining room

For a 1-bedroom unit, space will undoubtedly be a tight fit, but fairly sufficient for a single tenant. The layout for the 1-bedroom unit actually allows for quite a lot of mobility.

Kitchen is open concept and the bathroom is big enough for a wheelchair bound person to roll in. A separate cabinet in the living room area will store the supplied washer/dryer.

While the idea of doing your laundry in the living room might seem odd, it is at least, well-hidden until you need it.

Many units merely have the washing machine displayed out in the open and while some people might prefer this, for a smaller unit, having something that big exposed will make it stick out like a sore thumb.

Buyers that aren’t fond of this however, need not worry as only this particular unit type offers this storage cabinet for the washing machine.

1 bedroom kitchen and living room

1 bedroom kitchen and living room

If necessary, the washing machine can be moved to fit in one of the cabinets under the kitchen counter, though that might be taking up space usually reserved for cooking necessities. With its own cabinet, there are more storage space at the cooking area for relevant necessities.

From the bathroom, there is a connecting door to the bedroom that can quite comfortably hold a king size bed, though one side of it will be pressed against the wall.

All ground floor units have a back door exit that leads directly to the pool.

1-bedroom with king size bed and built in wardrobe

1-bedroom with king size bed and built in wardrobe

The exit includes a small balcony spacious to fit a chair to relax at while staring out at the 50m swimming pool.

1-bedroom with loft: This unit type is similar to the 1-bedroom with the added feature of a deck (for top floor units only). The deck is supported by reinforced steel including the platform and support beams. The deck, comes with the unit at no additional costs.

The staircase leading to the deck is also of a similar material so the entire platform is extremely sturdy and durable.

1-bedroom with loft dining and wardrobe

1-bedroom with loft dining and wardrobe

It can hold a bed or be used as a storage space, a study area or even a gaming centre.

The area beneath it is wide enough to support a dining or study table for four or even six. Or a bed can be positioned below, closer to the wardrobe and the deck above be used as a study area.

With a total ceiling height of approximately 3.2m, it feels comfortable. The deck above, though closer to the ceiling has a cosy sort of ambience.

1-bedroom loft with bed

1-bedroom loft with bed

The living and kitchen layout is similar to the 1-bedroom unit, including the placement of the bathroom. The washing machine and dryer are placed under the cabinets in the kitchen area instead of the living room.

Owners can build in more cabinets above the built-in cabinets if they require more storage space than what is already given.

1-bedroom loft living room

1-bedroom loft living room

After the main door and next to the fridge is a hidden cabinet flushed with the wall. This hidden cabinet, when pressed, opens up to reveal a shoe closet expertly built in to take up as minimal space as possible.

1-bedroom with loft main entrance to kitchen

1-bedroom with loft main entrance to kitchen

Online, the small sizes might seem insufficient but when viewed in person, the units do feel spacious.

2-bedroom: For 2-bedroom units, the layout is surprisingly different. With more space to offer, the bathroom is not immediately accessible upon entering the apartment.

Though the kitchen is still next to the entrance and part of the living area, the layout curiously allows for a much bigger walk space in the foyer just before the rooms so you hardly feel cramped.

2-bedroom living, kitchen and dining area

2-bedroom living, kitchen and dining area

2-bedroom living, kitchen and dining area

The built-in oven and washing machine occupy the bottom cabinets while the fridge sits rather snugly against the wall overlooking the living room.

This gives the open kitchen a sort of L-shape.

The bathroom is connected to the living room and master bedroom, with two sets of doors. As with the other units, it is big enough to accommodate wheelchair bound tenants.

2-bedroom main entrance and kitchen and dining area

2-bedroom main entrance and kitchen and dining area

All bedrooms can adequately contain a king size bed while common rooms can take a queen size bed.

The units are also free of bay windows.

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Location

Etymology: Sims Drive is one of those roads in Singapore that connect to several prominent locations in the east. It is a long and winding road that runs through Marine Parade, Paya Lebar and Aljunied. It also connects to Geylang and the CBD.

Until recently, there was not much to Sims Drive, but now it is slowly undergoing a significant upgrade, as a result of the government’s initiative to gentrify Geylang, that will result in an overhaul of its landscape.

Getting there: GuocoLand’s Sims Urban Oasis showflat is located within the grounds of the actual site on 60 Sims Drive.

Eateries along Aljunied MRT Station

Eateries along Aljunied MRT Station

From Aljunied MRT station, take the right exit and walk past the row of eateries like Ananas cafe. The left exit will lead you toward Geylang Lorong 25 and beyond.

The quickest way to the showflat is to walk past the overhead bridge and Geylang Methodist Girls School (under renovation at the time of this writing) in the direction of Aljunied Road and Macpherson, and follow the path to the traffic light.

Sims Drive toward Sims Urban Oasis

Sims Drive toward Sims Urban Oasis

The showflat and site is diagonally across the road. You can walk over the bridge and take the path there but with less trees, it will be hotter.

The walking time is about five minutes and once you reach the traffic light junction, it is immediately visible.

From across the road, the rhythmic sounds of drilling indicate construction is underway.

Sims Urban Oasis showflat

Sims Urban Oasis showflat

Sims Urban Oasis is still very much in its beginning stages but with three years before it TOPs, the development has plenty of time to fulfill the heavy expectations.

The surroundings: From the map, Sims Urban Oasis looks to be taking up a giant plot of land relatively far from the train station and everything else. If you were to walk around however, you’ll soon realize that this is inaccurate.

Sims Urban Oasis is situated on the grounds of what used to be a cluster of HDB blocks that had long since been demolished after they went en bloc. As such the project is situated in the city fringe and within a matured heartlands area.

Having the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) run just behind it, makes it extremely easy for residents to drive out onto the highway. This certainly boosts its appeal.

Grocery shops, clinic and hawker centre at Block 53 Sims Drive

Grocery shops, clinic and hawker centre at Block 53 Sims Drive

Because of its heartlands location, the usual amenities like clinics, neighbourhood grocery shops and hawker centres are already present. Furthermore, as they are part of an older HDB estate, prices at the hawker centre and wet market tend to be comparatively lower than their newer counterparts.

The closest selection of amenities would be at Block 53, which is to the right and across the road of the development after SCN Centre.

Directions to Sims Urban Oasis

There are two hawker centres here – one at the end of block 53 – and the other being Sims Vista Market & Food Centre.

Having a heartland market about a five minute walk (depending on which tower you’re in) is very useful.

Since Sims Drive will include a university, having a place where cheaper food and groceries are available is a bonus.

Sims Vista market and food centre

Sims Vista market and food centre

However, those blocks are old and are on the way to be en bloc and the area rezoned. What might be built there is likely commercial but there’s still time for such details to be formalized.

In the meantime, these are the closest shops and eateries to the project. The other eateries are as mentioned, along Aljunied MRT Station and on the other side, throughout Geylang.

If you have to travel a bit further, then one stop down is Paya Lebar and Paya Lebar Central. While still being developed, the two malls there are already functioning with more restaurants and shops to dine and peruse at.

In the future, that area will grow increasingly robust with more business opportunities around Paya Lebar, Kallang including Geylang.

This infamous area will be undergoing massive redevelopment that will turn it from seedy nightlife haunt to a bustling and modern commercial & residential hub – much like what had happened with Clarke Quay and Boat Quay.

Map of Sims Urban Oasis and the new CBD

Map of Sims Urban Oasis and the new CBD

And one of the important things to heartland areas are the neighbourhood schools.

The closest school are Geylang Methodist Primary & Secondary Schools, along Aljunied Road. Macpherson Primary School is further down from Sims Urban Oasis, along Aljunied Road and past the PIE.

For higher tertiary education institutes, James Cook University will be moving from Ang Mo Kio to the district. It is expected to be completed in 2017, just two years before the condo officially launches.

In addition, there is the aforementioned child care centre being built into the development. This is a rare thing for condominiums to add but the developer understands its location enough to provide relevant amenities to its residents and the residents in the area.

And since Sims Urban Oasis is on the frequently travelled East-West Line (Green), getting to other schools like SMU at Dhoby Gaut is easy. Aljunied is five train stops down, including the switch at City Hall to Dhoby Gaut. Even closer is Bugis, at four stops down. Over there, you’ve got Bugis Junction, Bugis+ and perennial IT mall, Sim Lim.

With the sweeping changes coming to the new Paya Lebar Central, Geylang Serai and even northern Bidadari Estate, Sims Urban Oasis is buffeted by a cavalcade of changes that are bringing the CBD right to its doorstep.

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Analysis

Purchase: Given its premium location, Sims Urban Oasis has a higher psf For example, its 441 sqft 1-bedroom unit is going at $1,557 psf. The median PSF for 1-bedroom units according to transacted data from URA is $1,436.The usual culprits come in play here; proximity to MRT station and amenities like food centres and shops are factored into the price, but the largest contributor is that the development is being billed as a luxury development on the city fringe.

As of April 2018, 975 units have been transacted, leaving only 47 units left. 

Source: Realis, PropertyGuru

Source: Realis, PropertyGuru

Units typically cross the $1m mark with the 2-bedroom Dual Key units and even then, a 786 sqft units is transacted at 1,340 psf or $1.53m. With buyer comfortability typically ranging between $1m and $1.5m, it’s possible to purchase a 4-bedroom compact unit at just under $1.5m, making it a relatively affordable prospect for many upgraders. There are numerous smaller units that are priced lower, in the 500K range, offering potential residents far more flexibility in unit options in a good location.

Rental: In time, the city fringe will be part of the city, should the URA plans come to fruition. There is no reason to think this won’t happen, only the timeframe in which this dramatic change will occur is in question.

According to URA, the average monthly psf for Q1 2018 is $3.48. Against the average psf of $1,443, monthly rent with a 20% new build premium added comes up to around $1,700 for a 409 sqft unit. That brings rental yield to around a healthy 3.5%. This a 0.1% decline from the July 2017 which should indicate that the area is still healthy and Sims Urban Oasis remains a worthy investment.

And with only 49 units left, the opportunity to score a unit at developer price is running out. 

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Summary

In the years to come, Sims Urban Oasis and the area it inhabits will no longer be part of the city fringe. Eventually, residents of GuocoLand’s upcoming project won’t even need to travel down to the CBD to work – they will be part of the CBD.

When the development is completed, the PIE will run behind the project but since units facing the highway begin on the fourth level, there should be sufficient buffer to minimise noise pollution.

The PIE will be about the same height as the multi-storey carpark. Furthermore, the glass panels in each unit are designed to absorb noise and vibration. How effective this will be during peak hours remains to be seen.

View of Sims Urban Oasis from Aljunied Road EDIT

View of Sims Urban Oasis from Aljunied Road EDIT

A new bus stop being built just next to the side gate that leads to the other shops and beyond will be bringing more buses to service a larger area.

Getting around via public transport will be more convenient than it is now, especially with the greater commercial area that will bring plenty of job opportunities to the region when it is fully developed.

More important are the units. All the units are designed to make good use of the space. Layouts aren’t as weird as some developments with odd little corners that you can’t do anything with.

A 1-bedroom loft is an extremely viable investment opportunity especially when considering the type of tenant you might rent to in the future. Lecturers, students, expats and more are expected to flock to the area once this new and unofficial CBD is up and running. A loft exudes a sense of luxury usually uncommon in a heartland development.

Sims Urban Oasis is a goldmine waiting to be prospected. Its prices and psf may appear high but if the showunits are any indication, the smarter and better layout more than justifies the cost. A unit that is small with a terrible layout is a waste of money but a small unit with a smart layout has potential.

And Sims Urban Oasis looks to be a development offering a decent layout in an established area about to be revitalised. It certainly is earmarked for greatness and if it only had to have one thing going for it, it would be that it is in the east.

So far, the east has yet to disappoint.

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Eric Wong

Christopher Chitty

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