Sophia Hills Review



  • Yasmin Beevi
  • 16 June 2016

Hoi Hup Sunway Mount Sophia Pte Ltd is a joint venture amongst Hoi Hup Realty Pte Ltd, Sunway Developments Pte Ltd and SC Wong Holdings Pte Ltd.

Project Name: Sophia Hills

Address: Mount Sophia

Site area: Approx. 255,771 sqft

Tenure: 99 years

District: 9

Configuration: 493 units

Unit types:        

16 1-bedroom units (463 – 517 sqft)

88 1-bedroom + study units (560 sqft)

66 2-bedroom units (570 – 721 sqft)

6 2-bedroom + study units (721 sqft)

228 2-bedroom Dual Key units (689 – 753 sqft)

33 3-bedroom units (850 – 980 sqft)

40 3-bedroom + utility units (1,023 – 1,130 sqft)

6 3-bedroom + utility + private lobby units (1,313 sqft)

10 4-bedroom + utility +private lobby units (1,539 sqft)

Maintenance fees: TBA

Parking lots:      

493 normal lots

4 handicap lots

9 kindergarten lots

8 restaurant lots

Expected TOP:  August 2018

Expected legal completion: August 2021

Project Details

Sophia Hills is a 493-unit development located at Mount Sophia. At time of writing (June 2016), all unit types are available.

sophia hills show flat

 

For interested buyers, the show flat is on site.

sophia hills model

 

The project is a hill top development consisting of one 7-storey block, one 5-storey block, four 6-storey blocks and six 4-storey blocks.

An interesting aspect of the project is that it will restore 3 conserved buildings in the area and develop them into a clubhouse, restaurant and kindergarten and childcare centre.

Facilities are spread over the entire development.

Source: Developer's Brochure

Source: Developer’s Brochure

Source: Developer's Brochure

Source: Developer’s Brochure

Source: Developer's Brochure

Source: Developer’s Brochure

The clubhouse, restaurant and kindergarten.

Source: Developer's Brochure

Source: Developer’s Brochure

The lap pool.

Source: Developer's Brochure

Source: Developer’s Brochure

The mirror pool behind the clubhouse.

sophia hills facilities

 

Source: Developer's Brochure

Source: Developer’s Brochure [click here for full version]

For 1-bedroom units, stacks 11, 21, 39, 41, 50, 68 and 74 are all inward facing and have a pool view.

For 1-bedroom + study units, stacks 38, 75 and 82 are inward facing with a pool view.

For 2-bedroom units, stacks 21, 39, 68 and 74 are inward facing with a pool view.

For 2-bedroom + study units, stacks 41 and 50 are inward facing with a full pool view.

For 2-bedroom Dual Key units, stacks 42, 49, 73 and 76 are inward facing with a pool view.

Stacks 29 and 30 have a partial pool view.

For 3-bedroom units, stack 81 is inward facing with a partial pool view.

For 3-bedroom + utility units, stacks 43 and 48 have a partial pool view.

For 3-bedroom units with a private lift lobby, there’s only 1 stack – stack 99 – and it faces the children’s water play area.

Lastly, for 4-bedroom units with a private lift lobby, stack 37 is inward facing with a pool view.

 

Showflat units are available for the 2-bedroom Dual Key and 3-bedroom + utility units. Photos in this review are from both units.

Specifications:

Flooring

  • compressed marble or marble finish with skirting for living, dining/kitchen areas, private lobby, foyer and corridor leading to bedrooms
  • tiles finish for kitchen
  • timber flooring with skirting for bedrooms, ensuite and study
  • tiles finish and/or mosaic tiles finish for bathrooms
  • marble or granite finish for master bathroom

Doors

  • approved fire-rated timber swing door in laminate finish for main entrance and rear entrance
  • hollow core timber sliding door in laminate finish for foyer
  • powder coated aluminium-framed swing/sliding glass door for living, dining, bedroom leading to balcony/PES, private lobby and yard
  • hollow core timber swing/sliding door in laminate finish for bedrooms, bathrooms and ensuite
  • float glass sliding door and/or hollow core timber swing/sliding door with glass panel for kitchen
  • PVC bi-fold and/or aluminium-framed acrylic door for utility and water closet.

Sanitary fittings

  • shower cubicle with shower mixer and handshower set, basin with mixer tap and cabinet, water closet, mirror with cabinet, paper holder and towel rail for all bathrooms
  • longbath with bath mixer and hand shower for 4-bedroom unit
  • 2-way tap with hand shower set, basin with tap, water closet, mirror and paper holder for water closet

Additional items

  • built-in wardrobes in laminate finish for all bedrooms and ensuite
  • wall-mounted air-con from Mitsubishi Electric for living, dining and family areas, bedrooms and study

sophia hills colour scheme

 

First and foremost, buyers have two different colour schemes to choose from.

sophia hills kitchen 2 BR DK main

 

Cabinets with solid surface countertops and a stainless steel sink come with the kitchen. Appliances provided include a built-in oven and an electric cooker hob and hood from Smeg, a refrigerator from Mitsubishi Electric and a washer cum dryer from Whirpool. The kitchen in the 2-bedroom Dual Key unit is an open kitchen, backed against the wall.

sophia hills living & dining 2 BR DK

 

The space is wide enough for you to have a mini dining area on the side.

sophia hills living 2 BR DK

 

The living area is right in front of the kitchen and extends to the balcony.

sophia hills bedroom 2 BR DK main

 

The bedroom space is just behind the living area and can accommodate a queen bed with leg room to spare.

sophia hills bathroom 2 BR DK main

 

The bathroom has a wet and dry area as per usual, though the wet area is pretty small. Fittings are from Hansgrohe.

sophia hills kitchen 2 BR DK studio

 

The pantry space in the ensuite of the 2-bedroom Dual Key unit. It comes with a built-in microwave oven from Smeg and refrigerator.

sophia hills bedroom 2 BR DK studio

 

The bedroom in the ensuite is pretty spacious and can accommodate a queen bed.

sophia hills bathroom 2 BR DK studio

 

The ensuite bathroom.

sophia hills kitchen 3 BR

 

The kitchen in the 3-bedroom unit is slightly bigger and could potentially fit two people simultaneously if need be.

sophia hills utility 3 BR

 

The kitchen is connected to the utility space.

sophia hills dining 3 BR

 

The dining area is right in front of the kitchen.

sophia hills living 3 BR

 

The living area stretches out in front of the dining space.

sophia hills common bedroom 3 BR queen

 

The common bedrooms can just about fit a queen bed.

sophia hills common bedroom 3 BR single

 

Of course, going with a single bed frees up more space.

sophia hills common bathroom 3 BR

 

The common bathroom.

sophia hills master bedroom 3 BR

 

The master bedroom can accommodate a king-sized bed.

sophia hills master bathroom 3 BR

 

And lastly, the master bathroom.

 

Buyers are likely to be a mix of owner-occupiers and those looking to lease. Singaporeans and permanent residents account for around 75% of sales currently.

Show More

Location

Mount Sophia is a hill in the Rochor area located in the Central Region of Singapore. It was one of the earliest middle-class residential districts and boasted grand houses in the 1930s. Today, it is a private residential enclave, offering a glimpse of the architectural history of Singapore, with some of the conserved buildings.

dhoby ghaut, condo

Source: Google Maps

Getting there: Sophia Hills is very centrally located in terms of access to expressways and distance to town and CBD areas. If you’re travelling by train in the mornings, Raffles Place MRT is a 5-minute ride from Dhoby Ghaut MRT. By car, it is a 3-minute drive to town via Somerset Road and Orchard Boulevard, assuming optimal traffic conditions.

transport, train, condo

 

Dhoby Ghaut MRT is about a 7-minute walk away. From there, it is one stop to Somerset MRT and two stops down to Orchard MRT. The station is also the interchange for the North South Line, North East Line and Circle Line. Residents will therefore have easy connectivity to all parts of Singapore.

train, condo

 

Little India MRT is about a 10-minute walk away. It is also the interchange for the Downtown Line currently connecting parts of the North like Bukit Panjang to the town and CBD areas.

 

The estate: Mount Sophia is a private residential enclave amidst a largely commercial area. Exit from Sophia Road into Selegie Road, and you’re smack in the middle of all the activity. Walk slightly down and you’re at Little India. Walk a bit up, and you’re at The Cathay and Plaza Singapura.

dhoby ghaut, condo, amenities

Source: Developer’s Brochure [click here for full version]

The project is about a 5-minute walk away from established malls like Plaza Singapura and The Cathay. Slightly further, you have Bugis Junction, Bugis +, Raffles City Tower, 313 Somerset and all the malls along the Orchard stretch.

transport, dhoby ghaut, peace centre, condo

 

The nearest bus stop would be the one in front of Peace Centre, along Selegie Road.

transport, dhoby ghaut, condo

 

For more services, there is another one in front of Dhoby Ghaut MRT.

As for school options, there are a few nearby.

education, dhoby ghaut, condo

 

Saint Margaret’s Primary School is nearest to Sophia Hills, perhaps a 2-minute walk away.

education, arts, dhoby ghaut, condo

 

education, university, tertiary, dhoby ghaut, condo

 

Saint Margaret’s Primary School is nearest to Sophia Hills, perhaps a 2-minute walk away.

education, dhoby ghaut, nearby, condo

 

International Schools:

  • Overseas Family School
  • SJI International School
  • Chatsworth International School (Orchard Campus)

shopping malls, amenities, dhoby ghaut, condo, dining

 

Plaza Singapura is a 7-minute walk away. An estimated 320 retail outlets are spread over 7 floors and 2 basements. Anchor tenants at the contemporary mall include Marks & Spencer, Best Denki, Cold Storage, Spotlight, John Little and Yamaha.

shopping malls, amenities, cinema, nearby, dhoby ghaut, condo

 

About 300m away, you have The Cathay. Most known for Cathay Cineplexes at levels 5 and 6, the mixed-use development consists of a shopping mall and apartment building.

dining, dhoby ghaut, amenities, condo

 

Turning left from Orchard Road into Selegie Road and towards Sophia Hills, residents will have many dining options in the form of cafes in the shophouses at Prinsep Place.

supermarket, convenience store, dhoby ghaut, nearby, amenities, condo

 

Directly across the road from Prinsep Place, there is a 24-hour Fairpricexpress outlet and 7-Eleven outlet. This will be very convenient for residents.

shopping malls, amenities, dhoby ghaut, condo

 

Further down Selegie Road, there’s Peace Centre and Wilkie Edge.

dining, shopping, amenities, condo, nearby

 

Walk or drive straight along Selegie Road and you’ll find yourself at Little India. Serangoon Road is the main commercial thoroughfare in the area. Along and around it, you can find Tekka Mall, the Little India Arcade, Serangoon Plaza and several Hindu temples, mosques and other places of worship. Famous for its food and heritage, the place is frequented by locals and tourists.

 

As for healthcare needs, KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital is a 3-minute drive away. You can also easily find general and specialist clinics in the malls around the area.

Show More

Analysis

Caveated transactions for Sophia Hills at time of writing (June 2016) stands at 81. Recorded transaction prices range from $960K to $3M, with an estimated 84 percent of the transactions coming in at $1.5M or below (see Chart 1).

Sales Transactions

Source: PropertyGuru, URA

Source: PropertyGuru, URA

Source: URA

Source: URA

Sophia Hills’ closest competitor would be Liv on Wilkie, located about 300m away from the development, along Wilkie Terrace. Launched in late October 2013, its current median price is $2,466 psf to Sophia Hills’ $1,899 psf. The price differential is likely due to different market conditions at time of transaction and the fact that Liv on Wilkie is a freehold development. Residents at Liv on Wilkie are also likely to be a good mix of owner-occupiers and tenants who like the project’s location.

Units at Liv on Wilkie range from 1- to 3-bedroom units. To have a clearer picture, we will be looking at 1- and 3-bedroom units in particular, across both developments. According to caveats, Sophia Hills’ 3-bedroom units have a median price of $1,885 psf while Liv on Wilkie’s is $2,508 psf. Transactions for the units at Sophia Hills range from $1.58M to $1.645M, and are between $1.6M and $1.894M at Liv on Wilkie.

As for 1-bedroom units, Sophia Hills’ have a median price of $2,287 psf and Liv on Wilkie’s have a median price of $2,201 psf. Transactions for the units at Sophia Hills range from $960K to $1.17M, and are between $975K and $1.16M at Liv on Wilkie.

Before deciding based on these numbers alone, we should look at unit sizing as well. Units are generally larger at Sophia Hills. 1-bedroom units range from 463 sqft to 517 and are 452 sqft at Liv on Wilkie. 3-bedroom units range from 850 sqft to 980 sqft at Sophia Hills. At Liv on Wilkie, they are between 732 sqft and 743 sqft.

 

Future Rental Potential

To understand what rental prices will be like for Sophia Hills, we need to look at rental prices for other projects in the area.

The current median rental price for District 9 (Orchard / Cairnhill / River Valley) is around $4.61 psf per month at time of writing, based on rental transactions for the past 4 quarters. The median rental price for units around Mount Sophia however, is around $5.07 psf per month. At these rates, a 3-bedroom unit around 920 sqft at Sophia Hills would go for around $5,500 a month, after factoring a 20% premium for its new build. With the median price for the unit being around $1.603M, the annual gross rental yield at the current rate would be an estimated 4.1%.

The median unit size of a 3-bedroom at Liv on Wilkie, on the other hand, would probably fetch around $4,500 a month at today’s rental rates. This translates to around 3% in annual gross rental yield.

A 1-bedroom unit at Sophia Hills would go for around $2,900 a month and this would approximately be a 3.3% rental yield. With Liv on Wilkie, you could get around $2,700 a month and this would also be an estimated 3.3% in annual gross rental yield.

According to the estimated figures, rental yield for Sophia Hills seems to be higher with the 3-bedroom units. With the 1-bedroom units, they are the same for Sophia Hills and Liv on Wilkie. The choice of nearby amenities are pretty much the same, with the projects being close to each other. Unit sizing however, differs with units at Sophia Hills being a bit larger.

Show More

Summary

Location and price point are Sophia Hills’ biggest plus points. Being situated in the centre of activity that is Dhoby Ghaut, residents will definitely enjoy being so easily connected to several parts of Singapore.

The easy access to major expressways and the MRT stations nearby make it extremely convenient to navigate – the number of rental contracts at developments along Adis Road and Mount Sophia itself is testament to this.

A potential drawback that arises because the project is located in a predominantly commercial area, is the lack of a range of educational institutions. Saint Margaret’s Primary School and a few tertiary institutions are within walking distance, but other primary and secondary school-going residents may have to travel a bit.

Investment potential is very high and this is clearly evident from the fast-selling 1- and 2-bedroom units. The upcoming Liv on Sophia, which is directly opposite Sophia Hills, only has 2-bedders and almost all units are sold.

Overall, purchasing a unit at Sophia Hills for investment purposes or as a home buyer, seems like a good move. Given the relative affordability, the facilities offered and the location, you will be getting a pretty sweet deal.

Show More
Eric Wong

Yasmin Beevi

Yasmin has been exploring show flats with her family since young and enjoys coming across interesting designs and offers. When she’s not at the office or on a site visit, she’s probably out trying new types of food with friends, at the theatres engrossed in a movie or occasionally, enjoying herself overseas.