Stars of Kovan Review



  • Yasmin Beevi
  • 21 June 2016

 

Cheung Kong Property Holdings Limited is one of the largest property developers in Hong Kong. Its principal activities encompass residential, commercial and industrial property development and investment; hotel and serviced suite operation; and property and project management. The Group has operations in Mainland China, Singapore, the United Kingdom and The Bahamas.   

Project Name: Stars of Kovan

Address: Junction of Upper Serangoon Road and Tampines Road

Site area: Approx. 108,685 sqft

Tenure: 99-year leasehold from February 2015

District: 19

Configuration:

395 residential units

46 commercial units

Unit types:        

90 1-bedroom units (506 – 517sqft)

240 2-bedroom units (732 – 807 sqft)

60 3-bedroom units (947 – 1,023 sqft)

5 strata terrace units (1,830 sqft)

Maintenance fees: Approx. $380 to $600

Parking lots:      

316 residential lots

13 commercial lots

80 public lots

Expected TOP:  November 2020

Expected legal completion: November 2023

Project Details

Stars of Kovan is a British-inspired 395-unit mixed development located at the junction of Upper Serangoon Road and Tampines Road. At time of writing (May 2016), all unit types are available.

Unit sizes range from 1- to 3-bedroom units and strata terrace units.

stars of kovan show flat

 

For interested buyers, the show flat is on site.

stars of kovan show flat decor

 

The Developers made headlines earlier in April 2016 when they spent almost $10 million on the show flat for the project.

stars of kovan construction

 

Construction for the project has just started.

stars of kovan model

 

The project consists of four 17-storey towers and is designed jointly by TEAM DESIGN and COEN, who between them, have won numerous awards.

Source: Developer's Brochure

Source: Developer’s Brochure

The commercial units are already available for sale. Potential owners/tenants include a premier banking branch, medical clinics and a pet shop.

Source: Developer's Brochure

Source: Developer’s Brochure

The terrace units are located away from the commercial side of the project, along Tampines Road.

Facilities at the development are organized into 4 zones – Splash Kingdom, Sunshine Manor, Celestial Realm and Regale Monarchy.

Source: Developer's Brochure

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

Source: Developer's Brochure

Source: Developer’s Brochure

Celestial Realm also known as the sky gardens will feature a sky BBQ, sky pavilion, sky bridge and even a spa pool.

Source: Developer's Brochure

Source: Developer’s Brochure

Source: Developer's Brochure

Source: Developer’s Brochure

Two separate areas of the sky gardens – Kensington Sky Garden and Soho Alfresco – provide residents with the perfect place to relax in during the evenings or even to have mini parties or gatherings at.

Source: Developer's Brochure

Source: Developer’s Brochure

At Starlike Club, residents can access the gym or just unwind after a day’s work.

Source: Developer's Brochure

Source: Developer’s Brochure

It features a private pool and outdoor alfresco dining. You can host dinner parties at the function room too.

Source: Developer's Brochure

Source: Developer’s Brochure

Source: Developer's Brochure

Source: Developer’s Brochure

Outdoor spaces are perfect for relaxing or if you have children, to just let them run around in.

Source: Developer's Brochure

Source: Developer’s Brochure

For 1-bedroom units, stack 14 is outward-facing towards Upper Serangoon Road, but has a pool view.

For 2-bedroom units, stack 15 is also outward-facing towards Upper Serangoon Road, with a pool view.

Stacks 4, 5, 6, 11 and 13 are outward facing, towards Tampines Road.

For 3-bedroom units, stack 9 has a full pool view.

Stacks 3 and 12 are outward facing, towards Tampines Road.

stars of kovan pool view model

 

However, the pool is on the Upper Serangoon side, so all stacks with a pool view are probably facing the busy Upper Serangoon Road in some way.

 

Show flat units are available for the 2- and 3-bedroom units. Photos in this review are from both show units.

stars of kovan kitchen 2 BR 1

 

stars of kovan kitchen 2 BR 2

 

Cabinets with solid surface countertops and a sink with mixer are provided with the kitchen. Appliances provided include a built-in oven, electric cooker and hood, refrigerator and washer cum dryer all from Smeg. In the 2-bedroom unit, the kitchen is straight ahead from the entrance.

stars of kovan household shelter

 

The kitchen leads to the household shelter, which you could choose to use as a storage space or even turn into a wine cellar, like above.

stars of kovan living and dining 2 BR

 

The living space is right out the kitchen and long enough for you to have a dining area by the side of the kitchen.

stars of kovan living 2 BR

 

The living area extends to the balcony.

stars of kovan common bedroom 2 BR

 

The common bedroom. It may be possible to fit a queen bed in there, but going with the single options seems like a smarter move.

stars of kovan common bathroom 2 BR 1

 

stars of kovan common bathroom 2 BR 2

 

The common bathroom has a wet and dry area as per usual. Fittings are from Hansgrohe and Duravit.

stars of kovan master bedroom 2 BR

 

The master bedroom is could probably accommodate a king bed, but the queen option gives you more leg room.

stars of kovan master bathroom 2 BR 1

 

stars of kovan master bathroom 2 BR 2

 

The master bathroom is perhaps slightly wider than the common one. The tiles are all marble here.

stars of kovan kitchen 3 BR 1

 

stars of kovan kitchen 3 BR 2

 

The kitchen in the 3-bedroom unit is slightly larger and comes with a gas cooker and hob. It also leads to the household shelter and water closet. Again, the kitchen is straight in front of the entrance.

stars of kovan household shelter

 

stars of kovan water closet

 

The space is ideal for your helper, if you have one.

stars of kovan living and dining 3 BR

 

The living space is to the left of the kitchen. As with the 2-bedroom unit, the dining area is to the side of the kitchen.

stars of kovan living 3 BR

 

The living space, with the balcony on the right.

stars of kovan common bedroom 3 BR 1

 

stars of kovan common bedroom 3 BR 2

 

The common bedrooms are similar to the one in the 2-bedroom unit. Going with a single bed for these rooms may be better.

stars of kovan common bathroom 3 BR

 

The common bathroom.

stars of kovan master bedroom 3 BR

 

The master bedroom.

stars of kovan master bathroom 3 BR

 

And finally, the master bathroom in the 3-bedroom unit.

 

Buyers are likely to be a mix of owner-occupiers and those looking to lease. Singaporeans and permanent residents account for an estimated 98% of sales currently.

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Location

Kovan is a suburb in the Northeast region of Singapore and actually a part of Hougang New Town. The area is a largely private housing estate, but new condominiums have been coming up over the past few years.

condo, nearby, amenities

Source: Google Maps

Getting there: Stars of Kovan is located at the junction of Upper Serangoon Road and Tampines Road of District 19. If you’re travelling by train in the mornings, Raffles Place MRT is a 20-minute ride from Kovan 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.

transport, train, condo

 

Kovan MRT is a 5-minute walk away. From there, the next stop is Serangoon MRT where you have Nex Mall. One stop in the other direction will have you at Hougang MRT where you have Hougang Mall and the upcoming Hougang Integrated Hub.

 

The estate: Stars at Kovan is situated within minutes’ walk to Kovan MRT. Surrounding the development are more private projects and landed housing.

transport, condo

 

The nearest bus stop is directly in front of The Tembusu (located next to Stars of Kovan), with services 53, 62 and 112. Between them, these services cover Bishan, Ang Mo Kio, Pasir Ris, Aljunied, Punggol, Hougang and Upper Serangoon.

amenities, nearby, condo

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

As for school options, there are a few nearby.

education, condo, nearby

 

International Schools:

  • DPS International School
  • Australian International School
  • Stamford American International School
  • Dimensions International College

shopping mall, entertainment, dining, condo

 

Heartland Mall is a 5-minute walk away. It is a smaller neighbourhood mall with dining options like Sakae Sushi and supermarket chain Cold Storage. There are also a number of tuition centres on the top floor.

retail, condo, heartland, nearby

 

Just outside Heartland Mall, there’s about a 100m stretch of shops ranging from hardware and electrical, to beauty parlours and tuition centres.

supermarket, convenience, nearby, amenities, condo

 

At the end of the stretch of shops, you’ll find a 24-hour FairPrice Finest outlet, a preschool and two music schools.

amenities, nearby, condo, recreation, leisure

 

Soccer enthusiasts will enjoy Kovan Sports Centre being across the road from FairPrice. From Stars of Kovan, it is a 10-minute walk away.

dining, nearby, condo

 

For hawker fare, residents can head to Kovan 209, just next to Heartland Mall.

entertainment, shopping mall, dining, amenities, nearby, condo

 

Hougang Mall is a 3-minute drive away. The suburban shopping mall houses Cheng San Community Library. NTUC Fairprice is in the basement and education and enrichment centres are available for kids on the 5th level.

entertainment, cinema, dining, amenities, nearby, condo

 

NEX Mall is less than a 5-minute drive away. The 7-storey regional suburban shopping mall boasts 19 anchor tenants including Shaw Cinemas and a total of 340 F&B and retail units. It is also connected to Serangoon bus interchange, Serangoon MRT and houses Serangoon Public Library. Various education and enrichment centres are available for kids and dining options are countless.

As for healthcare needs, the upcoming Sengkang General & Community Hospital will be a 10-minute drive away. There are also a number of general and specialist clinics along the stretch outside Heartland Mall itself.

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Analysis

Caveated transactions for Stars of Kovan at time of writing (May 2016) stands at 80. Recorded transaction prices range from $664K to $1.412M (see Chart 1).

Sales Transactions

Source: PropertyGuru, URA

Source: PropertyGuru, URA

Source: URA

Source: URA

Stars of Kovan’s closest competitor would be The Tembusu, located just next to it, along Tampines Road. Launched in August 2013, its median price is $1,546 psf to Stars of Kovan’s median of $1,412 psf. This difference in price is likely due to the different market conditions at time of launch as well as the fact that The Tembusu is a freehold development. Residents at The Tembusu are also likely to be a good mix of owner-occupiers and tenants who like the location.

Units at The Tembusu range from 1- to 4-bedroom units and penthouse units while Stars of Kovan consists of 1-3 bedroom units and strata terrace units. To have a clearer picture, we will be looking at 1-bedroom and 3-bedroom units in particular, across both developments.

According to caveats, Stars of Kovan’s 1-bedroom units have a median price of $1,418 psf while The Tembusu’s is $1,587 psf. Transactions for the units at Stars of Kovan range from $1.047M to $1.48M, and from $865K to $1.097M at The Tembusu.

As for the 3-bedroom units, they have a median price of $1,426 psf at Stars of Kovan, while The Tembusu’s is $1,531 psf.  Transactions for the units at Stars of Kovan range from $1.269M to $1.412M, and from $1.492M to $1.88M at The Tembusu.

Before deciding based on these numbers alone, we should look at unit sizing as well. Units at The Tembusu are generally larger with the 1-bedroom ones between 474sqft and 646 sqft. At Stars of Kovan, they are between 506 sqft and 517 sqft. 3-bedroom units are between 1,044 sqft and 1,378 sqft at The Tembusu and range from 947 sqft to 1,023 sqft at Stars of Kovan.

 

Future Rental Potential

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

The current median rental price for projects in District 19 (Serangoon Garden / Hougang / Punggol) and specifically along Tampines Road is around $3.64 psf per month at time of writing, based on rental transactions for the past 4 quarters.

At these rates, a 1-bedroom unit around 517 sqft at Stars of Kovan would go for around $2,200 a month, after factoring a 20% premium for its new build. With the median price for the unit being around $719K, the annual gross rental yield at the current rate would be an estimated 3.7%. A 3-bedroom unit would probably fetch around $4,400 a month at today’s rental rates. This translates to around 3.9% in annual gross rental yield.

The size of a 1-bedroom unit at The Tembusu, on the other hand, would probably fetch around $2,700 a month which would translate to an estimated rental yield of 4.2%. A 3-bedroom unit would probably go for around $4,600 a month, meaning an estimated 3.4% rental yield.

According to the estimated figures, rental yield for one-bedders seems to be higher at The Tembusu. With the three-bedders, it is higher at Stars of Kovan. The choice of nearby amenities is pretty much the same, since The Tembusu is right next to Stars of Kovan. Unit sizing however differs with units at The Tembusu being larger.

Overall, both projects seem to be safe in terms of rental yield.

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Summary

Given that it is a leasehold project, Stars of Kovan is a relatively more affordable option compared to the other two developments next to it.

Located right in the middle of Serangoon and Hougang, it affords residents increased convenience. With having not one, but two established estates within short driving distance, residents will be able to get anything they need very easily.

They will also enjoy easy access to major expressways and proximity to nearby places like the Kovan eateries, Heartland Mall, Hougang Mall and NEX Mall. For families with children, there are a number of schools ranging from primary level to junior college level, nearby.

Kovan MRT is about a 5-minute walk away for those who would prefer to take public transport in the mornings. Investment potential is high with the project being within a 15-minute drive from the town and CBD areas. This is also evident from sales thus far – smaller units have been moving fast.

Overall, Stars of Kovan is a good option for couples and families looking for a home. With the number of land sales on the decline, and the fact that there are no other projects nearby TOP-ing at or around the time as Stars of Kovan, entering the market now may prove to be a good move in future.

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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.