North Park Residences is a 920-unit integrated development along Yishun Avenue 2, where the former Yishun Bus Interchange used to be. Unit sizes range from studio units to 5-bedroom units.
EL Development Pte Ltd (EL Development) started as a small business unit within one of Singapore’s leading builders, Evan Lim & Co. Pte. Ltd. With continued success of projects like Rhapsody on Mount Elizabeth, Steven Suites, Skysuites 17 and Trivelis, the company was officially incorporated in June 2007. Today, it is a full-fledged, independent organization renowned for high quality property projects.
Project Name: Symphony Suites
Address: Junction of Yishun Avenue 9 and Yishun Avenue 6
Site area: Approx. 221,241 sqft
Tenure: 99 years commencing 10th June 2014
Configuration: 660 units
180 2-bedroom units (689 sqft)
180 3-bedroom units (786 – 797 sqft)
150 3-bedroom premium units (893 – 915 sqft)
150 4-bedroom units (1,023 sqft)
Maintenance fees: Around $240 – $280
662 normal lots
5 handicapped lots
Expected TOP: March 2019
Expected legal completion: March 2022
Symphony Suites is a 660-unit residential project located at the crossroads of Yishun Avenue 6 and 9. At time of writing (Oct 2015), around 78% of the 180 launched units have been sold.
Unit sizes range from 2-bedroom units to 4-bedroom units. The lowest-priced unit on PropertyGuru is a 689 sqft 2-bedroom unit going for $600,000, which translates to around $870 psf. A 1,023 sqft 4-bedroom unit is going for $1,200,000 and this is an estimated $1,173 psf.
At time of writing, all unit types are still available.
The show flat is on site, along Yishun Avenue 6 and 9. Construction is still in the early stages.
Standing at 15 storeys high, the project consists of 11 blocks with only 4 units per storey, offering a combination of privacy and spaciousness. Block-to-block spacing is generous and the towers have a North-East orientation, facing the forested areas. Residents will also be able to enjoy a ‘180-experience’ since every room is lined up for optimal views of their preferred direction and scenery.
Symphony Suites features four seasons of landscapes and facilities – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.
For the fitness enthusiast:
- tennis court / half basketball court
- gym and aqua gym
- yoga deck
- fitness station
- jogging path and
- lap pool
For the nature lover:
- sculptural lawn
- sun deck
- feature water wall and
- water lounges
For the kids:
- children’s playground
- kid’s water play
- wading pool
- family pool and
For family activities, there is a BBQ pavilion, party deck and lawn, clubhouse with function rooms and a party pavilion. After a long day at work, you can head to the jacuzzi, sunken water cove or teppanyaki pavilion to wind down.
There is a childcare centre near the entrance and the rental collected will go towards the sinking fund, so residents’ shares of the maintenance fees are reduced.
Symphony Suites has been touted by industry watchers as the ‘cheapest’ condominium on the market. Its lower prices can be attributed to it being a ‘no-frills’ project, something that the developer is adopting to move units in a slowing property market. Total sellable area is reduced by not having ‘private enclosed spaces’ or balconies
According to media reports, ED Development says “Symphony Suites is designed with families and owner-occupiers in mind. Even though the floor areas seem small, the layouts have been optimized to be practical, such that the bedrooms can fit at least a queen-sized bed.”
Showflat units are available for the 3- and 4-bedroom units. Photos in this review are from both units.
- homogenous/ceramic tiles for living, dining, bathrooms, kitchen, open kitchen, yard, utility, water closet
- laminated flooring and/or timber parquet for bedrooms
- fire-rated timber door for entrance
- laminated and/or timber veneer doors for bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen
- bi-folding and/or swing PVC and/or timber doors for utility, yard and water closet
- wash basin with mixer tap and vanity cabinet, pedestal water closet, glass shower compartment with shower mixer and set, paper holder, mirror and towel rail for all bathrooms
- pedestal water closet, wash basin with tap, 2-way tap and shower set and paper holder for water closet
- built-in wardrobes for all bedrooms
- wall-mounted air-con from for living, dining and all bedrooms
Cabinets with solid surface countertops and a sink come with the kitchen. Appliances provided in the 3-bedroom units include an oven and an electric cooker hob and hood. The layout of the open kitchen will probably allow only one person to move around freely at any one time.
Kitchens in the 4-bedroom units come with a gas cooker hob and hood and can accommodate two people at any one time.
The kitchen leads directly to the yard in some 3-bedroom premium and 4-bedroom units. The utility space is actually visible from the kitchen entrance. Depending on what you use the area for, this could be a pro or a con.
The water closet is to the left of the yard and nicely tucked into the corner.
The living room is just beyond the open kitchen in the 3-bedroom unit. When you enter the unit, the kitchen is to the left, with the dining area beside it.
In the 4-bedroom unit, the space is slightly bigger.
The common bedrooms can just about fit a queen-sized bed.
If you go with a single bed instead, the room becomes much more spacious.
You could also convert it into a kids room and maximize space by opting for a double bed or a study-and-bed option like in the photo.
Alternatively, it could be used as a study area or office space.
Master bedrooms can fit a king-sized bed, but you will have to compromise in terms of maneuvering space. Going with the queen-size option will be ideal.
Bedrooms come with built-in aluminium pole system wardrobes with timber swing/sliding doors in laminated finish.
The common bathrooms are quite compact but still have separate wet and dry areas as per normal.
Master bathrooms are slightly wider and larger.
The project was launched in February 2015 and buyers are more likely to be owner-occupiers than those buying to lease.
Etymology: Now a housing estate in northern Singapore, Yishun was originally called Nee Soon, after Lim Nee Soon, a prominent industrialist who made his fortune from rubber and pineapples.
Nee Soon was nicknamed the ‘pineapple king’ for being the leading pineapple planter in the region. He was also a banker, contractor and general commission agent. Credited with opening up the Yishun and Sembawang areas, he was also a respected community leader.
The word Yishun is the Mandarin romanization of Nee Soon and the change happened at the height of the campaign to replace dialect names with Mandarin ones.
Development of the area first began in 1976, with the first flats at Chong Pang. Today, Yishun is home to an estimated 163,000 residents.
Getting there: Symphony Suites is located at the junction of Yishun Avenue 6 and Yishun Avenue 9. Yishun Avenue 9 connects to Yishun Ring Road which then joins up with the arterial Yishun Avenue 2. It will also connect to the upcoming Yishun Avenue 8 which leads directly to the future Seletar Aerospace Park. For early-morning commuters, Raffles Place will be a 34-minute MRT ride away and City Hall, a 33-minute ride.
Going in the direction of Yishun Central will eventually get you onto the Seletar Expressway (SLE) which connects to both the Tampines Expressway (TPE) and the Central Expressway (CTE). The SLE (TPE) will take you to Sengkang, Tampines, Pasir Ris and finally to Changi. The SLE (CTE) will take you to town areas like Orchard and the CBD in under 20 minutes. The upcoming North South Expressway (NSE) which will run parallel to the CTE will reduce travel time during peak hours by up to 30%.
Yishun MRT is a 2-minute drive away. There, you have Northpoint Shopping Centre, Yishun 10 which houses Golden Village Cinemas Yishun and the upcoming integrated development Northpoint City.
The estate: Symphony Suites is currently surrounded by residential and industrial projects.
To its left, it is the beginning of Yishun Industrial estate. On its right and in front, it is all residential area. The land area right behind the site is currently vacant, but the plot is reserved for residential use according to the 2014 Master Plan by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). Residents should hence be prepared for some construction work along the way.
There is a bus stop along Yishun Avenue 9, in front of Symphony Suites. 803 is a feeder service that starts at Yishun Bus Interchange, goes through Yishun Ring Road, Avenues 6 and 9, before ending at the interchange again. 811 is a loop service that starts at Yishun interchange, covers a bit of Yishun, goes on to Sembawang Road and comes back to cover more of Yishun before finally ending at the interchange.
School options are varied in the vicinity.
- Chongfu Primary School
- North View Primary School
- Xishan Primary School
- Huamin Primary School
- Yishun Primary School
- Northland Secondary School
- North View Secondary School
- Yishun Town Secondary School
Within 2 km:
- Ahmad Ibrahim Primary School
- Northland Primary School
- Jiemin Primary School
- Yishun Secondary School
- Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School
- Northbrooks Secondary School
- Chung Cheng High School (Yishun)
- Yishun Junior College
- GEMS World Academy (Singapore)
The upcoming Junction 9 is 200m away. The mixed development consists of 186 residential units, 128 retail units, 16 restaurants, a food court and a supermarket. This will make it very convenient for future residents of Symphony Suites. Otherwise, the nearest mall would be Northpoint Shopping Centre, which is a 2-minute drive away.
Northpoint Shopping Centre is slightly further down and located opposite Yishun MRT. It boasts 168 stores and services and recently, a rooftop water playground. It also houses Yishun Public Library.
The current mall will be expanded by almost three times with the completion of the upcoming integrated development Northpoint City right next to it. In addition to being the first mall to have a community club located in it, the new shopping haven will feature more than 500 retail and dining outlets and a rooftop community garden.
The temporary Yishun Bus Interchange is now located behind Northpoint Shopping Centre. Northpoint City will feature an integrated transport hub opposite Yishun MRT, when complete, which is around the same time TOP is scheduled for Symphony Suites.
Yishun 10, which houses Golden Village Cinemas Yishun, Asia’s first ‘green’ cinema, is right next to Northpoint Shopping Centre.
SAFRA Yishun Country Club is a 2-minute drive away from Symphony Suites and is the perfect place for some family fun time during the weekends. There is a wide range of sports facilities including soccer and futsal courts, tennis courts and swimming pools.
Orto, or the former Bottle Tree Park, is a 5-minute drive away and features seafood joints, 24-hour prawning and fishing spots and activities like paintball, futsal and supposedly Singapore’s largest trampoline park.
For golfers, Orchid Country Club is a 4-minute drive away. There are also various parks around Yishun, if you’re looking for some quiet time away amidst nature.
As for your healthcare needs, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) is a 3-minute drive away. The upcoming Yishun Community Hospital next to KTPH will begin operations at the end of 2015 and services include rehabilitative, dementia and palliative care for patients. Yishun Polyclinic is also a 2-minute drive away. For general medical needs, there are several clinics around the neighbourhood.
Caveated transactions for Symphony Suites at time of writing (Oct 2015) stands at 135. Recorded transaction prices range from $671K to $1.079M, with an estimated 95 percent of the transactions coming in at $1M or below (see Chart 1).
Symphony Suites’ closest competitor would be Nine Residences, which is the residential part of the mixed development known as Junction Nine & Nine Residences, situated 200m away. Launched in October 2013, its median price since launch is $1,128 psf to Symphony Suites’ $1,023 psf. Its current median price for transactions in the past four quarters however, is $1,213 psf.
Occupants of Nine Residences are likely to be a mix of home buyers and investors looking to lease their units. With the upcoming transformation of the Yishun vicinity, the future Seletar Aerospace Park and Thomson-East Coast Line, property prices in the district are bound to see a rise. Yishun Industrial Hub is just a stone’s throw away as well.
Units at Nine Residences range from 1-5 bedroom units and strata terrace units while Symphony Suites consists of 2-4 bedroom units. Residential units at Nine Residences are sold out, and few units are left in the currently launched phase of Symphony Suites.
To have a clearer picture, we will be looking at 3-bedroom units in particular, across both developments. According to caveats, Symphony Suites’ 3-bedroom units have a median price of $1,022.5 psf while Nine Residences’ is $1,062.5 psf. Transactions for the units at Symphony Suites range from $772K to $953K, and from $920K to $1.106M at Nine Residences.
Before deciding based on these numbers alone, we should look at unit sizing as well. By comparison, 3-bedroom units at Nine Residences have larger proportions and are between 904 sqft and 1,001 sqft. At Symphony Suites, they range from 786 sqft to 915 sqft.
Overall, the price differential between the two projects is not that steep. Nine Residences’ slightly higher prices are largely due to it being a mixed development and having bigger units.
However, in terms of sale prices alone, Symphony Suites is still more affordable.
Update July 2017: Most of the sales for Symphony Suites come from the 2-bedroom units. 174 out of 180 were transacted.
This is followed closely by 3-bedroom units (786 to 797 sq ft.) of which 163 out of 180 were transacted. The 3-bedroom premium and 4-bedroom units both transacted 62 and 57 respectively out of 150 each.
Future Rental Potential
To understand what rental prices will be like for Symphony Suites, we need to look at rental prices for other projects in the area.
The current median rental price for projects in District 27 (Yishun / Sembawang) is around $2.57 psf per month at time of writing, based on rental transactions for the past 4 quarters. At these rates, a 3-bedroom unit around 850 sqft at Symphony Suites would go for around $2,600 to $2,800 a month, after factoring a 20% premium for its new build. With the median price for the unit being around $816K, the annual gross rental yield at the current rate would be an estimated 4%. Assuming that rental prices increase in future with the transformation of Yishun, the same 3-bedroom unit could possibly fetch up to $3,100. Gross rental yield then moves up to 4.6%.
The median unit size of a 3-bedroom at Nine Residences, on the other hand, would probably fetch around $3,200 a month at today’s rental rates. This translates to around 3.9% in annual gross rental yield. Rental prices could go up to $3,500 a month with future developments in the surrounding areas. Annual gross rental yield would then be in the 4.3% range.
According to the figures, rental yield for Symphony Suites seems to have more potential in the long run and this can be attributed to its lower quantum prices. With Nine Residences being only 200m away from Symphony Suites, there are no real differences in terms of nearby amenities, except for the fact that Nine Residences is connected to Junction 9. Unit sizing differs slightly with units at Nine Residences generally larger. Overall, rental yields for both developments seem to be in the safe zone.
Symphony Suites is a suitable choice for newlywed couples, and small to medium-sized families. Potential buyers may be swayed by its lower prices and perhaps even its ‘no frills’ arrangement.
Residents will enjoy the easy access to major expressways and proximity to nearby malls. The upcoming massive Northpoint City will be a 2-minute drive away. For families with young children, the many primary schools surrounding the project will be a good thing.
An obvious potential drawback would be the lack of an MRT station within walking distance. Yishun MRT is a 7-minute bus ride away. However, the developers are offering complimentary shuttle bus service in the first year after completion for residents, so that should help.
Although the project is more geared towards home buyers, there is still investment potential since the development is strategically located between two regional centres – Woodlands Regional Centre and Seletar Regional Centre. There may be strong demand for private residential units in the Yishun area and in this case, investor-owners stand to gain.
Prospective buyers do see potential in the project, as evidenced by the sales. Symphony Suites’ biggest selling point is that it is really priced to move. So, whether you’re an investor or looking to buy a home, this project may be a good place to park your money at.