The Reef at King’s Dock is a 429-unit, 99-year leasehold luxury condominium development by Mapletree and Keppel Land in District 4. The condo is located along Keppel Bay and features waterfront living and scenic sea views.
Project Name: The Centren
Address: 1 Lorong 27 Geylang
Configuration: 34 units
Unit types: 8, 2BR units (549 – 624 sqft)
8, 2BR + study units (689 – 743 sqft)
18, 3BR units (958 – 1,023 sqft)
TOP: 2016 (Achieved)
Propshort: The Centre’s 3BR loft units have the potential to be extremely cosy homes for families. All Geylang properties are small but the 3BR unit takes advantage of its vertical space with a far better finesse. There’s opportunity here to rent out one bedroom as its own unit Ala dual-key or to keep it as it is to serve as a master bedroom. The ID for the showunit displays what is arguably one of the best ways to renovate the home and it does not disappoint.
For the uninitiated, Geylang condominium units are small. Due to the land being more precious here than in other parts of the island, the units tend to straddle a fine line between shoebox and compact.
But this is the norm for Geylang properties. In most cases, despite its size, the units have good layouts and with the help of a talented interior designer or contractor, it can be made to look posh and spacious.
Case in point, the 3BR loft show unit in The Centren.
The unit is ideal for investors because of where the bedrooms are located. Where most units upon entering through the main door would reveal the kitchen, over here it’s a bedroom and a bathroom. By sealing off the wall leading to the main living area with a sliding door as shown in the showunit, that bedroom becomes a small rent-able unit on its own.
A pantry space is included for some really light cooking if necessary but overall, it’s quite a decent amount of personal space for the tenant. Even if the pantry space were to be used for something else, such as to hold a washing machine, it would be fine since living in Geylang and next door to a hawker centre makes cooking a non-issue.
The other two bedrooms are located on the second floor, in the loft section of the apartment. There’s another toilet/bathroom to the left of the main door. One of the nicer things about this unit is that the living room and dining area are separate.
That’s a small feat, given how other developments in Singapore that have the benefit of size cannot even provide. In here, the two areas are blissfully apart which means families that move in here won’t be raising their children in front of the television all the time. It’s a subtle and yet fantastic addition that hearkens back to the better, more family-orientated home designs of yesteryear.
The dining area is close to the entrance of the balcony. The balcony in this unit overlooks the playground but it is separated by a low wall.
It’s a decent sized spot to relax in although during rain, it will get wet since the balcony isn’t covered. Overall, that’s a small thing and does not detract from the rest of the unit.
As for the living room (finally, you can call it a room), it is tastefully designed. The room isn’t particularly large but it is of a good size. You’ll won’t go blind with a big TV since the couch and wall distance is far enough that it gives you the freedom to own a bigger television.
Perhaps the sticking point for residents would be that the open kitchen is next to the living room and the stairs. Though it comes with an induction cooker and hood, smoke from cooking will likely permeate the house.
But as the rest of the unit is quite well done, it can be forgiven for this small thing. Space is used exceedingly well here and even the fridge is built-in and therefore provided, along with the washer/dryer, induction cooker and hood.
All the loft units allow owners to build an additional deck of sorts to extend the common bedroom as shown in the showunit here.
The permits will be given since the development is cleared to have these things, provided the extension does not cover more than a 5m radius. As an extension, it does bring a lot more space to the common bedroom. This is extra handy for when there’s a baby as the deck can be used as a play area. Or as a study area.
Since ceiling height is 5.8m it makes sense to take advantage of the extra air space.
Without it, the common bedroom is fairly basic, with an in-built closet. The other bedroom is of similar size and the bathroom on the loft level is communal. That’s three bathrooms, all of which are quite spacious with wet and dry areas that are separated by glass door in this one unit. The layout might take some getting used to but it’s overall a strong presentation.
And of course, if someone wants to buy this particular unit with the interior design complete, they’ll be able to do so at a slightly higher price.
Propshort: Geylang is a polarizing place. Either you love it or you don’t. Regardless of your feelings, it is still a fantastic location, given the abundance of amenities and the numerous arterial roads that lead to highways and major roads which in turn connect to almost every corner of Singapore. But for people who are reluctant to live in Geylang but are still moderately interested, then The Centren is a good choice since it is located in the perimeter of the infamous district and much closer to Aljunied MRT station that others.
Geylang properties are rare and yet hot commodities. As the inevitable gentrification and modernisation of Geylang rolls in, plenty of what has defined the district for the past several decades may go the way of the dinosaur.
What this will bring are more congenial jobs to the area. This in turn invites more people to the area and even if a fraction of these people were to start buying or renting homes in the area, property prices will increase to match the rest of the island.
Therefore, Geylang now are as some of the most affordable freehold homes in Singapore.
The Centren, developed by Pinnacle Development Pte Ltd of the Pinnacle Assets Group, is the latest new condominium to settle in Geylang. Against the backdrop of old-time shops and hawker centres, The Centre’s largely black and red façade is loud enough to spot peeking out from the corner of nearby inner roads.
Since The Centren is in Geylang, there’s little to no need to discuss amenities as you can’t turn a corner in Geylang without passing by a shop or a hawker centre. The area is rich with things to do and though the roads will get congested during peak hours and in the evenings, it’s still pretty well connected.
But there’s little need to drive when living at The Centren. Unlike some of its brethren, the 34-unit condo is just one street away from Sims Avenue and as a result, an uncomplicated five-minute walk to and from Aljunied MRT station. There is only one traffic stop and that’s directly across the station.
As there is more traffic in Geylang than in other parts of Singapore, the waiting time at the traffic stop is significantly longer but take that away, the project and the station are conveniently close to one another. If you’d rather take a cab, they are everywhere here. The only concern is actually getting out of Geylang past the hour when its late.
Out of 34 units, 19 has been sold, leaving just 15, all of which are 3BR loft units. As a city fringe sort of development, The Centren is close to Aljunied MRT station which implies that its initial quantum might be a little higher than other properties further in Geylang.
Rezi 3Two is a good comparison since it is also closer to the fringe of Geylang and while not as close to Dakota MRT station as The Centren is to Aljunied, it is close to the bus stop and also about five minutes to Kallang. Compared to Rezi 3Two, The Centren is certainly priced higher, for where its starting 2BR units are concerned. The PSF values for The Centren are as follows:
Compared to Rezi’s 2BR, The Centren’s 2BR is at a higher $1,416 psf against Rezi’s $1,396 psf. However, The Centren’s 2BR size range from 549 to 624 sqft while Rezi’s range from 474 to 646 sqft. The starting size favour The Centren while the largest unit available favour Rezi though not by much. It is interesting to note that Rezi 3Two is already priced higher than other Geylang properties. This is largely due to Rezi 3Two’s status as a non-Geylang property despite being in Geylang which renders the bank loan quota on Geylang properties moot for buyers of Rezi.
However, both projects are good for where they are located and have their own strengths. The Centren’s strengths lie in the double volume 3BR units and its proximity to the MRT station.
The median rental for Lorong 27 Geylang is $3.45 so using the smallest unit size of The Centren in an effort to be conservative, monthly rent after a 20% new build premium added comes to roughly $2,270 for a 549 sqft 2BR unit. Based on that and a median quantum of $777,953, gross rental yield is at a healthy 3.50%.
3BR loft units offer a far better value for money in this regard, since it is designed in such a way that the landlord can build a sliding wall separating the master bedroom from the main unit and rent out one side while continuing to live in the main unit. The current median rental for the area puts monthly rent for a room in the 3BR loft at about $4,000 per month with the 20% new build premium added. However, this is not a practical amount. Half the amount would be a sweeter deal.
Buyers new to Geylang however need to understand that while they can approach any bank to secure a loan for purchase, the banks have a special quota of loans that can be issued out for properties in Geylang. The quota is most of the time quickly reached so very likely, buyers will need to rely on financial institutions which means interest rate is higher.
The Centren is a good project, there’s little to dispute it. If staying in Geylang is an irredeemable fact for you, then The Centren and every other project in Geylang will never be good. But if you’re someone who can see the bigger picture and know that in the years to follow, Geylang as a red light district is on the downswing, it is something to consider.
For the future of Geylang, owning a unit here means you have a freehold property that you can afford to sit on to wait out the government plans for gentrification.