• Christopher Chitty
  • 2 March 2016

This new development overlooking the stunning Lower Seletar Reservoir offers buyers affordable luxury in one of the up and coming areas in Singapore. Taking full advantage of its settings, The Criterion has all the facilities you would expect from a modern private condominium, while embracing and incorporating the scenic and green feel of its environment.

Source: The Criterion sales brochure

Source: The Criterion sales brochure

Project Name:  The Criterion

Address: Yishun St 51

Type: Executive Condominium

Site area: 193,208 sqft

Tenure: 99-year Leasehold

District: 27

Configuration: 505 units

Unit types: 26 x 2 bedroom units (700 – 753 sqft)

142 X 3 bedroom units (786 – 947 sqft)

168 X 3 bedroom premium units (1001 – 1098 sqft)

104 X 4 bedroom units (1119 – 1238 sqft)

48 X 4 bedroom premium units (1249 – 1281 sqft)

13 X 5 bedroom units (1378 – 1410 sqft)

4 X 5 bedroom penthouse units (1636 sqft)

Expected legal completion: December 2018

Source: The Criterion sales brochure

Source: The Criterion sales brochure

Project Details

The Criterion is made up of ten thirteen-storey blocks, designed in such a way to maximise the north-south orientation as well as the privacy of each apartment. The development features 2, 3, 4, 5 bedroom units, as well as four 5 bedroom penthouses, though all of these have now been sold. There are different sizes and layouts of all of the options, and the 3 and 4 bed properties also come in a premium spec.

A nice and unique feature of this development is that 20 of the 3 bed units can be modified prior to moving in. The third bedroom can be transformed into two smaller bedrooms – ideal for those with young children. Alternatively it can be changed so that half of the original room is converted into a spacious walk-in wardrobe for the adjacent master bedroom.

Source: The Criterion sales brochure

Source: The Criterion sales brochure

Sales have been steady if not spectacular, as would be expected in the current market. Most of the interest is currently in the smaller units. There are still several apartments of all sizes facing the reservoir – similar units in competing developments have all been sold – so these are likely to go soon.

In keeping with the developer’s ethos, there is a focus on green and sustainable living, most noticeable with initiatives such as the community garden and solar powered bikes. Facility-wise The Criterion is well stocked, and comes with over and above what you would expect from similar complexes:

Pool and Pool Side:

  • 50m lap pool
  • Separate kids pool and water play area
  • Shaded wading pool
  • Aqua lounger
  • Sun deck
  • Water deck
  • Outdoor rain shower


  • Tennis court
  • Fitness station
  • 350m jogging track
  • Yoga lawn

Club Haus:

  • Function hall
  • Gourmet kitchen
  • Screening room
  • Club lounge
  • Alfresco dining
  • Gymnasium
  • Roof top garden

Play Haus

  • Teppanyaki BBQ
  • Outdoor dining area
  • Play gym
  • Play area
  • Kids play area and separate playground

Spa Haus

  • Spa pool
  • Microbubble spa
  • Spa lounger
  • Jacuzzi
  • Steam room
  • Changing room
  • Spa deck
  • Spa garden
  • Aromatic garden

Canoe Haus

  • Campfire BBQ
  • Starlight dining
  • Camping lawn
  • Fitness station

Green Haus

  • Electric grill
  • Garden dining
  • Community farming
  • Picnic lawn
  • Spice garden
  • Reading grove

Bike Haus

  • Electric, solar powered bicycles
  • Bicycle washing station with stand
  • Bicycle pumping station
  • Bicycle ramp
  • Warm-up lawn



  • Approved fire-rated swing door for main entrance
  • Timber swing door to all bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Timber door with glass infill to kitchen
  • Aluminium framed PVC slide door and fold door with louvres to WC and utility
  • Aluminium framed sliding and/or swing door to private enclose space, balcony and yard

Sanitary Fittings

  • Bathrooms come with separate shower cubicle with shower mixer set, wash basin with basin mixer, water closet, towel rail, toilet roll holder and mirror
  • WC’s come with shower set (with cold inlet only), wash basin and tap, water closet and toilet roll holder
  • Kitchens are provided with a stainless steel sink with mixer
  • Yard/utility/private enclosed space have 1 bib tap

Additional Items

  • Built-in wardrobes are provided in all bedrooms with the exception of the 4 bed premium units and the 5 bed units.
  • Wall-mounted air-conditioning systems with built-in air purifiers in living room, dining room and bedrooms.
  • High end European fittings in bathrooms (Hansgrohe).
  • Kitchen cabinets provided, with compressed quartz worktop, and Whirlpool hob and oven.
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Yishun is gradually shaking off its sleepy, remote reputation and is fast becoming a popular choice for people wanting to move away from the crowded – and expensive – central areas. Home to more than 250,000 residents, Yishun’s name derives from the Hanyu Pinyin version of (Mr Lim) Nee Soon, a renowned businessman who owned large rubber and pineapple plantations in the area in the early twentieth century.

The area isn’t as much as reinventing itself, as brushing itself down and giving itself a new coat of paint. It has so many good things going for it, it would have been a mistake to disregard this in an effort to tempt people whose only impression of the area would be that it’s out of the way.

It is a mature neighbourhood, with a strong infrastructure of schools, healthcare, recreation facilities and parks that rivals other districts on the island, firmly in place. The Yishun Industrial and Seletar Aerospace Parks also mean that it can hold its head up when it comes to job opportunities. The final piece of the jigsaw (or the second from final, see below) is the retail and dining options, and that is the area that is really being developed.

As well as the recent opening of small independent cafés, bakeries and restaurants, the Northpoint Shopping Mall will be the largest in Northern Singapore when it opens its doors in 2018. With over five hundred shopping and dining outlets it is a very bold statement, and a signal of intent that this is an area that is going places.

But as it becomes more vibrant, it has not forgotten what made it such a favoured place for those quarter of a million people who have called Yishun home for a generation and more. Its large network of integrated cycling routes, abundant parks and green spaces coupled with its strong feeling of community mean that here is an area that is trying – and succeeding to have the best of both worlds.

Getting there and away:

The final piece of the jigsaw is actually the transport links to and from the area and in particular The Criterion. With an ever increasing MRT network, more and more residences are within a short 10 minute walk to a station, and that is possibly something that could be viewed as a disadvantage for this new residence. There is no getting away from the fact that it is situated a 20 minute walk from its two nearest MRT stations – Khatib and Yishun, both on the North South line. Once there though, it’s only 20 minutes to Orchard.

There will be a shuttle bus running to and from the MRT stations provided by the development company for the first year.

Khatib MRT station

Khatib MRT station

For those looking to drive, it’s 10 minutes to the SLE, CTE and TPE. There are bus routes outside the residences, and with increased development in the area that is likely to improve. When the NSE (North South Expressway) is completed, driving times into the city from Yishun will be cut from 30 to 35 minutes today to 20 to 30 minutes.

Yishun Green Link

Yishun Green Link

Keen cyclists can take advantage of the park connectors and cycle paths that will pass a stone’s throw from the residences. For those that require motorized motivation, then know that all Criterion residents are provided with solar powered bicycles.

The Area:

Walking around Yishun, you very much get a sense of community, but an inclusive, not an exclusive one. Though it is built up, there is still a sense of space. Buildings aren’t built cheek to jowl with their neighbour, while wide avenues and thoroughfares add to the impression of space and openness. The vicinity around The Criterion is not as developed as the rest of the town but there are many building works in progress, so by the time this one is launched, the area will have a more settled feel to it.

Immediately south of the residences, there is a low rise private estate, before the ground gives way to the Orchid Country Club and Golf Course and the reservoir.

Singapore Orchid Country Club

Singapore Orchid Country Club

Education wise, you are spoiled for choice with schools in the area – ranging from E-Bridge Pre-School (by Eton House), through nine primary schools, eight secondary schools, Chung Cheng High School, up to Yishun junior college and GEMS World Academy.

Chung Cheng High School (Yishun)

Chung Cheng High School (Yishun)

Both Northland Primary School and Naval Base Primary school are less than kilometre from the Criterion.

Naval base Primary School

Naval base Primary School

Golf lovers have three fantastic courses on their doorstep – literally with the Orchid Country Club Golf Course. Seletar Country Club Golf Course is only across the water a short drive away, as is Sembawang Golf Course.

The nearby Lower Seletar Reservoir Park is ideal for a taking a leisurely stroll with the family, or for jogging beside the still waters, as well as being a popular spot for anglers. For those looking for activities on the water as opposed to beside it, there are kayaking and dragon-boat facilities.

After all that activity, some retail or culinary therapy may be in order. The Sembawang Shopping Centre and Sun Plaza are only minutes away from residences, and by the time The Criterion is completed, Northpoint Mall will be up and running, its vast array of retail options making Yishun a shopping destination in its own right.

Hawker center near The Criterion

Hawker center near The Criterion

Food wise, the area has more than its fair share of choices, with a dedicated F & B area only a couple of hundred yards away from the residences. A new hawker centre is being built next to Yishun Park, while Khatib Central across from the MRT boasts a popular food centre as well as a vibrant market.

More vibrant than it seems

More vibrant than it seems

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At the time of writing (Feb 2016), the number of caveated transactions for this property totals 73. Recorded prices range from $566K to $1.36M. Almost 60% of these have been at $750K or above (see Chart 1).

The Criterion sales transaction


Signature at Yishun – launched just 2 weeks before The Criterion- is its greatest competition. So far (as of Feb 16) it has 110 caveated transactions, with an overall median price of $769 psf. This compares to one of $805 psf for The Criterion. Focussing for a minute on just the 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, the median caveated prices for Signature are:

2 BR: $780 psf

3 BR: $767 psf

compared to those for The Criterion:

2 BR: $820 psf

3 BR: $795 psf

This shows that overall Signature is currently selling for around 4.7% lower psf. This rises to above 5% for the two bedroom flats. That isn’t the whole story though. Looking at what the transacted prices show us:

2 BR: $566K to $615K

3 BR: $635K to $830K

for The Criterion, and:

2 BR: $572K to $645K

3 BR: $668K to $896K

for Signature. Interestingly, almost 77% of the transactions to date at Signature have been $750K or above (compared with less than 60% for The Criterion). There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, the square footage per apartment is larger for Signature – 2 beds ranging from 764 to 775 compared to 700 to 753. The other reason is that all of the units at Signature facing the reservoir have been sold, and as you would expect these would sell at a premium. This also means that if you are looking for a residence that enjoys the views of the reservoir, The Criterion is your only option of the two.

It being an Executive Condo, the future Rental potential is not of immediate interest. By the time that it is an issue, the area is very likely to be considered a lot more desirable than it currently is, with the financial rewards that that will bring.

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The Criterion is a modern, stylish executive condominium* that when it launches in 2018 will be in what is predicted to be one of the next growth areas in the island. Though it isn’t one of the regional centres targeted by the government, Yishun is a mature area, with almost all of the necessary infrastructure already in place, and it benefits from its proximity to the nearby investment at the Seletar Aerospace Park for example.

As expected the first wave of buyers for the residences have mainly been upgraders who have been for the most part born and bred in the region, so know exactly what it has to offer.

Because of its sleepy and “ulu” (remote) reputation in the past – one equally deserved and undeserved – it will take “outsiders” longer to come round to the idea of the benefits of living in this area. It is definitely a region on the move. It is embracing its advantages and bringing in improved shopping and dining facilities. Yishun cannot help being located where it is, but more and more people are beginning to realise the benefits of that as opposed to the disadvantages.


*The Executive Condominium Housing Scheme (ECHS) is a government initiative to provide Singaporeans with properties comparable with private condominiums but at a discounted price. There are strict eligibility requirements, and those seeking more information on whether they do or not qualify should approach a property agent. Potential buyers should be aware that there is a minimum 5 year occupancy of the apartment before they are able to sell the property. During this time they cannot buy other properties in or outside Singapore.


City Developments Limited (CDL) is a Singapore-listed international property and hospitality conglomerate, and one of the biggest landlords on the island. Its extensive global network encompasses more than 400 subsidiaries and associated companies, and owns and manages properties across Asia, Europe the Middle East, North America and New Zealand/Australia. Established in 1963, CDL has won numerous awards both here in Singapore as well as internationally, and has earned itself a reputation for being a socially responsible corporation, championing green and environmentally aware initiatives and projects.

TID Pte Ltd is a joint venture between two multinational corporations – Singapore based Hong Leong Group and the Japanese Mitsui Fudosan Ltd. Over the past 43 years, TID Pte ltd has been at the forefront of property development in Singapore, boasting a high quality portfolio of successful projects.


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Eric Wong

Christopher Chitty

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