Irwell Hill Residences’s location in the exclusive District 9 makes it one of the most coveted addresses in Singapore, and the development is one of the rare new launches in the area. Here’s our review of the project.
MCC Land (Singapore) Pte Ltd is part of the MCC Group in Singapore which is a subsidiary of the Fortune 500 company Metallurgy Corporation of China Ltd. It is a total building services provider with capabilities in property development, construction and project management, as well as engineering services.
Project Name: The POIZ Residences
Address: Meyappa Chettiar Road
Site area: Approx. 173,832 sqft
Tenure: 99 years from 17th November 2014
Configuration: 731 residential units
84 commercial units
154 1-bedroom units (420 sqft)
83 1-bedroom + study units (527 – 538 sqft)
56 2-bedroom units (753 – 807 sqft)
90 1-bedroom + study units (441 – 527 sqft)
60 2-bedroom units (581 sqft)
15 2-bedroom + study units (775 sqft)
60 3-bedroom units (775 – 840 sqft)
15 2-bedroom + study units (829 sqft)
142 3-bedroom units (936 – 1,227 sqft)
52 4-bedroom units (1,464 – 1,528 sqft)
4 penthouse units (3,767 – 3,780 sqft)
Maintenance fees: Approx. $150 – $330 per month
590 normal lots
5 handicap lots
30 commercial lots
6 family lots
Expected TOP: August 2019
Expected legal completion: August 2022
The POIZ Residences is a 731-unit development located along Meyappa Chettiar Road at Potong Pasir. It is part of the larger mixed development consisting of The POIZ Centre as well. At time of writing (Dec 2015), more than 90% of the 350 launched units have been sold.
Unit sizes range from 1- to 4-bedroom and penthouse units. The lowest-priced unit on PropertyGuru is a 420 sqft 1-bedroom unit going for $527,000, which translates to around $1,255 psf. A 3,780 sqft 5-bedroom penthouse unit is going for $5,168,888 and this is an estimated $1,367 psf.
The show flat is on site and located just next to Potong Pasir MRT.
The project consists of eight 18-storey towers and two storeys of commercial units, complete with basement car parking.
The POIZ Centre will feature 77 shops and 7 restaurants. However, potential buyers should note that this is a strata-titled development. While other strata-titled developments have had issues balancing the tenant mix because each unit or a group of units are owned by individual landlords who are primarily concerned with tenanting their unit or units, the situation is slightly different here. The developer has expressed that the commercial units at POIZ Centre will not be for sale, but rather, will be rented out. Whether the developer will directly manage the commercial tenants, or pass it on to a mall operator has not been made known.
At the time of writing, there are currently no supermarkets planned for POIZ Centre. If, by the time the project completes and no supermarket, groceries or mini-marts open within the complex, residents will still be able to purchase their daily necessities from the NTUC at nearby Potong Pasir Community Centre, or at Nex in Serangoon.
Facilities are organized according to the three zones – Suites, Urban, and Habitat.
For family gatherings or parties, there are a few BBQ areas, a party deck, two family pavilions and the clubhouse. There is even an outdoor kitchen and a teppanyaki pavilion. Residents can also head to the outdoor chill bar or coffee lounge on evenings after work.
For the smaller Suites units which are targeted for renters and solo-occupants:
All the 1-bedroom units are outward facing with a view of the low rise HDB blocks. The 1-bedroom + study units are also outward facing, but with a view of the other condo apartments along Meyappa Chettiar Road. As for the 2-bedroom units, stacks 49 and 50 are internal facing. Stacks 36 and 37 are outward facing with a view of Saint Andrew’s Village, the HDB blocks and the community club just beyond.
For the Urban units, which mostly focus on smaller apartments for renters, singles and young couples:
1-bedroom + study – Stacks 17 and 18 are premium stacks that are internal facing with a full pool view
2-bedroom + study – Stack 16 is internal facing with a full pool view
3-bedroom – Stack 19 is internal facing with a partial pool view
For the bigger Habitat units, which focus more on housing families:
2-bedroom + study – Stack 6 is internal facing with a full pool view
3-bedroom – Stacks 2, 3, 5, 11 and 13 are premium stacks that are internal facing with a full pool view. Stacks 7 and 9 are also internal facing, but with a partial pool view.
4-bedroom – Stacks 8, 10 and 14 are internal facing with a full pool view
Penthouse – Stacks 8, 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14 are internal facing with a full pool view
Showflat units are available for 1-bedroom + study, 2- and 3-bedroom units. Photos in this review are from all units.
- homogenous and/or porcelain tiles with skirting for living, dining areas, study and kitchen
- timber flooring with skirting for all bedrooms
- porcelain tiles for all bathrooms, utility
- stone and/or engineered timber flooring with timber skirting for study, family areas
- ceramic tiles for water closet
- fire-rated timber door with digital lockset for entrance
- timber swing doors for bedrooms, bathrooms and utility
- powder coated aluminium-framed sliding glass door for balcony
- PVC door for water closet
- wash basin and mixer tap, shower mixer set, water closet, mirror and paper holder for all bathrooms
- overhead shower for master bathrooms
- wash basin and tap, shower set, water closet and paper holder for water closet
- built-in wardrobes for all bedrooms
- wall-mounted air-con from Mitsubishi Electric for living, dining areas, bedrooms and study
There is a digital lockset at the entrance of every unit.
The kitchen cabinets are fitted with solid surface countertops and a stainless steel sink. Appliances provided include a built-in oven, gas stove and hood, refrigerator and washer-cum-dryer, all from Whirlpool. The kitchen in the 1-bedroom unit is an open kitchen, set against the wall. Smaller units come with an induction stove instead.
The kitchen in the 2-bedroom unit is also set against the wall. Interior design for this showflat unit positioned the dining area right next to the kitchen, hence allowing for only one person to be in it at any time.
The kitchen in the 3-bedroom unit is closed and can accommodate two people, though that may be pushing it.
The utility room and water closet area in the bigger units, is across the kitchen. The developer envisions this space for your domestic helper, with a pull-down Murphy bed. This would probably be more functional than a regular single bed, which would be tight in the space.
A closer look at the water closet.
With the 1-bedroom + study unit, the living area extends to a small balcony.
In the 2-bedroom unit, the kitchen is to the left with the dining area to its side. The living area and balcony are wider.
There are separate living and dining areas in the bigger units.
The area extends to the pretty wide balcony in the 3-bedroom unit.
The study space in the 1-bedroom + study unit.
The common bedrooms can generally fit a single bed with room for movement.
For a clearer idea of room measurements, it is possible to fit a queen-sized bed in there if you want to, but there may not be much room for getting around.
The common bedroom could also be used as a work space or lounge area.
Master bedrooms can accommodate a king-sized bed and still have ample maneuvering space.
The bathroom in the 1-bedroom + study unit is accessible from the bedroom as well as the study area. Fittings are from Via.
Common bathrooms have a wet and dry area as per normal.
Master bathrooms are similar to the common bathrooms, except that they come with wall-mounted water closets.
Buyers are likely to be a mix of owner-occupiers and those looking to lease. Currently, Singaporeans and permanent residents account for over 95% of sales.
Etymology: Potong Pasir is a housing estate in the north-east region of Singapore, located between Toa Payoh and Sennett Estate. Until recently, the area was untouched by urban development, and holds special value to its residents.
The name Potong Pasir means ‘cut sand’ in Malay, and this dates back to the early 20th century, when the area was dominated by sand quarries. The place however, grew to be one of the most important vegetable growing areas in Singapore in the 1950s.
The vegetable farmers used to reside in attap, zinc-roof and semi-concrete houses. The area was also unfortunately prone to flooding, during which the villagers would take shelter in the nearby Saint Andrew’s School.
A public housing estate only began to take shape in the 1980s, with the first two HDB blocks being completed in 1984. The sloping roofs of some of the blocks have become the most recognizable feature of Potong Pasir.
Getting there: The POIZ Residences is quite hard to miss, as it’s right next to Potong Pasir MRT. If you’re travelling by train in the mornings, Raffles Place MRT is a 12-minute ride. By car, it is an 8-minute drive to town via the Central Expressway (CTE), assuming optimal traffic conditions. Peak hour driving however, can be a headache, because the nearby intersection of Serangoon Road with the PIE and CTE often experiences a high volume of cars, especially during the common commuting hours.
Driving down on the left will take you to NEX, then Kovan and Hougang further down. Going right, on the other side will get you on the expressways and to the town areas eventually.
Potong Pasir MRT is right next to the development. From there, it is a 5-minute ride to Serangoon MRT, where you’ll find NEX mall and the Circle Line. It is a 8-minute ride to Dhoby Ghaut MRT, Plaza Singapura and The Cathay. It is also a short walk to the Orchard Shopping Belt from there. Travel time for early morning commuters is short, and very convenient.
The estate: The city-fringe POIZ Residences is the latest among condo projects that have sprung up near Potong Pasir MRT over the past two years. It is not surprising, given the area’s proximity to the city as well as suburban landmarks like NEX. Nearby, the upcoming Bidadari estate and the revamp of Kallang Riverside to a waterfront lifestyle precinct only adds value to the space’s potential.
The project is a short drive away from established malls like NEX and Junction 8. City Square Mall is slightly further down.
There is also a bus stop just in front of The POIZ Residences, with services 13, 107, 133, 142, 147 and 853. The services cover areas such as Bishan, Ang Mo Kio, Marine Parade, Upper East Coast, Hougang, Raffles Place, Kallang, Toa Payoh, Clementi, Commonwealth, Yishun and Upper Serangoon.
As for school options, there are a few nearby.
Saint Andrew’s Village consisting of Saint Andrew’s Junior, Saint Andrew’s Secondary School and Saint Andrew’s Junior College, is closest to The POIZ Residences.
- Stamford American International School
- Australian International School Singapore
- Lycee Francais De Singapour
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 there’s a wide variety of dining options.
City Square Mall is about a 5-minute drive away as well. Anchor tenants at Singapore’s first eco-mall include Uniqlo, NTUC Fairprice and Golden Village Cinemas. Shoppers will enjoy the range of goods and services available at over 200 stores and outlets.
Junction 8 is also a 8-minute drive away. Anchor tenants include Golden Village Cinemas, BHG, Fairprice Finest and Popular Bookstore. The mall boasts 174 stores.
Although you should be able to get whatever you need from The POIZ Centre which will have 84 commercial units, Potong Pasir Community Club is just a short walk away and has a NTUC FairPrice store located within it.
If you’re looking for a place to relax that’s not too far off, the upcoming Bidadari Park will be your destination. The 10-hectare park will feature a lake meant to recreate the Alkaff Lake from early Singapore.
For golfers, Playgolf Game Centre at Toa Payoh is a 5-minute drive away.
SAFRA Toa Payoh is a 5-minute drive away. Kids will enjoy the indoor playground (Kidz Amaze) and the bowling facilities at the site. There is a KTV lounge and a few dining options there too, making for good family fun. This SAFRA also has one of the larger EnergyOne gyms around, if you feel the need for a larger variety of equipment than can be found in the fitness center in the condo.
As for healthcare needs, there are a few general practitioner clinics in the Potong Pasir, while Tan Tock Seng Hospital is about a 5-minute drive away in case of emergencies.
Caveated transactions for The POIZ Residences at time of writing (Dec 2015) stands at 304. Recorded transaction prices range from $619K to $3.734M, with an estimated 88 percent of the transactions coming in at $1.5M or below (see Chart 1).
The POIZ Residences’ closest competitor would be Sennett Residence, located directly across, along Pheng Geck Avenue. Launched in March 2013, its median price over the last four quarters is $1,230 psf to The POIZ Residences’ median of $1,441 psf. Residents at Sennett Residence are also likely to be a good mix of owner-occupiers and tenants who like the project’s location.
Units at Sennett Residence range from 1-4 bedroom units and 5- and 6-bedroom penthouse units while The POIZ Residences consists of 1-4 bedroom units and penthouse units. Despite some initial confusion over the naming of the project, take-up has been high at The POIZ Residences.
To have a clearer picture, we will be looking at 3-bedroom and 1-bedroom units in particular, across both developments. According to caveats, The POIZ Residences’ 3-bedroom units have a median price of $1,391 psf while Sennett Residence’s is $1,451 psf. Transactions for the units at The POIZ Residences range from $1.116M to $1.635M, and from $1.26M to $1.914M at Sennett Residence.
As for 1-bedroom units, The POIZ Residences’ have a median price of $1,482 psf while Sennett Residence’s is around $1,558 psf. Transactions for the units at The POIZ Residences range from $619K to $652K, while the range is between $726K and $957K at Sennett Residence.
Before deciding based on these numbers alone, we should look at unit sizing as well. Units at Sennett Residence are generally larger with 3-bedroom ones between 948 sqft and 1,777 sqft. At The POIZ Residences, they are between 775 sqft and 1,227 sqft. As for the 1-bedroom units, they range from 485 sqft to 915 sqft at Sennett Residence and are 420 sqft at The POIZ Residences.
In terms of sale prices alone, The POIZ Residences presents a better option.
Future Rental Potential
To understand what rental prices will be like for The POIZ Residences, we need to look at rental prices for other projects in the area.
The current median rental price for projects in District 13 (Macpherson / Braddell) is around $3.32 psf per month at time of writing, based on rental transactions for the past 4 quarters. For projects along Pheng Geck Avenue, it is $3.53 psf per month. At these rates, a 3-bedroom unit around 1,100 sqft at The POIZ Residences would go for around $4,500 to $4,700 a month, after factoring a 20% premium for its new build. With the median price for the unit being around $1.207M, the annual gross rental yield at the current rate would be an estimated 4.5%.
For investors holding on to 1-bedroom units, rental price for a 420 sqft unit at the current rates would be an estimated $1,600 to $1,800 a month. With the median price for the unit being around 622K, annual gross rental yield would be around 3.3%.
The median unit size of a 3-bedroom at Sennett Residence, on the other hand, would probably fetch around $5,600 a month at today’s rental rates. This translates to around 4.1% in annual gross rental yield. A 1-bedroom unit at Sennett Residence would go for an estimated $2,400 a month, meaning a 3.3% rental yield.
According to the estimated figures, rental yield for both projects are similar. The choice of nearby amenities are almost exactly the same, given that the projects are across each other. Unit sizing differs slightly with units at Sennett Residence being generally larger.
Overall, the location makes both projects safe in terms of rental yield.
The POIZ Residences offers residents excellent location in terms of nearby malls and schools. This is evidenced by how fast units have been taken up at the project. It has only been a month since launch, and already more than 90% of launched units have been sold.
Being a city fringe development, residents at The POIZ Residences will also enjoy easy access to major expressways like the PIE and CTE. Because of this, the city and CBD areas are only a short drive away.
Since it is also a mixed development, having The POIZ Centre right at your door step will definitely be very convenient for residents.
In terms of the unit mix, the developers have attempted to differentiate them according to size – Suites, Urban and Habitat – which in turn targets different market segments. Given the volume of sales, this could have actually paid off.
Investment potential is definitely high and the smaller units are selling fast. With the upcoming Bidadari Estate a short walk away, and the revamp of Kallang Riverside, demand for private residential units in the area is bound to increase. Securing a unit at The POIZ Residences now, may prove to be a worthwhile investment.