Daryl Lum’s Review of Whistler Grand and Twin Vew

Last updated on November 11th, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Review of Whistler Grand and Twin Vew by Daryl Lum, a CEA licensed real estate salesperson

Whistler Grand and Twin Vew are located along West Coast Vale. They are located just opposite each other.

Twin Vew was launched earlier this year in April and Whistler Grand will be launched later this month.

Details about the developments
Whistler Grand is a 99-year leasehold condominium developed by City Developments Limited (CDL).

The development will consist of a pair of 36-storey blocks with a total of 716 units. Back in January 2018, this site along West Coast Vale was part of the reserve list and it was triggered for sale when a developer committed to a bid of at least $379.988 million, or $643.53 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). Eventually, CDL emerged as the top bidder for the site with a bid of $472.4 million or $800 psf ppr.

The winning bid was at the top end of what analysts had expected for the 19,591.5 square meter site and it clearly showed the bullish nature of the property market in the earlier part of 2018. A significant point to note would be that CDL paid about 35 per cent higher than the $592 psf ppr that was paid for Twin Vew’s plot of land. The breakeven price for Whistler Grand should be $1,250 psf and thus the average selling price should be in the range of $1,400 to $1,500 psf.

Twin Vew is a 99-year leasehold condominium developed by China Construction Development. The development will consist of two 36-storey towers with a childcare centre and two shop units.

Back in February 2017, China Construction Development put in the top bid of $292 million for the 176,294 square feet plot of land. There were nine other bidders. Analysts had expected bidding prices to range from $450 psf ppr to $600 psf ppr and the winning bid by China Construction Development of $592 psf ppr was close to the top end of expectations.

This was 7.4 per cent above the $551 psf ppr paid for the Parc Riviera site. However, Parc Riviera faced the Ayer Rajah Expressway while Twin Vew was seen as a better plot as it was further away from the expressway. Twin View was launched in May earlier this year before the implementation of the latest round of cooling measures. 85 per cent or 442 of the total 520 units were sold during the weekend launch. The average price of units sold was $1,399 psf.

Where are these developments located?

Location of Twin Vew and Whistler Grand

 

Twin Vew and Whistler Grand are located just opposite each other. They are both located along West Coast Vale which is a cul de sac.

The closest MRT station would be Clementi MRT Station and according to Google Maps, the time taken to walk to the MRT Station is 37 minutes and the journey travelled would be 3 kilometres. There should be a shorter way by cutting across towards Carabelle and then crossing the overhead bridge. This should cut down the journey by a bit but it is still a long and unsheltered walk. Safe to say, both developments are not close to the MRT station.

I would think that residents would be better off taking a bus to Clementi MRT Station. There are a few ways to get to Clementi MRT Station and the fastest way would be to take a bus opposite NEWest Condominium. According to Google Maps, the total journey will take 24 minutes.

 

Travelling to Clementi MRT Station from Whistler Grand and Twin Vew

The upcoming Pandan Reservoir is nearer and that is two MRT stations away from Jurong East Interchange which will be an interchange between the North-South, East-West and Jurong East MRT lines. However, Pandan Reservoir MRT Station is still some distance away and the train line is only slated for completion in 2027.

 

Pandan Reservoir MRT Station

The Ayer Rajah Food Centre is 1.7 kilometres away and will take you about 21 minutes to walk there. There is also a market in that same cluster. It is a cluster of HDB shops with a market and the food centre.

Whistler Grand and Twin Vew walk to Ayer Rajah Food Centre

Food centre and market from Whistler Grand and Twin Vew

Travelling to Clementi MRT Station may not be very convenient but from Clementi MRT Station, getting to Jurong East and to the city centre is rather convenient.

From Clementi MRT Station it takes just one stop to get to Jurong East MRT Station. This is perhaps where a significant number of people living in and around Clementi will be working. It will take you 4 minutes and cost $0.87.

Clementi MRT Station to Jurong East MRT Station

Getting to the heart of the central business district from Clementi MRT Station is also rather quick. It takes 18 minutes to travel 9 stations from Clementi MRT Station to Raffles Place MRT Station and it will cost $1.41.

 

Clementi MRT Station to Raffles Place MRT Station

Travelling from Clementi MRT Station to Harbourfront MRT Station will take 18 minutes as well and cost $1.37.

 

Clementi MRT Station to HarbourfrontMRT Station

Finally, getting to Singapore’s main shopping belt Orchard Road will take you 16 minutes over 8 stations and cost you $1.37.

 

Clementi MRT Station to Orchard MRT Station

If you are driving to Raffles Place, it will take you 17 minutes and the distance travelled will be 15.1 kilometres. Do note that at the point of my Google Maps query, it was off peek hours. During peak hours this timing can increase significantly.

 

The drive from Whistler Grand and Twin Vew to Raffles Place

The drive to Orchard Road will take you 17 minutes and the distance travelled will be 11.6 kilometres. Once again this is off peak hour timing.

The drive from Whistler Grand and Twin Vew to Orchard Road

 

The selling point about the developments

For Whistler Grand, the main selling point would be the reputable developer. City Developments Limited is a very reputable developer with decades of experience in developing quality condominiums in Singapore. The quality and standard of their developments are very high and I personally have clients who will only purchase properties from reputable developers and CDL is one such developer.

For Twin Vew, the main selling point would be that it fronts the Sungei Pandan river. Waterfront living is rare in Singapore and units that face the river could be rather valuable in an increasingly built-up city like Singapore.

Based on the URA Master Plan, the plot of land south of Twin Vew will be a school. Thus the views south of Twin Vew should remain unblocked. Just after the school will be a green space and a place of worship. Only the plot of land south of the place of worship is residential land.

The distance to the next development south of Twin Vew will be rather far when that development is built up.

 

URA Master Plan (Twin Vew)

The location of these condominiums is rather unique. The condominiums are very inaccessible and I really do not think that this area will benefit greatly from the Jurong Innovation District plans.

For those who are not aware, Jurong Innovation District will be in Jurong West, in the area around Nanyang Technological University (NTU). It is an industrial park of the future, envisioned by the Singapore government to encourage more innovation.

Based on Google Maps, driving to NTU will take 15 minutes and the distance travelled will be 11.7 kilometres. In contrast, from my previous example, the distance travelled when driving to Orchard Road from Whistler Grand and Twin Vew is 11.6 kilometres.

Thus Orchard Road is nearer or just about the same distance from Whistler Grand and Twin Vew as is NTU. Thus I find it extremely perplexing when there are buyers snapping up units in this vicinity to take advantage of the surge in probable tenants from the upcoming Jurong Innovation District.

 

Whistler Grand and Twin Vew to Nanyang Technological University

Where the tenants should come from are the two business parks north-west and south of these developments. Just like The Jovell which was also inaccessible to the MRT station and amenities, the condominiums in these areas have a natural catchment area of ready tenants. The people working in these areas are the ones most likely to rent properties in this area.

Business Parks around Whistler Grand and Twin Vew

In fact, the area south of these developments houses a large number of industrial buildings. This is perhaps the main source of tenants for the developments in this area.

Huge area of industrial buildings around Whistler Grand and Twin Vew

The huge catchment area for tenants makes this an interesting proposition for buyers. If we take a look at the recent transactions at Botannia, a 2-bedroom unit rents for about $2,600 and a 3-bedroom units rents for about $3,500. A 2-bedroom unit at Twin Vew is about $1,000,000 and a 3-bedroom unit is about $1,500.000 then the gross yields are about 3.12% and 2.8% respectively.

Rental transactions at Botannia

 

My thoughts about the developments

Twin Vew was launched at the opportune moment. Right when sentiment for property was extremely bullish. The developer paid a high price for the plot of land. $592 psf ppr was at the high end of analysts expectations at that moment. However, CDL paid 35 per cent higher for what I personally feel is a less optimum plot of land. The size of Whistler Grand’s land is oddly shaped and Twin Vew faces the Sungei Pandan river.

I personally think that there will be a lot of competition for tenants. Even though the catchment area is huge, there are many developments in the area. Currently these are the developments that are already completed in the vicinity:

Monterey Park Condominium, 999-year leasehold, TOP in 2006, 280 units
The Infiniti, Freehold, TOP in 2008, 315 units
Carabelle, 999-year leasehold, TOP in 2009, 338 units
NeWest,  999-year leasehold, TOP in 2017, 136 units
Hundred Trees, 999-year leasehold. TOP in 2013, 396 units

Total number of condominium units in the vicinity currently: 1,465 units

 

Confirmed upcoming supply

Park Riviera, 99-year leasehold, TOP in 2020, 752 units
Twin Vew, 99-year leasehold, TOP in 2022, 520 units
Whistler Grand, 99-year leasehold, TOP to be confirmed, 716 units

Total number of condominium units in the vicinity that are coming into the market in the near future: 1988 units

 

My take is that current projected rental yields based on current rental rates against prices that Twin Vew buyers bought are already hovering around 3%. In the near future, the supply of units in the area is going to increase by 135.7%, from 1,465 units to 3,453. This is something that buyers must take note of. Moreover, the units in the vicinity are sitting on either 999-year leasehold or freehold land. Parc Riviera, Twin Vew and Whistler Grand are sitting on 99-year leasehold land.

 

Furthermore, based on the URA Master Plan, there is a possibility of more condominiums popping up in the future. There are two residential plots of land at the start of West Coast Vale, at the junction of West Coast Highway. These can potentially add quite a number of units to the vicinity as well.

 

URA Master Plan (Possible future supply of residential units to the area)

Here are the past transactions for the 5 existing condominiums in the vicinity. There were 33 transactions in the last 6 months. The median psf is $1,332.

 

Resale Transactions (Monterey Park, The Infiniti, Carabelle, NeWest, Hundred Trees)

 

I have always maintained that buyers should consider options in both the new launch as well as the resale market. Based on data from URA, the resale market seems to offer better value. Of course, some of these units may be facing the Ayer Rajah Expressway and thus may be rather noisy.

 

Whistler Grand

Pricing 2.5/5

 

 

Twin New

Pricing 2.5/5

to be continued….

To read more on the property reviews by Daryl Lum, such as his thoughts on the developments and the comparisons he had made, visit:

 

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