Established in 1912, United Engineers Limited (UEL) together with its group of subsidiaries have been involved in the development of various properties in Singapore. Ranging from offices and industrial properties to retail and residential, UEL developed iconic buildings such as UE Bizhub City, Orchard Gateway, UE Square shopping mall and mixed-development The Rochester, Rochester Mall and Eight Riversuites, Ascentia Sky, Austville Residences (EC).
With insufficient data to get a fair value of the CONQUAS score for UEL, we can only gather that back in 2016 that UEL has only managed 88% for Eight Riversuites.
IN THIS POST
Project Details & Site Plan
|Dairy Farm Residences|
|Location||Dairy Farm Lane|
|Tenure||99 Years from 5 December 2018|
|Expected T.O.P||29 February 2024|
|Number of Units||460|
It is only a matter of time to see new residential projects being developed as more plots of land are expected to be put up for Government Land Sales (GLS); especially in the light of the 2019 Master Plan. The land parcel at Dairy Farm road was awarded to UED Residential Pte. Ltd, a subsidiary of United Engineers Limited (UEL), at just over S$368.8 million back in 2018.
Similarly to Midwood, Dairy Farm Residences comprises of a mix of units ranging from 2 to 4 bedrooms; with 2 and 3 bedrooms making up more than 95% of the project mix. This 99 year tenure condominium embraces the concept of 3 worlds; Nature, Retail and Home. Maintaining the concept closely related to resort-living, Dairy Farm Residences is the first integrated development in its area. This condominium comes with full facilities at different levels of this property with level 2 (The Canopy) and 3 (The Oasis) located directly about the retail shops. Facilities at level 1 (The Woods) is wedged in between and around Blocks 6 and 8.
One thing we like about this place is that the tennis court is located at the furthest end of the property to reduce noise pollution. There is quite a wide range of the different types of facilities such as a yoga deck available and all of which revolves around the concept of connecting resort-like wellness and fitness facilities to nature and home living.
Just adjacent of Petir and Dairy Farm road, this mix-development property integrates 2 level commercial retail shops at the ground and basement of this project. Although there are no anchor tenants revealed at this point of time, it is comforting to know that the retail side of this development is maintained by UEL themselves. Based on our experience, mix-development projects with developers managing the commercial side of retail tend to see better quality of tenants and higher customer traffic. It makes a lot of difference as developers will be able to have control and be able to find the right balance in the type of retail shops they find as tenants.
There are some developments that we know of in Singapore that have the shops directly sold to buyers for their own commercial use or to rent out. Let’s just say that the number of empty units seem to scare away more people than Covid 19. There will be shops, restaurants, a supermarket, a food court and a childcare centre located within this establishment and hopefully, the developers will be able to secure reputable tenants to increase the appeal of this property.
How Convenient is the Location?
Dairy Farm Residences is the latest development from a Government Land Sales in the Dairy Farm planning subzone and is about 10 minutes’ walk (not fully sheltered) to Hillview MRT station (Downtown Line). A free shuttle bus will be provided for its residences to Hillview MRT as well as Bukit Panjang MRT stations for the first year. Being a mixed-development project, it is needless to say that they have basic amenities and more available at their fingertips.
While the location is super convenient for grocery, dining options and other services, there is nothing much in a 1 kilometer radius other than The Rail Mall as an alternative. The next closest option will be at Hillv2 which lies a little off the 1 kilometer radius followed by the malls around Bukit Panjang MRT, Bukit Timah Shopping Centre and Beauty World Centre; all within approximately 8 minutes away by car. The nearest hawker centre with a wet market at Gangsa Road (Bukit Panjang) is approximately a 5 minute drive away for your local quick fixes as well.
The closest expressway to Dairy Farm Residences is the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) and is literally a 1 minute drive away. Driving to Orchard takes approximately 20 minutes via the PIE and with about the same travelling time, it can also take you to Jurong East and the Central Business District (CBD).
Getting Around – MRT
The Downtown Line (DTL) that Hillview MRT is situated in easily connects its passengers with access to the different train lines. A 24 minute train ride can take one from Hillview station through to Bugis Downtown Line station whilst passing through interchanging stations that connects to all the other major train lines such as the Circle Line (CC) at Botanic Gardens, the future Thomson-East Coast Line (TE) at Stevens, the North-South Line (NS) at Newton, the North East Line (NE) at Little India and finally to the nearest East-West Line (EW) at Bugis station. The convenience of other forms of public transportation include buses number 700 , 700A, 966 and 973. The quick table below shows a few notable stops for each bus route.
|Bus Number||Key Stops|
|700, 700A||Train Stations||Schools||Point of Interest (POI)||Central Business District (CBD)|
|Bukit Panjang||Zheng Hua Primary School||Orchard Road||OUE Bay Front|
|Newton||Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road)||Far East Plaza||One Raffles Quay|
|Orchard||Raffles Hotel||Shenton Way|
|Tanjong Pagar||Tangs Orchard||Cecil Street|
|Dhoby Ghaut||Opp. Ngee Ann City||Fullerton Square|
|Somerset||Opp. ION Orchard||Suntec City|
|Promenade||Royal Plaza on Scotts|
|966||Woodlands||Catholic Junior College||Parkway Parade|
|973||Bukit Panjang||Zheng Hua Primary School||Opp. The Rail Mall|
There are 4 blocks in this project where there are 2 blocks (10 & 12) of 5-storey and 2 blocks (6 & 8) of 15-storey residential flats. There is a decent distance of about 33.5 metres separating Blocks 6 & 8 with the 50m lap pool in between. The distance between Blocks 6 and 12 is approximately 18 metres while Block 10 and 12 is 15.5 metres away from one another.
It is, as quoted in the brochure itself that “90% of the 460 residential units are north-south facing”. We have taken the liberty to identify the affected units affected by the East-West sunrise and sunset in the table below:
|West Sun (Sunset)|
|Block Number||Bedroom Type||Stacks||Areas Affected|
|6||3 BR Type 3B1||#08||Master Bedroom, Master Balcony, Master Bathroom|
|6||3 BR Type 3C1||#09||Master Bedroom and Master Bathroom|
|8||3 BR Type 3C1||#15||Master Bedroom and Master Bathroom|
|8||3 BR Type 3B1||#16||Master Bedroom, Master Balcony, Master Bathroom|
|12||2 BR Type 2A1||#35||Master Bedroom, Balcony partially affected|
|12||4 BR Type 4A1a||#36||Master Bedroom, Bedroom 2, Bedroom 3, Balcony|
|East Sun (Sunrise)|
|Block Number||Bedroom Type||Stacks||Areas Affected|
|10||3 BR Type 3A2||#32 & 33||Master Bedroom, Master Balcony, Bedroom 2, Bedroom 3, Balcony|
|12||2 BR Type 2A1||#38 & 39||Master Bedroom, Bedroom 2, Balcony|
|12||3 BR Type 3A3||#37 & 40||Master Bedroom, Master Balcony, Bedroom 2, Bedroom 3, Balcony|
Stack #35’s Master bedroom and balcony could be partially affected by the afternoon glare while the 4 Bedroom stack #36 is unfortunately, the most affected. All 5 stories of stack #36 will have all its rooms and balcony in direct view of the burning sunset and we are not sure if any blacked out curtains will be of any help unless you’d prefer the warmth of a burning oven.
Block 6 faces the field of the German European School and all blocks tentatively enjoy unobstructed views. Living beside a school has its pros and cons and, we would not recommend to stay beside one if noise pollution or a bus stop full of crowded students is one of your concerns. Block 6 is also the closest in proximity to a future place of worship (under study) as showed in the URA screengrab with a “W” labeled in a red area. The screengrab also shows the areas highlighted in orange that are designated for Residential Government Land Sales (GLS).
|GROSS PLOT RATIO||STOREY HEIGHT CONTROL|
With plot ratios ranging from 1.4 to 2.1, we can expect the future residential development projects to rise up from 5 to 24 stories high; potentially taking away any unobstructed views that can be used as potential selling points.
Schools in Proximity
Along the roads of Upper Bukit Timah to Bukit Timah and Clementi Road lies many established educational institutions such as Assumption English School, Chestnut Drive Secondary School, Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School, Methodist Girls School, Nanyang Girls High School, National Junior College, Hwa Chong Institution, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, SIM University, Singapore University of Social Sciences etc.
Due to the location of Dairy Farm Residences, its residents with young children the opportunity to enjoy priority in the primary school close proximity admission balloting process. Some of these primary school within 2 kilometers include CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace Girls Primary School (772m), Bukit Panjang Primary School (990m) and Zheng Hua Primary School (1.579km). Other schools nearby are the German European School Singapore and St. Francis Methodist School.
We visited Dairy Farm Residences’ show flat to bring you this preview of the available layouts, scaled models and interior designed treated show rooms to the best of our knowledge.
Upon entering the show flat, we were greeted by a fresh change of a simulated nail spa and grocery packed shelves; probably in indication of what to expect from a mixed-development project.
The architectural model of the property lies in the middle of the showroom’s main lobby with 2 blocks (6 & 8) each rising 15 stories high and the other 2 blocks (10 & 12) of 5 stories. The property has 2 levels of commercial retail, food court, restaurants, supermarket, childcare and other shops at the first and basement levels.
The sun rise gym, as the name suggests, will enjoy the morning sun rays and offers unobstructed views for a great workout with the gentle morning warmth. The gym is located at the furthest end of the condominium together with the tennis court. This level also shares a yoga and hammock deck as well as a mist, hammock and fern garden.
A level above shows the oddly shaped pool deck where most of the dipping activities such as the aqua gym, a water bed lounge and the kids’ pool are located. The function room and hilltop dining and bar are also on this same level. We like how the way this establishment is designed is that the activities that involve larger groups and those that could generate higher noise levels are located away from the residential blocks.
The arrival court is located along Dairy Farm Lane with the drop-off and atrium lobby. A 50 meter lap pool located right smack in the middle of the residential area becomes something of a norm for most new developments but works very well for this project in terms of the appropriate use of the linear design of this area.
ID Treated Showrooms
This particular floorplan shows one of the safe and typical 2 bedroom layouts that will not go wrong. For this show room unit, the designer concealed the dead space behind the main door where the distribution box (DB) is located with a shelve that gones on till the end of the wall. The idea of using a long bench seat that goes along from the dining area to the end of the living room eliminates the idea of having mutiple chairs that can cause clutter. One thing we realised about the given built-in wardrobes for this project is that they come with more drawers/compartments for storage than others. The location of the aircon ledge is probably the only thing that is annoying and unsightly about this floorplan but let’s be glad it’s not outside the window of the master bedroom
This 3 bedroom show flat unit shows a very efficient and functional layout with a slight uniqueness to the room placements. As with most 3 bedroom units, it comes with an enclosed kitchen and a much more favourable location for the aircon ledge as compared to the 2 bedroom earlier on. Likewise, the designer for this show flat unit concealed the distribution box (DB) by constructing a shoe cabinet together in that dead space. The allocated dining area also seems a little cramped for a family of 6 to be fully tucked away at that corner. Other than the non-uniformed room space of bedroom 3, the other rooms are pretty much standard issue.
To many homeowners, or at least to us, we often envision a house with both dry and wet kitchen. This 4 bedroom design does just that and features an enclosed wet kitchen and an island top as icing on the cake. The format of this is considered typical for a 4 bedroom layout but what we absolutely loved about this is the master bedroom; where a lot of space is designed and dedicated for the owners. It comes with an area designated as a walk-in wardrobe, a vanity table, a huge master bathroom and a balcony.
|Unit Type||Number of Units||Size (Sq ft.)||Share Value||Estimated Maintenance Charges per Month (Subject to GST) – SGD|
|2 Bedroom (All)||198||624 – 732||15||$260 – $280|
|2-Bedroom + Study (Type 2C1, 2C1-G)||42||764 – 775||15||$260 – $280|
|3 Bedroom (Type 3A1, 3A1-G, 3A2, 3A2-G, 3A3, 3A3-G, 3B1, 3B1a, 3B2||148||915 – 1313||15||$260 – $280|
|3-Bedroom (Type (3B1-G, 3B1a-G, 3B2-G, 3C1, 3C1-G)||52||915 – 1313||18||$320 – $350|
|4-Bedroom (All)||20||1324 – 1475||18||$320 – $350|
The estimated maintenance fees for Dairy Farm Residence pretty similar to that of Midwood even though Midwood has more units in its development. It ranges from $260 to $350 depending on the type of rooms. We would say that the estimated monthly maintenance cost is a little higher considering the lesser amount of units in this project and this could be largely due to it being a mix-development.
Other than the concept of Nature, Retail and Home, Dairy Farm Residences embraces the technology to create a Smart Home. Each unit will come with in-built features such as Digital Lockset, Smoke Detector and Smart Aircon Control. Owners will also be able to grant visitor access to their place without having the need to issue physical card or keys. However, Smart Home Features have become standard issue in today’s condominiums.
First Mover Advantage
Being the only development in that area with land use granted for Residential with Commercial at 1st Storey, this will be the only trump card for Dairy Farm Residences’ appeal for marketing and selling purposes. According to the URA’s Masterplan 2019, there are about 7 plots of land around Dairy Farm Residences that are yet to be developer or put up for Government Land Sales. What’s more is that the 7 plots of land are so far, labelled for Residential use only. We agree that buyers can take into consideration that Dairy Farm Residences does in fact have the upper hand in terms of convenience to basic amenities and that they would have first mover’s advantage. But does that mean that we can expect rapid growth to the property prices for this area? Let us look at the numbers shall we?
Estimated Price Guide
|Unit Type||Size (Sq ft.)||Estimated Price of remaining units (Starting from.) – SGD||Price psf. (Starting from.) – SGD|
|2 Bedroom||624 – 732||$ 979,100 – $1,230,500||$1,569 – $1,707 psf|
|2 Bedroom + Study||764 – 775||$1,226,900 – $1,293,600||$1,606 – $1,693 psf|
|3 Bedroom||915 – 1313||$ 1,404,700 – $1,835,000||$1,545 – $1,608 psf|
|4 Bedroom||1324 – 1475||$1,908,900 – $1,952,000 (last 5 remaining units)||$1,442 – $1,462 psf|
According to Edgeprop, we gathered from the 36 units sold for Dairy Farm Residences averaged about $1,549 psf while the estimated breakeven price psf ppr is at $1,387. A 10% profit from the estimated breakeven price will bring the prices to about $1,526 psf; an approximation of the margin for this development. The fact that this project is the first integrated mix development in the Dairy Farm area, it probably pushed the starting entry prices psf to be a little on the high side. As previously mentioned in our project comparison with Midwood, we feel that the amount of money put into a property in this area would see slower returns and we might be better off investing in another project at another location.
Comparison of Floor Plans
As a whole, we feel that Dairy Farm Residences does have its perks. Being the first of its kind in the form of a mixed development in the Dairy Farm area, buyers looking for a home with amenities and retail all in one stop will definitely feel inclined to consider purchasing this property in additional to the good driving connectivity. Moreover, having first movers advantage over the surrounding yet-to-be sold/developed areas, it would seem like it can be a worthy investment to make.
But like for every development, there is always a downside of it. Transportation links are not the worst and only just a personal level of acceptance of the distance where the nearest train station is but the bus services provided made up for the potential loss of connectivity. Sadly to say, the property prices in this area has not seen the growth that many would have expected it to be and if buyers are willing to top up a little more psf, they would certainly enable themselves to other properties that could result in a much higher return rate. Overall, we feel that Dairy farm Residences would be a decent place to live in but not something that we would consider because of the time to returns ratio.
With that being said, we at TLC hereby informs readers that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual. Any articles posted here are personal views, and are not intended to defame.