Yet another exciting development in an estate that has stagnated for quite a while due to the lack of available land space comes Fourth Avenue Residences. It is indeed a fresh change to the private housing landscape in the surroundings of Sixth Avenue; which is crowded by mostly landed and freehold condominiums. Let’s take a look at what it means for the new 99-year slice of land made available for this new property.
Project Details & Site Plan
|Fourth Avenue Residences|
|Tenure||99 Years from 7 March 2018|
|Expected T.O.P||8 December 2022|
|Number of Units||476|
Located in district 10, the full facilities condominium in Fourth Avenue Residences showcases a high density of 476 units ranging from 1 to 4 bedrooms. It is so close to the Sixth Avenue Downtown Line MRT Station that it feels like the station is part of the condominium itself. It is getting increasingly rare for properties to be located this close to train stations, let alone in an estate that is pretty mature in our opinion. The completion of the DTL in that area is like the icing on a well-aged cake.
This area of district 10 has its fair share of condominiums and landed properties. But never in recent years has there been a new development, let alone a 99-year condominium. If you would take a look at our “expertly” drawn cardinal points, it is easy to see that many units are possibly exposed to the afternoon sun from the west. The triangular demarcated land probably influenced the way the 9 blocks are being positioned to maximize the land area and the 50m lap pool right smack in the middle of the condominium; but all these at the expense of the blocks’ facing.
How Convenient is the Location?
Like Allgreen’s other development (Royalgreen), Fourth Avenue Residences is located in the prime area of district 10 and within the Core Central Region (CCR). The surrounding landscape is a enclave of low-rise private houses; with majority of the condominiums nearby on freehold status. It is located pretty central in terms of travelling distances to town and also very accessible via public transport. Fourth Avenue Residences is the latest 99 year tenure project addition and the only one so far in this particular area of District 10.
Standing on a plot ratio of 1.8, Fourth Avenue Residences did not fully utilize its maximum allowable story limit and has 9 blocks with a mix of 2, 6 and 10 stories high. Fourth Avenue Residences sits on the same street with a handful of private properties and this road will only be frequently utilized by the residents of this those properties; pretty exclusive if you would ask us. But unlike Sixth Avenue which connects Bukit Timah Road through to Holland Road, Fourth Avenue Residences is on the other hand, accessible only through Fourth Avenue. Assuming that half of the residents of Fourth Avenue Residences own a personal transport vehicle, we can only hope that Fourth Avenue exiting to Bukit Timah Road to not be congested; especially during the peak hour traffic where the main road can be backed up with vehicles as well.
Similar to that of Royalgreen, Fourth Avenue Residences also sits adjacent to the main road of Bukit Timah. We like to think of this road as the main highway to an abundance of services, food, amenities and schools. All your needs can be easily fulfilled with the many options available just on Bukit Timah Road. The nearest supermarket is located at Guthrie House, a mere 2 minutes of walking from Fourth Avenue; with quite a few food and beverage options to choose from along Anamalai Avenue as well.
Likewise, a 5 minute drive can take you to the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) and on either side of Bukit Timah Road, can take you as far as Beauty World or Adam Road Food Centre; where there are plenty of other food and beverage options on top of more supermarket chains along the way. An 11 minute drive can take you directly to the heart of Orchard Road and the CBD is just about 15 minutes away.
Getting Around - MRT
Fourth Avenue Residences is literally a hop-away to Sixth Avenue MRT station on the Downtown Line (DTL). The 1-minute walk to the station is fully sheltered with a pedestrian gate that leads time taken to travel to the key parts of Singapore. A 14-minute train ride can take you across to Bugis Downtown Line station directly to the street level of the station. On top of that, noise pollution caused by the moving trains are totally eradicated because the trains run underground; which is what we really love about the DTL other than its connectivity to the other train lines and the 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 and the North East Line (NE) at Little India.
Getting Around - Bus
Personally, I grew up in a neighborhood where the train station is a 3-minute walk from where I live and I never really fancied taking buses nor had the habit to (partially because the bus services didn’t take me anywhere I needed to go). But I have to admit that bus services are the better vessels of public transportation and can take you to more precise locations where trains cannot directly access.
The screengrabs from a quick google search on the bus services at both Sixth Avenue and Opposite Sixth Avenue Station bus stops shows about 17 bus services. These bus services are very comprehensive and were there well before the DTL was constructed and was the only public transport available to the people in that area for a very long time. The extent of coverage from these buses covers both short and long distance rides that can take you to as far as Woodlands Checkpoint or Tampines.
The Education Belt of Bukit Timah
I was driving along Bukit Timah Road the other day (pre-circuit breaker period) with my aunt and drove past the on-going construction of both Allgreen properties. It was then she said: “Next time, buy a house that is near a good school. The best is beside the schools along this stretch (of road). Good for the kids, good for value.”.
I have literally lived next to schools for most parts of my life and I cannot emphasize how much I dislike the noise. Reputed schools or not, I’d rather choose to live further away from one.
Today, as time and environmental changes to our local transportation landscape, I believe that convenience has slowly and certainly took precedence over schools. As mentioned in the Royalgreen post, Fourth Avenue Residences shares the same privilege of being closely located physically to the belt of educational institutes along Bukit Timah Road. These schools are relatively accessible via the DTL train stations.
What got me thinking about the conversation I had with my aunt was the difference in our perception of what adds value to a property; then and now. Taking her (who has children) as an example, she has been living in Bukit Timah for more than 20 years now and back then, there were not even plans for train stations in that area. Buses were the only form of public transportation for hard to reach places but the mentality of having to be near good schools, was ingrained in her till today probably because of the intention to school her children there and at the same time, see it as value-added for their property.
Was this the only way to add value a property back then where good schools surpassed transportation convenience for value? Was this because of the reality that there were no train stations there back then? Or was this simply sales talk of getting people to think that it adds value to their property?
I didn’t think I would actually see the importance of living close to schools; and not to even mention the more looked upon ones. I don’t know when it exactly happened but one thing was certain; price discrepancies in property were found for those that are located near schools.
Just opposite of the showflat of Royalgreen was what we initially thought was the new showflat for Fourth Avenue Residences. After months of construction, it turned out to be just the scaled model version of the development; without any showrooms within. We have unfortunately missed the first showflat before they downsized to what it is today. I guess it did not make any sense to showcase the developer’s quality of work with Royalgreen’s showroom a few metres away but it was somewhat anti-climatic because honestly, who visits a showflat solely to see scaled model of the property?
The essence and allure of the showrooms together with spot-on scent marketing is what most people (or us in particular) would love to be greeted with at first.
Everything you can see within the showflat, can be seen in a glance. There was the typical (but larger than usual) scaled model of the development in the middle of the room and the walls were plastered with full-sized murals of the project’s location, details and upcoming government plans for the its area. Other than the faulty interactive touch panels which served us no purpose at all, the showflat felt like the ID did not have to put much thought into designing the place as a whole.
We were done with the showflat in less than 10 minutes with mixed feelings and an underwhelming experience. While it may be true that we had high expectations for this development, this was by far one of the poorest experiences that we had of all the showflats that we have visited. They say that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Sadly, we have to agree with that.
Fourth Avenue Residences comprises of nine blocks varying from of 2,6 and 10 stories high. The 1 and 2 bedroom units account for the majority of the project, occupying 34.45% and 24.79% of the total number units available respectively. With new condominium property prices constantly on the rise, the difficulty of affording one becomes higher as well. We believe that developers have also acknowledged this along with the fact that Singapore are having smaller families.
|Unit Type||Number of Units||Size (Sq ft.)||Share Value||Estimated Maintenance Charges per Month (Subject to GST) – SGD|
|1 Bedroom – Type A1a, A1a(p), A1b, A1b(p), A1c, A1c(p), A1d, A1d(p), A2, A2(p), A3, A3(p), A4||164||484 – 517||5||$325|
|2 Bedroom – Type B1, B1(p), B2a, B2a(p), B2b, B2b(p), B3, B3(p)||38||624 – 646||6||$390|
|2 Bedroom Premium – Type BP1a, BP1a(p), BP1b, BP1b(p), BP1c, BP1c(p), BP2, BP2(p), BP3a, BP3a(p), BP3b, BP4, BP4(p), BP5, BP5(p), BP6, BP6(p)||118||689 – 721||6||$390|
|3 Bedroom – Type C1, C1(p), C2, C2(p), C2(h), C3, C3(p), C4, C4(p), C5, C5(p), C5(h), C6, C6(p)||64||915 – 969||6||$390|
|3 Bedroom + Study – Type CS1, CS1(p)||10||1,076||6||$390|
|3 Bedroom + Study – Type CS2, CS2(p), CS3, CS3(p), CS3(h), CS4a, CS4a(p), CS4a(h), CS4b, CS4b(p), CS4b(h), CS5, CS5(p), CS6, CS6(p), CS6(h), CS7, CS7(p)||58||1,109 – 1,130||7||$455|
|4 Bedroom + Study – Type DS1, DS1(p), DS2, DS2(p), DS3, DS3(p), DS3(h)||24||1,475 – 1496||7||$455|
Estimated Price Guide
|Unit Type||Size (Sq ft.)||Estimated Price of remaining units (Starting from.) – SGD||Price psf. (Starting from.) – SGD|
|1 Bedroom||484 – 517||$998,000||$2,062 psf|
|2 Bedroom||624 – 646||$1,418,000||$2,195 psf|
|2 Bedroom Premium||689 – 721||$1,522,000||$2,209 psf|
|3 Bedroom||915 – 969||$2,103,000||$2,298 psf|
|3 Bedroom + Study||1,076 – 1,130||$2,389,000||$2,220 psf|
|4 Bedroom + Study||1,475 – 1496||$3,526,000||$2,391 psf|
The estimated pricing for Fourth Avenue Residences starts from about $0.998 to $3.526 million for 1 Bedroom to 4 Bedroom units and the estimated average price for all units is about $2,229 psf based on initial data.
Comparison of floor plans
Conventionally, the room in a 1 bedroom layout is located at the further end of the flat. While we don’t expect much out of 1 Bedroom layouts, this one in particular caught our eye because of the placement of the master bedroom itself. There are not many windows to begin with in this layout and as with many 1 Bedroom layouts, it comes with an open concept kitchen. We get that it is normal to expect the house to be engulfed in the aromatics of your well-honed circuit breaker master chef delicacies, but imagine having to constantly worry about having your bedroom smell like food every time you start cooking. In addition having to always close the master bedroom door when you have to prepare a meal, we feel that there’s also much lesser privacy in terms of being that close to the main door.
Similar to the 1 Bedroom layout mentioned earlier, the 2 Bedroom Type B2a layout has a room that is just beside the kitchen. Thus, the same scenario. Don’t get us wrong but they do offer the well-liked dumbbell concept for 2 Bedroom layouts as well. We just felt that this layout in particular has its design implications which, by preference, can or cannot be accepted individually.
The main differences for the 2 Bedroom and the 2 Bedroom Premium layouts are essentially an additional bathroom. This 2 Bedroom Premium layout stands out slightly from its other typical ones because of the position of the kitchen. Every room in the house is properly demarcated to serve its purpose and we like how the kitchen is placed in a way that it feels like an almost enclosed space in the house and away from the bedrooms.
4 Bedroom + Study
Honestly, there wasn’t much to expect out of 3 to 4 Bedroom layouts as they usually follow a certain format (i.e. enclosed kitchen, rooms that are usually at one side if the house, 2-3 bathrooms, living area and the whole nine yards.). We are not sure if it is a thing with Allgreen properties but the 4 Bedroom + Study Type DS1 resembles one of Royalgreen’s where the junior master bedroom is located away beside the living area and away from the other bedrooms. Coincidence!? Maybe (btw, we also checked that they are using different architects, interior designers etc. so please don’t POFMA us).
Remember we mentioned the one cool thing about 3 Bedroom layouts? This is also apparent in the 4 Bedroom + Study Type DS3(h) layout. Essentially any layout in this project that has a (h) in its type, will have a dotted area in the living and dining that has higher ceiling heights of 2.9 – 4.6 meters. Guess the (h) in the 3 and 4 Bedroom layout stands for high ceiling or height. Or hot damn!
Is this development a home run?
Here comes the big money question. The entire district 10 is littered with private properties and its’ condominiums are mostly freehold status. In a nutshell, there are only 4 new projects since 2017 that are in 99 year tenures; Mon Jervois (TOP: 2017), Cuscaden Reserve (TOP: 2022), Fourth Avenue Residences (TOP: 2022) and One Holland Village (TOP:2023).
Suppose that you are a buyer who specifically wants to buy a new launch 99-year condominium only in the D10, and with the present scenario, you only have the mentioned 3 properties to choose from.
Photo Credits: 99.co
The information we have on hand is that One Holland Village has an average cost psf is at $2,685. The iconic Holland Village area has rich history just by the name itself and for a development that is a year younger than Fourth Avenue Residences, the average psf can also be justified for a variety of reasons. But that’s another story for another time.
These are all well-developed matured estates with considerably full amenities within reach. Properties in the proximity of these developments are of age for some places, with little to no empty spaces for any potential addition (excluding any en-bloc sales). Based on the relevant new developments in D10, which would you rather spend on with the average psf at $2,400 vs $2,685 vs $3,511 psf? Or in the case of Fourth Avenue Residences, would you consider paying close to an average 15-20% psf more for a freehold property like Royalgreen? Or should you consider buying Fourth Avenue Residences and hopefully wait approximately a year to see if the value increase to that of the new One Holland Village?
In the famous words of some well-known person; new is always better. Youth beats maturity and in that, impulse beats finesse. We can sense our advanced readers exhaling air out of their nostrils at terminal velocity but because of your wealth of experience and infinite wisdom, you know what we are referring to. In our opinion, new is always better for properties (in general). And as with everything in life, it is important to find the right balance.
A yin to a yang; a risk to reward ratio or an intense workout to the Mcspicy you are eating right now in front of the screen. Life works in the most peculiar of ways. Solutions to problems are not always gifted over to you nicely on a plate; like the “excellent” quality of all former employees for their work handovers. For every loophole exploited, there will be a countermeasure, a patch or a deterrence implemented to bring everything back to normal; back to its balance. The year 2020 has indeed caught us in the back foot but it has given everyone close to the 6-month “vacation” from work that everyone wants to take twice a year. Covid-19 has hit world economies hard and have changed the way we lived significantly and is probably an overdue correction that the world needs to bring it back to center.
The thing you have to take note is this. It is difficult to predict the future based on past trends, data and patterns. It is extremely difficult to beat the market by predicting any form of growth in the short run. It is an art to find a balance to the things in life but combined with the science of it all, you will be able to understand your own level of a risk to reward tolerance ratio and eventually the perceived value you give to your property of interest before committing to your investment.
Take a moment to assess that ratio and find your yin to your yang. Keep in mind that there will always be consequences for every action you take and when you have to, make a mistake or two to get there; as with every Mcspicy you consume.
Make it a double.
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.