Condos District 23 Reviews

District 23 on demand: Mont Botanik Residence up and coming?

Mont Botanik is the newest freehold project in the Hillview area located within a suite of private properties. Exclusively limited to 2 Blocks, the 108-unit condominium stands out as one of the prominent projects.

TLC RATING

66

100

PROS

Newest Condominium with Freehold status in the area, Developer with good track record, Exclusive 108 units.

CONS

High average cost psf, Competitive options available, 15-minute walk away from nearest MRT station, Possible west sun.

6
Location

5
Amenities

7
Nearby Schools

7
Floor Plan

8
Price

Developer’s Background

Established in 1969, Tuan Sing Holdings Limited is an investment holding group of over 60 subsidiaries with stake in various industries. With real estate assets in both Singapore and abroad, Tuan Sing is recognized as a developer for its reputation in quality residential, commercial and iconic developments.
Botanika
Mont Timah
Seletar Park Residence
Sennett Residence
Cluny Park Residence

Tuan Sing Holdings Limited has a track record ranging from mid to high-end residential projects such as Botanika, Mont Timah, Seletar Park Residence, Sennett Residence and Cluny Park Residence. Tuan Sing is recognized for their work in residential, commercial and industrial developments in Singapore and China.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in Singapore who assesses developers and contractors according to the CONQUAS score. The CONQUAS score assesses the quality of workmanship of developers and contractors in 3 areas; Structural, Architectural and Mechanical & Electrical works.

Photo Credits: BCA

According to the data extracted from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in Singapore, Tuan Sing Holdings Limited manages an average CONQUAS score of 91.9%. However, this data shows only two projects (Cluny Park and Sennett Residence) dated on 2016-2017 period and this score is relatively high and slighted biased for only a sample size of two developments. In addition, Rich-Link Construction Pte Ltd is the appointed main contractor for Mont Botanik. The same contractor was engaged for another of Tuan Sing’s project (Sennette Residence) as shown in the table above and likewise, had little data to determine a fair CONQUAS average value.

IN THIS POST

Project Details & Site Plan

Mont Botanik Residence
LocationJalan Remaja
District23
TenureFreehold
Expected T.O.PJune 2022
Number of Units108
Mont Botanik Residence Unit Distribution
Located in district 23, the Mont Botanik development showcases 108 exclusive units with 2 Bedrooms with and without study and 3 Bedroom with study only. The 2 Block project embraces nature as one of the key design concepts similar to that of the new launches around the area such as Midwood and Diary Farm Residences. Personally, we prefer condominiums that have their parking lots concealed away in the basement of the building as it provides good shelter for its residents and the cars itself.
Facilities on the 1st Floor
Facilities on the Roof Terrace

The facilities provided together with this condominium are not as comprehensive as the two aforementioned projects and are located at Level 1 and the roof of the establishment. However, they do have sky terraces located on the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th stories for recreational purposes. The condominium also comes with a 25m lap pool as compared to other projects that try to include a 50m lap pool. Possibly due the smaller site area, the condominium also does not include a tennis court. One seemingly attractive perk of living here is probably the infinity jacuzzi pool located at the roof level. Other than that, if you are looking for a condominium property that has a complete range of facilities provided, this is not exactly the place for you.

How Convenient is the Location?

Mont Botanik Residence's Location

The location of Mont Botanik is somewhat closer to what we call bluntly; “in the middle of nowhere”. For starters, we are not trying to say that this is not a good place to live in. With respect to where it stands physically, convenience is not exactly put on a plate for you. Although it is nice that there is a bus stop located directly in front of the condominium, it does not help that there is only Bus 173 servicing that route. Sure, bus service 173 connects you to Bukit Batok (NS2) and Beauty World (DT5) MRT stations but having the need to hop on an additional mode of transportation to get connected the train network is not exactly what most people would consider as “convenient”. The next nearest bus stop is a 3 to 5-minute walk away at Hillbrooks condominium which has more feeder bus services.The closest train station is also located about a 15-minute walk away at Hillview MRT station on Upper Bukit Timah Road.

Malls close to Mont Botanik Residence

In terms of shopping for groceries, the nearest supermarket is located in HV2 at about a 10-minute walk away. The next best alternative for grocery shopping in supermarkets is at Rail Mall; which is needless to say, much further and inconvenient. Unless you do own some form of personal mobility device or vehicle or driving around regardless of distance is second nature to you, do expect longer traveling times getting around via public transport. If you do, a minutes’ car ride can get you as far as Bukit Panjang where Hillion Mall, Bukit Panjang Plaza and Junction 10 is located. Mont Botanik is also situated within 10 minutes of driving to the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) and Pan Island Expressway (PIE) which is pretty decent in our opinion.

Looking for something closer to a MRT station?

Click to view Midwood!

Dodging Sunshine

Mont Botanik Residence building placement

The two block (10-storey) condominium’s plot of land resides adjacent to Jalan Batu Nilam and Jalan Remaja. The properties along Jalan Batu Nilam are mostly landed. Sharing the same plot ratio (1.9) as the neighbouring condominiums, Hillbrooks and Century Mansions, the highest level for all 3 properties stands at 10 stories high while the building in front of Block 2K lies Kewalram Hillview; an industrial building. There could a chance that there will be some obstruction for both blocks but all other developments are at least 20 metres away from each block. On the bright side, the infinity jacuzzi pool is situated at the roof level of Block 2L where swimmers could at the very least be facing something else than the industrial complex. There is also ample privacy for people using the swimming pools at the first storey as it is strategically enclosed between the two blocks. The facing for each block shows that some units will be affected by the morning (Block 2L) and afternoon sun (Block 2K).

Photo Credits: URA

If you value tranquility and privacy, Mont Bontanik could be the property for you; although there are prerequisites. Yes, Mont Bontanik offers detachment at the cost of convenience. But only 100% of enjoyment of that comes after completion of the conversion of the two industrial buildings into residential properties.

A revision to the Master Plan has since seen sites previously labelled for industrial use being converted to residential. This means that the current Lam Soon Industrial Building and Kewalram Hillview will make way for future residential sites. That is positive news for potential owners of Mont Botanik because of being the “earlier” movers into the districts and also being on the side with a higher plot ratio (1.9); which goes to say that they might sit higher in terms of number of stories. And being one of the exclusive early movers into a new freehold condominium with a density of 108 units, they have already taken the step of entering the market at a lower cost per unit as land costs are expected to increase with time.

Schools in Proximity

Mont Botanik Residence's Location
There are many different educational institutions along the roads of Upper Bukit Timah to Bukit Timah and Clementi Road and more. The table below shows the approximate distance of different educational institutions from Mont Botanik in kilometers.
Primary SchoolsApproximate distance away from Mont Botanik (Km)
Primary Lianhua Primary School1.6
CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace Girls Primary School2.4
Bukit Panjang Primary School2.7
Dazhong Primary School2.9
Secondary SchoolsApproximate distance away from Mont Botanik (Km)
Hillgrove Secondary School1.8
Assumption English School2.1
St. Francis Methodist School2.2
Swiss Cottage Secondary School3.1
Tertiary InstitutesApproximate distance away from Mont Botanik (Km)
ITE College West4.5
Ngee Ann Polytechnic4.6
SIM Global Education4.9
Singapore Polytechnic6.9

Lovers of Nature

Photo Credit: NParks
As previously mentioned, the newly developed projects around this area adopts Nature as one of the key concepts to the design of this building because of its close proximity to the nature parks and reserves close by. Unlike Midwood and Dairy Farm Residences where Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Dairy Farm Nature Park are within reach via Upper Bukit Timah Road, Mont Bontanik is located much closer to Bukit Batok Nature Park and Bukit Batok Town Park; where Little Guilin Lake resides. The Hillview Park Connector is also accessible just at the main road of Hillview avenue and can connect avid cyclists to the 20-kilometer Western Adventure Park Connector Network (PCN) Cycling Trail 2.

Showflat Experience

Entrance of Mont Botanik Residences Showflat
We visited Mont Botanik Residences showflat initially to an empty audience with no staff or visitors noticeable; not even security the least.
Arrival Court

As this is a pretty small and private development, the arrival court is understandably scaled down as well. The rest of the images can briefly show most if not all of the selling points for this property; and more notably the private enclosed spaces.

ID Treated Showrooms

2 Bedroom + Study

The clean-cut corners of this particular layout is something very simple yet somehow difficult to achieve as there are little to no space wastage.

Overall, it is a very efficient layout that closely mimics one of a typical 3 bedroom as the study is big enough to double up as secondary bedroom.
In this design by the ID, the study was able to accommodate a single Murphy bed.

3 Bedroom + Study

Well, this particular 3 Bedroom layout is likewise as efficient as the aforementioned 2 Bedroom + Study. The only difference between the two layouts are the additional bedroom and a balcony to the Master Bedroom.

Living Area - 3 Bedroom + Study - Type B1-4

The kitchen also has additional working counter tops and follows the methodical “kitchen triangle” concept. I am one for counter top space and efficiency in the kitchen and if you love cooking as much as I do, you will too, appreciate the additional luxury of space.

Additional counter top space will always be welcome in a Chef's kitchen.

Project Mix

Mont Botanik Residence Unit availability as at 5 April 2020
Mont Botanik’s 108-unit freehold project comprises of only 2 Bedrooms with or without study and 3 Bedrooms with study only. As at 5 April 2020, these are only the handful of units left available. Unfortunately, all of the 2 Bedroom with study Type A4-P has been fully sold out.

Maintenance Fees

Unit TypeNumber of UnitsSize (Sq ft.)Share ValueEstimated Maintenance Charges per Month (Subject to GST) – SGD
2 Bedroom Type A1186896$388
2 Bedroom Type A2187006$388
2 Bedroom Type A397006$388
2 Bedroom + Study Type A4187766$388
2 Bedroom + Study Type A4-P187766$388
3 Bedroom + Study Type B1279486$388
It is not really common for condominiums to all share the same share value all the units in this project, and hence, the same estimated maintenance charges of $388 excluding GST per month.

Estimated Price Guide

Unit TypeSize (Sq ft.)Estimated Price of remaining units (Starting from.) – SGDPrice psf. (Starting from.) – SGD
2 Bedroom Type A1689$1,094,200$1,588 psf
2 Bedroom Type A2700$1,170,600$1,672 psf
2 Bedroom Type A3700$1,182,700$1,689 psf
2 Bedroom + Study Type A4776$1,254,700$1,616 psf
2 Bedroom + Study Type A4-P (FULLY SOLD)776$1,241,600$1,600 psf
3 Bedroom + Study Type B1948$1,591,200$1,678 psf

The table shows the estimated pricing of remaining units starting from about $1,094,200 to $1,581,200 for 2 Bedroom to 3 Bedroom with study units as at 5 April 2020. The estimated average price for all units is about $1,640 psf.

Why were all the 2 Bedroom + Study Type 4A-P Swooped up?

2 Bedroom + Study

Type A4
Type A4-P

At first glance, both layouts are seemingly identical and a mirror image of one another. The layout adopts something very similar to that of a 3-bedroom. The extra study room can also double up as an additional guest room and gives the owners a lot of room to be flexible with this layout. It is uncommon for 2-bedroom layouts to have an enclosed kitchen as well and this is definitely a major plus point. But like all identical people in this world, there will be some unique characteristics that can identify each individual as two completely different people; and in this case, that difference is just a door. That very “door” is located at the balcony or in reference to the layout of Type A4-P, the Private Enclosed Space (PES). Yes, it is typical to find layouts with PES at units located on the ground level where they can access a common area or facility within the condominium itself.

Well, this “door” is not just a normal or another door. Think of it as a door to Narnia.

Mont Botanik freehold project
OK, Narnia was a bit of a long shot, but you get our point. With these units only located at stacks 01, 06, 07 and 12 together a pretty good facing, we can possibly get to see the sun rise or set for everyday in your lives if you are one of the lucky few who managed to book a unit here.

Should I invest in this property?

Setting aside convenience, connectivity and all other variables, let’s take a look at the health of the sales of the neighbouring condominiums and its returns.
Profitable Transactions
DevelopmentTenureSample SizeAverage Profit excluding other fees – SGDAverage Holding Period
Hillbrooks CondominiumFreehold162$234,5953789 Days
Century Mansions CondominiumFreehold57$199,3972767 Days

According to the data extracted from EdgeProp, homeowners made an average of $234,595 and $199,397 from the sales of their units at Hillbrooks and Century Mansions condominium respectively. The average holding period for the homeowners from each condominium was an average of 3789 and 2767 days as well. This translates to an average holding period of 10.38 and 7.58 years which seems like a really long time to flip and make just slightly above $200,000 in that time.

Unprofitable Transactions
DevelopmentTenureSample SizeAverage Profit excluding other fees – SGDAverage Holding Period
Hillbrooks CondominiumFreehold100($152,409)2453 Days
Century Mansions CondominiumFreehold18($54,235)2062 Days

On the other hand, there were also unprofitable transactions of ($152,409) and ($54,235) for Hillbrooks and Century Mansions respectively at an average holding period of 2453 and 2062 days. Likewise, this translates to holding the unit for an average of 6.72 and 5.65 years only to make a substantial loss.

Keeping in mind that these are the direct neighboring freehold condominiums beside Mont Botanik, the data shows that you could be looking to hold on to that unit for an average of 7-10 years to truly be able to make a reasonable profit. However, the average cost per square foot for Mont Botanik is about $1,640 (same as Midwood btw.) and could be, in the long run, something that might be worth considering given the fact that it is a freehold property with longevity on its side..

Final Words

Well to be very honest, Mont Bontanik did not initially strike us as a property that is something that we would go crazy over. We will not deny that having it is one of the fresh changes to the aging landscape of condominiums in the Hillview estate. However, we have to be realistic with the facts raised in this post and what we really want in a property before committing to such purchase.

Unless this property ticks all of your boxes and resonates so deep into your soul that only purchasing it can soothe the burning desire of fulfilment and satisfaction, then you go get it. As much as there are many different reasons to purchase a home, we would not like to see buyers fall into a waiting game just so that they would end up not walking away as clear winners from a sale. There are and always will be other fish in the sea. Thoughts?

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.

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