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2. Please note that changes/ update based on updated information will be made from time to time, readers are advised to check on this page regularly.
3. Analysis was done based on available data at the time of this review being published.
"Every new town must be better than the previous one", so said the former Minister for Ministry of National Development and later for Transport and now retired, Mr Khaw Boon Wan back in Aug 2013 when he launched the 3 new residential township which comprised Bidadari, Tampines North as well as Punggol Matilda.
they launched it
Tampines North was planned over 240 ha of land which will yield 21,000 housing units for which 80% (16,800 units) will be for public housing while the rest for private housing. To date (up to August 2020 BTO), 10,032 units of public housing have been launched and none from private housing yet. Remaining 40% of public housing will be launched within this new extension of the Tampines Town in the near future. 1 plot of land for private residential development has been launched under the EC scheme next to Tampines Green Vines with no takers in sight as the economy sailing through the rough sea amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since 2011, 24 BTO developments have been launched in 6 neighbourhoods within Tampines town which amounted to 18,449 housing units. 62.5% of the housing units have been concentrated within the new Tampines North extension while Tampines South contributed a meagre 11.7%, since only 2 developments being launched thus far. The main bulk of the units still came from the 4-room type which amounted to 48.7%, follow by the 5-room type which came in at 29.4%. Based on our recent analysis on resale vs launch price at Tampines Green Leaf which exercised their MOP back in 2019, a 5-room which supposed to be in lower quantity have not shown a better investment option on a dollar compare to a 4-room. A 4-room in this development have yielded a cool 74.7% return for its most expensive units, thus far compare to a 5-room at 64.5%. Both at a median return on a dollar of 63%-64.8%.
they hyped it
The green precincts
Tampines North was divided into 4 precincts namely Park West District, Boulevard District, Park East District and Green Walk District. 1st phase was launched back in 2014 under Tampines Green Ridges, designed by Group 8 Architects (Swiss origin, Asia based who also did Punggol Waterway Terraces and The Alps Residences) with local submitting architect LAUD Architects. Park West District consists of GreenRidges, GreenWeave and GreenView. Boulevard District consists of GreenVerge and GreenCourt and Park East District consist of GreenVines, GreenDew, GreenFoliage and 3 other plots of land. Green Walk, the last precinct consists of GreenGlen, GreenGlades, GreenCrest and 3 other plots of land. The Central Park will be the key focal point of this green precinct with pockets of green ‘touches’ like the ‘green canyon’ (image below, taken from GreenRidges).
Tampines North station (CR6), Cross Island MRT Line by 2029
Cross Island Line was announced back in 2019 after long feasibility study exercise. Along this new line, Tampines North residents will enjoy the direct access to an MRT via the Tampines North station (CR6) due to be launched by 2029. By then, most of the current launches would have been completed even with Covid-19 disruption. Among the empty plot of lands stated earlier, 3 plots will have direct connection to the future Tampines North MRT Station (CR6) other than the extra 2 plots reserved for mixed use.
Pioneering PPVC building method in public housing
Prefabricated prefinished volumetric construction (PPVC) is just an improvised version of factory-made component and site installation construction method. The whole idea is to save on manpower and increase productivity. Compares to the previous pre-cast modulation, the difference is PPVC came with finishes (i.e. floor tiles, etc.) while the former will be done on site. Tampines Green Court will be one of the pioneers from the November 2017 launches to use PPVC method. Somehow, with all the advancement, PPVC construction method will be constrained by the size which it can fit onto the trailer which transport it from factory to site. In Singapore, CDL development has successfully utilised PPVC method to construct The Brownstone EC at Canberra. The only feedback we have gotten from the homeowner is more about the limitation of electrical wiring work during the renovation. Then again, no one can assure the quality of production from the factory other than the main contractor and the developer.
PWCS as a standard feature
Pneumatic waste conveyance system (PWCS) will be another low manpower, high productivity initiative to make sure that residents see lesser of the refuse truck moving around their estate with complains of foul smell. The system is mainly consisting of the vacuum duct installed in all building blocks and a centralised bin centre to ‘process’ the waste before the scheduled collection of compacted waste. Not all developments will have the centralised bin centre as one is enough to cover at least 38 blocks (Yuhua as precedent). While generally the system looks fantastic, it still come with few hiccups like the smell, choke (The Sail@Marina as precedent), etc. Other than that, please take note of the items which you can or cannot throw into PWCS chute.
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will you buy it?
When we purchase an item, we ought to know how much it cost so that we don’t overpay or even if we overpaid for it, we understand that its due to higher quality rather than the higher margin for the producer. Here, we took the same approach as to why we wanted to understand how much a public housing unit cost. Cost varies due to reasons such as development zone as mature areas tend to be more expensive due to the existing surrounding constrain (i.e. limited work area, storage, etc.) and uncertainty (i.e. most of the underground infrastructure are not being properly recorded, thus needed more surveying work). The newer area tends to be lower in cost as most of the infrastructure can be planned in advance with lesser uncertainty.
Tampines North is considered a new area since there’s no prior development in this area. Prices have been rather stable hovering around S$150 per square feet unit area. Tampines GreenCourt was slightly higher due to the uncertainty of pioneering PPVC construction method in public housing. Overall selling price has been on the incremental trajectory which is consistent with a conventional real estate development which is to incentivised the earlier buyers for their trust. Homeowners who bought into GreenVerge would enjoy a better upside due to it being the only halves of the Boulevard District which have direct access to the Central Park.
Among the 4 districts, Boulevard District is still leading the pack with Green Walk District not far behind. Green Walk District is basically selling the ‘charm’ of Sungei Api Api which, if you even consider it as a selling point. From the attached candlestick chart, you may observe anomalies like:
a. why the median price is nearer to the maximum price point?
b. why some of the candlestick have wider band?
The answer to these questions may lie the sweet point to enter. We have intentionally standardised the vertical axis input to allow readers to have a visual comparison between prices in quantum as well as in psf for both 4-room and 5-room type. This should give readers a clear understanding that psf price may not reflect the quantum price and one should not be bought into an argument which only base on a single parameter (i.e. psf price) to project affordability.
Next, where should you buy into? Tampines North or Tampines South? Technically, Tampines South is still under Tampines West Subzone as defined by URA. Tampines South has shown that prices here will be much higher than Tampines North due to the immediate accessibility to the existing MRT station in Tampines West (DT31) which present direct access to the city centre. The choice will be between accessibility to the city centre or living among the lush greenery. With working from home become a norm during this Covid-19 period, is accessibility to city centre still a major consideration? The price between the option will be at least S$50 psf.
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An architect with 2 bachelor degrees. 15 years of industry related experience in Singapore, China and Malaysia. Designed for more than 10,000 units of completed residential property in Singapore, China and Malaysia including landed and non-landed alike. Designed for residential, healthcare, industrial and transportation oriented development (Finalist at World Architectural Festival 2014, Master planning; Won Singapore Institute of Planners Best Urban Design Project 2013). Completed projects including 1,010 units Punggol Topaz, Singapore, 2,290 units of landed and high-rise residential development in Xian, China, 4,236 units of high-rise residential development in Shenyang, China, 3,595 units of high-rise residential development in Chengdu, China and many more.