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Two new Executive Condominium (EC) sites are up for tender, one at Sengkang and one at Tampines. Given the popularity of ECs, developers are likely to snap them up. But which potential site is better? We take a closer look:

Where are the two new EC sites?

The first EC site is located at the intersection of Fernvale Lane and Sengkang West Road (near another condo development, The Topiary). This plot has a maximum Gross Floor Area (GFA) of 47,964 square metres, and is expected to yield around 480 units.

The second EC site is at Tampines Street 62, which only leads in and out to Tampines Link. This site has a GFA of 59,498 square metres, and can yield about 595 units.

Both sites are on a 99-year leasehold.

Sengkang MRT map
Unfortunately, neither site is especially close to an MRT station; but condos these days will run shuttle services

Which of the two sites are better?

To give you a better sense of this, we’ve broken this down into a few categories:

  • Accessibility
  • Schools
  • Retail & Dining
  • Dining
  • Investment

1. Accessibility

Neither site is particularly close to an MRT station.

For the Sengkang site, if you’re walking, you can use the Fernvale LRT station (about 1o minutes walk) to connect to the wider train network. The nearest MRT station is Buangkok, which is over half and hour away on foot (that makes cycling one viable option) The Sengkang plot is roughly 28 minutes drive to the CBD, via the CTE.

The Tampines plot is also a good distance from both Pasir Ris and Tampines MRT stations – around a 10 minute drive to either. The site is about a 25 minute drive to the CBD, via the KPE.

The Sengkang site may have a slight edge in that it has the Fernvale MRT close by. It’s likely that any developments on these plots will run a shuttle service. For drivers, both sites were not particularly congested even at the peak morning and evening rush. The Tampines site was about three minutes quicker to the CBD, if this makes a big difference to you.

2. Schools

condos near primary schools
Raising a family? The Sengkang plot is close to many schools

For the Tampines plot, Elias Park Primary and Meridian Primary are nearby, as is Meridian Secondary School.

The Sengkang plot is just a few minutes walk to Fernvale Primary, with Sengkang Green and Pei Hwa Secondary being close by. There’s also a preschool (Cambridge Preschool @ Yio Chu Kang) a short drive up the road. Overall, it would seem that the Sengkang plot has more school options in close proximity.

3. Retail & Dining

The Tampines plot is very much the winner here, as it’s close to both IKEA and the Giant hypermarket. Besides those two options, it’s just around a 10 minute drive to Tampines Hub (where the MRT is also located); and here you can find Tampines Mall, Century Square, and Tampines 1.  There’s a big mix of food courts, restaurants, and fast-food among the three malls.

The Sengkang plot has got Seletar Mall nearby. The mall has a FairPrice Finest, and a decent mix of fast food and small restaurants. There’s also the Seletar West Farmway  nearby, which has places like the Apollo Marine live seafood market – we know some of you home cooks appreciate this. For other shopping needs though, you’ll probably have to travel further out of Sengkang.

4. Investment

An asian couple signing up for home renovation loan.
The Tampines site may mean higher rentability; but it may also be more expensive with lower yields.

Everything we can say is speculative at this point; but we would foresee better rentability for the Tampines plot (rentability is not rental yield – we’re just saying it’s easier and quicker to find tenants, and lower risk of a complete vacancy). This is because of the good access to IKEA and Giant, as well as having the highly-developed Tampines hub nearby.

For the Sengkang plot, the nearby development (The Topiary) was at around $749 per square foot in 2012 – it has since appreciated by around 18 per cent, to about $884 per square foot at present. We feel this area is still not as developed, but that could also mean significant room for appreciation later – you might be getting in on the ground floor.

Overall, the Tampines plot has a bit of an edge, given the area is more built-up.

But it’s early days yet, and it’s likely the developer will also price this in (it could end up comparatively expensive).

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