THE picturesque Jurong Lake area is turning into the residential area of choice for those staying in the western part of Singapore. Not only do the residents of the condominiums surrounding Jurong Lake enjoy a scenic view, the serene neighbourhood also provides them with respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
“The area’s biggest draw is that it is the only lakefront residential area in the western part of Singapore,” says Alice Tan, head of research with Knight Frank and a Jurong West resident for more than 30 years. “On weekends, you can see children playing as well as adults exercising and jogging around Jurong Lake, the Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden, enjoying the fresh air and tranquillity of the lake and its surrounding area.”
The area in focus is bordered by Corporation Road and Jurong Canal and is served by the Lakeside MRT Station. There are eight 99-year leasehold condos within a 10-minute walk of the Lakeside MRT station. They range from the latest developments by MCL Land — Lakeville and Lake Grande — to the oldest, Lakepoint, a 34-year-old project by JTC Corp.
Strong demand for new and old condos
The 304-unit Lakepoint was completed in 1983. It comprises two-bedroom units of 915 to 1,044 sq ft, maisonettes of 1,884 to 2,217 sq ft, penthouses of 2,734 to 3,261 sq ft and townhouses of 2,486 to 3,401 sq ft.
Despite having just 65 years left on its lease, this development remains popular among buyers. Based on caveats lodged with Realis, there have been on average six transactions a year over the past three years. The latest transaction was for a 2,217 sq ft, four-bedroom unit that was sold in January for $1.23 million ($555 psf).
“Most of the new buyers are cash-rich investors who are buying because of its en-bloc potential,” says Ryan Yeo, associate deputy division director with Knight Frank Property Network, who specialises in marketing residential developments in the western part of Singapore. “I know of a few owners who have bought and are not concerned whether they are able to rent the unit out because their intention is to hold on to the unit and wait for en-bloc.”
He reckons that owners of Lakepoint will start the en-bloc process once the property market improves because it is an ageing development with no facilities.
The two newest additions to the area are Lakeville and Lake Grande. The 696-unit Lakeville, located on Jurong Lake Link, is expected to be completed by 1Q2017. The development consists of one- to five-bedroom units of 560 to 1,862 sq ft. There are also four- and five-bedroom penthouses of 1,981 to 2,680 sq ft.
Lakeville was launched for sale in April 2014 and about 180 units were snapped up on the first day at an average price of $1,300 psf. According to MCL Land, most of the units sold then were one- and two-bedroom apartments and almost 90% of the buyers were Singaporeans, with HDB upgraders accounting for the bulk of the purchasers.
According to the latest January developers’ sales data compiled by the URA, 689 out of the total 696 units were sold at a median price of $1,174 psf. The most recent unit sold was a 1,423 sq ft, four-bedroom unit. It changed hands in January for $1.65 million ($1,156 psf), according to caveats lodged with Realis.
Located just directly across from Lakeville is Lake Grande, which is expected to be completed by 2019. The 710-unit, 99-year leasehold condo was launched for sale last July and 436 units of the development, or 61%, were sold during the launch weekend at an average price of $1,368 psf.
According to MCL Land, two-bedroom units at Lake Grande were the most popular, with 260 such units sold. The average two-bedder is about 660 sq ft and was sold at $1,365 psf, or around $900,000.
Some 85% of the buyers were Singaporeans, while 12% were permanent residents and the remainder, foreigners, says MCL Land.
According to the January developers’ sales data, 559 out of the total 710 units were sold at a median price of $1,302 psf. The latest transaction was for a 980 sq ft, three-bedroom unit that was sold in February for $1.17 million ($1,195 psf), based on caveats lodged with Realis.
Both Lakeville and Lake Grande are ideal for young families with children, given their close proximity to Rulang Primary School, one of the top three primary schools in the west of Singapore, says Knight Frank’s Tan.
Besides Lakepoint, there are three other 99-year leasehold developments in the area that are 10 years old or older: Parc Vista, Lakeholmz and The Lakeshore. Demand for all three developments remains high; at The Lakeshore, 28 units changed hands in 2016, while at Parc Vista and Lakeholmz, 19 and 14 units were transacted respectively.
Yeo notes that there is a growing number of non-resident Indian professionals with permanent resident status renting or buying in the area, owing to its close proximity to the International Business Park. Many of these professionals are in the IT industry and like to live near their workplace, he says.
As many of these Indians have extended families, they tend to favour big units, especially those at Parc Vista, The Lakeshore and Lakepoint, where three-bedroom units start from 1,100 sq ft compared with the newer condos, explains Yeo. “Most of these older condos are going for less than $1,000 psf and this is a key pull factor,” he says.
The 638-unit Parc Vista by Far East Organization was completed in 1997. Units are a mix of two- to four-bedders of 1,044 to 1,636 sq ft and maisonettes of 1,938 to 2,379 sq ft. The latest transaction was for a 1,076 sq ft, two-bedroom unit in December that fetched $850,000 ($790 psf). The seller had purchased it in January 1996 for $687,000 ($639 psf).
The 369-unit Lakeholmz was developed by Frasers Centrepoint and completed in 2005. Lakeholmz consists of two- to four-bedroom units of 1,001 to 2,616 sq ft. The latest transaction was for a 1,249 sq ft, three-bedroom unit that was sold in February for $1.04 million ($831 psf). The seller had bought it in September 2005 for $567,000 ($454 psf).
The 848-unit The Lakeshore by Far East Organization was completed in 2007. It is made up of two- to four-bedroom apartments of 861 to 1,900 sq ft. A 936 sq ft, two-bedroom-plus-study unit changed hands in February for $995,000 ($1,063 psf). The seller had bought it in June 2009 for $645,000 ($689 psf).
Two slightly newer developments, Caspian and Lakefront Residences, were completed less than five years ago. The 712-unit Caspian by Frasers Centrepoint is fully sold and was completed in 2013. Units in the project are spread across six 17-storey blocks and comprise two- to four-bedroom apartments of 872 to 1,593 sq ft. The latest transaction was for a 1,302 sq ft, three-bedroom unit that was sold in January for $1.37 million ($1,052 psf).
The 629-unit Lakefront Residences by Keppel Land was completed in 2014 and is fully sold. It is made up one- to four-bedders of 484 to 1,938 sq ft and penthouses of 2,000 to 3,186 sq ft. The latest transaction was for a 1,389 sq ft, four-bedroom unit that was sold in January for $1.65 million ($1,188 psf).
Jurong Lake Gardens
The park around Jurong Lake will get a makeover under the Jurong Lake District master plan and will be renamed Jurong Lake Gardens.
According to Tan, the government is looking at redesigning and revamping the park through landscaping, adding new paths and exercise areas as well as clusters of commercial space.
Residents at all eight developments will be able to look forward to the new and revamped Jurong Lake Gardens when it is unveiled section by section starting from next year with the Jurong Lake West Garden on Yuan Ching Road.
“Once the transformation of the Jurong Lake area is completed, not only will residents be able to experience a new lakefront lifestyle, they are also likely to see the value of their properties rise,” says Tan.
This article first appeared in The Edge Property Singapore, a pullout of The Edge Singapore, on Feb 27, 2017.