The Continuum: Two freehold parcels and one condo in District 15

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Altura Qingjian

In the event that Hoi Hup and Sunway Property paid $815 million for two stretches of land located on the opposite the other side of Thiam Siew Avenue in the month of November 2021, many pondered what the next development could appear like. In the past, 22 semi-detached and bungalows were dotted along the peaceful street. Could the upcoming high-rise blocks connect to Thiam Siew Avenue by a Marina Bay Sands-style SkyPark or would developers purchase the road and combine the plots into an expansive development on one area?

Altura Qingjian Realty and Santarli Construction, are the official developers of the much-awaited Altura EC residence.

None of the mentioned above. Instead the designer Kingsley Ng, director of P&T Architects, designed three blocks that have 408 units on each plot. It is the North South and North South plots are planned as separate condominiums, with the entrances to each, as well as basement parking, as well as amenities like the clubhouse, pool, and gym. The entry point into the North plot is via Tanjong Katong Road and to the South, Haig Road.

A bridge with an overhead structure resembling similar to the Henderson Waves walkway will connect these two areas. “It will be a famous bridge located in the Katong area that will connect both sites,” says Koon Wai Leong Director Hoi Hup. Hoi Hup.

The facilities on The North as well as the South plots are separated in the drop-off area to the landscaping created for the area by STX Landscape Architects. “Residents are able to access the bridge through an access point on the deck that is landscaped in the North plot, and then exit at the clubhouse located on the South plot,” says Koon. “They have the opportunity to use these facilities from both ends.”

In the end, both sides form an entire development, that of the 816 unit It’s called the Continuum is named after the definition in the dictionary. “Continuum refers to something that is gradually and constantly changing or developing over the course of time.” Koon says. Koon.

The name is a reflection of the main aspects of the development that connect the old and the modern as well as the gardens on the ground floor and the sky garden as well as the South and North plots, he states. It suggests the freehold title to the land, too. “It could be a legacy for homeowners’ future generations,” Koon says. The units have flexible layouts. “This allows for minor adjustments to make the space more adaptable to accommodate the next phase of life” He says. “It’s perfect for people who are looking to age and remain in their place.”

A bit of the history of
The two sites comprise a land totaling 269,995 square feet. The prewar homes of 22 were constructed in the 1930s, by the late property hotelier and magnate Wee Thiam Siew, who owned the properties to earn rental income. Following his death in the year 1972, the properties located at Thiam Siew Avenue passed to his heirs. They were mainly held by two companies, Thiam Siew Avenue Investments and Wee Thiam Siew & Co.

The sale of properties located at Thiam Siew Avenue to the tune of $815million was “the most expensive residential development site that has been sold since July 2018” says Galven Tan the deputy managing director of capital markets with Savills Singapore, who brokered the deal. “I had hoped that the developer would begin this project over two stages” Tan declares. “But it ended up being better than I imagined: It’s actually two different developments, however residents have the benefits of one massive development.”

In addition to the price of purchase for this site, Hoi Hup and Sunway paid an estimated $284 million for development costs as well as $39.3 million for seven% additional balcony. The total cost was higher than $1.138 billion, which translates to an average land value of $1,440 per plot ratio.

Ken Low, managing partner of SRI Ken Low, managing partner of SRI, describes The Continuum as “the first private condominium in Singapore built on two separate plots”. In the meantime, Thiam Siew Avenue will remain an open road but The developer is making it a part within The Continuum, he notes. “Imagine going through the street, with trees and landscaping on each side, and the sky bridge as the background. It will be a feeling that is different from other parts district 15. Although intangible, these feelings aid in determining the value of a property’s resale.”

Its joint developers have retained the street’s name and picked one of the bungalows from before war to preserve. “The Name Thiam Siew is not going to disappear from history,” says Koon.

The conserved bungalow-turned-clubhouse on the North plot will be named Thiam Siew House. The function space will be a large dining room with an oriental-style round table. Contrastingly, the clubhouse located on the South plot is a two-storey glass structure. The area for functions located on the 2nd floor is going to feature long tables to serve Western cuisine and exquisite kitchen facilities.

Space and time’s evolution
“Over the years, we’ve witnessed the way Hoi Hup has evolved from being a developer of executive condominiums (ECs) that are efficient and useful units to the developer of luxurious projects including Terra Hill and The Continuum,” says SRI’s Low. He regards that the Signature as well as the Prestige units, which were first launched in Terra Hill and now at The Continuum, as “hallmarks of Hoi Hup” in its luxury developments.

Hoi Hup’s Koon shares his thoughts. “We don’t have cookies-and-cutter projects or units, but believe in innovation,” he says. The developer put in nearly $6 million on a double-storey sales gallery to show off The Continuum. The main gallery is with a double-volume ceiling designed to show the scale model and two showflats on the first floor that showcase the Signature units and two showflats displaying The Prestige properties on the upper level. There’s also a large lounge area with plenty of seating for potential home buyers and their agents. “The appearance and the feel that the gallery offers will be replicated in the new building,” according to Koon.

The Continuum offers a variety of homes. The Signature units are the typical one-bedroom-plus-study of 560 sq ft to four-bedroom units of up to 1,518 sq ft. The Prestige units are the three-bedroom-plus-study, four-bedroom-plus-utility and five-bedroom units, ranging from 1,227 to 2,282 sq ft. These Prestige units are bigger than standard units and feature private access to the lift.

One-bedroom-plus-study accounts for just 68 units (8.3%) out of the 816 units, says PropNex’s Gafoor. Two-bedroom and two-bedroom-plus-study range from 647 to 722 sq ft and make up 306 units (37.5%).

In addition, three-bedroom and five-bedroom units comprise 442 units in The Continuum. “That represents 54% in the apartments,” says PropNex’s Gafoor. “The developer has right-sized the units to accommodate owners-occupiers.”

Prices start at $2,583 per ff.
Prices of the Signature units at The Continuum start from $1.448 million ($2,586 psf) for a 560 sq ft one-bedroom-plus-study; $1.671 million ($2,583 psf) for a 647 sq ft two-bedroom; $1.82 million ($2,600 psf) for a 700 sq ft two-bedroom-plus-study; $2.3 million ($2,638 psf) for an 872 sq ft three-bedroom; $2.759 million ($2,588 psf) for a three-bedroom-plus-utility; and $3.207 million ($2,614 psf) for a 1,227 sq ft four-bedder.

The Prestige Collection has prices starting from $3.32 million for the three-bedroom-plus-study; $4.57 million ($2,688 psf) for a 1,700 sq ft, four-bedroom-plus-utility; and $5.35 million ($2,808 psf) for a 1,905 sq ft, five-bedroom unit.

Thus, the initial prices of units in The Continuum are in the $2,500-$2,600 area. “Generally freehold properties are sold at an average 15% higher price than leasehold developments located in the same area,” says PropNex’s Gafoor. “A fifteen% discount of $2,500 to $2600 psf is approximately $2,200 per square foot which is less than the average selling price of recent launches of leasehold 99-year projects.”

For instance this 638-unit Tembusu Grand was able to achieve an average 53% take-up rate during the opening week (April 8-9) with an average price of $2,465 per square foot. Two98 units of Liv@MB is located close to Mountbatten Road and launched in May 2022, has already been at 86% sold for the average price of $2,413 per square foot. Both are 99-year leasehold condominiums located in District 15.

“The beginning prices of those with three or four bedrooms apartments in The Continuum present a value offer for prospective homebuyers because there’s lower than the $100,000 difference when compared to new 99-year leasehold condominiums in District 15.” Gafoor says. Gafoor.

The price of prestige
Prestige units will come with exclusive lifts, wood flooring in bedrooms, and carpet in the dining and living space. The master bathrooms will be tiled in full with marble. The units in The Continuum come with high-end specifications. Kitchen appliances by V-Zug, Samsung refrigerators and dryers, bathrooms fittings, accessories and fixtures from Laufen, Gessi and Tece.

All units come with the convenience of a storeroom built in and one ceiling fan. The project is aiming for the BCA Green Mark Platinum rating the highest level of sustainable development. “Even these two bedroom units come with the kitchen and a good-sized storeroom as well as a living space,” says Koon. “While those who typically purchase two-bedroom units are investors we do not want to overlook the people who live in these units.”

Gafoor anticipates an average sale price of exceed $2700 per square foot, particularly for the units with smaller sizes and those on the upper floors. “If the developer could get the 35% taking-up-rate – more than 285 units it’s a credible achievement since the development is greater than 800 units” Gafoor states. “We believe this development will gain traction.”

Hoi Hup’s Koon is in agreement. “The indication of a successful launch in 2023 is sales of 30-% up to 50% range during the first weekend, and an increasing number of customers between 2024 and 2025,” Koon declares.

The prices of the future projects will likely be higher because the cost of construction and land has been rising over the past three years. Efficiency has also been cut by around 7% according to SRI’s Low, in conjunction with increasing the standardization of strata areas in addition to gross floor. He cites the tender for the property sales (GLS) for the 2nd site located at Jalan Tembusu, which is scheduled to expire in July. The site is situated opposite the forthcoming Tembusu Grand, City Developments’ (CDL) 638-unit condo which comprised 53% sold for an average of $2,465 psf when it was launched during the weekend of April 8-9. CDL bought this 99 year leasehold GLS site in January 2022 for $768 million or $1,302 in plot-to-plot ratio. Low believes that the ultimate selling price for the newly constructed development on the second site located on Jalan Tembusu will likely be higher than $2,600 per square foot. (See possible condos using an en-bloc calculation)

Koon says Koon that Continuum has been “unlikely” to establish the benchmark price in District 15. The 200-unit freehold Meyer Mansion has already seen units exceed $3000 per square foot, and a 484 sq ft one-bedroom unit sold at a price of $3,293 psf as of September 2021. MeyerHouse has an all-time high of $2,800 per square foot for a 2,110 sq feet on the fifth floor, a three-bedroom apartment. Additionally, Amber Park’s penthouse, which is 4,392 square feet, was able to fetch the highest value of $13 million ($2,960 per square foot) in August 2021.

District 15 – allure
“The Continuum is the only new freehold development that launches with the land size of over 200 square feet in District 15 in 2023,” says Lee Sze Teck the head of the research department at Huttons Asia. “The strong sales numbers in the case of Tembusu Grand indicate pent-up demand for a massive project.”

Marcus Chu, CEO of ERA Realty Network, observes that a lot of homebuyers view huge freehold sites as “prized investments because they can hold an investment value in the long run”.

The condominium blocks in The Continuum are made up of 18 and 17 stories. The roof terrace has unobstructed views of the surrounding area and to the Singapore Sports Hub and the CBD to the west, claims Hoi Huup’s Koon.

Within a 1-km radius are schools like Haig Girls’ School, Kong Hwa School and Tanjong Katong Primary School. There are nearby schools like Chung Cheng High School, Dunman High School and Tao Nan School. “This is a great area where families can get settled and stay for the long haul,” notes Koon. “In District 15 lots of families have resided there for a long time and don’t want to leave,” Koon adds. “So there is this huge influx of people looking to purchase for the future generation.”

The Continuum is located near the future growth zones, including Paya Lebar Airbase, which will be moving in 2030. SRI’s Low states that the entire area may see an increase of plot proportions. Close by, Geylang Lorong 4 to 22 will see old residential blocks rezoned to commercial uses and could be benefited from increased plot ratios too Low believes. The government may also open additional sites in the vicinity of Paya Lebar Central. “These happenings will occur in the next few years and could affect projects within District 15 including The Continuum, positively,” He adds.

Alongside the neighborhood’s growth potential District 15 also includes an “aspirational aspect” according to Hoi Hup’s Koon district, which is mostly in the prime Districts 9 and 10.

In fact, “after the Core Central Region that comprises Districts 9 and 10 District 15 has the highest demand for address for residential properties,” the ERA’s Chu adds. “The principal reason for this lies in District 15’s East Coast lifestyle – heritage and food, as well as the sea and sun. The best part is that District 15 is located near downtown in addition to Changi Airport.”

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