Alex Residences Review

Project:Alex Residences Review
District:D03 Central South
Region:Rest of Central Region (RCR)
Address:28 Alexandra View
Tenure:99 Year Leasehold from 2013
Site Area:69,981 sqft
No. of Units:429
Expected T.O.P:February 2019
Developer:Singland Homes (Alexandra) Pte Ltd / Singapore Land Limited
PSF ($):1438 - 1994
Information to Note

Developed by prestigious developer, Singland Homes, Alex Residences is a luxurious residential project launched in November 2013. The 40-storey tower will comprise of 429 residential units, available in one, two and three bedroom designs.

Located at the prime city fringe area next to Redhill MRT, Alex Residences (along with its neighbouring projects Echelon and Ascentia Sky) towers over most of the surrounding landscape  This offers residents a panoramic view of Mount Faber’s botanical greeneries and Singaproe’s southern coast line, in addition to the city skyline. 

The developer is currently preparing to launch its second phase of sales for the remaining 229 out of the project total of 429 units. These will be the higher floor units with higher quantums and psf. [edit 26/04/14]

If you would like to purchase a unit at the Alex Residences development through our ProperSquare team after reading our review, or you have a question that we have not answered in our review, do drop us a call/SMS at 9081-5456 or email us at contactus@propersquare.com and we will get in touch with you shortly.

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External (Location)

From the HDB’s info-page: Bukit Merah means "red hill" (bukit is Malay for "hill", while merah means "red". The area around Bukit Merah, including the MRT station located there, is often referred to as Redhill.

The land in the area got its orange-red colouring from the lateritic soils in the area. The area was previously a large hill situated at the present site of Henderson housing estate, which lies opposite the Delta Sports Complex. The hill was trimmed to its current state in 1973 and the surrounding kampong was demolished to make way for the present Redhill Close.

Located right next to Redhill MRT in the established and mature Bukit Merah estate, Alex Residences drew a huge interest among home buyers and investors when it was launched in November last year. 

Alex Residences’ location just beside Redhill MRT, is shared with several neighbouring private residential developments such as Echelon, Ascentia Sky, Tanglin View, Tanglin Regency and The Metropolitan Condo. Of these, The Metropolitan, Ascentia Sky and the Echelon developments are located on the same plot of land as Alex Residences, bordered by Alexandra Road, Tiong Bahru Road and Delta Swimming Complex. It will definitely get crowded in the area once all the developments are completed. In fact, there are an extra two plots of residential zoned land next to Redhill MRT (designation MK01-03995V and MK01-04083N) which could potentially be developed into other residential projects.  This entire area beside Redhill MRT has a plot ratio of 4.9 which is the highest plot ratios in this area. So buyers choosing high floor units will not have to worry about blocked views anytime in the near future.

Once occupied by mainly Housing Board flats, the neigbourhood of Alexandra has gained in popularity among home buyers in recent years. With many modern private resident properties built nearby recently, many have predicted the area’s property prices to continue to climb.

In February 2014, a 268,713 sq ft site (known as Prince Charles Crescent) next to the Alexandra Canal (opposite Alex Residences) was released for sale by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). With a maximum gross floor area of 564,308 sq ft, URA said it could yield about 655 private homes. It is the first land parcel released from the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme for the first 6 months of the year. Many analysts have given their positive views saying developers who are looking to build up their land banks will be bidding the land. The land, previously a reserved site, is viewed as important by analysts to send a crucial signal to the property market in the vicinity. Analysts are predicting that the sale will help house prices in the area stabilize.

 

External Location – Transportation

Perhaps one of its biggest selling points, Alex Residences’ location is easily accessed by both public and private transport. It is such a convenience to walk 2 to 3 minutes (< 200m)  before arriving at the steps of Redhill MRT station, which will connect you to Buona Vista (3 stops), Outram Park (2 stops) and Raffles Place (4 stops) MRT interchange stations.  

Alex Residences is also serviced by bus services 51, 139 and 186.

Bus Service

Route

Frequency

Areas served

51

Hougang Ctrl Int / Jurong East Temp Int

8 - 16 mins

Eunos, Geylang, City Hall, Queensway, Pasir Panjang, West Coast

139

Toa Payoh Int / Bukit Merah Int

7 - 17 mins

Toa Payoh, Balestier, Orchard, River Valley, Alexandra Rd

186

St Michael’s Ter / Shenton Way Ter

7 - 18 mins

Balestier, Bkt Timah, Alexandra Rd, Havelock Rd, Raffles Place

 

For those who drive, the AYE expressway is accessible via Henderson Road (toward CBD/ECP) or Alexandra Road (toward Jurong/Tuas).  

The CTE  expressway (leading to Orchard, Balestier, PIE, Bishan, Serangoon) is accessible via Ganges Avenue and Havelock Road.

Orchard Road, for shopping aficionados is also a short drive away via Tanglin Road (ten minutes). Similarly, the CBD (Raffles Place/Tanjong Pagar/Shenton Way) is also a ten minutes drive away via Ganges Avenue and Havelock Road.

 

External Location – Amenities

Located centrally and with Bukit Merah / Redhill being a very mature estate, you can expect plenty of amenities near to Alex Residences.

Within walking distance (300m)  at Redhill Close/Redhill Lane, you have the Redhill Market and Hawker Centre and also a Giant Express supermarket, along with many friendly mom and pop shops (we sometimes do prefer these friendly shops compared to the shiny mall facades everywhere these days). And for those who prefer home-cooked food (and Giant Express is not enough), you can get all the necessary groceries at Dawson Place (2 bus stops away along Alexandra Road) where there is a FairPrice Supermarket, and also several banks, a clinic and other mom and pop shops. There are also several small stores lcoated at Redhill MRT station itself, though they will only cater to certain specific needs.

Shopping Complexes

For shopping aficionados, Alex Residences' prime location makes accessible many shopping complexes such as Great World City, VivoCity, The Star Vista (Buona Vista) and the world famous Orchard Road stretch amongst many others. IKEA is also nearby along Alexandra Road. You will hardly run out of places to hang out and shop at.

Also, you will get tons of eateries and drinking places around the River Valley area just down Alexandra Road. 

 

Schools

As a residential area, we can see there are many schools scattered around Alex Residences.

  • Alexander Primary School
  • Gan Eng Seng Primary School
  • Queenstown Primary School
  • Zhangde Primary School
  • Crescent Girl’s School
  • Gan Eng Seng Secondary School
  • Queenstown Secondary School
  • Henderson Secondary School
  • Bukit Merah Secondary School
  • Republic Poytechnic
  • ISS International School Preston Campus

The PSB Academy and MDIS for adult further studies are also located nearby at Tiong Bahru and Queenstown respectively. 

 

Summarily, there is nothing much we can fault about Alex Residences’ location. It is in a very convenient area and there is a reason why Redhill real estate is so prized. (Where even HDB apartments sell for close to a million dollars).  

 

URA Draft Master Plan 2013 for Bukit Merah:

 

External (Pricing)

Alex Residences was launched at an average price of S$1,650 psf last November, cheaper than its neighbor, Echelon, which launched at an average price of S$1,700 psf for its early phase sales. Echelon then went on to achieve an over project-average of $1,795 psf. (The Echelon developers must have laughed all the way to the bank. They bought their land for a lower price ($754psfppr for Echelon vs $970psfppr for Alex Residences) and sold their development for a higher price than Alex Residences.) It should be obvious by now that the property cycle is experiencing a retrace/down cycle. Noteworthy is that with the exception of the Echelon, the price of Alex Residences is actually priced higher than most of its neighbours, including Ascentia Sky and The Metropolitan. Just to illustrate how far the property boon has come, The Metropolitan went for an average of $780 psf when it was launched in 2006. (Link)

The starting price for the Alex Residences’ 474 sqft one-bedroom units was set at S$760,000 and went up to slightly above S$2 million for a  1,044 sqf three-bedroom unit during launch.

Blaming the newly introduced Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework, Michael Ng, group manager of UIC, SingLand’s parent company said under the “normal” circumstances, Alex Residences should have been priced above Echelon. 

Alex Residences' location near offices in the CBD and the Biopolis and Fusionpolis hubs at Buona Vista will almost guarantee a steady rental demand. Higher education institutions like NUS, SIM, and SMU are also all within short travelling distances. Yield wise, the returns might not be so attractive as Alex Residences' pricing is priced above most of its surrounding developments and this will definitely impact the yield investors will get on their money should they choose to park their money here.

 

Units Pricing:

1br 474sqft

05-04 474sf $778k $1641psf

07-04 474sf $788k $1662psf

07-10 474sf $827k $1744psf

17-10 474sf $853k $1799psf

23-10 474sf $894k $1886psf

26-10 474sf $912k $1924psf

 

1br 506sqft

16-11 506sf $907k $1792psf

 

2br 657sqft / 678sqft

07-12 678sf $1,141,000 $1682psf

10-11 657sf $1,112,000 $1692psf

22-11 657sf $1,213,000 $1846psf

 

3 br compact 926sqft

07-01 926sf $1401k

07-07 926sf $1448k

09-01 926sf $1443k

10-01 926sf $1448k

10-07 926sf $1468k

 

3br+ U

05-06 1044sf $1.531 $1466psf

25-08 1023sf $1.821M $1780psf

 

Because of the smaller sizing of the units at Alex Residences (474 sqft onwards for one bedroom units, 657 sqft onwards for two bedroom units), the quantum becomes smaller and thus more affordable for buyers. In a way, buyers are giving up living space in exchange for a lower quantum.

Comparison of nearby developments’ prices:

More about the developer / site:

In December 2012, SingLand paid $970 psf ppr for the site, which translates to a rough breakeven price of $1,450 psf. In comparison to what City Developments consortium paid for the Echelon site in December 2011 at $754 psf ppr, the land cost to develop Alex Residences is much higher and the profit margins much thinner.

A plot along Prince Charles Crescent (site winning bid: $960 psf ppr) nearby is also being launched as The Crest Condominium soon (as of March 2014). An adjacent plot of land (at Prince charles Crescent) is also being released by URA for bidding till 16 April 2014.

 

Development (Unit)

429 residential units in a 40 storey tower.

200 units were released during the first launch (180 units sold as of end of February 2014), with the remainder likely to be fully released during the second phase.

  • Single room apartment – 87 units
  • Two-room apartment – 114 units
  • Three-room apartment – 150 units
  • Three-room with utility apartment – 78 units

Units come with marble flooring for the Living/Dining/Kitchen areas and Timber flooring for bedrooms. Ceiling height is at a generous 3 meters. However, living areas for smaller units are generally smaller than what you would get elsewhere outside of the city fringe area. We believe this is a deliberate move by the developer to reduce the quantum amount to make Alex Residences more attractive to potential buyers. Afterall, who would not want to pay a lower quantum?

Unit Floor areas:

1 bedroom  (474 / 506 sqft)

2 bedroom (657 / 678 sqft)

3 bdroom (883 / 904 / 926 / 990 / 1023 / 1033 / 1044 / 1130 / 1141 sqft)

1 sq foot = 0.0929 sqm

Other things to note:

Since Alex Residences is in a East-West orientation due to site constraints, this means that you get to choose either the morning sun or the afternoon sun to shine into your apartment. We personally would prefer the East orientation as the afternoon sun will mean much warmer apartments when you get home after work in the evening.

 

Development (Building)

 

Final Thoughts/ Summary

Located at a very good city fringe location just a stone's throw away from Redhill MRT station and the amenities in the Redhill area, Alex Residences is the fourth project to be launched at this plot of land adjacent to Redhill MRT. We are fans of this area (outside of the prime River Valley area), especially with its proximity to both town and the CBD areas. There is little to fault about this location.

At the same time, this very same area has the potential to become very crowded with private residential projects due to its prime attributes. There are currently three other projects in the immediate vicinity with the potential for another further two projects. Still, blessed with the highest plot ratio in the immediate vicinity, Alex Residences’ east facing stacks will enjoy good views of the city skyline and Singapore’s southern coastline.

With more affordable quantums due to its smaller sized units, Alex Residences is mighty attractive to city fringe buyers (judging from the sales numbers). However, its capital appreciation and rental yield could be affected by the high price floor it is selling at (even though it is selling at a discount to neighbouring Echelon) compared to its older neighbouring projects such as Ascentia Sky and The Metropolitan.

On an ending note, if you are interested in purchasing a unit at this property, do let us know via contactus@propersquare.com or 9081-5456 and our team will help you evaluate your options further. At the same time, your property purchase through us will help us to keep this review site running and make the property landscape a better one for everyone!

Sincerely,

Team ProperSquare 

Reviewed on 02 April 2014
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