By KK Tong (guest contributor)
Previously, we have looked at condos in Woodlands, Yishun, and Bishan, and compared three condos in each estate. Our criteria are straightforward – we look at completed projects which are reasonably near MRT stations, and state our preference based on certain attributes.
Today, we will look at Queenstown, located at the south-west border of central Singapore. It was the first satellite HDB town in Singapore with a population of 98,050 as at 2015.
Queenstown is an extremely popular estate in Singapore, as evidenced by the high resale prices of HDB flats here. For this article, we will be looking mainly at condos closest to Queenstown MRT Station.
Amenities in Queenstown
The first batch of public flats in Queenstown were completed in 1953, and as a mature estate, this estate has all the necessary amenities for residents. Schools, shopping, recreation facilities and transport are readily available.
Schools in the vicinity include New Town Primary School, Queenstown Primary and Secondary Schools, and Queensway Secondary School. Other institutes of learning include the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) and the Global Indian International School.
Shopping malls in the Queenstown area include Anchor Point Shopping Centre, Queensway Shopping Centre which sells mainly sports attire and equipment, and Ikea, a popular place to buy stuff for setting up a home. Further afield, The Star Vista offers additional dining and shopping options. For car buyers, the areas of Leng Kee and Alexandra are lined with authorised dealers.
The estate also boasts a sports centre, a stadium, and a swimming complex. Queenstown Library is a cosy standalone building along Margaret Drive.
Hort Park and Telok Blangah Park provide residents with green spaces for exercising and relaxation.
The main expressway serving Queenstown is the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE), linking the estate to the CBD, as well as the eastern and western ends of the island. Residents who journey by MRT Have access to Queenstown MRT station (East-West line). What Queenstown lacks is a bus interchange, but the bus stops at the MRT station go to destinations all over Singapore, including Hougang, Jurong East, Shenton Way, Orchard Road, and Toa Payoh.
Condos for Comparison
We will be looking at Queens, The Anchorage, and The Interlace.
Condo #1 – Queens
Our first condo, a mere 170 metres from Queenstown MRT station, is Queens, a project completed in 2002 by Allgreen.
Figure 1: Queens
Condo #2 – The Anchorage
The second condo featured is The Anchorage, completed in 1997 by Anchor Development Pte Ltd.
Figure 2: The Anchorage
Condo #3 – The Interlace
Finally, we have The Interlace, completed in 2013 by Capitaland Residential and HPL.
Figure 3: The Interlace
Comparing the three condos
The Interlace is the newest of the condos, while The Anchorage is the oldest at 20 years.
Of the 3 condos, Queens is closest to the MRT station, and it also has the most amenities within walking distance. The number of transactions over the last twelve months for all the featured condos are quite sizeable, with The Interlace having the most number of transactions.
In terms of average psf price, it is similar for all three developments. Surprisingly, it is a tad higher for Queens condo, which is about 15 years of age. This could be due to the plot of land next to it which was sold for more than $1b, driving prices up.
The location of The Anchorage is not too bad, with convenient amenities. The only downside is that the walk to the MRT station is quite a distance, more so on a hot day.
The Interlace, while it is the newest, has the least convenient amenities. However, its newness is also its advantage especially as compared to Queens, as both are 99-year leasehold projects.
Based on psf transactions, I would choose The Anchorage purely for its freehold status. The convenient amenities are also a contributing factor. Residents who drive need not be concerned about the distance to the MRT.
While I like The Interlace for its newness and unit sizes, the amenities in its vicinity are limited and that spells inconvenience for me.
Queens, although convenient in terms of amenities, offers smaller units and a higher psf price. It may not offer value to buyers in that respect.
Based on a property portal, the lowest asking price for a 1464 sf unit at The Anchorage is $1.92m ($1311 psf). Whilst not exactly a low quantum, I would probably still choose this over the other two condos as this is a freehold development.