By KK Tong (guest contributor)

Some time back, we did a review of three Woodlands condominiums which we thought were worth looking at. We are back with an article on condos worth considering in Yishun, an estate located in the Northeastern Singapore. It is bordered by Sembawang to the North, Sengkang to its East, and Woodlands to its West.

Yishun has a sizeable population of almost 202,000. Although there are a number of condos in this area, most of them are not within walking distance to the nearby MRT stations. In this article we will shortlist three condominiums that are close to the MRT.

What amenities are there in Yishun?

As with any estate in Singapore, Yishun is pretty much self-contained. There are shops, eateries, recreation facilities, and educational institutions including Yishun Junior College, nine secondary schools, and 10 primary schools.

Transport connectivity is provided by two MRT Stations – Yishun and Khatib. A new bus interchange is planned for Yishun and it will be situated within a mixed residential/shopping/office development called Northpoint City, whose scheduled date of completion is 2019. Major expressways serving Yishun include the SLE and the TPE.

Yishun has a stadium as well as a swimming complex offering recreation to the residents. In addition, the SAFRA Yishun Country Club and the Orchid Country Club offer alternative recreational choices. The main shopping area in Yishun is Northpoint Shopping Centre, which also houses a Community Library. The Khoo Teck Puat Hospital offers comprehensive medical services and care.

Our criteria for shortlisting the attractive condos

Our criteria for selecting a condo is simple – we will feature those condos that are comparatively nearer to the MRT stations. As before, we will exclude developments which are in progress and have not obtained T.O.P.

The first condo featured is Orchid Park, completed in 1994 by Far East Organisation.

Figure 1: Orchid Park Condominium

The second condo featured is The Estuary, completed in 2013 by MCL Land.

Figure 2: The Estuary

The third condo is Yishun Emerald, completed in 2002 by Yishun Land Pte Ltd.

Figure 3: Yishun Emerald

Comparing the three condos

Compared to the more recent condominiums launched these few years, the three featured projects have very liveable two-bedroom units – ranging from 872 sf to 1119 sf. Despite these reasonable sizes, quantum prices of transacted units are still below a million.

Of the three condos, The Estuary is the newest and commands a higher average PSF price of $926. Surprisingly, although Orchid Park Condo is older than Yishun Emerald by eight years, it commands a slightly higher PSF price. I am guessing that the environment around Orchid Park Condo is more tranquil as it faces the Lower Seletar Reservoir while Yishun Emerald is smack in the middle of mainly HDB flats.

In terms of accessibility to facilities, there is no distinct difference among the condos featured here. No one condo seems to have an obvious advantage over the other two. A small difference is that Orchid Park Condo is just slightly nearer to the MRT station than The Estuary. However, Canberra MRT Station, which is on the North-South Line, is scheduled for completion in 2019. This will benefit those staying at Yishun Emerald as the distance to this station will be about 380 metres.

So which one would I choose?

If I were a buyer now, I would probably either go for The Estuary or Orchid Park as the surrounding environment is more pleasant compared to Yishun Emerald. Between the two, I would prefer The Estuary as it is newer than Orchid Park by 17 years. For a much newer condo, I feel that the PSF price difference of $164 is reasonable. It is also likely that a newer condo will have fewer maintenance issues.

At the moment, the distance from Yishun Emerald to the MRT is a tad far for walking, unless buyers are willing to wait till the completion of the new Canberra MRT Station.

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