With the launch of Parc Botannia, one of the last major launch of the year, happening soon, let’s spend some time to review on this project before bringing your cheque book down to the showflat.
Project Details on Parc Botannia
How good is the location?
If you do a quick search on ‘Parc Botannia’ using Google, you will be able to find many property agents’ website that can provide you with details on the amenities surrounding Parc Botannia. So let’s not spend too much time on the details of what is around Parc Botannia and jump straight in a review of the strength and weakness of the location:
- Located on the quieter side of SengKang West, lining along side the land houses at Jalan Kayu. Provides a sense of exclusivity
- For young families, there are many primary schools within a 1km radius
- Daily/Weekly necessity shopping can be done easily at nearby Seletar Mall (1 LRT stop away) or Greenwich V and Compass One (which are slightly further)
- Thanggam LRT station is conveniently located beside Parc Botannia
- There are many interesting F&B options in the area, such as Jalan Kayu, The Oval @ Seletar Aerospace Hub and nearby malls
- Public recreational areas and facilities such as Punggol Promenade and SengKang Sports Centre are within short jogging distances. Good for families and sports enthusiasts
- Easy access to town via CTE and airport via TPE by car
- There will be a new road that provides shorter access from Fernvale Road to Jalan Kayu and residents can avoid the congestion along the narrow Jalan Kayu Road
- Parc Botannia is close to business/industrial areas such as Seletar Aerospace Park and Ang Mo Kio Industrial Estates. Many big MNCs such as Rolls Royce and Airbus are located there. For investors, there should be healthy rental demand
- Public transportation is not well developed in the area at the moment. Residents rely heavily on LRT to get around place. But the bus network in the area should improve as more residential projects are developed
Verdict: Overall, the location of Parc Botannia offers a very well-balanced mix and varieties of amenities, accessibility, and facilities that cater well to all age groups from single adults to young families.
Other than High Park Residences (located next to Parc Botannia; fully sold) which offers similar attributes, other nearby projects tend to attract another group of buyer segment. H2O Residences, RiverTrees Residences and Riverbank @ Fernvale (located to the East of Parc Botannia and along Sungei Punggol River) tend to cater more towards a lifestyle and sports enthusiast crowd due to proximity to the river, park connector, and sports centre.
What are the future development plans in the area?
There are a couple of things to take note, relating to the future developments in the area:
- There will be a public park between Parc Botannia and High Park Residences, which provides a green buffer between the 2 developments. South facing units of Blk 16 and 18 will be at a good distance away from High Park Residences and enjoy the park view
- 2 new educational institutes will be built next to Parc Botannia, most likely to be secondary school or private school. There are already ample primary schools in the area
- The land to the north of Parc Botannia is zoned for future residential development with plot ratio of 2.1. Considering that these sites are adjacent to the TPE, it is likely that these developments will have some set-back requirements from the TPE, multi-storey carparks facing the TPE and residential units along the side of Fernvale Street. If this happens, the north facing units of Blk 10 and 12 would eventually lose their unblock view towards the Seletar Airport area
- Towards the South-west of Parc Botannia, there is a plot of land along SengKang West Way that is zoned for future commercial and residential development. Another small community mall could be built in future to give more shopping options to the residents of Parc Botannia
Verdict: Future developments in the nearby surrounding area look positive and beneficial to the residents in the area and Parc Botannia is likely to benefit as well. Buyers of the north facing units of Blk 10 and 12 may end up facing some other developments in the future, but well, this is probably a norm rather than the exception in a land-scarce city like Singapore, isn’t it?
How does the Site Plan look like?
- Vehicular access to Parc Botannia is via Fernvale Street. Access to TPE will be a breeze in future
- There are side gates at the south-east corner (for access to LRT) and south (for access to public park) perimeter of the development
- Car park is in the basement
- Clubhouse, gym and majority of the recreational facilities are tucked at the western section of the development, probably due to building set-back requirements because of proximity to the landed houses beside
- BBQ pits are located in between (1) Blk 10 stack 2 and Blk 12 stack 45 and (2) Blk 2 stack 12 and Blk 18 stack 34/35. For the lower floor units, do take note of potential noise and bbq smell
- No indication of bin centre and substation on the site plan, but they seem to be located at the north-west end of the development, beside the main gate
- Tennis court is located at the eastern part of the development
- There will be a childcare centre located within the development
- Majority of the units have open views and good spacing distance from the direct opposite block
Verdict: Parc Botannia comes with standard condominium facilities like most condo projects, but probably some of its selling points are the childcare centre within the condo which makes it convenient for the working residents and the large open recreational space for children to run around safely.
What is the Unit Distribution?
Parc Botannia has a total of 735 units and a summary of the unit mix is given below. Please take note that the estimated pricing is based on indicative pricing that was obtained from online sources.
- 67 units (9% of total units), typical size of 431 sq ft
- Estimated average price of S$600k or S$1,397 psf
- 126 units (17% of total units), typical size of 506 sq ft
- Estimated average price of S$685k or S$1,355 psf
- 206 units (28% of total units), typical size of 581 sq ft (compact) to 667 sq ft (premium)
- Estimated average price of S$800k or S$1,361 psf for compact
- Estimated average price of S$872k or S$1,308 psf for premium
- 63 units (9% of total units), typical size of 786 sq ft
- Estimated average price of S$1.0 mil or S$1,277 psf
- 189 units (28% of total units), typical size of 872 sq ft (compact) to 980 sq ft (premium)
- Estimated average price of S$1.10 mil or S$1,256 psf for compact
- Estimated average price of S$1.23 mil or S$1,262 psf for premium
- 63 units (9% of total units), typical size of 1,152 sq ft (compact) to 1,281 sq ft (premium)
- Estimated average price of S$1.35 mil or S$1,174 psf for compact
- Estimated average price of S$1.50 mil or S$1,174 psf for premium
- 21 units (3% of total units), typical size of 1,453 sq ft
- Estimated average price of S$1.65 mil or S$1,137 psf
In terms of unit mix and distribution, it seems like the developer had carefully thought through it and came out with a pretty balance mixed of small units (26% of 1-bedroom, 1+Study) catering to investors, medium size units (37% of 2-bedroom. 2+Study) for singles and young families, as well as big units (37% of 3/4/5 bedrooms) for bigger families/extended households.
The smaller units of 1-Bedroom and 1+Study could be found in Blk 10, 12 and 18. These units face the north and will enjoy unblock Seletar Airport view, provided no new developments come up in the plot opposite. The bigger 3/4/5-bedrooms units are located at the corners of each block, which gives these units 180 degrees viewing directions and good ventilation within the units. The developer has also made the bigger units more conducive for families by giving most of the bigger units pool view or landed/garden view.
Blk 16 should be considered the ‘premium’ block, with 8 units per floor, garden/landed views and away from the road. This blk would cater more for families as it contains only 2/3/4-bedroom units. Blk 10, 12 and 18 have 9 units per floor. The premium 4/5-bedroom units come with exclusive private lifts.
Verdict: It seems like the developer has put in effort in its development planning to cater to the different groups of buyers and designed according to their different needs. It would also make sense from a risk management perspective by targeting a wide catchment of different buyers.
What about the unit layouts?
Generally, the layouts across all unit types at Parc Botannia can be considered efficient and well-designed with regular shapes, decent size rooms, and do not have overly excessive big balcony and aircon ledges. Sizes are optimal, i.e. not too small that compromise on quality of life and yet not too big and over-luxury that buyers have to pay a high price. Some of the minor points that buyers might want to take note would include big entrance walkway area and lack of natural ventilation for toilets of smaller units. But many would consider this as what we typically see in development these days and hence, no cause for concern.
Below are SPK’s comments on the layout of the typical unit types for readers’ reference:
How does Parc Botannia compare to High Park Residences?
High Park Residences is developed by a consortium of Singapore developers – Chip Eng Leong, Heeton and KSH. This project was launched in July 2015 and on the first weekend of sales, nearly 1,100 units were snapped up out of a total 1,399 units. What could have driven such strong sales? It was most likely due to the low price quantum and affordability of the units. A studio/1+study cost between S$425k to S$486k on average, whereas a bigger 3-bedroom unit costs only S$929k on average. Average selling price per sq ft for High Park Residences was only S$963 psf back then.
In terms of unit mix, High Park Residences have more mid-size units (2BR, 2+Study), with a total of 595 units that is equivalent to 43% of total units. Larger units are also dominant in this project, with 570 units of 3/4/5 + Semi-d and Bungalows, equivalent to 41% of the total units. The remaining are small studio/1+study units, with a total of 225 units that is equivalent to 16% of total units. In terms of % unit mix, this seems lower than the 26% of 1-BR and 1+Study at Parc Botannia, but in terms of the absolute number of units, both projects have approximately similar numbers of units at around 200 each.
Let’s do a side by side comparison between Parc Botannia and High Park Residences. On a like-for-like comparison, similar unit types at Parc Botannia are mostly bigger in size compare to units at High Park Residences, with some unit types as much as 25% bigger in the area. The average price per square foot at Parc Botannia is also approximately 30% more expensive than High Park Residences. A combination of bigger unit sizes and higher price per square foot resulting in the absolute price of a unit at Parc Botannia costing 35% more than a similar unit type at High Park Residences on average.
Does it mean that High Park Residences is a better buy? In terms of price, High Park Residences is obviously a better choice. But in terms of value, we would need to look beyond pricing alone. Let’s look at some other metrics to compare. In terms of land area per unit, High Park Residences has a ratio of 128 sq ft of land area per unit in the development, whereas, for Parc Botannia, the ratio is 252 sq ft of land area per unit, almost double that of High Park Residences. What does this tell us? It simply means that Parc Botannia is less densely populated than High Park Residences and probably the intangible benefits of a more exclusive, less crowded and quieter environment would be able to justify a premium for Parc Botannia. In addition, unit sizes at Parc Botannia are more luxurious in comparison and it would be a better choice for long-term owner occupation.
We use an example to illustrate this. Let’s compare Martin Modern and Starlight Suites in District 9. These 2 projects are beside each other. Martin Modern is a new 99-year leasehold luxurious project whereas Starlight Suites is a Freehold compact development completed in 2015. Martin Modern is able to command premium prices of around S$2,300 psf but Starlight Suites, despite being a freehold project is selling at S$1,800 psf to S$2,000 psf. It is probably the perceived value that really matters rather than the absolute price.
Verdict: Whilst High Park Residences was designed to sell, Parc Botannia, on the other hand, was designed to live. Both developments cater to a different group of buyers and Parc Botannia does have its own unique selling points and hopefully, these can justify the premium of its price and attract value buyers and investors.
Should I buy Parc Botannia?
Well, SPK can’t answer this question on your behalf. Everyone has a different priority and preference in evaluating a property purchase and hence, it is difficult or rather unprofessional to give a boilerplate answer for everyone to follow. But, since Singapore Property Kaki is supposed to be a sharing platform, SPK shall share with readers on SPK’s personal and general opinion relating to decision-making process when comes to evaluating a potential property purchase:
- If affordability is not an issue, go for a development with better value instead of a cheap one. A better value project tends to preserve value better and offers better chance of profit opportunity and future buyer demand
- If the property is for long-term occupation, do think long term, especially on space planning and family planning. A small space might last you for a couple of years, but may not be good for long-term
Coming back to Parc Botannia, SPK would consider it as a value for money property that is conducive for a young family and it could probably preserve value better over the longer term.
The information and opinion contained in this blog posting above is based solely on the personal analysis of Singapore Property Kaki (“SPK”) and is for general information purposes only. SPK assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents of this blog posting. In no event shall SPK be liable for any special, direct, indirect, consequential, or incidental damages or any damages whatsoever, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tort, arising out of or in connection with the use of the content in this blog posting. SPK reserves the right to make additions, deletions, or modification to the contents at any time without prior notice.