As anyone who has read the book and/or watched the movie would know, the Hollywood block-buster rom-com ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ movie wouldn’t be half as crazy, rich, or Asian without its Asian stars – or its Singaporean locations.
Novelist Kevin Kwan says that the movie was intended to be a homage to Singapore. And in the movie, all the usual (some say hackneyed) Singapore Tourism Board-mandated images abound.
You have your Marina Bay Sands infinity pool shots, your Gardens by the Bay outdoor party settings, our lovely CHIJMES – both interior and exterior – our beloved Newton Food Centre, and unmistakable Bukit Pasoh Road’s quaint shophouses via infatuated camera pans, scans and tilts.
And of course, no film shot in Singapore can leave out sunset shots of Merlion Park, drone views of the Singapore Flyer from above, long distance glimpses of our CBD skyline and so on.
In short, what the movie is saying to the world is – to be a crazy rich Asian, is to care immensely about where you are.
But Singapore is more than just a mishmash of uppercrust-approved cultural, architectural, sartorical and gastronomical locations. Silently, and pervasively, every frame of the movie also reminds the world that Singapore is a ‘garden city’.
So for anyone aspiring to be a Crazy Rich Asian, there’s new meaning to the phrase ‘go green with envy’ – for green is indeed our unofficial national colour.
“In every tree, leaf and flower”
The “garden city” vision was introduced by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on 11 May 1967 to transform Singapore into a city with abundant lush greenery and a clean environment in order to make life more pleasant for our people.
Since then, a clean and green Singapore has meant “Singaporean” to us, as much as the iconic buildings featured in the movie – perhaps even more so, as even while iconic buildings are torn down to make way for progress, our natural habitats are preserved and protected.
This protection takes place mainly in the Central Catchment Reserve. Today, few would disagree that the Thomson district is the very epitome of a clean and green Singapore.
Perhaps, this is why QingJian Realty decided to name their latest Thomson development Jadescape.
The word ‘Jade’ describes an ornamental mineral, most prized in its green varieties. The name ‘Jadescape’ is probably intended to describe the setting of this new condo – in a neighbourhood filled with precious greenery, it can itself be the most valuable asset.
Intrigued? Here’s some other reasons why you should consider buying aJadescape property.
Jadescape is located in District 20, also known as Ang-Mo-Kio-Bishan-Thomson. D20 has proven to be a desirable postal code, particularly for properties clustered around Thomson Road and Shunfu.
This might be why: overall gross rental yields for non-landed private homes from January 2017 to January 2018 have hovered around 3.2% nationally. Private property launches in this district have done well when matched up against this benchmark, and recent launches even reflect a rising trend (See Table 1.)
This makes any new launches in the area – like Jadescape – well worth a first and second look.
Do take a look at our compare tool to see how Jadescape stacks up against its competition.
Table 1: Recent & Coming New Launches in D20
|TOP Year||Average PSF||Rental Yield*|
* Based on transactions in the last 12 months, excluding projects with 3 or fewer transactions (https://www.squarefoot.com.sg/market-watch/rental-yield)
On top of the rental yield numbers, which are not too bad for OCR (and we have not even mentioned potential capital gains), the Thomson/Shunfu area is especially coveted for new property launches, because it is:
- on the borders of a large green lung in the geographical centre of Singapore, boasting proximity to 2880 hectares of rainforests and reservoirs containing over 500 unique animal species
- close to the Central Business District (31 minutes by train)
- a short drive to the airport (15 to 20 minutes)
- near some of Singapore’s most elite schools
Plus, on top of all the natural splendor, Thomson is also home to a small enclave of bohemian eateries, cafes, pubs and specialty shops clustered within walking distance around Thomson Plaza, Sin Ming and Upper Thomson Road, and affordable food centres and shops around the Shunfu area.
Touted as the first new private apartments in the area to be launched in 5 years, Jadescape is a new development by developer Qingjian Realty, which has in its portfolio Natura Loft (2008), Nin Residence (2010), RiverParc Residence (2011), Riversound Residence (2012), River Isles (2012), Waterbay (2012), Ecopolitan (2013), Bellewoods (2014), Bellewaters (2014) and The Visionaire (2016).
Formerly home to a development named Shunfu Ville, the entire site was sold for S$638 million in 2016. At that time, the sale marked the third largest en bloc by quantum here.
The site has a yield of 1206 units, while break-even cost could be about S$1,250 psf, with new units fetching S$1,400 to S$1,500 psf, said marketing agency JLL at the time.
“Property cooling measures and the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty on developers if they cannot complete and sell all units in five years have meant that the collective sales market has been very quiet,” Ms Alice Tan, Knight Frank’s research head, said at the time. “Developers are not willing to take up more risks especially for larger investment deals of above S$500 million.”
This was true in 2016 and is even more applicable now with the extended cooling measures taking shape in July 2018. Till today, only Jadescape and Thomson Impressions have been announced in the private housing pipeline for District 20. The latter only has 283 units, which means the only sizable private development in the area remains Jadescape.
This, in addition to lack of land sales in the district, means the demand for Jadescape apartments will likely remain pent up – for at least as long as HDB’s minimum occupancy period of 5 years.
This is good news for resales, as nearby HDB dwellers (and also owners of landed properties) who wish to acquire a private property (for investment or for access to condo facilities like swimming pools, gyms and clubhouses) are likely to consider a JadeScape apartment as their first option.
So in the near term at least, you can expect the prices of your property to stay relatively strong, even if property market fundamentals weaken.
At the moment, there’s only Thomson Impressions to choose from if you are looking for fresh property in this district.
As above, Thomson Impressions has a much smaller stock to choose from, and it is not even launched yet. And while Longhaus has been launched, it is even smaller – only 40 units are for sale.
Chances are in comparison, you would probably need pay more to afford these properties, putting them well out of reach for most buyers.
But even if you think you can afford them, and can afford to wait, there’s always the stellar advice that you should keep in mind: to “buy what you can afford, that meets your needs now.”
The Government encourages us to treat property as homes, and not as investments. Hence you should bear in mind that with this policy stance, further property market cooling measures may be in the pipeline some years down the road, choking off affordability the longer you wait.
The Investment Prospects
That said, in a study, Edgeprop looked at apartments and condominiums across Singapore that commanded gross rental yields of 4% and above and found that they have these three characteristics in common: proximity to the city centre, proximity to MRT stations and close distance to schools.
Jadescape is within 200 metres from Marymount MRT, which is just 30 minutes away from the city centre. It is within minutes from elite and prestigious schools like Raffles Institution, Ai Tong Primary School, Raffles Girls (2019) and Catholic High School.
Conclusion: a 4% gross rental yield is potentially within reach.
Buying a property isn’t only about its potential value as an investment. There’s also what it is like to live in. While within Jadescape, you have all the usual condominium amenities: spa, pool, gym, playgrounds, clubhouse, BBQ corners, and more, what it is near to matters as well.
In the Thomson/Shunfu vicinity are several facilities to encourage public appreciation of our nation’s vast nature reserves, such as the HSBC TreeTop Walk, as well as numerous shopping centres (Bishan Junction 8, Thomson Plaza, and Ang Mo Kio Hub), schools (Ai Tong Primary, Raffles Institution, ånd Raffles Girls within 2km), primary healthcare (Mount Alvernia Hospital) and easy access to the rest of Singapore via expressways and public transport.
And if you are a card-carrying Crazy Rich Asian, there’s also the feather in Jadescape’s hat: Singapore Island Country Club, located a mere stone’s throw away.
Probably the most prestigious and elite country club in the land, it is the home of ‘old money’ families – unequalled for world-class golf courses, heritage-level club buildings and enough communal activities for you to constantly be rubbing shoulders, knees and possibly even ankles with fellow crazy rich Asians.
Can You Afford It?
We will also keep you up to date on Jadescape’s launch details, access to VVIP previews via a personalised news feed, plus the following unique benefits:
- The widest listing of units direct from developers (from new launches to sale-of-balance units). We have 239 listings to-date, versus 167 from Propertyguru
- First-to-market information for all project launches
- In-depth information that your agents may not have told you (via this blog itself)
- Customised, print-friendly reports for every project you are interested in
- Shortlist, save, and share detailed inter-project and inter-unit comparisons for all your needs
- Enjoy free Truuue concierge services all throughout your property buying experience, from viewing to post-sales; via the Truuue Ops Team
- Enjoy a personalised information feed for each stage of your purchase (viewing, balloting, unit selection, S&P, post-sales, tenant sourcing)
- Appointment reminders for any listed project
Our Compare tool will also help you see what else you can be buying in this lush and green district – which by the way, we are now considering naming the Emerald of Singapore.
It’s earned that name for now, don’t you think?
TRUnew is the convenient way to get up-to-date information on all property launches in Singapore. Compare unbiased and accurate information between projects and individual units with TRUnew before making that important decision.