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SingHaiyi previews Sora in Jurong East at prices from $1,850 psf
By Cecilia Chow | June 18, 2024
Raymond Chia (left), group CEO of SingHaiyi and Gallant Tang (right), executive director of SingHaiyi (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - The 440-unit Sora along Yuan Ching Road in Jurong Lake District (JLD) will be previewed on June 22, with the launch to take place a fortnight later on July 6. It will be the first launch of a significant suburban project since the 533-unit Lentor Mansion in mid-March, which is already 81% sold.

Sora’s developer, a SingHaiyi-led consortium, intends to price the project from $1,850 psf, or starting from just under $1 million for a 538 sq ft, one-bedroom-plus-study unit.

“We have done a lot of research on the other projects in the area, and we believe that the prices we’re going to launch at will be quite competitive relative to our neighbours,” says Gallant Tang, executive director of SingHaiyi. Tang is also the son of Gordon and Celine Tang, the controlling stakeholders of SingHaiyi.

Get the latest details on available units and prices for Sora

Scale model of Sora, which has a 300m frontage of Jurong Lake Gardens and 440 units across four blocks of 12- and 20-storeys (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Sora is the third 99-year leasehold residential project launch in the JLD since the debut of the neighbouring 306-unit The LakeGarden Residences by Wing Tai Holdings last August, followed by CapitaLand Development Singapore’s 368-unit J’den in November.

Based on caveats lodged with URA Realis as at June 17, The LakeGarden Residences along Yuan Ching Road is 39% sold at an average price of $2,134 psf. J’den at Jurong East Central is over 90% sold at an average price of $2,459 psf.

“We are fortunate that there were some projects launched recently to give us a feel for the prices in the area,” says Raymond Chia, group CEO of SingHaiyi. Chia is looking at an average selling price of about $2,180 psf for Sora.

Showflat of a 732 sq ft two-bedroom-plus-study (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

‘Pricing flexibility’

According to Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex, “Sora will also be the largest of the three projects launched in JLD”.

A redevelopment of the former Park View Mansion, Sora sits on a 99-year leasehold site of 191,974 sq ft. SingHaiyi and its joint-venture partners, KSH Holdings and Ho Lee Group, purchased the site for $260 million in July 2022. SingHaiyi has a 70% stake in the joint venture, while KSH and Ho Lee hold the remaining 30%.

The land rate for Park View Mansion worked out to $1,023 psf per plot ratio, which is 18.2% lower than that of the adjacent The LakeGarden Residences (site of the former Lakeside Apartments), points out Eugene Lim, ERA Realty’s key executive officer. “This gives Sora’s developer some flexibility in its pricing strategy.”

Read also: Sora's preview weekend draws 3,000 visitors to sales gallery

The study of the two-bedroom converted into a hobby room (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Jurong Lake Gardens frontage and views

The development offers a 300m frontage along Jurong Lake Gardens, the first national gardens within the suburbs. Given the orientation of the blocks, about 80% of the units will have a view of the public park.

“Not many condos in Singapore can boast of an immediate park frontage,” says Tang Kok Thye, associate partner of ADDP Architects and the architect for the project. “But Sora has the benefit of Jurong Lake Gardens sitting right in front of it.”

At 90ha, Jurong Lake Gardens is the second biggest national garden in Singapore, after the Singapore Botanic Gardens (101ha), with Gardens by the Bay (82ha) the third largest.

According to Mark Yip, CEO of Huttons Asia, only three land plots are adjacent to Jurong Lake Gardens. Hence, the supply of such homes is limited. “It is a rare opportunity to own a home with a national garden at the doorstep.”

Sora has four residential blocks: a pair of 12-storey blocks and another pair of 20-storey towers. Each pair is linked at the rooftop to create a “tiered sky garden”, says ADDP’s Tang. The sky gardens occupy an area of 27,500 sq ft. The concept was inspired by the sunset view of a tiered rooftop garden of a hotel in Bangkok, he adds.

The blocks occupy a site footprint of just 30%, with the remaining 70% freed up for landscaping and over 60 residents’ facilities. Ecoplan Asia is the landscape consultant, while Japanese contractor Nakano Singapore is the main contractor. The sales gallery and showflats are designed by Super Fat Designs.

Read also: SingHaiyi unveils Sora with EdgeProp’s intelligent assistant, Buddy

The Lakeside MRT (pictured) and Chinese Gardens MRT Stations can also be reached via a scenic bike ride through the gardens in under 10 minutes (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Connectivity and accessibility

While Sora’s main entrance is from Yuan Ching Road, the development has four side gates for easy access by residents. Two of these side gates lead directly to Jurong Lake Gardens.

Considered Singapore’s first suburban national garden, Jurong Lake Gardens is an amalgamation of three gardens: Lakeside Garden (Jurong Lake Gardens West and former Jurong Lake Park); Chinese and Japanese Gardens (Jurong Lake Gardens Central); and Garden Promenade (Jurong Lake Gardens East).

The redevelopment of Lakeside Garden was completed last year, while the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, which are undergoing a make-over, are due to open later this year. The new Singapore Science Centre at Jurong Lake Gardens will open in 2027.

When Sora obtains its temporary occupation permit (TOP) in 2028, it will have a link to the Japanese Garden, where there is a cycling path through the garden to the Jurong East MRT Interchange Station for the East-West, North-South and the upcoming Jurong Regional Lines. The Lakeside MRT and Chinese Gardens MRT Stations can also be reached via a scenic bike ride through the gardens in under 10 minutes, says ERA’s Lim.

“There are a lot of ongoing enhancement works to improve the entire JLD,” adds Lim. “With the future development of the Jurong Innovation District, residents may see more bus services that bring them directly from their doorstep to their workplaces.”

Showflat of a 1,195 sq ft, three-bedroom-plus-study premium unit (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Wide-ranging units

Sora has a wide range of unit types, from one-bedroom plus-study of 538 sq ft to five-bedroom of up to 1,938 sq ft. The majority (84%) are two- and three-bedders of various types and sizes. The two-bedders range from 646 to 915 sq ft, while three-bedders are from 936 to 1,410 sq ft.

At J’den and The LakeGarden Residences, about half of the units sold were between $1.5 million and $2.5 million, notes ERA’s Lim, with the one-, two- and three-bedders being the most popular among buyers.

“With the upcoming launch of Sora, buyers who were unable to find a suitable unit at the other two projects may potentially secure a unit of choice at Sora – particularly if they are eyeing the smaller unit types,” observes PropNex’s Gafoor.

Some prospective buyers looking for a new home in the Jurong East area may be waiting for Sora to hit the market before deciding which property to purchase, adds Gafoor.

SingHaiyi’s Chia believes interest in JLD has returned, with the launch of the 6.5ha master developer white site in Jurong East. The two bids received at the close of the tender in March were from the same consortium of five prominent developers — Singapore’s CapitaLand Development, City Developments and Frasers Property, together with Japan’s Mitsubishi Estate Co, and Mitsui Fudosan (Asia).

Fully fitted kitchen of the three-bedroom showflat (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Stakes in significant mixed-use developments

This year, SingHaiyi has several significant projects in the pipeline for launch. Targeted to preview sometime in 4Q2024 is The Collective at One Sophia. It has 367 apartments and is part of the One Sophia mixed-use development that includes 249 commercial units.

One Sophia has a 100m frontage along Sophia Road and 70m along Selegie Road. The 99-year leasehold development is in prime District 9 in the Core Central Region (CCR). One Sophia, together with The Collective at One Sophia, is a redevelopment of the former Peace Centre and Peace Mansion on a single commercial site at 1 Sophia Road. SingHaiyi and its joint-venture partners — KSH Holdings, SLB Development and Ho Lee Group — acquired the site for $650 million in December 2021. SingHaiyi has a 70% stake in the joint venture, with KSH, SLB and Ho Lee holding the remaining 30% stake.

SingHaiyi also has a 21% stake in The Skywaters, a mixed-use development by a consortium led by Perennial Holdings, which includes Alibaba. A redevelopment of the former AXA Tower at 8 Shenton Way, The Skywaters is a 63-storey mixed-use development with offices, retail, hotel and residences. The project is in prime District 1 of the CCR.

Skywaters Residences has 190 units on the topmost floors of The Skywaters development. At 305m tall, it will be the tallest skyscraper in Singapore when completed in 2028. A 7,761 sq ft penthouse on the 57th floor of Skywaters Residences was sold for $47.34 million or $6,100 psf, based on a caveat lodged on May 31. At $6,100 psf, it is a new record for luxury 99-year leasehold residences in Singapore.

Golden Mile Complex is another mixed-use development in which SingHaiyi has a stake. It was sold in a collective sale with a conservation component in May 2022. The 99-year leasehold site was purchased en bloc for $700 million by a joint venture of Perennial Holdings, Far East Organization and Sino Land. SingHaiyi has taken a 22.5% stake in the joint venture. The new apartment block, the 186-unit Aurea, is expected to be previewed later this year.

Showflat of a 1,679 sq ft five-bedroom luxury unit (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

More OCR projects in 2H2024 could boost sales

The launch of Sora will be followed by other Outside Central Region (OCR) project launches in the pipeline, including the freehold 276-unit Kassia in Flora Drive in the East, the 916-unit The Chuan Park in Lorong Chuan, and the 348-unit Norwood Grand in Champions Way, Woodlands. “These projects will offer a wider selection of units for buyers, and we could see a pick-up in OCR’s new home sales in the coming months,” says Gafoor.

New home sales have been relatively muted over the past three months owing to a limited number of bigger projects being launched for sale, Gafoor adds. “Many of the new launches this year are smaller boutique developments which do not offer as many options to buyers in terms of variety of units.”

New launches in the OCR segment will appeal to a broad swathe of owner-occupiers and HDB upgraders, given the more affordable pricing compared with the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and CCR, notes Gafoor. Hence, he remains optimistic about the OCR.

Given the uncertain economic outlook, home buyers are now cautious and price-sensitive, Huttons’ Yip observes. “Quite a number have a budget of around $2 million for a home in the OCR. They will still commit if they find something they like within their budget.”

SingHaiyi’s Chia agrees: “Even amid uncertainty, when people see an opportunity, they are still willing to commit to a purchase.”

Check out the latest listings for Sora properties

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