New launches ratchet up, with The Myst to preview on June 24 at prices from $1,862 psf

/ EdgeProp Singapore |
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Artist's impression of the 24-storey towers at The Myst on Upper Bukit Road (Picture: CDL).
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - With the June school holidays drawing to a close, property developers are ramping up their project launches. The weekend of June 24-25 will see the previews of City Developments Ltd's (CDL) 408-unit The Myst at Upper Bukit Timah Road, and the 598-unit Lentor Hills Residences by the joint venture between Hong Leong Holdings, TID and GuocoLand.
For listed property giant CDL, The Myst is a return to the Upper Bukit Timah Road area after more than 30 years. CDL completed the neighbouring 596-unit Cashew Heights Condo on Cashew Road in 1992. Cashew Heights has a 999-year lease from 1882. Next door is the 696-unit Hazel Park Condo and the 80-unit Hazel Park Terrace, developed by CDL's sister company Hong Leong Holdings and completed in 2000. Both CDL and Hong Leong Holdings are part of the Kwek family-controlled Hong Leong Group. Both developments also have 999-year leases from 1882.
Besides Cashew Heights, CDL is also familiar with the vicinity, having developed other projects in District 23, including the 429-unit Tree House at Chestnut Avenue (completed in 2013), a joint development between CDL and Hong Leong; the 466-unit The Rainforest executive condo (EC) at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 3 (completed in 2015); and the 602-unit Blossom Residences EC (completed in 2014) on Segar Road.
CDL also has an EC development site at Bukit Batok West Avenue 5, which it won last September with a bid of $336.068 million or $626 psf per plot ratio. The new EC is estimated to have 510 units and is scheduled for launch in 1H2024. CDL has also developed several projects in the Hillview area.
The 99-year leasehold condo The Myst is a redevelopment of the former Tan Chong Industrial Park, which CDL purchased for $126.3 million, with the deal completed in April 2022. "When we acquired this expansive 179,009 sq ft site through an off-market deal, we were enchanted by the surrounding area which is filled with tropical greenery, nature parks and reservoirs," comments Sherman Kwek, CDL Group CEO, in a media statement. "We saw a prime opportunity to create a green masterpiece that blends harmoniously with the verdant landscape of Upper Bukit Timah."
The Myst Lush Sunken Lounge - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
A sunken lounge that overlooks the 50m infinity pool (Picture: CDL)

Proximity to greenery and amenities

According to CDL, the site appeals to those who value being close to nature. Besides its proximity to green spaces like the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Rail Corridor, it has many lifestyle amenities, including schools, eateries and transport connectivity.
For future residents of The Myst, the nearest MRT station is Cashew on the Downtown Line, a five- to seven-minute walk away. The Bukit Panjang MRT Station is a 10-minute walk away or one MRT stop from the Cashew Station. The nearest mall is Hillion Mall, which is integrated with a transport hub that includes the Bukit Panjang MRT Station, LRT station and bus interchange.
"The green environment is ideal for those who prefer to live away from the bustling city centre and to be closer to nature," says ERA Realty Network key executive officer Eugene Lim.
Besides the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, the development is near other nature parks, such as Chestnut Nature Park, Dairy Farm Nature Park and the newly opened Rifle Range Nature Park, adds Mark Yip, CEO of Huttons Asia.
Schools in the area range from Bukit Panjang Primary School to Greenridge Secondary School, Assumption English School, CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace and St Francis Methodist School. International school German European School Singapore is also nearby.
Among the schools, Bukit Panjang Primary and CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace are within a 1km radius of The Myst, notes Huttons' Yip. This should appeal to families with young children of school-going age.
The Myst Grand Water Courtyard - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The forest-inspired landscaping at The Myst (Picture: CDL)

'Unblocked views'

"With a dedicated access road from Upper Bukit Timah Road, The Myst is tucked away from the main road, lending it an exclusive and mysterious air," says Markus Cheng, associate partner of ADDP Architects, the design architect for The Myst.
The development has just two 24-storey towers set back at least 45m (in the east) and 60m (in the south) from the boundary of the neighbouring Hazel Park Condo. The towers have a north-south orientation, and units are arranged to optimise views, according to ADDP's Cheng.
Those units facing south will have an unblocked view of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve from the 10th floor. Those facing north will enjoy a view of the Rail Corridor. Units in both towers will also have views of the neighbouring low-rise private housing estate, the Greenridge Secondary School field, as well as the greenery and pools of the landscaped grounds of The Myst.
The two towers take up a footprint of just 25% of the site area, freeing up 75% for greenery and facilities. "As the two blocks do not overlap, some stacks will enjoy dual views," says ERA's Lim. "With 75% of the site footprint dedicated to landscaping and facilities, we have 100% unblocked views."
The landscaping, designed in collaboration with landscape architect Ecoplan Asia, focuses on creating a "hideaway" and a "Morning Misty Forest", says Cheng, and inspired the name of the development. He adds that the facilities and landscaping are arranged in a "courtyard style", with a series of pavilions, such as a sunken lounge overlooking the 50m lap pool and a forest lounge with a pavilion for relaxation.

'One of the most affordably priced new launches in 2023'

To cater to a wide range of home buyers, The Myst has a mix of one- to five-bedroom units with sizes from 517 sq ft to 1,690 sq ft. One-bedders of 517 sq ft make up 48 units. Two-bedroom and two-bedroom-plus-study units of 678 to 732 sq ft comprise 145 units.
Another 143 units are three-bedroom types, ranging from 850 to 1,153 sq ft. Four-bedroom units of 1,453 to 1,518 sq ft account for 49 units, while five-bedroom units of 1,690 sq ft make up the balance of 23 units.
Two- and three-bedroom units form the majority — 288 units (70.6%) — within The Myst.
According to Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex, The Myst will most likely appeal to HDB upgraders in the neighbouring estates of Bukit Panjang, Teck Whye and Choa Chu Kang. He adds that the project will also draw owner-occupiers seeking to upgrade from older condos or landed properties nearby. (Find HDB flats for rent or sale with our Singapore HDB directory)
However, Gafoor does not rule out investors too, who tend to gravitate towards one- and two-bedroom units for their smaller quantum prices. "I expect The Myst to be one of the most affordably-priced new condo launches in 2023," he says.
According to CDL, one-bedroom-plus-study of 517 sq ft are priced from $998,000 ($1,930 psf), and two-bedroom of 678 sq ft are upwards of $1.33 million ($1,962 psf). Three-bedroom types from 850 sq ft are priced from $1.708 million ($2,009 psf), while four-bedroom units starting from 1,518 sq ft are from $2.826 million ($1,862 psf). Five-bedroom units of 1,690 sq ft are priced from $3.18 million ($1,882 psf).
About one-third of the units at The Myst are priced "at a sweet spot" of $1.5 million and below, "making it a desirable option for investors and homebuyers", says CDL.
The Myst Four Bedroom Show Unit Living Room - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Showflat of a four-bedroom unit at The Myst (Photo: CDL)

New major launch in over two decades

The last new launch in the area was a boutique development with just 34 units: Bukit 828 by Roxy-Pacific Holdings. It was launched in 2018. For comparable projects of a similar scale, the last new project in the enclave was the neighbouring Hazel Park Condo, launched sometime in the mid-1990s and completed in 2000.
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"It has been more than 20 years since a major project was launched in the Upper Bukit Timah area," says Huttons' Yip. "Hence, there could be pent-up demand for new homes in the neighbourhood."
The latest transaction at Hazel Park Condo was for a 1,335 sq ft, three-bedroom unit on the 17th floor that changed hands for $2.13 million ($1,596 psf) in April this year. In March, another three-bedroom unit of 1,324 sq ft, located on the eighth floor, was sold for $2.268 million ($1,713 psf).
Meanwhile, Bukit 828 was launched in September 2018 and entirely sold at an average price of $1,599 psf.
The Myst could be the last sizeable land plot for residential use in the Upper Bukit Timah area, which makes it even rarer, according to Yip. The project is scheduled for completion in March 2029.

Upcoming launches

In addition to The Myst and Lentor Hills Residences, upcoming launches include the 520-unit Pinetree Hill at Pine Grove by UOL Group and Singapore Land Group; SingHaiyi Group's 1,008-unit Grand Dunman on Dunman Road; and the 360-unit Altura executive condo at Bukit Batok West Avenue 8 by Qingjian Realty.
"There were no launches during the June school holidays, and the Lunar Seventh Month starts on Aug 16," according to Yip. "Thus, we expect to see more launches from July to mid-August."
Most developers will launch their project as soon as they have obtained the necessary approvals, including the green light from the Controller of Housing for the show flats, says PropNex's Gafoor. "Developers are less concerned about which developer is previewing or launching on the same weekend," he adds. "They are confident of their project attributes and of attracting home buyers from the surrounding areas. For home buyers, it also means they have more new launches to look forward to."
Given the high-interest rate environment and macroeconomic factors, most developers are targeting to achieve a conservative 40% sales on the launch weekend, says Gafoor. "Selling 200 or more units on the launch weekend means robust results."
In 1H2023, about nine new projects were launched (see table). Huttons estimates that the year could end with 20 to 30 new project launches, depending on regulatory approvals, says Yip. The figure is well below the initial projections of over 40 new launches at the start of the year.
"The take-up rates of recent launches have been strong and could carry through to the upcoming launches," says Yip. "The volume of unsold units in the market remains low, and there is healthy liquidity. Buyers are convinced that property as a tangible asset is a good hedge against inflation and is likely to appreciate in the middle to long term."

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