The Continuum

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The Continuum is the continuation of a legacy - one which involves a conserved bungalow combined with the modernity of a new condo. Its location makes it a popular choice amongst families and singles alike - within 1 km to 3 popular primary schools and walking distance to good food and mal

The Continuum

The Continuum is the continuation of a legacy - one which involves a conserved bungalow combined with the modernity of a new condo. Its location makes it a popular choice amongst families and singles alike - within 1 km to 3 popular primary schools and walking distance to good food and malls.Its freehold tenure will certainly attract some to consider The Continuum seriously too (especially since its closest competitors are all leasehold). However, the existing road You are not allowed to print or connect Tanjong Katong Road and Haig Raathaceto be retained and some may take time to get used to having 2 separate sites in the same development.

 

The Continuum: One condo, two freehold plots in District 15

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - When Hoi Hup and Sunway Property paid $815 million for two strips of land on either side of Thiam Siew Avenue in November 2021, many wondered what the future development would look like. Formerly, 22 pre-war bungalows and semi-detached houses sat along the quiet street. Would the future high-rise blocks be linked across Thiam Siew Avenue by a Marina Bay Sands-like SkyPark, or would the developers buy the road and amalgamate the plots to create an extensive development on a single combined plot?

 

None of the above. Instead, architect Kingsley Ng, director of PT Architects, designed three blocks with 408 units on each parallel plot. The North and South plots are designed as two standalone condos with their respective entrances, basement parking and amenities such as the clubhouse, swimming pool and gym. The entrance to the North plot will be from Tanjong Katong Road and to the South, Haig Road.

An overhead bridge resembling the Henderson Waves pedestrian bridge will link the two plots. “It is going to be an iconic bridge in the Katong area that will link the two sites,” says Koon Wai Leong, director of Hoi Hup.

 

The facilities in the North and South plots are differentiated, from the drop-off area to the grounds designed by STX Landscape Architects. “Residents can enter the bridge from a ramp at the landscaped deck on the North plot and emerge at the clubhouse on the South plot,” says Koon. “They can enjoy the facilities on both sides.”

After all, the two sides are part of a single development, the 816-unit The Continuum, a name inspired by the word’s dictionary definition. “Continuum describes something gradually and continually changing or evolving through time,” says Koon.

The name reflects the key features of the development: The connection between the old and the new, the ground-floor landscaped gardens and the sky garden, and the North and South plots, he adds. It hints at the freehold tenure of the land too. “It can be a legacy for the home buyers’ next generation,” Koon says. The units come with flexible layouts. “This allows for slight modifications to transform the spaces for the next phase of life,” he adds. “It’s ideal for those who want to age in place.”

 

A piece of history

The two sites have a combined land area of 269,995 sq ft. The 22 pre-war houses were built in the 1930s by the late property magnate and hotelier Wee Thiam Siew, who held the properties for rental income. After his death in 1972, the properties at Thiam Siew Avenue went to his descendants. They were held primarily by two vehicles, Thiam Siew Avenue Investments and Wee Thiam Siew Co.

The sale of the properties at Thiam Siew Avenue for $815 million marked “the largest residential development site sold since July 2018,” comments Galven Tan, deputy managing director of investment sales and capital markets at Savills Singapore, who brokered the deal. “I had thought the developer would launch the project in two phases,” he says. “But it turned out better than what I had envisaged: It is effectively two developments, but residents benefit from the amenities of one mega-development.”

On top of the purchase price for the site, Hoi Hup and Sunway paid an estimated $284 million in development charges and $39.3 million for a 7% bonus balcony space. The final price tag was over $1.138 billion, translating to a land rate of $1,440 psf per plot ratio.

 

Ken Low, managing partner of SRI, regards The Continuum as “the first private condo in Singapore developed on two separate plots”. While Thiam Siew Avenue will remain a public road, the developer has made it part of The Continuum, he notes. “Imagine driving through the street with trees and landscaping on either side and the sky bridge in the backdrop. The feeling will be very different from the rest of District 15. While intangible, such feelings help hold up a project’s resale value.”

The joint developers have kept the road's name and selected one of the pre-war bungalows for conservation. “The name Thiam Siew will not be lost in history,” says Koon.

The conserved bungalow-turned-clubhouse on the North plot will be named Thiam Siew House. The function room will be a grand dining hall with an Oriental-style round table. In contrast, the clubhouse on the South plot is a double-storey glass structure. The function room on the second floor will have a long table for Western-style dining with gourmet kitchen facilities.

 

Evolution of space

“Over the years, we have seen how Hoi Hup has evolved from a developer of executive condos (ECs) with practical and functional units, to a developer of luxury projects, with Terra Hill and The Continuum,” says SRI’s Low. He sees the Signature and Prestige units, first introduced at Terra Hill and now at The Continuum, as “hallmarks of Hoi Hup” in its luxury projects.

Hoi Hup’s Koon agrees. “We don’t do cookie-cutter units and projects but believe in innovating,” he says. The developer invested nearly $6 million in a double-storey sales gallery to showcase The Continuum. There is a main hall with a double-volume ceiling to showcase the scale model, two showflats on the first level showcasing the Signature units, and two showflats depicting the Prestige units on the second floor. There is also a generous lounge area with ample seating for prospective home buyers and agents. “The aesthetics and feel of the sales gallery will be reflected in the new development,” according to Koon.

The Continuum has a wide range of units. The Signature units are the typical one-bedroom-plus-study of 560 sq ft to four-bedroom units of up to 1,518 sq ft. The Prestige units are the three-bedroom-plus-study, four-bedroom-plus-utility and five-bedroom units, ranging from 1,227 to 2,282 sq ft. The Prestige units are larger than the typical units and have private lift access.

One-bedroom-plus-study accounts for just 68 units (8.3%) out of the 816 units, says PropNex’s Gafoor. Two-bedroom and two-bedroom-plus-study range from 647 to 722 sq ft and make up 306 units (37.5%).

Meanwhile, three-bedroom to five-bedroom units make up 442 units at The Continuum. “That is 54% of the units,” says PropNex’s Gafoor. “The developer has right-sized the units for owner-occupiers.”

 

Prices start from $2,583 psf

Prices of the Signature units at The Continuum start from $1.448 million ($2,586 psf) for a 560 sq ft one-bedroom-plus-study; $1.671 million ($2,583 psf) for a 647 sq ft two-bedroom; $1.82 million ($2,600 psf) for a 700 sq ft two-bedroom-plus-study; $2.3 million ($2,638 psf) for an 872 sq ft three-bedroom; $2.759 million ($2,588 psf) for a three-bedroom-plus-utility; and $3.207 million ($2,614 psf) for a 1,227 sq ft four-bedder.

The Prestige Collection has prices starting from $3.32 million for the three-bedroom-plus-study; $4.57 million ($2,688 psf) for a 1,700 sq ft, four-bedroom-plus-utility; and $5.35 million ($2,808 psf) for a 1,905 sq ft, five-bedroom unit.

Therefore, the starting prices for units at The Continuum are in the $2,500 to $2,600 psf range. “Generally, freehold projects command a 15% premium over leasehold projects in the same location,” says PropNex’s Gafoor. “A 15% discount from $2,500 to $2,600 psf is about $2,200 psf, below the average selling price achieved by recent launches of 99-year leasehold projects.”

For instance, the 638-unit Tembusu Grand achieved a 53% take-up rate on launch weekend (April 8–9) at an average transacted price of $2,465 psf. The 298-unit Liv @ MB, located just off Mountbatten Road and launched in May 2022, is already 86% sold at an average price of $2,413 psf. Both are 99-year leasehold condos in District 15.

“The starting prices of the three- and four-bedroom units at The Continuum present a value proposition for home buyers as there is less than a $100,000 price difference compared with new 99-year leasehold condos in District 15,” says Gafoor.

 

Price of prestige

Prestige units will have private lift access, timber flooring in the bedrooms and marble flooring in the living and dining area. Master bathrooms will also be fully tiled with marble. All the units at The Continuum come with high-end specifications: Kitchen appliances from V-Zug, Samsung refrigerators and washer-dryers and bathroom fittings and accessories from Laufen, Gessi and Tece.

All units will come with a built-in storeroom and a ceiling fan. The development targets a BCA Green Mark Platinum rating, the highest accolade in sustainability. “Even the two-bedroom units will have a storeroom, good-sized kitchen and living space,” says Koon. “While the traditional buyers of two-bedroom units are investors, we don’t want to forget the actual residents of the units.”

Gafoor expects the average selling price to be above $2,700 psf, especially for the smaller units and those on the high floors. “If the developer can achieve a 35% take-up rate — above 285 units — it would be a credible performance because the development has more than 800 units,” he says. “We expect this development to have positive traction.”

 

Hoi Hup’s Koon agrees. “The sign of a good launch in 2023 will be sales in the 30% to 50% range on the opening weekend, with a steady take-up in 2024 and 2025,” he says.

Prices of future projects are likely to be higher, given that land and construction costs have increased over the last three years. Efficiency has also been reduced by about 7%, notes SRI’s Low, with the harmonisation of strata area and gross floor area. He points to the tender for the government land sale (GLS) of the second site at Jalan Tembusu, which will close in July. The site is located opposite the upcoming Tembusu Grand, City Developments’ (CDL) 638-unit condo that was 53% sold at an average price of $2,465 psf at launch on the weekend of April 8-9. CDL had purchased the 99-year leasehold GLS site in January 2022 for $768 million, or $1,302 psf per plot ratio. Low estimates that the future selling price of the new development at the second site on Jalan Tembusu will likely be above $2,600 psf. (See potential condos with en bloc calculator)

Koon notes that the Continuum is “unlikely” to set benchmark prices in District 15. The 200-unit, freehold Meyer Mansion has already seen units surpass $3,000 psf, with a 484 sq ft one-bedroom sold for a high of $3,293 psf in September 2021. MeyerHouse hit a high of $2,800 psf for a 2,110 sq ft, fifth-floor three-bedroom unit. 

 

Meanwhile, Amber Park’s 4,392 sq ft penthouse achieved a top price of $13 million ($2,960 psf) in August 2021.

 

District 15 allure

“The Continuum is the only new freehold project launched with a land area above 200,000 sq ft in District 15 in 2023,” says Lee Sze Teck, senior director of research, Huttons Asia. “The robust sales numbers for Tembusu Grand indicate pent-up demand for a large project.”

Marcus Chu, CEO of ERA Realty Network, observes that many home buyers see large freehold sites as “prized investments as they hold value over time”.

The condo blocks at The Continuum are a mix of 17 and 18 storeys. The roof terrace offers unblocked views of the surroundings — from the Singapore Sports Hub and the CBD to the west, says Hoi Hup’s Koon.

Within a 1km range are schools such as Haig Girls’ School, Kong Hwa School and Tanjong Katong Primary School. Nearby are also Chung Cheng High School, Dunman High School and Tao Nan School. “This is an area for families to settle down and stay for the long term,” notes Koon. “In District 15, many families have lived there for many years and do not want to move,” he continues. “So we have this catchment of home buyers looking to buy for the next generation.”

 

The Continuum sits near future growth areas, such as Paya Lebar Airbase, which is relocating in 2030. SRI's Low says the entire neighbourhood could see an uplift in plot ratios. Nearby, Geylang Lorong 4 to 22 will see the old residential blocks rezoned for commercial use and could benefit from enhanced plot ratios, too, reckons Low. The government could also release more sites around Paya Lebar Central. “These events will take place in the coming years and are likely to impact projects in District 15, like The Continuum, positively,” he adds.

Besides the neighbourhood's future growth, District 15 has an “aspirational element”, notes Hoi Hup’s Koon, seen primarily in prime Districts 9 and 10.

Indeed, “after the Core Central Region, which includes Districts 9 and 10, District 15 is the most sought-after residential address,” ERA’s Chu adds. “The main appeal is the East Coast lifestyle – heritage, food, the sun and the sea. And best of all, District 15 is near the city and Changi Airport.”

 

Website: https://the-continuum-at-thiam-siew-avenue.com/

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