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AMO Residence to test new price benchmark of close to $2,000 psf for suburban condos

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - AMO Residence, a 60:20:20 joint venture project between UOL Group, Singapore Land Group (SingLand) and Kheng Leong Co, previewed on Saturday, July 9. The sales gallery drew a crowd of about 7,500 by 2pm on July 11, according to UOL.

“Interest has been healthy,” says Jesline Goh, UOL chief investment and asset officer. She attributes it to the location of the project. The 372-unit, 99-year leasehold private condominium is located on Ang Mo Kio Rise, a new access road from Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1.

“Ang Mo Kio is a mature estate, and there hasn’t been a new launch in the area since The Panorama at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 2,” Goh points out. “That was eight years ago.”

The 698-unit The Panorama at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 2 was launched in January 2014 by Wharf Estates Singapore (formerly known as Wheelock Properties). Median price of units sold was $1,340 psf, based on caveats lodged with URA Realis in January and February 2014. The 99-year leasehold condo was completed in 2017.

Read also: AMO Residence preview draws 7,500 over long weekend


AMO Residence drew a crowd of 7,500 on the first preview weekend on July 9 to 11 (Photo: UOL Group)

Units at The Panorama have changed hands at prices ranging from $1,654 psf to $1,819 psf from April to June this year, or at a median price of $1,716 psf, according to caveats lodged as at July 12.

“AMO Residence is the first major launch of a non-landed residential project in the OCR [Outside Central Region] for 2022,” says Lee Sze Teck, senior director of research at Huttons Asia.

Location, unit mix

According to UOL’s Goh, AMO Residence “sits on a lovely corner of Ang Mo Kio”. Based on the 15 bids received at the close of the government land sales (GLS) tender in May last year, it is clear that UOL wasn’t the only one who thought so. However, UOL, together with joint-venture partners SingLand and Kheng Leong, won the 136,480 sq ft, 99-year leasehold site with a bid of $381.38 million ($1,118 psf per plot ratio or psf ppr).

AMO Residence is close to many amenities, notes Goh. Two popular schools in the area, namely CHIJ St Nicholas and Ai Tong School, are located within 1km of the new project. The new Mayflower MRT Station on the Thomson-East Coast Line, which opened in August last year, is within a five-minute walk (400m). It is just one stop from Bright Hill MRT Interchange Station on the future Cross Island Line.


Parks such as the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park (pictured) and Lower Peirce Reservoir Park are also nearby (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Parks such as the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and Lower Peirce Reservoir Park are also nearby. A new 20km walking and cycling trail around the estate is being completed in phases, transforming Ang Mo Kio into Singapore’s first fully developed walking and cycling town.

Besides eateries at the shophouses along Thomson Road, there are also shopping malls nearby, such as Thomson Plaza, Junction 8 at Bishan and AMK Hub. Mayflower Market and Food Centre as well as Shunfu Mart are also nearby.

According to Goh, “amo is Spanish for love, and we hope that this residential development will be one where people will love to stay in”. AMO Residence has a starting price of $1,890 psf. Two-bedroom units are priced from $1.26 million ($2,052 psf), which Goh considers “a palatable quantum price”.

Sized from 614 sq ft to 743 sq ft, two-bedders account for 184 units (49.5%) of the development. Three-bedroom units are priced from $1.81 million ($1,889 psf). With sizes of 958 sq ft to 1,368 sq ft, three-bedders including premium units make up 118 units (31.7%). Hence, two- and three-bedders make up 81.2% of the total units at AMO Residence.


Sized from 614 sq ft to 743 sq ft, two-bedders account for 184 units (49.5%) of the development (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp SIngapore)

Large units come with private lift access. These include 45 four-bedroom apartments of 1,292 sq ft with prices from $2.48 million ($1,919.50 psf); 22 five-bedroom units priced from $2.85 million ($1,932 psf); and three penthouses, with sizes from 2,293 to 2,497 sq ft. While the four- and five-bedroom units have a 2.9m ceiling height for the living and dining area, the penthouses, which are all simplexes, have a 4.3m ceiling height.

‘Family-oriented’ development

“Given the proximity to good schools, we decided not to have any one-bedroom units, but a mix of two- to five-bedroom units and three limited edition penthouses to cater to families instead,” says Goh.

AMO Residence is in a “very family-oriented neighbourhood”, observes Nicholas Mak, ERA Realty head of research & consultancy. He therefore expects buyers to be predominantly families with children of school-going age. “In an environment of rising interest rates, demand from such owner-occupiers is likely to be more resilient,” he adds.

UOL’s Goh agrees. “Higher interest rates may not necessarily be a bad thing, as it cuts out all the speculative purchases,” she says. “This should lead to a more sustainable long-term growth.”


Three-bedroom units are priced from $1.81 million ($1,889 psf). With sizes of 958 sq ft to 1,368 sq ft, three-bedders including premium units make up 118 units (31.7%) [Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore]

Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex, reckons the average selling price for AMO Residence is likely to be close to $2,000 psf, which will set a new benchmark for condos in the OCR.

However, the $2,000 psf pricing is likely to be the norm for other upcoming suburban or OCR projects, given the recent winning bids at GLS tenders, notes ERA’s Mak. In April to June 2022, the median transacted price of developers’ sales of non-landed residential units in the city fringe or Rest of Central Region (RCR) was $2,262 psf. This reflects a 14.4% y-o-y jump in median price in the RCR, he notes.

Over the same three-month period, median price of developers’ sales of non-landed residential units in the OCR was $1,786 psf, up 11.1% y-o-y, says ERA’s Mak. “There is generally a $300 psf to 500 psf price gap between projects in the RCR and OCR,” he adds.

New supply of private condominium projects in the OCR is quite limited, notes Mak. In the pipeline for launch are three other significant projects in the OCR, apart from AMO Residence. They include the 105-unit, 99-year leasehold The Arden by Qingjian Realty on Phoenix Road, off Choa Chu Kang Road; the 605-unit Lentor Modern by GuocoLand, which will be integrated with a retail mall and Lentor MRT Station on the Thomson-East Coast Line; and MCC Land’s 268-unit Sceneca Residence, which will be sitting on a 21,528 sq ft retail podium as well as linked to Tanah Merah MRT Station.


At AMO Residence, four-bedroom units make up 45 units; sized at 1,292 sq ft. they are priced from $2.48 million ($1,919.50 psf) [Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore]

“For home buyers, there are not that many choices in terms of new projects in the OCR this year,” notes ERA’s Mak. Hence, he sees some pent-up demand in the Ang Mo Kio area, especially given that there hasn’t been a new launch of a private condo project there since The Panorama.

Strong demand anticipated

Besides owner-occupiers, the two- and three-bedroom units at AMO Residence could also appeal to investors, given the buoyant rental market, says PropNex’s Gafoor. He anticipates “strong sales” at AMO Residence. “I won’t be surprised if the sales at launch weekend are as strong as Piccadilly Grand or Liv @ MB, which chalked up more than 70% in sales,” he adds.

The 407-unit Piccadilly Grand at Farrer Park was 77% sold on its launch weekend in early May, with average transacted price of $2,150 psf. The project is now 80% sold, based on caveats lodged to date. The 298-unit Liv @ MB was launched in mid-May, and the project was 75% sold on the first weekend, at an average price of $2,387 psf. The project, located on Arthur Road, off Mountbatten Road in prime East Coast, is now 77.5% sold at an average price of $2,394 psf, according to caveats lodged.

Both Piccadilly Grand and Liv @ MB are considered city-fringe projects and fall within the RCR. While AMO Residence is considered to be in the OCR, “Ang Mo Kio is centrally located, a mature residential estate with many mid- to upper-income households”, notes PropNex’s Gafoor.


The 372-unit AMO Residence is the first new launch in Ang Mo Kio in eight years (Source: EdgeProp Landlens)

According to the Singapore Department of Statistics, the Ang Mo Kio planning area has more than 12,000 households with a monthly income of at least $14,000.

“Ang Mo Kio has a number of HDB BTO [Build-To-Order] projects which have passed the five-year MOP [minimum occupation period],” says Huttons’ Lee. Hence, he expects to see interest in AMO Residence from HDB upgraders too. After all, four-room HDB resale flats in these new BTO projects in Ang Mo Kio have transacted at more than $800,000 in 2022, he adds. (Find HDB flats for rent or sale with our Singapore HDB directory)

AMO Residence will be officially launched on July 23 and is scheduled for completion at the end of 2026. Designed by P&T Consultants, AMO Residence has two 25-storey residential towers which occupy a footprint of about 40% of the site. Hence, more than 60% of the site is dedicated to landscaping and facilities, with seven swimming pools including a 50m lap pool, a tennis court, clubhouse and three function rooms with meeting room facilities.

The project design is inspired by the surrounding greenery, says UOL’s Goh. More than half the units are assured of unblocked views. Northward-facing units will enjoy unblocked views of the private landed estate of Shangri-la Park towards Lower Peirce Reservoir and Thomson Nature Park. “They have views of greenery and the water,” she continues. Southward-facing units above the 10th floor will have views of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, she adds. “We want to maximise and protect these view corridors for home buyers.”


Goh: We like locations that are near good schools because that will anchor families who want to be near them (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Depleting inventory, future launches 

UOL Group’s existing developments are already substantially sold. The 640-unit Clavon at Clementi, launched in December 2020, is already fully sold as at end-June, with average transacted price of $1,639 psf. The Watergardens at Canberra, a 448-unit project at Canberra Drive in Sembawang, was launched in August last year. To date, 405 units (90.4%) have been sold, at average price of $1,447 psf. The 1,074-unit Avenue South Residence, by far the largest project in UOL’s residential portfolio to date, is already 98% sold, at average price of $2,088 psf.

“We have been disciplined in recycling our capital,” says Goh. “As soon as our projects are substantially sold, we will replenish our land bank.”

Upcoming launches by UOL include a 520-unit development at Pine Grove (Parcel A), which the developer purchased in an 80:20 joint venture with SingLand in a GLS tender that closed in June this year. UOL and SingLand submitted a bid of $671,500,800 which was just $800 higher than the second highest bid by Allgreen Properties. The land price translated to $1,318 psf ppr.

UOL and SingLand also jointly purchased Watten Estate en bloc last October for $550.8 million ($1,723 psf ppr). The joint venture is expected to develop a new 286-unit private condo on the site. (See potential condos with en bloc calculator)


Watten Estate is located within 1km of Nanyang Primary School (pictured above) and Raffles Girls’ Primary School (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

A common theme running through UOL’s land acquisitions is proximity to greenery and to popular schools. For instance, Watten Estate is located within 1km of Nanyang Primary School and Raffles Girls’ Primary School, while Pine Grove Parcel A is within 1km of Henry Park Primary School, points out Goh.

“We like locations that are near good schools because that will anchor families that want to be near them,” she says. “Home buyers of this profile tend to be owner-occupiers and have holding power, regardless of property cycles.”

Check out the latest listings near AMO Residence, The Arden, Lentor Modern, Ang Mo Kio, Thomson Road, The Panorama, Piccadilly Grand, Sceneca Residence, Liv @ MB, Watten Estate, The Watergardens at Canberra, Avenue South Residence, Pine Grove, CHIJ St Nicholas, Ai Tong School, Nanyang Primary School, Raffles Girls’ Primary School, Henry Park Primary School, Mayflower MRT Station, Bright Hill MRT Interchange Station, Lentor MRT Station, Tanah Merah MRT Station

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