District 15 East Coast Property Review - Amber Park
Updated: Feb 5
Amber Park has been an iconic landmark in District 15 since the 1980s.
In 2017, Amber Park was sold en bloc to two companies within the privately-held Hong Leong Group for S$906.7 million.
Fast forward to 2019, Amber Park was launched and saw encouraging sales where 115 of the 150 units that were launched were sold.
So how is Amber Park as a property investment? We will review this condo in this article.
Before we do that, let's take a look at how the property market is doing.
Private Property Market Performance & Outlook
Property markets globally saw an uptrend during this pandemic. Property prices have been rising and in some cities, prices have even exceeded pre-crisis levels.
This could be largely due to the fiscal stimulus that has been flowing into the real estate market resulting in ample liquidity.
The property market in Singapore is very vibrant too.
According to the quarterly statistics released by URA, prices of private homes rose third consecutive quarter by 2.1% (q-o-q) in Q4 2020. This is the steepest quarterly increase since 2018.
For the whole of 2020, prices rose by 2.2%, as compared to the 2.7% increase in 2019.
How do properties in the different region fare?
Prices increase the most in Rest-of-Central-Region (RCR) and Core Central Region (CCR) in Q4 2020.
Prices in CCR increased by 3.2% in Q4 2020, compared with the 3.8% decrease in Q3 2020.
Prices in RCR increased by 4.4%, compared with the 2.5% increase in Q3 2020.
Prices in Outside Central Region (OCR) increased by 1.8%, compared with the 1.7% increase in Q3 2020.
For the whole of 2020, prices in CCR decreased by 0.4%, RCR increased by 4.7% and OCR increased by 3.2%.
(Reference: Release of 4th Quarter 2020 real estate statistics)
This did not come as a surprise as many developers revised their selling price during Q4 due to the strong demand.
Ample liquidity as a result of massive quantitative easing is boosting asset values and property prices higher in many developed countries, including Singapore.
As quoted by Christine Sun, Head of Research & Consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie.
What is the outlook for 2021?
We may see 2021 swings back in favor of sellers as the supply of housing stock is depleting.
Land sales declined drastically as en bloc came to a stop since the implementation of the cooling measures in 2018.
Government land sales (GLS) have also been conservative. For the first half of 2021, an estimate of 1,600 units may be launched from the confirmed list, as compared to an average of 2,700 units released in each of the half years in 2018.
Demand for property is expected to be resilient this year amid further improvements in the macroeconomic outlook.
According to the research and analytics team for OrangeTee & Tie, overall home prices are expected to increase by 2 to 5% in 2021.
Between 19,200 and 21,200 private homes could be transacted, slightly higher than the number in 2020.
If you are interested in having a copy of OrangeTee & Tie's Private Residential Market Report for Q4 2020, please click here.
With this strong performance in Q42020 and a positive outlook for 2021, let us now go into a deep analysis on Amber Park - a freehold condominium in prime District 15.
Amber Park Review
Amber Park Project Information
Location : 16, 18 and 18A Amber Gardens
Site Area : 213,676sqf
Developer : Aquarius Properties Pte Ltd (A joint venture between Citizens
Development Pte Ltd and Hong Realty (Private) Limited)
Tenure : Freehold
Expected TOP : 3rd Quarter 2024
Blocks Height : 21 storey residential units and communal sky garden (The
Total units : 592 residential units
Total carpark lots : 597 basement carpark lots (including 5 handicapped lots)
From the chart above, we can breakdown the unit mix in percentage as below:
1 bedroom: 114 units = 19.3%
2 bedroom: 202 units = 34.1%
4 bedroom: 131 units = 22.1%
5 bedroom: 40 units = 6.8%
Penthouse: 4 units = 0.7%
About one-third of units are 2-bedroom units.
There are also a good percentage of 4 and 5-bedroom units. These will appeal to families who like the East Coast area.
Amber Road location is part of the East Coast areas which is classified under District 15. This location consists primarily of private condominiums.
Most of the condos in Amber are freehold with the exception of The Shore Residences, which has a tenure of 103 years commencing from 2009.
There are few larger sites at the Amber Road location that is available for redevelopment. Most of them have been en bloc and redeveloped.
Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) is estimated to be completed in 2023.
There are 6 stations running through District 15, namely Tanjong Rhu, Katong Park, Tanjong Katong, Marine Parade, Marine Terrace and Siglap stations.
Amber Park is estimated to receive TOP in Q32024, when TEL is already in operation.
Amber Park is located just 200m from the Tanjong Katong MRT station!
It takes only 6 MRT stops to reach Marina Bay station, and 9 stops to Changi Airport.
For those who are driving, Amber Park is just a 1-minute drive to ECP and 3 minutes drive to MCE. It takes only 15 mins to reach the Central Business District (CBD) and 15mins to reach Changi Airport.
Transport is easily accessible for residents of Amber Park.
You will be spoilt for choices when you are located in the Amber area.
One of the most popular shopping malls in the East, Parkway Parade is just 5 minutes walk away. You can find different retail stores, supermarkets like NTUC hyper store and Cold Storage here.
Kallang Wave Mall is also within 5mins drive.
Speaking about F&B choices, how can we not mention that Amber Park is located in the Katong area which is a food paradise?
How about parents looking to enroll their children in a primary school?
Tanjong Katong Primary School is within 1km of Amber Park.
Ample of choices for parents with school-going kids!
For details on how the distance of residential address affects Primary 1 registration, pls visit https://beta.moe.gov.sg/primary/p1-registration/distance.
Canadian International School is also within 5 minutes drive!
Facilities at Amber Park can be found on the ground floor (Lagoon Bay) and the top floor (The Stratosphere).
The facilities at the Lagoon Bay on level 1 consist of the main swimming pool, kids pool, private dining, fitness court, bbq pit etc.
One unique feature of Amber Park is The Stratosphere on level 22. This is a rooftop recreational deck that connects the three towers together and boost a 600m jogging track.
Exclusive residential services like moving-in assistance, delivery acceptance, loan of bicycles and wheelchair, restaurant reservations, hotel reservations etc are also available to residents.
There is no tennis court in Amber Park. This might not appeal to residents or tenants who play tennis regularly.
Let us now look at the layout of the different unit types.
There are 3 layouts for the 1 bedroom units.
A1 (1-bedroom + study) : 463sqf, stack 28
A2 (1-bedroom + ensuite study) : 463sqf, stack 05, 15
A3 (1-bedroom + ensuite study) : 484sqf, stack 03, 13, 23
Personally in terms of layout, I like the A3 type most.
The ensuite study is tucked neatly opposite the wardrobe area and diagonally across the bed.
There is also a clear corner for the dining area.
There are 5 layouts for the 2 bedroom units.
B1 (2-bedroom) : 700sqf, stack 09, 19, 24, 29
B2 (2-bedroom + study) : 678sqf, stack 08, 18
B3 (2-bedroom + study) : 753sqf, stack 25
B4A (2-bedroom + study) : 743sqf, stack 30
B4B (2-bedroom + study) : 743sqf, stack 10 and 20
Most of the 2-bedroom units belong to the B1 type, which comes with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms,
My personal preference is the B4 type.
The difference between the B4 and B1 type is that B4 type has a study area and 2 bathrooms. With the new norm of working from home, the importance of having a separate study area becomes more important.
For investors, B2 type might be most suitable. This comes with a study area but there is only 1 bathroom. At a smaller size of 678sqf, you will be paying a lower quantum which will greatly improve your rental yield.
There are 3 layouts for the 3-bedroom units.
C1 (3-bedroom) : 947sqf, stack 04, 14
C2A (3-bedroom) : 1109sqf, stack 21
C2B (3-bedroom) : 1109sqf, stack 01 and 11
For the 3-bedroom units, the C1 type is my preference.
This is a very efficient layout at 947sqf. There is no utility room, and the balcony is smaller.
At a smaller floor area than the other 3-bedroom types, the total quantum for this layout will be lower. Most suitable for investors looking to rent out the unit!
There are 4 layouts for the 4-bedroom units.
D1 (4-bedroom) : 1572sqf, stack 07, 17
D2 (4-bedroom premium) : 1582sqf, stack 02, 12, 22
D3 (4-bedroom premium) : 1798sqf, stack 27
D4 (4-bedroom + study) : 1302sqf, stack 06, 16, 26
Most of the 4-bedroom units in Amber Park belong to the D4 layout (as above). It comes with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a study.
At a smaller area of 1,302sqf as compared to the other 4-bedroom types, the total quantum is the most affordable and will appeal to upgraders and big families.
The 4 bedroom D2 and D3 types are premium units. They come with a private lift, 3 bathrooms, 2 ensuites and a wet/dry kitchen.
There are 3 layouts for the 5-bedroom units.
E1 PES (5-bedroom premium) : 2045sqf, stack 02, 12, 22
E2 (5-bedroom premium) : 2142sqf, stack 02, 12, 22
E3 (5-bedroom + study) : 2336sqf, stack 27
The majority of the 5-bedroom units belong to the E2 type (as above).
This layout is a premium unit. It comes with a private lift, 3 bathrooms, 2 ensuites and a wet/dry kitchen.
The 5-bedroom units (except ground floor units) come with a 6m double volume ceiling in the living and dining area. This works out to be 237sqf of strata void area.
While some appreciate how a high ceiling makes a place looks more spacious, others might find it wasteful to be paying for void area.
Average Prices at Amber Road
Condos at Amber Road can be classified into 2 types:
Big condo development with more than 300 units
(1) Amber Park (TOP estimated 2023, 592 units)
(2) One Amber (TOP 2010, 562 units)
(3) The Esta (TOP 2008, 400 units)
(4) The Sea View (TOP 2008, 546 units)
Boutique condos/apartments with less than 200 units
(1) Nyon Condo (TOP estimated 2022, 92 units)
(2) Coastline Residences (TOP estimated 2022, 144 units)
(3) Amber 45 (TOP 2020, 139 units)
(4) Amber Skye (TOP 2017, 109 units)
(5) The Cape (TOP 2014, 76 units)
(6) 16 @ Amber (TOP 2014, 40 units)
(7) The Aristo @ Amber (TOP 2013, 56 units)
(8) Amber Residences (TOP 2011, 114 units)
(9) Suites @ Amber (TOP 2010, 28 units)
(10) 38 Amber (TOP 2009, 29 units)
(11) Vertis (TOP 2009, 42 units)
(12) 11 Amber (TOP 2004, 40 units)
(13) Seaview Point (TOP 1994, 34 units)
(14) Amber Point (TOP 1991, 100 units)
(15) Amber Glades (TOP 1990, 63 units) - This project has been enbloc
(16) King's Mansion (TOP 1982, 196 units)
(17) Parkway Apartment (TOP 1980, 32 units)
Prices of resale condos in Amber
To compare prices of resale condos in the Amber location, I classify the condos according to whether they are big condo development or boutique condos/apartments.
The average price is for transactions that took place for the past 6 months (July 2020 to Dec 2020).
The above chart shows the average transacted price for the 3 bigger resale condos in Amber Road.
One Amber has an average price of $1,632psf.
The Esta transacted at an average price of $1,721psf.
The Sea View has an average transacted price of $1,827psf.
I made another price comparison among the boutique condos/apartments. The above chart shows the average prices transacted from July to Dec 2020.
Amber Residences is transacting at an average price of $1,521psf.
Amber Skye has an average price of $1,671psf.
The Aristo @ Amber is averaging $1,778psf.
Amber 45, being the newest boutique condo, has an average price of $2,245psf.
Prices of new launches in Amber
Next, I did a price comparison among the new launches. They are Nyon, Coastline Residences and Amber Park.
Nyon is averaging at $2,182psf.
Amber Park has an average price of $2,448psf.
Coastline Residences is transacting at an average price of $2,469psf.
Based on the above research, the units in Amber Park are competitively priced.
So, what's the selling point for Amber Park?
(1) Freehold Tenure
The importance of a freehold property seems to be neglected in times where we are surrounded by so many new launches that are 99-year leasehold.
However, it is the scarcity of such freehold property that preserves the value and makes it a prized possession and legacy to pass on to the next generation.
While most properties in the Amber Road area are freehold, most of them are boutique condos/apartments with smaller land sizes and fewer facilities.
Developers might also embark on the trend of selling new launches on a freehold land but on leasehold tenure.
A good example is The Shore Residences @ Amber Road. Far East Property sold the units in this condo with a 103-year tenure although it is sitting on freehold land.
Property with a freehold tenure will only get more scarce in the future.
(2) Largest new launch land parcel in prime District 15
For buyers who prefer larger development in prime District 15 (Meyer and Amber vicinity), there really aren't many choices now.
In the Amber Road vicinity, the next biggest sites that could be en bloc and redeveloped will be King's Mansion and Amber Point.
Amber Point was built in 1991. It has a land size of 87,920sqf with 100 units.
In the Meyer Road vicinity, the possible sites that could be en bloc and redeveloped might be Hawaii Tower, Meyer Park and The Sovereign.
Hawaii Tower has a land size of 192,342sqf, with 135 units in the development.
The Sovereign has a land size of 143,915sqf and 87 units in the development.
Amber Park, sitting on a land size of 213,676sqf, is probably one of the last largest sites to be redeveloped.
(3) 200m to Tanjong Katong MRT station
District 15 has always been one of the most popular districts with homebuyers.
And there have been no MRT serving the residents all this while.
Come 2024, the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) will be ready, with 6 stations running across District 15.
Amber Park is located just 200m away from the Tanjong Katong MRT station.
Just imagine the transport accessibility and how it will appeal to homeowners and tenants?
And let's stop and consider this question:
How many condominiums in Singapore that is within 5 minutes walk to the MRT station is freehold?
(4) Potential upside in price
The above is a calculation by Edgeprop on the estimated breakeven price for Amber Park, which works out to be $2,122psf ppr.
The average price selling price of units in Amber Park is $2,425psf. This equates to around a 14% profit margin for the developer at this point in time.
It is interesting to note that the average profit margin for developers was 35.7% in 2009, and 22 to 25% between 2010 and 2012. (Note: I am not able to get the recent year's number so please compare at your own discretion.)
So is there an upside for Amber Park? Will the developer raise prices soon?
Let's look at a pricing strategy commonly adopted by developers.
The above chart shows a popular pricing strategy for many developers.
The profit margin will be kept at the minimum during the launch. Prices will increase in phases as it attains TOP.
Buyers generally will have greater upside potential if they buy a unit now as compares to someone who buys near TOP.
Amber Park is an iconic development in prime District 15.
Being one of the largest developments here with freehold tenure, Amber Park is able to preserve its value and provide a legacy for many generations.
This is especially important when there are so much uncertainties in the global market.
If you would like to have a deeper understanding of the research I have done for this development, and how it helps in your Property Wealth Planning, do make an appointment with me.
See you soon!
About The Author
Vivian is an experienced real estate agent who has been in the industry since 2002. Over the years, she has transacted numerous property deals including HDB and private properties. She is well-versed in policies and regulations involving the sale and purchase of residential properties. She has also handled many transactions involving complicated situations like contra, divorce, administration/probate cases, and decoupling / part-share purchase. Vivian is also a mother to 2 boys. Being a real estate mom allows her to spend more time with her children as they were growing up. Both boys are avid footballers representing their schools and clubs. She loves watching their games and hardly misses a game whenever they play. Vivian is an active real estate salesperson and team leader. Call her at 98577714 for your real estate matters, or if you are looking to join the real estate industry.