In the past ten years, Canberra has seen a lot of change. This estate, located between Sembawang in northern Singapore and Yishun in the north, has seen a steady development with more private and public housing projects popping up in recent years.
Further growth has been sparked by the opening of Canberra MRT Station, on the North-South Line, in November 2019. In 2020, Canberra Plaza was opened as a neighbourhood mall. It offers more amenities and restaurants to the expanding community.
These developments are part of an overall government push to establish the Sembawang region. The NorthSouth Corridor is an expressway that will reduce commute time to the city; the Bukit Canberra integrated sports and community hub; and Woodlands Health Campus, which will provide integrated healthcare facilities.
Sembawang Shipyard is also being considered for redevelopment. According to the URA Master Plan, the site could be converted into a mixed-use waterfront lifestyle area once the shipyard operations are over.
All these plans are in place, and Canberra looks set to become a vibrant residential area.
A few residential projects have been launched in Canberra in the last two years, including Parc Canberra in February 2020, a 496-unit executive condo (EC) by Hoi Hup Realty, Sunway Developments, and The Watergardens in Canberra in August 2018. This 99-year-leasehold condo was launched by UOL, Singapore Land, and Kheng Leong Co.
These launches have seen a healthy take-up rate, which indicates a strong demand that has been maintained even during the pandemic. Parc Canberra, for example, saw 64% of its 496 units sold during its launch weekend. The project is almost sold out today, and there is only one unit for sale.
During its launch weekend in August, 60% of the 448 units sold by The Watergardens Canberra.
MCC Land’s Provence residence, a 99 year leasehold EC on Canberra Crescent, has received a similar positive response since its May launch. “In five months, approximately 80% of the units in Provence Residence were sold. “We are very encouraged by this stellar sales momentum,” a spokesperson from MCC Land.
It is interesting to note that while 40% of buyers are already from the northern region, 60% of them come from other parts. This indicates the increasing interest in the area.
Entry point affordable
MCC Land attributes Provence Residence’s strong take-up to its location close to the MRT station as well as the high demand for ECs from the northern region.
Another reason for its popularity is the development’s low pricing compared with condos or other ECs on the market. Prices for three-bedroom units starting at $890,000. Four-bedroom units starting at $1.58million. The developer claims that 51% are first-timers and 49% are second-timers.
George Wang, ERA Realty Network’s district director, noted that Provence Residence currently has outstanding units starting at $1 million for three-bedders, and $1.65 million if you are looking for four-bedders. During an ERA-EdgeProp webinar, he stated that these prices are good entry points to HDB upgraders who want to kickstart their private land journey.
Doris Ong is the COO of ERA’s project marketing. There is still a 15 to 25% price difference between new EC projects such as Provence Residence and 99 year leasehold condos within the same area. She says this gives first-time buyers more options for different lifestyles and budgets.
Modern French design
MCC Land claims that buyers were also attracted by Provence Residence’s unique French theme. Five 13-storey blocks and four 112-storey blocks make up the project. It incorporates French architectural and design elements such as French-style courtyards, muted colours like black, white, and gray, as well as classically French motifs, such as Breton stripes.
The units at Provence Residence consist of three- or four-bedroom apartments measuring 883 to 1 399 square feet.
The facilities at Provence Residence can be divided into two zones: Countryside Gardens and the Royal French Court. The Royal French Court has facilities like a 50m lap swimming pool, a gym and a topiary walk. It also includes a function room. The Countryside Gardens will feature landscaping and plants as well as semi-private gardens. These spaces offer quiet outdoor spaces for residents to host small gatherings. Residents can also enjoy a sky lounge and roof terrace.
Nearby nature attractions like the Mandai Mangrove, Mudflat Nature Park and Kranji Marshes, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Kranji Marshes will be available to residents. Ong from ERA says that the northern region is attractive for cyclists because of its low density nature.
Provence Residence will be granted its temporary occupation permit by 2025.
Track record of success in the north
MCC Land is the property-development arm of China Metallurgical Group Corp, a state-owned Chinese enterprise. It also has a construction arm, which has constructed HDB projects such as the 1,528-unit Sunshine Gardens of Choa Chu Kang and the 856-unit Punggol Emerald in Sengkang.
MCC Land’s first EC project was launched in the north in 2010 after the group made its foray into property-development. It is the 406-unit Canopy located at Yishun Avenue 11. In 2014, the 99-year leasehold EC was finished. In 2014, the 99-year leasehold EC was completed.
The developer also project managed two ECs, Northwave and Forestville, as well as The Nautical condo in the Yishun Sembawang area for Hao Yuan Group.
MCC Land has gained a competitive edge in the region thanks to their extensive experience. “Our solid development track record in northern regions has helped us to understand its demography, urban geography, and home buyer expectations. The spokesperson for the company says this has given them a competitive edge, especially when marketing projects.