*This article was written in March 2023 and does not reflect data and market conditions beyond.
One Canberra is a 99-year executive condominium development situated in the heart of Sembawang, a charming suburb of northern Singapore. Built by reputable developer MCC Land, this luxurious residence offers a serene and idyllic retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.
With its stunning modern architecture and meticulous attention to detail, One Canberra is a true masterpiece of contemporary living. Boasting a range of exceptional facilities and amenities, residents can indulge in a luxurious lifestyle with everything they need right at their doorstep. Whether you are a young professional, a growing family, or a retiree seeking a tranquil haven, One Canberra offers an unparalleled living experience. Furthermore, the availability of larger dual-key units gives owners plenty of flexibility in terms of rental, investment, and exit strategy.
Since it obtained TOP in 2015, One Canberra will soon become fully privatised when it reaches its 10-year mark in 2025. This means that foreigners and entities will become eligible to purchase units from this development, which will have implications on the price and transaction volume.
Situated at Canberra Drive, One Canberra boasts a location that is highly accessible from all parts of the island. It is well-connected to major expressways such as the Central Expressway (CTE), the Seletar Expressway (SLE), and the upcoming North-South Corridor (NSC). This makes it easy for residents to commute to the central business district or other parts of the city in just a matter of minutes.
One of the key highlights of this location is its proximity to the Canberra MRT station. The development is a 10-minute walk away from the station, which is part of the North-South Line (NSL). This offers residents unparalleled convenience and easy access to all parts of the island, including a direct line to the city.
Apart from its accessibility, One Canberra is also surrounded by a plethora of amenities and facilities that cater to the needs of modern-day residents. The nearby Canberra Plaza offers a wide range of retail and dining options, while Sembawang Shopping Centre and Northpoint City are just a short drive away. Residents can also enjoy outdoor activities at the nearby Sembawang Park, the scenic Lower Seletar Reservoir, or the Sembawang Hot Spring.
For families with young children, One Canberra is situated close to several primary schools. These include Sembawang Primary School, Canberra Primary School, and Yishun Secondary School. Parents can rest assured that their children will receive a quality education without having to travel far.
Site Plan Analysis
Taking a massive plot of almost 300,000 sqft, One Canberra has the luxury of space, with the developers opting to make all 13 residential towers point blocks – only four stacks per block, which means four units per floor. This gives residents more privacy as there are fewer neighbours per floor. The development takes on the shape of (almost) a right-angle triangle, bordered by Sungei Simpang Kiri.
An interesting thing the developers have done is to place the residential towers along the bank of the river, with the pool facilities taking a semicircle in the middle of the development to maximise the number of units with a pool view.
In terms of facilities, the development boasts a range of pool facilities which includes a jacuzzi, hydro spa, 50m pool, as well as an outdoor aqua gym. There are also more pool facilities like the reflection pool and riverfront deck located towards the back of the development, lined along the river for that riverside view and atmosphere.
As an executive condominium, One Canberra had to serve a 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP), meaning that owners were not able to sell on the open market until Q3 2020. Since fulfilling the MOP, One Canberra has recorded a strong 23% growth over just two years. Transaction volume, especially the first two quarters post-MOP, has also been relatively high. This is likely from owners selling to cash out their capital appreciation or moving on to their next property.
In 2022, transaction volume dropped drastically, likely a market reaction to the cooling measures introduced in December 2021. The cooling measures in 2021 saw the raising of Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates across the board and the tightening of the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) threshold from 60% to 55%. Because the transaction volume dropped so dramatically (39 transactions in 2022 compared to 98 in 2021), the average psf of the project spiked as a result.
Looking at the comparable developments in the vicinity, we have Eight Courtyards which is right next to One Canberra, the upcoming The Watergardens at Canberra new launch that is expected to TOP in 2026, as well as the older Yishun Emerald which obtained its TOP in 2002.
Firstly, Eight Courtyards is a similar-sized 99-year leasehold condominium that is located right next to One Canberra. It was completed in 2014, just a year earlier. It is currently transacting at around $1,170 psf compared to One Canberra’s $1,094 psf. While the average price is roughly the same, it is noteworthy that One Canberra actually saw greater psf growth than Eight Courtyards in the same period between Q3 2020 and Q4 2022.
Next, the upcoming The Watergardens at Canberra was launched in 2021 at an average psf of $1,382 to $1,438, and achieved 60% sales on launch weekend. This shows strong buyer interest and confidence in the project’s attributes such as its proximity to Canberra MRT station and upcoming developments in northern Singapore.
Coming to Yishun Emerald, the development is transacting at a lower psf just under the $1,000 psf mark, which is still relatively close to One Canberra’s current average psf despite the lease decay. Over the same period, Yishun Emerald has actually recorded a staggering 32% growth, outperforming the comparables in the vicinity. This might be because it has the closest proximity to Canberra MRT station.
Given that Yishun Emerald that is over 20 years old is transacting at a similar average psf as One Canberra, prospective buyers who are looking to buy a unit here are likely looking at a safe benchmark to enter for future appreciation.
The MOAT analysis is a comprehensive tool that we use to evaluate the attractiveness of a property in Singapore to potential homebuyers. We employ ten specific criteria that cover various aspects of the property, from its location to its amenities, to provide you with a thorough and impartial assessment. This analysis is intended to equip you with the information you need to make informed decisions when it comes to investing in property. If you’re interested in learning more about the methodology behind the MOAT analysis, we recommend checking out our article for a detailed explanation.
Looking at the MOAT scores of the developments highlighted in the previous section, most of them have a final score of above 70%. Typically, a high MOAT score of above 70% translates to the development having high growth potential.
One Canberra has a high MOAT score of 70%. It did particularly well in its Quantum Effect and Exit Audience, getting perfect scores on both.
A project with a high Quantum Effect score indicates that its price quantum is well within the financial means of an average household in Singapore, making it a reasonably affordable option. On the other hand, a high Exit Audience score suggests that there is a substantial number of potential HDB upgraders in the vicinity of the development, indicating a healthy demand for such properties. These two factors together could be seen as positive indicators for the project’s potential success and attractiveness to potential buyers looking to upgrade their housing situation.
Some points to note, however, for prospective buyers and investors are the relatively low score on Rental Demand. This could be because of the presence of other options available around the area with a shorter walking distance to Canberra MRT station, which is a crucial factor to consider for tenants. However, other attributes and unique qualities that One Canberra possesses, such as the availability of 3-Bedroom to 5-Bedroom dual-key units, are likely to offset the negatives.
Other areas that it did well in (4 out of 5) include the Volume Effect, Bala’s Curve Effect, and Disparity Effect (Region). A high score in Volume Effect indicates that there are a lot of transactions within the development, which translates to market confidence for both buyers and sellers. As One Canberra is just approaching its 10-year mark, it has a healthy lease balance of 91 years, which explains the high Bala’s Curve Effect score. And lastly, a high score in Region Disparity Effect signifies that the development is one of the most affordable within the region.
One Canberra offers 3-Bedroom to 5-Bedroom types spread across 13 residential towers. 1-Bedders and 2-Bedders are evidently missing from the unit offerings here, indicating that the target audience is mainly the family demographic. However, the availability of dual-key units suggests that the developers are still catering to property investors who might want some flexibility in terms of own stay and rental play.
A vast majority of the units here are the standard 3-Bedders, making up over 70% of the unit mix. Because of that, it can be found in every tower. The 4-Bedroom types, including the 4-Bedroom dual-key units, can be found exclusively in tower 17 and 19. The 5-Bedroom units, which are only available as 5-Bedroom dual-key penthouses, can only be found on the top floor of towers 15, 17, and 19.
The standard 3-Bedroom has 9 different types of layout, each with variations of their own (mainly from mirrored units and different balcony shapes to match building facade). The featured C3 layout, although the smallest amongst the selection, is the only one that does not open up to a full view of the living and dining space. It opens to a wall, with the living and dining on the left and the kitchen on the right. This offers privacy as guests and delivery personnel cannot look directly into the living area.
One of the common bedrooms is smaller than the other, which might not be an issue for families with younger children. The smaller room can also be used as a nursery for young couples starting a family. The household shelter, being next to the kitchen, essentially renders an open concept kitchen impossible. However, it is tucked behind the kitchen, allowing easy access to the storage of kitchen supplies. The rest of the unit is nicely segregated, in a configuration that is suitable for young couples and small families.
One Canberra also offers 3-Bedroom dual-key units. For these units, the studio suite is segregated on one side of the unit, with a dual entrance set up at the foyer. The studio suite is a simple setup – it comes with a bedroom space, a kitchenette and bath, and it even has its own balcony!
The rest of the unit is a typical 2-Bedroom configuration, with an additional yard area at the back of the kitchen together with the household shelter. With this configuration, owners have the flexibility to adopt a hybrid rental strategy – stay in either the studio or the 2-Bedder and rent out the other, or rent out both to maximise rental yield.
The 4-Bedroom units have two types of layout – the D1 and D2 layout. The featured D2 layout opens up into the dining and living space, with the dry and wet kitchen on the left. The dry kitchen is also the additional feature that is missing from the D1 layout.
The unique part about the units here at One Canberra is the irregularly-shaped balcony. The balcony for the 4-Bedder units spans the length of the living room as well as both the common bedrooms. With this size, owners can get creative about the usage of the balcony – be it an alfresco dining space or a planter for those with green fingers.
Like the 3-Bedders, dual-key variations are also available for the 4-Bedroom type. With the studio suite segregated on one side and a dual entrance setup, the rest of the unit is a 3-Bedder that consists of a common bedroom, a junior master with ensuite bathroom, and a master bedroom.
The 4-Bedroom dual-key units also come with a dry and wet kitchen, with the household shelter and yard/WC on opposite ends of the kitchen. Likewise, the appeal of a dual-key unit is that it offers the flexibility of rental play to offset mortgage and maximise rental yield.
Penthouses (4-Bedroom, 5-Bedroom)
The penthouse units here are rather interesting. While they are all 4-Bedroom and 5-Bedroom penthouses, they come in variations that will greatly impact their price quantum. That is because they come in dual-key, single-level, and duplex variations!
The ‘standard’ 4-Bedroom single-level penthouse stands at a whopping 2,293 sqft. It includes a massive open roof terrace and an outdoor dining area, on top of an open courtyard next to the living room and an open private courtyard in the master bedroom. It also boasts a dumbbell layout with the master bedroom segregated on one end of the unit and the rest of the bedrooms on the other end.
The 4-Bedroom penthouse also comes in dual-key duplex variations. With the studio suite placed on the lower level, the rest of the unit is actually a duplex penthouse with the junior master on the lower level and the master bedroom and common bedroom on the upper level.
On the upper level, there is also a massive open roof terrace that owners can have the flexibility to design. Be it a BBQ pavilion or an outdoor jacuzzi, the possibilities are endless. Of course, certain modifications will still be subjected to approval by the MCST.
Lastly, there are only three 5-Bedroom units in the development, and they only come in the dual-key duplex penthouse variation. In a similar fashion, the studio suite is on the lower level segregated by the dual entrance, and the rest of the unit is a 4-Bedroom duplex penthouse.
The 4-Bedder part of the unit is made up of two junior masters on the lower level and a common bedroom and master bedroom on the upper level. The upper level also opens up to a large open roof terrace. Additionally, the master bedroom has an open courtyard within the room on top of the walk-in wardrobe and bathtub in the master bathroom.
Future Growth Potential
The North Coast Innovation Corridor will serve as a hub for research and development, advanced manufacturing, and urban solutions. It will feature state-of-the-art facilities, including a new university campus, research labs, and incubation centres. The corridor will also be home to a number of green spaces and recreational areas, providing a conducive environment for both work and play.
It is expected to generate significant economic activity and create new job opportunities, driving Singapore’s growth in key sectors such as advanced manufacturing, urban solutions, and digital technology. As such, there may be an increase in demand for housing in the surrounding areas. This can lead to an increase in property values, as more people are attracted to the area for work or study.
With the focus on green spaces and recreational areas within the North Coast Innovation Corridor, there may be an increase in property values for those properties that are located near parks, green belts, or waterfronts. Such areas are often in high demand among homebuyers, especially those with families or who are looking for a higher quality of life.
As One Canberra ticks off most of these boxes, there is potential for its prices to appreciate further. Additionally, as it reaches the 10-year mark and becomes fully privatised, foreigners and entities will be eligible to purchase. This means that there will be a bigger and more diverse group of potential homebuyers and investors to tap into for an exit strategy.
One Canberra is a 99-year executive condominium located in District 27, just a 10-minute walk away from Canberra MRT. As it approaches its 10-year mark, it will become fully privatised in 2025 and foreign buyers and investors will be eligible to purchase. This will likely cause some price movements and change in buyer profiles. Upcoming developments in the northern part of Singapore, such as the Woodlands Regional Centre and North Coast Innovation Corridor, will also inject life into the region.
The availability of larger dual-key units is also a very huge advantage and USP for One Canberra. Overall, as a relatively new project, One Canberra’s unique attributes put it in a good position to capitalise on the future developments in the surrounding areas.
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