As a realtor, I’m always excited to see new private residential projects or condos in Singapore being launched.
I’m constantly excited to see new ideas, unique architectural works, and creative uses of space.
Unfortunately, there was nothing new about Sceneca Residence – except for the price.
It’s just another “meh!” development by MCC Singapore. I am literally putting myself out there by saying this.
Nonetheless, as the first new launch project in 2023, this is a new launch condo worth discussing.
Sceneca Residence had only been formally launched for sale a day before I wrote this review, and this was the consequence.
That’s around 58 percent of the total units sold.
Given that approximately 3,000 people attended the preview over two weekends, that’s pretty disappointing.
In other words, only around 5% of those who saw Sceneca Residence purchased a unit.
But does this mean that the new Tanah Merah residential complex is a terrible investment? Or is there a lack of demand for new private dwellings in this area?
Let’s talk dollar and sense
Prior to Sceneca Residence, Grandeur Park Residences was the latest Tanah Merah condo development to be launched for sale. That happened in March 2017.
If anyone here can remember, the first phase of that condo project sold a lot of units.
484 of its total 720 units (67 percent ) were sold in March 2017.
Similar in terms of percentage to Sceneca Residence. However, the number of units sold exceeded by more than threefold.
And the reason was clear: the price.
It was almost a no-brainer in 2017 to buy a property near an MRT station for roughly $1,300 psf to $1,400 psf.
People purchased in even though prices eventually rose to more than $1,500 psf.
Furthermore, sub-sale and resale units in the vicinity, such as at Urban Vista and The Glades condo, were selling for around the same price per square foot (psf).
As a result, because it was a newer residential project with a lower price point, Grandeur Park Residences was an easy choice for most homeowners and investors.
Although some may consider it costly for such a location, especially given the abundance of other options in Singapore.
So, is $1,900 – $2,000 psf still a reasonable starting point for Scenena Residence?
To be honest, Scenena Residence’s price is what it is since that is how the new launch market is right now.
Who wouldn’t want to get something cheap? I’d like to, but that’s not the case when purchasing from property developers.
It will definitely serve as a model for all future projects.
It is usually simple to purchase a property in Singapore if you are financially secure, even if mortgage rates are on the rise at the moment.
The key question, though, is how can you get out? Can you genuinely exit and yet still make money from the sale of your property at Sceneca Residence?
Profits are not for everyone at Tanah Merah
In the 6 years since Grandeur Park Residences launched, 84 units have changed hands, all of which were profitable.
The greatest profit was made by the largest unit, which was 1,744 square feet and located on the 14th level. The profit was $750,000.
You might think that purchasing a unit at Sceneca Residence is a no-brainer.
Not exactly. This is why.
Not all newly constructed condominiums in Tanah Merah are lucrative.
In fact, several of them really lost money.
I’ve come out a table to offer you with a more detailed perspective based on transactions documented over the last 2 years.
The findings indicate that not all Tanah Merah new launch condos or developments performed effectively.
Many owners really lost money, with others experiencing losses in the 6-figure level.
As a result, don’t believe anyone who promises you assured returns from investing in a brand-new residential project such as Sceneca Residence. It has been proven false.
But here’s another conundrum.
They’re all in the same area, just adjacent to the Tanah Merah MRT station, and their entry prices aren’t exactly outrageous.
So, in comparison to the other developments, how did Grandeur Park Residences escape any “casualties”?
There is no definite answer, and there could be a variety of reasons why some homeowners sold at a loss.
But, personally, I feel it boils down to product distinction, and in this case, the layout design of the units.
Space counts, not just the size
2-bedroom and 3-bedroom units are the most popular and practical apartment types for homebuyers.
Let’s now look at the design contrasts between the 4 condominiums listed above, notably the 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom units.
But I’m going to do things differently this time.
Without revealing the projects’ identities, I have provided 3 distinct floor plans for comparison.
I’ll be comparing Grandeur Park Residences, Urban Vista, and The Glades.
You tell me which ones are appealing to you.
They’re right here.
Urban Vista is Condo A, B is Grandeur Park Residences, and C is The Glades.
If you ask me, Urban Vista has the worst layouts. The layouts are mostly ineffective or non-functional.
It’s not just about the size of the rooms, but also about how they’re put up.
That is beyond my comprehension.
When comparing Grandeur Park Residences to the other two projects, its design emphasis is on making the apartments appear larger.
Hence, I believe this is one of the main reasons that Grandeur Park Residence performed better than the rest in the resale market.
So, how about the Sceneca Residence?
If you look at the floor plans for the Sceneca Residence, I am confident you will agree with me that the best arrangement is the 4-bedroom penthouse unit.
The layout is primarily utilitarian and really useful.
And look at the size of the main bedroom. It is certainly one of the largest master bedrooms I’ve seen in a recent launch.
The high ceilings in the living and dining hall may appear to some to be wasted space (due to government rules requiring you to pay extra for the air space), but I can live with that because it is a penthouse!
Well, that’s if money wasn’t a concern! *sigh*
The rest of the layouts appear to be quite typical. The majority of them are comparable to what you may have seen in other recent projects.
Maybe except for the 3-bedroom Classic type.
I just can’t wrap my head around the open kitchen (for a 3-bedroom unit, hello?). It’s located along the walkway leading from the main door to the living hall.
If you are searching for a 3-bedroom unit, I would recommend the 3-bedroom Grande or Premium if your budget allows it.
Otherwise, a 2-bedder will suffice.
How about pricing? Is it worth it?
Let’s examine how it compares to other recent OCR launches (OCR).
As shown in the table above, units in these OCR launches are selling for an average of $2,100 psf.
As a result, the Sceneca Residence remains an excellent value.
New launch pricing today simply cannot be compared to projects released 5 or 6 years ago.
If property prices in Singapore have remained static for so long, something is obviously wrong with the market.
When that happens, no one will be interested in buying or investing in Singapore real estate.
Last Thoughts on the Sceneca Residence
Sceneca Residence is a fantastic alternative right now if you’re looking for something brand new, close to an MRT station, and with a large range of amenities and conveniences.
If you look at the condo releases set for 2023, you won’t find many that match all of these requirements.
It’s improbable, and even if it does exist, it’ll be far more expensive than this.
The only two reservations I have are that most of its newer neighbouring residential developments have 700 or more units, whereas this one only has 268.
These other developments, in contrast to Sceneca Residences, which is just an apartment, are full-fledged condominiums that are more tempting to homebuyers.
When it is finished, it will be significantly less striking than its neighbours.
So, aside from being brand-new and… costlier (which can be a good thing), what distinguishes the Sceneca Residence from the competition?
The second problem I have would be the noise coming from the MRT track.
According to the site plan, over half of the units at Sceneca Residence will face the MRT track.
As a result, your options for a desirable unit with a higher resale value will most likely be limited in the future.
I hope this will help you make a better decision!