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Condo Review: Hundred Trees



About Hundred Trees
Developed by City Developments Limited or CDL, this 956-year leasehold condominium in the West Coast contains a total of 396 units in six 12-storey blocks and two 11-storey blocks. To be built over the premises of the old Hong Leong Gardens, the condo is scheduled to TOP in 31 Dec 2014.

Lying alongside the busy AYE, the condo has a good unit mix of studios, 2, 2+1, 3, 3+1, 4BR units and Penthouses.

The unique name is derived from the ‘Hundred Trees Boulevard’ within the project. It's simply a path flanked on both sides by local Mempat trees. The trees supposedly resemble the Cherry Blossoms one so often sees in Japan. Indeed going by the full page ads on our local papers featuring those trees in full blossom, CDL is hammering home this special point to all potential buyers. It certainly looks beautiful, kudos to the artist they hired.

Hundred Trees comes with full condo facilities, which include a 50m lap pool, a single tennis court as well as a jogging track. The 435 parking lots are situated on ground level, with the blocks built right over it.


Image: Brochure

First Impressions
Honestly when we looked at the location on the map, we thought it’s not going to be good at all. First, it’s right next to the busy AYE. Second, it’s far off in the West Coast. Third, it’s quite near the Pandan Loop industrial area. But as usual, what’s on paper doesn’t always reflect the reality on the ground.

When we got there, we found a quiet and peaceful neighbourhood filled with landed housing. There was a small park right in front of the condo and the noise of the AYE was nowhere to be heard (at least at the side facing West Coast Drive). We also discovered a market and hawker centre a short walk away.

The 'Festival Park'. It's just a small standard landed estate park. No festivals to be seen at the time of visit. Note the showroom in the background.


Say goodbye to the old Hong Leong Gardens Condo

The industrial area at Pandan Loop consists mainly of food and beverage factories like Gardenia, Delifrance and Singapore Food Industries. So it's safe to rule out polluting stuff like chemicals or smoke or anything of the sort.

It all goes to show that sometimes all it takes is a trip down to make up your mind about a condo, not everything is just price or proximity to MRT. There are always some redeeming features one cannot see on paper.

Location
Like mentioned, a short walk gets you to Ayer Rajah Food Centre and Market. There are even some coffeeshops and small provision shops around that area too.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can take a long leisurely 15 minute walk to Clementi Central and Clementi MRT via an overhead bridge at Block 506.




Image: Google Maps. Note: The map overlay is an estimation.

Though some of you might be put off by the proximity to the AYE, the road noise is mitigated by a 'thick' forest of trees and a not-so-busy slip road between the condo and the expressway (look at the photo below to see what we mean).

Ayer Rajah Expressway or better known as the A.Y.E.

West Coast and Japanese expats
The West Coast is quite popular with Japanese expatriates. While we were walking about the area, we saw a couple of Japanese families going about their day. In fact, there are two Japanese schools within walking distance from the condo – the Japanese Secondary School and the Japanese Kindergarten.

Also, the Waseda Shibuya Senior High School and the Japanese School Primary School are located  about 2km south of Hundred Trees, near West Coast Park.

What's more, we found a couple of Japanese restaurants in the next door Hong Leong Garden Shopping Centre.


And no, this is not a paid endorsement though we think it should :)

So remember the Mempat ‘Cherry Blossom’ trees we mentioned earlier? It’s pretty obvious what those trees are for. Japanese families who miss home need only look out the window and feel their homesickness melt away! Seriously though, this could be attractive to the Japanese expat looking to rent a home for his or her family.

Unit Type and Estimated Sizes (sqft)
PES = Private enclosed space (nice term for ground floor units with larger areas)

22 x 1BR (484)
66 x 2BR (689 - 786)
84 x 2+1BR (915. PES: 1,227)
70 x 3BR (1,044 and 1,163. PES: 1,550)
80 x 3+1BR (1,302 -1,313. PES:1,615 - 1,636)
68 x 4BR (1,475. PES:1,894)
6 x PH (3,401 and 3,714)

Total: 396 units

Choice of Units
The best units we feel are the ones facing the West Coast Drive (most of them are 3BRs and 4BRs). The high floor units overlook the landed areas, face the small park as well as Pandan Reservoir in the distance and should be relatively quieter than those facing the AYE. High floor units in stacks 02, 06, 10 and 22 should be good.


All but two of the blocks have a north-south orientation. Arrows in Green mean the views are good. Image: Brochure. Click to view higher res image.

Interior and Layout
The showroom had two showflats on view - a 2+1BR and 4BR. The living room floors are finished with homogenous tiles for all units (yes, PH units too). The room sizes are the norm for new launches and the bathroom fittings are average.

The 2+1BR kitchen is small, but we’ve seen smaller (at least two people can pass without either sucking their tummy in). All kitchens comes equipped with cooker hob, hood and (with the exception of studio units) oven. There aren't any bomb shelters in the units but the 3BRs and above get a utility room in their kitchen in it's place.

All in all it was quite average really.

More photos below:


4BR Master bedroom


4BR Kitchen


4BR Master bathroom


2+1BR Kitchenette Kitchen


2+1BR Study


Common bathroom


Nearby Ayer Rajah Food Centre and Market

Price
Forget about the studios, 2BRs, 2+1BRs, 3BRs and PH – they’re all sold out. All that’s left for buyers are a few 3+1BRs and 4BRs.

During the early previews, prices were going for an average of $895 psf. For the official ‘public’ launch, the prices were hovering closer to the $1,000 psf mark.

The studios went for around $498k (or around $1,030 psf) and the 2BRs around $850k (or around $1,080 psf). We were told a 9th floor 3BR went for around $955psf.

While there, we asked about a 12th floor 2+1 BR (915 sqft) and it went for $921,680 (or $1,007 psf). The same unit two floors down went for $912,660 (or $997 psf).

A 9th floor 3+1BR (1,302 sqft) was selling at $1,243,940 (or $955psf). A 4BR (1,475 sqft) on the 9th floor was going for $1,389,900 (or $942 psf).

*Note that prices are indicative and always change, especially if the developer thinks the units are in demand. We'd advise that you check with your agent for the current price.

Again, we are seeing this trend of units with the final quantum of under $1million going first. In fact, apart from the PH (which were going around $2.6m), most of the units here were under the $1.3 million mark – the so-called threshold for mass market condos. That’s very astute pricing by the developers.

Looking at some nearby condos, the newly completed 999-year leasehold Carabelle (just 220m away) had caveats lodged in September ‘09 at an average of $833.85 psf. The freehold The Infiniti (also brand new) next to Carabelle had caveats for August-September ‘09 lodged at an average of $688.83 psf.

Floorplans below:

Studio floorplan


2BR floorplan


2+1BR floorplan


3BR floorplan


3+1BR floorplan


4BR floorplan


PH floorplan


Final Word
At first we didn’t think much of this West Coast condo, especially when it's right next to the noisy AYE and so close to an industrial area, but upon closer inspection, we were pleasantly surprised. We found a relatively quiet condo located in an established estate, surrounded by a community of landed homes and close to basic amenities like markets and eateries. Let's also not forget that Hundred Trees is developed by City Developments Limited - a developer perceived by many to be reputable and reliable.

Compared to the prices of nearby condos, it’s slightly more expensive, but that is acceptable for a new condo. The final quantum (or selling price) is quite attractive too, with most units going for under $1.3 million. The location is pretty decent as well, especially to those with an eye on the Japanese expat rental market.

So it’s not surprising then that Hundred Trees has sold very well, compared to the others like The Interlace and Elliot at the East Coast which launched around the same period. And with only a few choice units left, you might want to quickly pop by and take a look before they are all gone.

As always, your thoughts here.


Posted on 12-10-2009 17:32 | By John

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