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Fernvale Riverbow vs Anchorvale Isles

Plenty of our readers have been asking - "Which Sengkang BTO should I get? Fernvale Riverbow or Anchorvale Isles?". That's a tough one and it is something we've been pondering over for some time. Which is better? Let's take a closer look.

If you haven't read the reviews of those two BTOs, take a look at them here:

Unit selection has begun and HDB has released the prices for both BTOs. Already it is clear that they think the Anchorvale Isles, BTO closer to Sengkang MRT, is worth more and priced it such.

An 8th floor 4-room (92sqm) unit in Anchorvale Isles is going for around $321-$326k. The same floor 4-room unit (93 sqm) in Fernvale Riverbow is going for $282k-$294k. So by this yardstick Anchorvale Isles is going for around 11-14% more.

Because of its larger size, Fernvale Riverbow is to be finished by 4th Quarter 2014, a good 6 months after Anchorvale Isle (2nd Q 2014).

Location of both the BTOs

Let's compare the pros and cons.

Anchorvale Isles pros:

  • Walking distance to MRT (about 700m or 8 mins walk)
  • And the town centre and Compass Point
  • Finishes earlier than Fernvale Riverbow

Anchorvale Isle cons:

  • Mostly surrounded by high-rise residential apartments
  • Few units get long unblocked views
  • Upcoming Sengkang General Hospital to the North and East (even if you are not superstitious, you may have difficulty selling a unit that faces the hospital directly as Singaporeans are quite a superstitious bunch).
  • More costly than Fernvale Riverbow

Fernvale Riverbow pros:

  • Openly spaced, most units get good privacy
  • Views of the river/reservoir
  • A lot of greenery and parks
  • Underground parking
  • Cheaper than Anchorvale Isles
  • Special 5-room units that have windows on two sides (and still cheaper than the most expensive 5-rm unit in Anchorvale Isles)
  • High-floors: 21-22 storeys high

Fernvale Riverbow cons:

  • No MRT nearby, only LRT (200-300m walk)
  • Far away from the town centre
  • You might have to invest in a car to get around

Let's take a look at the potential resale flat prices shall we?

Fernvale Riverbow
Fernvale Riverbow's closest HDB seems to be Coral Vale to the west. Checking HDB's website, a 95 sqm 4rm Premium Apartment in Blk 413B between 11 to 15 storeys was sold in May 2011 for $450k (or $4,736 psm). In Fernvale Riverbow a 13th floor, 93sqm, 4rm unit goes from $289 to $301k.

Another identical unit in Blk 412A between 16 to 20 storeys was sold in June 2011 for $458k ($4,821 psm). A 18th floor 4rm unit in Fernvale Riverbow goes from $298k to $309k.

Do note that Coral Vale's flats are Premium Apartments with full-length windows and 2 sqm larger hence the higher price. Sadly, there aren't any standard flats close enough to this BTO to do a like-for-like comparison.

That said, Fernvale Riverbow is right next to the river and the views are quite fantastic, you could spend a bit more on renovation and the units could be priced comparably to the Premium Apartments.

Barring any downturn in resale flat prices, you should be looking at a sizable profit of perhaps $80-100k when time comes to sell it in 2020, especially those with the river view. But that is a long time away and do note anything can happen during those nine years so please just take our guess with a huge pinch of salt.

Anchorvale Isles
Let's compare units in Anchorvale Grove, directly south of Anchorvale Isles. In May 2011, a 90sqm 4rm Model A unit in Blk 324B between 6 and 10 storeys went for $457k (or $5,077 psm). A 92sqm 4rm unit in Anchorvale Isles on the 8th floor goes for around $321-$326k.

In June 2011, the same unit in Blk 325B between 1 and 5 storeys sold for $405k (or $4,500 psm). A 5th floor 4rm unit in Anchorvale Isles goes from $299k to $316k.

Again we're talking about a very similar profit of roughly $80k-$100k here. That's not surprising given that most new BTOs are priced significantly lower than resale flats, hence the popularity of these new HDB flats.

So which do we choose?
Three words - location, location, location. When it comes to convenience of transport and amenties, Anchorvale Isle beats Fernvale Riverbow hands down. It will be easier to sell, easier to rent out and easier to live in. It does cost about $30k - $40k more than Fernvale Riverbow, but it is still cheaper than buying a car right?

The hospital could be a problem, so try to get units that face away from it. Either that or get units as high as possible so you overlook it.

That said, Fernvale Riverbow remains my personal favourite. This writer is a sucker for nature and waterfront living (and he has a car to get around). Though it might not be the most pragmatic choice, for me the unblocked view of the river is worth the inconvenience - unit #18-88 would be my top target! This BTO might not be the best 'investment' but I'm not looking to make money, I'm looking for a home!

Ultimately we can't decide for you, it is all a matter of personal preference. Both BTOs have their good and bad points. Sometimes it is not always about dollars and cents, you must like the place too! You have to visit both sites and walk around to get a feel of the place.

So good luck and happy choosing!

Images and data: HDB

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Posted on 16-08-2011 16:40 | By John

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