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HDB BTO: SkyVille and SkyTerrace at Dawson Review


With Orchard Road a few bus stops away and the CBD just a 5-10min drive away, there are few new HDB projects with a more central location than SkyTerrace and Skyville.  Evidence of its superior location is the sky high asking price of HDB resale flats in the area with a knack for creating record prices.

Another factor that makes this neighborhood attractive is the fact that most of the blocks in the neighborhood are relatively new despite being in a "mature" estate; most of the older blocks have already undergone SERS or are currently being replaced.

Editor: We found ourselves always confused between the two projects as their names are very similar. Just remember that SkyVille has the one with the V shaped blocks while SkyTerrace has a more squarish layout.

The location of SkyVille @ Dawson. Note that the old Margaret Drive will be realigned to meet Kay Siang Road to accommodate for its pointy top end (highlighted with dotted lines in above image).

The actual site of SkyVille. Margaret Drive was already being realigned when we visited the site.

The location of SkyTerrace @ Dawson, east of SkyVille.

The actual site of SkyTerrace in the foreground. Alexandra Canal Linear Park runs parallel to it.
Despite many applicants being attracted to these two projects because they are "close to Queenstown MRT and Redhill MRT station", we would like to point out that SkyVille barely makes it as being within "walking distance" of Queenstown MRT (~450m), while SkyTerrace is not within "walking distance" of both stations. We consider "walking distance" as 500m.

With such a high price point we expect most families who are staying in these projects to own a car and for those who do, it really is just a matter of driving around town since you are already staying in town. The AYE which will connect you to the other parts of the island quickly is about 1700m away.

Closest MRT to SkyVille
Queenstown MRT (~450m)
Redhill MRT (~1050m)

Closest MRT to SkyTerrace
Queenstown MRT (~650m)
Redhill MRT (~830m)

Bus Services in the area

Services: 32, 33, 51, 64, 111, 132, 139, 145, 186, 970, NR5


A rough pictorial summary of amenities around the two projects. We have highlighted 500m walking distances with the green and yellow circles. Click for a larger image.

Being in a central location does not necessarily mean you will be surrounded by lots of amenities . For example there aren't really any major shopping malls in the immediate vicinity of SkyVille and SkyTerrace. In fact, the closest major food centre, Commonwealth Avenue Food Centre ~750m away has been slated for redevelopment next year and will probably be replaced by another soulless food court while the NTUC Fairprice at Blk 34A Margaret Drive might be next on the list.

At this moment no one is sure if these major amenities will make a comeback in the neighborhood after redevelopment, but we expect them to be replaced along with the unlaunched Dawson Site A.

*Update: a reader has pointed out Dawson's place, a small hub with a supermarket, food court and a couple of sundry shops at block 57, Strathmore Avenue - together with SkyVille's similar offering under her blocks things aren't that bad (Thanks Albert!).

However future residents will still likely end up doing their major shopping either up north in Orchard Road if they can afford it, or go southwest along Alexandra Road (Anchorpoint Shopping Centre, Queensway Shopping centre etc).

Closest Malls:
Anchorpoint Shopping Centre (~1100m)
IKEA (~1100m)
Queensway Shopping Centre  (~1100m)

Schools Nearby (Selected):
Queenstown Primary School (~215m - 440m*)
Queenstown Secondary School (~235 - 450m*)
Crescent Girls School (~650m - 800m*)

*approximate walking distance, not for official use

Both projects will benefit from the Alexandra Canal Linear Park which will provide some breathing space from blocks south of them.

Layout and Views
View and elevation will play a big part during unit selection as this is what makes or breaks a fantastic unit in these two projects. Unfortunately both projects are mostly surrounded by existing HDB flats or future reserve sites, thus units with unblocked views will be uncommon.

The site plan of SkyVille shows two rows or units, one row facing North and the other facing South. We liked how they are arranged to give every unit a view and breathing space, just too bad the first few floors facing South will be staring at the 6/7 storey multi-storey car park directly (19, 21, 23, 33, 35, 37). We really wonder who is going to pay epic prices to stare at a car park everyday.

You should also watch out for units that are directly facing the existing HDB blocks South of this project...although there is reasonable breathing space created by Alexandra Canal Linear Park and the multi-storey car park.

Units facing north are better, as the undeveloped reserve site north of it only has a plot ratio of 2.1 (plot ratio plays a large part in determining how high structures on a piece of land can go, SkyVille and SkyTerrace both have plot ratios of 3.5). Although low floor units facing North might still end up staring at other people's flats across Margaret Drive in future, they will  get a slight green buffer peppered with precinct pavilions.

Units in SkyTerrace are also split into North or South facing units and we really liked how the lowest units start from the 4th floor so there aren't really any low floor units (why don't they carry this design forward to other projects...say in Punggol or Choa Chu Kang?).

However you should watch out for units that are face to face with each other (8 and 40) or those directly facing existing or future residential buildings North and South of the project (02, 04, 10, 12, 18, 20, 26, 28, 34 and 36)...which is pretty much almost every low or mid floor unit.

Both SkyVille and SkyTerrace have plot ratios of 3.5, although there is no guarantee all these won't change, make sure you get a good look at the image above before making your choice (for rough illustration purpose only). Our editor has also highlighted units that he personally preferred. (Click for large image).

Our "preferred" view facing north from SkyVille.

Approximate view and surroundings of SkyVille. Click for a large image.

Approximate view and surroundings of SkyTerrace. Click for a large image.

View of the Dawson estate from the west. You can make out the string of existing HDB blocks that are in the way of the southern view. The buildings with cranes perched above are immediately south of SkyTerrace.

As usual, our take on individual unit scoring as below. These scores are weighted heavily in favor of better views and considerations that might have an effect on lifestyle. We did not rate unit types such as lofts or balcony units differently as these are subject to personal preference.

Click to download chart below in excel format.

Editor’s note: Scoring of unit desirability is relevant within this BTO project only, please do not cross reference scores. While reasonable care has been taken to prepare this information, we are not responsible in any way for any damage or loss suffered by any person whether directly or indirectly as a result of reliance on the said information or as a result of any error or omission therein. Always double check with HDB representatives. HDB did not include floor plans for individual units this time round, so all our recommendations in this section are based on "intelligent guesses". You will however get detailed plans via mail prior to selecting a unit.

A note on car parks

From early renders and images of the 3D model, it seems that SkyVille residents are connected to the multi-storey car park via two link ways somewhere between the 6th and the 8th storey of the project.  So likely, residents will have to take a lift down to cross the link way, before taking another lift down to whichever storey your vehicle is parked on.

Blocks in SkyTerrace however seem to be connected on each level of the car park, so residents just have to take a lift directly down to the level they parked their cars. We cannot confirm all these until we get the detailed plans.

Indicative Pricing
Prices of these two projects are not for those with weak hearts. The price range also varies greatly. Studio units here are probably the most expensive ones we have ever seen.

Studio (20 units):
Internal size: 35 sqm/376 sqf*
Indicative price Min: $112,000 (~$3200 psm/$297 psf)
Indicative price Max: $117,000 (~$3342 psm/$311 psf)

Studio (85 units):
Internal size: 42 sqm/452 sqf*
Indicative price Min: $132,000 (~$3142 psm/$292 psf)
Indicative price Max: $152,000 (~$3619 psm/$336 psf)

3rm (270 units):
Internal size:  63sqm/678 sqf*
Indicative price Min: $280,000 (~$4444 psm/$412 psf)
Indicative price Max: $365,000 (~$5793 psm/$538 psf)

4rm (725 units):
Internal size: ~81 sqm/871 sqf*
Indicative price Min: $373,000 (~$4604 psm/$428 psf)
Indicative price Max: $504,000 (~$6222 psm/$578 psf)

5rm (131 units):
Internal size: ~98 sqm/1054 sqf*
Indicative price Min: $532,000 (~$5428 psm/$504 psf)
Indicative price Max: $643,000 (~$6561 psm/$610 psf)

Balcony/Loft 4rm (416 units):
Internal size: ~82 sqm/882 sqf*
Indicative price Min: $426,000 (~$5195 psm/$482 psf)
Indicative price Max: $549,000 (~$6695 psm/$622 psf)

Balcony/Loft 5rm units (71 units):
Internal size: ~103 sqm/1108 sqf*
Indicative price Min: $555,000 (~$5388 psm/$500 psf)
Indicative price Max: $664,000 (~$6446 psm/$599 psf)

*Internal Floor Area, based on smallest unit

Wow...some of these psf prices could get you a private property in some parts of Singapore. The special loft units also command a significant premium (technically you will be occupying two floors in some parts of the apartment). Below are some approximate prices of selected projects and estates to compare with:

  • New 4rm BTO flat in Sengkang, Fernvale Palms: $213 - $261 psf
  • New 4rm BTO flat in Punggol, Punggol Residences: $269 - $330 psf

  • Resale 4rm flat in Ang Mo Kio: $364 psf
  • Resale 5rm flat in Ang Mo Kio: $383 psf

  • Resale 4rm flat in Queenstown: $546 psf
  • Resale 5rm flat in Queenstown: $492 psf

  • Resale 4rm flat along Strathmore Avenue: $538 psf
  • Resale 5rm flat along Strathmore Avenue: $555 psf

  • Resale 99year Condo in Ang Mo Kio, Grandeur 8: $595 - $827 psf

SkyVille and SkyTerrace @ Dawson are located in a central part of Singapore that often see HDB units being transacted for record prices. But for those balloting just to make a killing 5 years down the road, we will like to highlight that you will be buying it from HDB at a historical high.

If you are buying with intention to stay for a lifetime, this project will make a great home central to any part of Singapore. Having an unblocked view from your 47th storey home is also a dream come true for any Singaporean couple. But for those who do not drive, nearby amenities seem somewhat limited at the moment. The $8,000 monthly household income ceiling will also be pushing the limits of your financial threshold unless you are hiding gold bars under your bed.

That said we wish everyone good luck in the coming balloting results and hope this guide will come in handy when selecting your dream home. Oh....and we highly do not recommend banging the table of the neighborhood's MP if you cannot get a great unit...

We would love to hear your thoughts here.

Images: URA, HDB, Googlemaps

Posted on 05-01-2010 16:12 | By Francis

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