Options galore for Bishan-Thomson property buyers

In Bishan, next to its Sky Habitat project, CapitaLand’s 694-unit Sky Vue (above right) opens for sale today. -- PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
In Bishan, next to its Sky Habitat project, CapitaLand’s 694-unit Sky Vue (above right) opens for sale today. -- PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
Brisk buying marked the first day of bookings at UOL Group’s 445-unit Thomson Three last week. -- PHOTO: UOL GROUP
Brisk buying marked the first day of bookings at UOL Group’s 445-unit Thomson Three last week. -- PHOTO: UOL GROUP

UOL project plus two more from CapitaLand offer range of choices

Property buyers looking in the Bishan and Thomson vicinity are suddenly spoilt for choice.

Two new residential projects are up for sale this weekend - and plenty of units remain unsold at a nearby project launched last year.

A week ago, brisk buying marked the first day of bookings at UOL Group's 445-unit Thomson Three, with 160 units sold.

About 15 minutes away by car, CapitaLand's 694-unit Sky Vue opens for sale today.

So how do the projects compare? Both - on 99-year leases - are close to popular schools such as Raffles Institution, Catholic High and Ai Tong Primary School.

But that is where their similarities seem to end.

R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said one key difference was their respective settings.

"Sky Vue has a town centre location, whereas Thomson Three is set in a residential area."

The Sky Vue project in Bishan Street 14 is in the town centre - a stone's throw from Bishan MRT station and Junction 8 mall.

Thomson Three is in a quiet private housing estate, next to a cluster of landed homes.

"The projects seem to cater to slightly different markets. Thomson Three espouses a more peaceful and quiet lifestyle, while Sky Vue will attract buyers looking for convenience and accessibility," said OrangeTee's research head Christine Li.

On transport, she said Sky Vue trumps Thomson Three as residents benefit from developed nodes as soon as they move in.

Thomson Three's nearest MRT station will be ready only in 2020.

She also said inconvenience from the Thomson Line construction may depress rentals there.

Units at Sky Vue cost $1,380 per sq ft (psf) to $1,550 psf. Thomson Three's are about $1,350 psf.

SLP International research head Nicholas Mak said although price tags of one-bedders at both projects are similar, bigger units at Thomson Three are costlier.

For example, a two-bedder at Sky Vue starts at $852,000, while a similar unit at Thomson Three starts at $945,000.

The unit mix is different too.

At Sky Vue, one- and two-bedders - ranging from 484 to 926 sq ft - make up 74 per cent of the project, while such units make up 51 per cent of Thomson Three.

Mr Ong expects smaller units at Sky Vue to draw rental interest from expatriates relocating to the city fringes, as it is near the MRT.

Buyers looking at the area will also find, next to Sky Vue, 336 unsold units at CapitaLand's other project Sky Habitat. Sales at the 509-unit project have been tepid, with an average of $1,589 psf.

But a 6 per cent discount introduced in July may turn buying attention back to the project, which was launched in April last year. The unsold units include one- to four-bedders and penthouses.

Still, given recent loan curbs, buyers might be limited by the higher price tags, said Ms Li. "Buyers buying for location would probably consider Sky Vue first due to its lower psf price."

ocheryl@sph.com.sg