LEEDON GREEN (Former Tulip Garden): Review
It’s not often that we have the chance to own freehold properties near Holland Village, so these always get my attention. One such launch is Leedon Green, which is located at the junction of Farrer Road and Holland Road. If you remember the old Tulip Garden condo that went en-bloc, well, this is it: Leedon Green is the development that replaced it.
This new development is nestled within an affluent and tranquil neighbourhood, and at the fringe of an exclusive Good Class Bungalow area.
Key Points To Note About Leedon Green
- Freehold and in the prime district 10
- Very close to Holland Village (about three minutes’ drive – you can even take a 20-minute stroll to get there on foot)
- Short drive or bus ride to Holland Village, Botanic Gardens, Dempsey Hill and Orchard Road
- Proximity to some of Singapore’s most famous schools
- Within 1km (part of Leedon Green) to Nanyang Primary School
- The expected TOP is sometime in 2023
Our Ratings on Leedon Green
Pluses of Leedon Green
- Big site
- Blocks well spaced out
- 3 swimming pools
- 80% of land goes to landscaping, communal spaces and facilities
- Sheltered walkway to bus stop
- Quality finishing
- Alternate road access via Holland Road to avoid congestion at Farrer Road
- Within 10 minutes walk to Farrer Road MRT
- Short driving distance to places such as Holland Village, Dempsey, Orchard and Botanic Gardens
- Good rental market for expatriate families
Minuses of Leedon Green
- Possibly only one block in the development is within 1km to Nanyang Primary School
- Not many amenities within walking distance. Nearest is Empress Road Market and the nearby shops. Holland Village is about 15 min walk away
- Few blocks face either Farrer Road or Holland Road, thus affected by road noise, while others look into either Leedon Residence, D’Leedon or 90 Holland
- Blocks are not high enough to enjoy panoramic views, unlike D’Leedon
Leedon Green is a freehold development, jointly built by MCL Land and Yanlord Land (most Singaporeans will be familiar with MCL, but not Yanlord – this is because Leedon Green is Yanlord Land’s first development in Singapore. I’ll talk more about this below).
Leedon Green is a mid-sized development consisting of 638 units. Unit distribution is as follows:
Number of Units
1 bedroom (sky unit)
603 – 689
1 bedroom + study
538 – 581
614 – 872
2 bedroom (sky unit)
753 – 926
2 bedroom + study
958 – 1485
3 bedroom (Premium)
1044 – 1163
3 bedroom (sky unit)
1496 – 2680
4 bedroom (sky unit)
*Five of the units are four-bedroom Garden Villa units. These have a landed-property feel, and are huge at 2,400 to 2,680 square feet. All the five units have been sold, each cost more than $6 million.
Almost 72 per cent of the development comprises two-bedders and two plus study, which means the developer is catering more to couples or small families. This is not surprising since young couples are likely to buy for its proximity to Nanyang Primary School.
I feel that the typical four-bedders, while decently sized at 1,496 square feet, could do with more than one en-suite bathroom (i.e. a bathroom directly connected to the bedroom). Having only one en-suite bathroom is a bit inconvenient for larger families. You know what it’s like in the morning when everyone rushes to shower, brush their teeth, etc. all at once, right? That said, apart from the bathrooms, the layout is quite efficient.
The five Garden Villa units are rare townhouses in a brand new freehold project. Hence, they were in high demand and were all snapped up in double-quick time.
As another interesting feature, 56 of the four-bedroom units come with private lift access (around 30 of the three-room units also have this same feature).
Finishing and Layout
A few things stand out for Leedon Green.
The developers have paid extra attention to the bigger 3-bedroom and 4-bedroom units.
The 3-bedroom basically come in two sizes: 1044sf (3-bedroom premium) and 1356sf (3-bedroom exclusive).
The 3-bedroom exclusive comes with private lift lobby. The walk-in L-shaped wardrobe will be good news for the lady of the house.
It comes with a dry and wet kitchen, with induction cooker for the dry and gas cooker for the wet.
The developers have a big family in mind by offering two refrigerators! The one in the wet kitchen is a massive one. A dishwasher is also installed. This will be good for expatriate families where a dishwasher is a basic necessity.
In the dry kitchen, a built-in wine chiller is provided.
Facilities and Grounds
The sprawling Leedon Green has a land size of over 306,000 square feet. Around 80 per cent of this is given over to landscaping, communal spaces and facilities. A noteworthy element of the design is that – rather than have a few flat gardens – the terrain is terraced, with green spaces on different levels.
One thing I like about Leedon Green is that the blocks are well-spaced out from one another.
The blocks are diagonal to Farrer Road and Holland Road; this facing reduces direct road-noise but comes at the expense of a North-South facing. This orientation, however, typically means indirect afternoon sun.
The best facing units are those facing inward or pool-facing. Those outward-facing units are either fronting the noisy Farrer Road and Holland Flyover, or looking into Leedon Residence (but at least they are quieter).
It would have been ideal if the blocks were a bit higher – at 12 storeys the view is not as spectacular as, say, D’Leedon. Higher also means they can overlook Leedon Residence next door.
Facilities wise, Leedon Green offers three large swimming pools; this includes a grand pool, lap pool, and aqua fitness pool. There’s a tennis court available, and a unique treetop walk that gives a great view of the multi-level, terraced approach to landscaping.
Leedon Green is in a prime location. As I mentioned above, it’s about a three-minute drive to Holland Village (around a 20-minute walk on foot), and a roughly 10-minute drive to the Orchard area. Raffles Place would be about a 20-minute drive.
Traffic-wise, I guess you already know I’m going to warn you about the noise and congestion; this is a busy intersection, no way around it. The nearby D’Leedon – in which I’ve handled rental and sales as well – had broadly the same negative feedback regarding the roads here.
If the road noise bothers you, I would avoid picking the units directly facing Farrer Road or Holland Road.
With regard to congestion, fortunately Leedon Green has an alternative vehicular ingress and egress via Holland Road – that’s an advantage Wilshire Residence doesn’t have. Most of the congestion is from the Farrer Road stretch, heading towards Orchard.
Leedon Green is in between the Farrer Road and Holland Village stations. It’s about 950 metres to each one. This distance is not exactly a comfortable walk, especially on a sunny or rainy day. Since Leedon Green is targeting more at families who are likely car-owners, this may not be an issue.
For owner-occupiers, one of the main draws of the location will be schools. Many of Singapore’s most famous educational institutions are within close proximity to Leedon Green. The following schools are all within a 10-minute drive of Leedon Green:
- Fairfield Methodist Primary School
- Henry Park Primary School
- *Nanyang Primary School
- Raffles Girls’ Primary School
- Singapore Chinese Girls’ Primary School
*If you are buying Leedon Green to enrol your children into Nanyang Primary School, do take note possibly only block 26 falls within 1 km to the school. Please do a double check before committing.
For expatriates, Holland and Farrer Road areas are always popular choices because some international schools, such as the Orchard campus of Chatsworth International School, as well as Hwa Chong International, ACS International, United World College and Tanglin Trust are all nearby.
I feel the location brings potentially high rentability; especially for the expatriate crowd who frequent Holland Village, and want quick access to Orchard or the CBD. As many of these tenants probably use Private Hire Vehicles or rent a car anyway, the distance to the MRT station may not be an issue to them.
Coupled with the lifestyle amenities of Holland Village, this will be a draw for families. However, I should point out that most of the retail, food, etc. isn’t surrounding or directly across the street from Leedon Green. If you don’t drive, this may involve quite a bit of walking to get there. So this is one main drawback.
Small Investment Units
If you are buying the smaller one-bedders for investment, you will face stiff competition from One Holland Village (in the heart of Holland Village) and D’Leedon (nearer to Farrer Road MRT) when looking for expatriate tenants who will likely be singles and young couples. They probably won’t own cars, and so easy access by MRT will be a crucial factor.
Is that the reason why at the moment these small units are not moving very well as compared to the bigger units?
The way the blocks are oriented, they are not North-South facing. So generally the units either get road noise or afternoon sun. Not easy to get the best of both worlds.
These are my recommendations:
- 1-bedroom: stacks 25 and 33. Do get some afternoon sun in the balcony. Nice pool view. Block 38 is quite a distance away. No road noise.
- 1-bedroom plus study: Stack 32 with nice pool view and distance from next block. Stack 8 may have a bit of road noise. No afternoon sun. Near to BBQ pavilion, tennis court and exit to Farrer Road. Can also consider stacks 50 & 58 though may also have some road noise from Farrer Road but have no afternoon sun.
- 2-bedroom: stack 01. No afternoon sun. Pool view. Some road noise. Likely within 1km to NYPS. Can also consider Stack 4 though view not as good but away from road noise). Stack 5 will have more afternoon sun than Stack 4. Stack 51 also has nice pool view but slight road noise.
- 2 plus study: Stack 52. May have some road noise. Pool view and no afternoon sun.
- 3-bedroom: Stack 06. Within 1km to NYPS. Least afternoon sun compared to the other stacks but may suffer slight road noise. Choose a lower floor may help because road travel upward and trees can help shield some. Possibly level 3 to 5.
- 3-bedroom Premium: Most difficult to choose from because either road noise or afternoon sun. Best of the worst is possibly Stack 7. Choose lower floor.
- 3-bedroom Exclusive: Stack 49 has the least road noise but some afternoon sun.
- 4-bedroom Exclusive: Interestingly all stacks have afternoon sun. Stack 02 would be the best with nice pool view and within 1km to NYPS.
Prices are in the range of about $2,600 to $2,700 psf, which is typical for the prime location and freehold status. If you’re interested, average prices for freehold condos in District 10 is about $2,573 psf, having appreciated from just $943 psf back in 2005 (about a 172.7 per cent increase).
(Note that new launches are always priced higher than surrounding resale units, hence Leedon Green’s $2,600 to $2,700 psf is about right). This price level may not be comfortable to many, but this is the new norm for freehold new launches in district 10.
Now earlier, I noted that many of the units tend to be smaller two and one-room units. While the price per square foot is high, the smaller unit sizes mean the overall quantum (overall cost) is more affordable than you’d think.
Prices for one-room units start from around $1.31 million, while two-room units from around $1.66 million.
The three-room units are from $2.43 million up, while four-room units from $3.83 million up.
The low quantum, plus central location, will make Leedon Green very attractive to homebuyers looking for new freehold projects . Good yields are quite hard to find among freehold, prime district units.
For home buyers buying for own stay, Leedon Green may appeal to singles, or even to older couples who are empty-nesters or retirees. By getting a smaller unit here, you can effectively trade-off some unneeded space, in exchange for living relatively near to Holland Village and Orchard (and the facilities of a high-end condo, of course).
You maybe wondering at this price level, will there be any upside potential?
The first thing to take note is, high price PSF is here to stay for new launches. Even some OCR launches are already selling above $2,000 psf.
Boulevard 88 in Orchard area already selling at an average price of $3,708 psf, with the highest record at $5,125 psf transacted in June 2019!
Along the stretch of Holland Road and Farrer Road, there are few other older developments, such as Spanish Village, Sommerville Park, Sutton Place and Sommerville Grandeur. In the future, when these developments face the grinds of ageing and decide to go en bloc, then the surrounding projects will look ‘cheap’.
A Note on the Developer
Some buyers may be sceptical given that they’ve never heard of Yanlord Land. But to be clear, this is a foreign developer entering the market, and not a new developer. Yanlord is a large, listed firm with many properties under its belt in China.
Also, Yanlord Land’s partner, MCL Land, is an established local developer; and in most of these cases, the developer new to the country will let the established one take the lead. So I don’t feel there’s much to worry about here.
Leedon Green is one of the few opportunities many of us will have, to afford a freehold property in District 10. There are other prime region developments of course – but we can usually expect the quantum of these units to reach the $2 million mark, pricing it out of reach for most of us.
Besides this, I feel that ongoing developments in Holland Village – and the revamp of Orchard Road – bode well for the long term value of Leedon Green. As an investment, I feel this development is likened to a ‘blue chip’ stock – will do well as a long-term play (e.g. hold for 15 years before selling).
Danny Han has been a licensed real estate agent since 2005.
The insights and knowledge he shares are the results of years of experience in helping many of his clients in their Property Wealth Planning.
Do feel free to drop him a Whatsapp message for a non-obligatory discussion if you are planning to grow your property wealth.