d'Leedon (Review)

By The Folks @PropTalk - April 21, 2011 54 Comments
District:   10
Location:   Farrer Road/King’s Road/Leedon Heights
Developers:   CapitaLand/HPL
Tenure:   99-year Leasehold wef 8th April 2010
No. of Blocks:   7 Blocks of 36-storey each
No. of Units:   1715 residential units (including 12 villas) + 8 retail shops
Expected TOP:   2015

The wife and I first visited the sales gallery of d’Leedon about 3 weeks ago, and have since posted photos of the Garden House and 3-Bedroom showflat in our blog. However, we were dragging our feet abit in writing our thoughts on the project.

So to ensure that we still have our facts right, we decided to go down to the showflat again yesterday to refresh our memories.

d’Leedon warrants little introduction, as most of you would have heard of this iconic mega project designed by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid.  It sits on a humongous site of more than 840,000sqft formerly occupied by Farrer Court. The project started previewing in Nov 2010 and only 2 out of the 7 blocks (i.e. Block 11 & 13) are released for sale at the moment.
Location Plan

d’Leedon offers a full range of 1- to 4-bedroom units and penthouses. In addition, there are also “Garden House” units (which consist of 3-levels: basement, ground and first) and twelve semi-detached “Garden Villas”.   
Block 11
Block 13

Facility-wise, d’Leedon is probably second to none. You will find everything you expect of a full-facility development (including 3 tennis courts and even a basketball court!) and more. Two of the offerings that particularly caught our eyes are:

• The 5 “Themed Gardens”
• Mini Race track – for all you remote-control car fanatics

Parking lots are all in the basement, with the standard ‘1 parking lot per household’ applies. This is with the exception of the Garden Houses and Villas, which come with 2 dedicated parking lots.

There are 2 entrances into d’Leedon – the main entrance is along Leedon Heights, while a second entrance is along King’s Road. A covered walkway that leads to a side gate will bring you to the Empress Road Market/Food Centre and the upcoming Farrer Road MRT station, both of which are located just outside the development.
 Site Plan

For our review purpose, we will stick to the 4-bedroom showflat. This is a 1744sqft Type D1a unit.
Type D1a

It may be of interest to note that only 2 out of the 10 units of 4-bedders in each block are Type D1a, while the rest are of Type D1. And the main differences between the two unit types are:

• Type D1a is slightly bigger in size – 1744sqft versus 1615sqft for Type D1

• Type D1a has an open terrace next to the Junior Suite, which is missing from Type D1

• The walkway from the main door to the living/dining area for Type D1a is almost twice the length of Type D1 (to accommodate the open terrace). So you lose out more on the walkway space for the former.

All the 4-bedroom units are located between the 25th - 34th floors of both blocks.
Type D1

As you enter the unit, the first thing you see is the kitchen. Unlike the 4-bedders in many other projects, you do not get a dry kitchen. The kitchen is a rectangular strip of space, which is spacious enough for two (or even three) people to work in, It comes furnished with “Bosch” hood/hob/oven and “Hansgrohe” faucets. All the kitchen cabinets/drawers are fitted with “anti-slam” mechanism.

The Yard area is located at the far end of the kitchen around the corner. This is a square-shaped area with barely enough space for doing your laundry/ironing. A large window provides good ventilation and natural lighting to this area. The developers have included an additional sink here, which is especially useful if you have stuff that needs to be hand-washed.

The yard also houses a bathroom and utility room. The utility room is quite small and narrow, with a pillar that sticks out on one side taking up quite a bit of space. So if you intend this to be the maid’s room, you will probably have to custom-fit the bed. But one thing we really like about the utility is that it actually comes with a window. This is unlike apartments with home shelter that is fully enclosed, which can be rather claustrophobic for the maid.

The living/dining area is L-shaped and seems quite small for a 1700+sqft unit. The developers have deliberately converted one of the adjoining common bedrooms into the dining room, which will at least gives you a decent-sized living and dining area. And as per CapitaLand/HPL ‘s other mega project – The Interlace – you only get homogenous-tile flooring in the living/dining area, which is rather disappointing for a project that has generated so much hype for its avant-garde design.  The balcony/planter area is quite small compared to current standard (less than 100sqft?). And from the floor-plans, it seems like the balcony/planter area for Type D1 is actually bigger than Type D1a.
Bedroom 4

The common bedrooms are small and the bay windows make it a double-whammy. This is probably why the developers have resorted to a “mini” Single-bed, which will allow for more space in the room but probably rather uncomfortable to sleep on. All the bedrooms come with timber-strip floors and your standard-size (read: small) wardrobe.
Bedroom 3

The common bathroom is spacious. You get homogenous tiles for the floors and walls, “Bravat” wash basin/toilet bowl and “Hansgrohe” bathroom fittings. A window within the shower stall (which is a standard feature for all the bathrooms in the unit) provides ventilation and natural lighting to the bathroom. But more importantly, it helps dissipate the stale smell that normally associates with fully-enclosed bathroom - a "flaw" (if you can call it that) we found in the 4-bedroom showflat at The Interlace.

The Junior Suite is located across from the other bedrooms, separated by the living/dining area. The room is good-sized, so you still get quite a fair bit of space after fitting a Queen bed inside.
 Junior Suite

The attached bathroom is again quite spacious and looked almost like a replica of the common bathroom.
Junior Bath

The Master Bedroom is rather odd-shaped and with bay windows on 2 sides. However, it is surprisingly huge compared to many other recent projects that we have seen.
Master Bedroom

The Master Bathroom is again irregular shaped but spacious. You do not get a long-bath even for the 4-bedder, and thus have to make do with the huge standing shower-stall. We like the nice egg-shaped toilet bowl but disappointed with the tiled walls/floors.
Master Bath

Pricing wise, here is a sample of prices for the 4-bedroom units that we believe are still available:
• Block 11, #26-30 (1744sqft Type D1a, faces Bukit Timah) - $3,278,100 or $1,879psf
• Block 11, #27-30 (1615sqft Type D1, same facing) - $3,131,000 or $1,938psf
• Block 13, #26-47 (1744sqft Type D1a, faces Farrer/Holland Road) - $3,278,100 or $1,879psf
• Block 13, #27-47 (1615sqft Type D1, same facing) - $3,131,000 or $1,938psf

Some may say that it is not an "apple to apple" comparison, but units of around 1700 – 1800sqft at the neighboring Waterfall Gardens (completed in 2011) and Parvis (TOP in 2013) have been selling at $1,700+psf & $1,600+psf respectively. And both of these developments are freehold!

What we like:
• All seven blocks are well-spaced apart to offer unblocked view from the living room of your apartments. The actual “view” that you get will largely depend on how “high” your unit’s at, but at least you will not be staring into the unit of the guy living in the opposing block.

• More thoughts have gone into the apartment designs too – we like the spacious and functional kitchen and bathrooms, the smaller balcony (which translates into more interior living space), the windows in the bathrooms/yard that allows for ventilation and even windows for the utility room. If our memory serves us right, the common bathroom for the 4-bedder unit at The Interlace is fully enclosed, which may result in some rather interesting smell after awhile.

• Location – 15 minutes’ drive to CBD, 5-minutes’ to Orchard Road and even less to Holland Village. In addition, the Empress Road Market & Food Centre and upcoming Farrer Road MRT are right at your doorstep!

• Parents with primary school-heading children will be pleased to know that both Nanyang Primary (co-ed) and ACS (International) are within 1-km of d’Leedon. However, you probably still need to ballot for places at Nanyang and pay through your nose if you are thinking about ACS (International).

What we dislike:
• The living/dining area and the common bedrooms are too small for our liking. And if you do sacrifice one bedroom for the dining area, your unit effectively becomes a 3-bedder!

• For an “iconic” project such as d’Leedon and especially given the price, the wife and I are rather disappointed with the furnishing/fittings that are provided. What’s with the homogenous floor tiles in the living/dining area and less than impressive kitchen appliances?!
Floor Tiles
We recalled being similarly unimpressed with The Interlace - the other mega project by CapitaLand/HPL. Then again, the price at that time (Dec 2009) was $1,000psf not $1,900psf!

• The wife and I were told that blocks 11 and 13 have a total of 300+ apartments each. We can appreciate the reason why (else how to fit 1,700 units into 7 blocks?!) but 300 units is like the entire estate in many other developments! We wonder if anyone has considered the fire-hazard aspect of housing so many units within a single 36-storey block…

In summary, the wife and I have mixed-feeling about d’Leedon. There are certainly aspects of the project that we really like (the iconic design, the facilities, the location, MRT at your doorstep etc) but these are not compelling reasons enough for us to consider shelling $3+ million for a 1700+sqft apartment. This is especially when you take into account of the quality seen in the showflats, the 99-year leasehold status and having to cope with 1,700 other households living in the same (albeit huge) estate.

We believe the same amount of money will probably get us better buys at some of the other projects (freehold even) nearby. Maybe this is also the reason why only 50% of units in the 2 blocks are sold thus far, after the initial euphoria at the private preview…


54 comments to ''d'Leedon (Review)"

  1. Hi. Can you provide tips which are the better facing and stack and more value for money?

  2. The Folks @PropTalkJuly 3, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Hi Anonymous (2/7/12, 10:06PM):

    The wife and I have not been keeping up with prices at d'Leedon so we cannot really comment about the "value for money" bit.

    But we will advise selecting from stacks that are further away from the main (Farrer) road, especially if traffic noise bothers you.

    And outward-facing stacks at Blocks 11, 13 & 15 will probably provide better chance of an unobstructed view, as these face the landed houses towards Bukit Timah.

    Hope the above helps!

  3. Dleedon had very good sales since relaunch early Nov. More than 100 units sold! Prices attractive vis-a-vis suburban prices..... and you are getting a D10 address. Worth considering for anyone looking to invest or own stay.

  4. almost 300 units sold since relaunch 9 Nov.

  5. really? How come URA caveats havent shown yet?

  6. take up to 8 weeks...upon exercise of option

  7. I believe luxe is up again.

    See caveats lodged on Eden Residences at Capitol. Incredible SGD $10M investment purchases.

  8. why?

    if yes... D9,10 and 11 properties would have been sold out.

  9. Matter of choices why ppl choose Eden over FH D9, 10 and 11. Do check out the caveats lodged. Oh do these ppl buy the properties when doing the laundry over at the two new Instituitional Resorts that are here to stay?

  10. The Folks @PropTalkJanuary 1, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Anonymous (1/1/13, 10:26PM),

    Happy New Year!

    We love your "laundry" comment. Good job!

    And Eden is definitely much nearer to one of (probably both) the two institutional resorts than most of the new developments in D9 - 11.


  12. agent provovateur : good buy?

  13. I was looking at the latest caveats lodged for D Leedon, the per square feet price has came down to 1325 in Dec 2012. I read the review by you folks, it seems that your only dislike was the high price tag. So given this lower price tag now, what do you think about buying this place to stay?

  14. Still think the psf is too high. Reason being:
    1. There are more than 1700 units in this project. Will be difficult to sell at a good price in 4 yrs time as many owners will also be selling their units. Also bear in mind that it's D10 but not a freehold.

    2. Restaurants/retail shops within condo is not good. The Space should be used as communal area for residents instead. Anyway, Demsey Hill restaurants are just minutes drive away.

    3. Should have marble flooring at least in dining & living room for this price tag. (Furthermore, most new projects in surburban area already provide marble tiles for living & dining floor. Some even use marble tiles for bathroom walls & floor.)

    4. A lot of odd shapes in unit layout, unusable pockets of spaces here & there.

    5. Paying a lot for architectural design of the project thus compromising on the quality of material used in internal units.

  15. Not worth the D10 address cos not freehold.

  16. 100 units sold since yesterday

  17. marble and more premium finishing in blocks 3, 5 and 15.

  18. More than 200 units sold since 19 Jan 2013. Hottest property right now.

    The project is 65% SOLD!

  19. the agent just sent me an SMS saying 4BR for 2.5mil. as someone who stays nearby along the same road (and in FH too), i must say that one of the biggest drawbacks is the 99-Yr leasehold terms. in ur opinion, whats a reasonable price psf for the project in general?

  20. The Folks @PropTalkJanuary 30, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Hi Lianne,

    The term "reasonable" is rather subjective. But looking at recent transacted prices for units at d'Leedon (99-year leasehold) at around $1,400psf and compare this with say, Waterfall Gardens right across the road (freehold) whereby units were transacted at $1,650psf during 4Q'2012 (no transactions after Nov 2012), the wife and I will probably choose the later.

    However, one can always argue that the two projects are not exactly "apple to apple" comparison, i.e. in terms of land size, facilities and proximity to MRT etc etc.

  21. D'leedon is giving direct discount of 15% on all 3 bedroom units. High floor psf ard $1460. Is it a good buy? Anyone care to give some advice?

  22. Yes can give some advice whether this is a good buy?

  23. best value buy ! strong capital upside.... large land promises future enbloc potential with population target of 6.9m.

  24. The wife and I wonder if claims of "future en bloc potential" even for current projects on supposed large land sites are really realistic , given that new projects these days will be built up to the hilt of their plot ratios.

    One can always argue the possibility of further increase in plot ratio for these sites if need be. But such considerations are way too premature, especially when the projects are still in their construction phase.

    And already thinking about en bloc when the project is not even up? We sure hope THAT is not the new normal when comes to home purchase.

    But that's just us talking...

  25. Cant be en bloc. There is MRT station near Farrer. Can increase height anymore. Can u imagine...more tunneling in ground and higher flats? remember nursery rhyme ÄLL FALL DOWN!

  26. was at dleedon showflat yesterday... it was so jam packed...cars parked along leedon heights. it definitely created a lot of interest... price wise... I think psf is reasonable versus suburban prices. considering the big land and facilities..buyers are also buying. IT IS the best VALUE BUY now.

  27. I think... enblock potential... not so much about building higher... but perhaps more blocks in future. in any case... it is impossible to find such a spacious condo today. all new launches are so packed. land is going to be so scarce in Singapore.... further more this is the biggest site in D10. I understand Fareast did bid a smallish L99 land near farrer road.. and plan to launch at above 2000psf during mid 2013. there is only upside.

    dleedon can be seen from far away given its height and low surrounding.

  28. BTW: I heard from the agents at dleedon. Project is over 70% sold

  29. then why PINE GROVE still havent en block head?

  30. Banker here. Equity markets are super topish and bond markets are saturated. A pullback in the investment markets would cause sentiment shifts and high potential margin calls by leveraged investors. Interest rates to skyrocket after maturity of qe3 and qe4. Banks are planning to devalue property prices by 2015 to 2018. Why don't you guys take a step back and wait for the dip?

  31. Mr Banker. Did u take into account the demography for your comments. It would be helpful if the SG could plot a pie chart of completions, constructions, immigrations, new families upon marriage, satistical deaths to really hv a clearer pic...hmmm

  32. Wondering about the importance of marble vs tile. When reselling, does it really make a difference?

  33. In Straits Times.... clearly people are recognising the value at Dleedon.... current psf has edged up to > 1500psf and above... given the mid to high floors....

    Strong sales reported at Dleedon... 47 units sold over weekend. In fact.... large 4 bedder units are moving... average quantum 3m and above!

  34. Marble flooring.... the feel would be different when you step into the unit.

  35. This project sells well last weekend. After Capitaland give such steep discount!

  36. aiya cant buy leh...i staying in hdb (got propety oredi

  37. If I look at the URA caveats,the query shows only 467 units sold. Thats less than 30% of the 1700+ units. Am I missing something ?

  38. I am amazed at the discounts dished out left and right for d'leedon. so why is everyone not biting? is there something wrong? or is the entire market going to crash? a race to the bottom?

  39. cos its leasehold. District 10 LH...no oomph factor?

  40. a lot cavaets not lodged.

    BTW : left only <500 units.... mid to high floors.

  41. amazing crowd at dleedon last weekend.

    buying interest still strong.

  42. over 80% SOLD now.

    Best selling project in D10

  43. Is Leedon Residences a better investment than D Leedon?

  44. 2000psf+..... though it is freehold. side by side. which is one a better buy?

  45. left only 200+ units.

  46. Agent, just say "100% sold" la. Wasting time.

  47. already i see one fire sale of a 1-bedder listed on the guru. more to come perhaps?

  48. Anyone been to the new showflat at Indus Road?

  49. D'leedon Villas start from

    Unit No 1 4R 6512sf (605sqm) $7,7mil, only $1188psf
    Florence Zheng ERA Developer Sales Team

  50. Genuine 15% discount for D'leedon
    From 635sf, $1303560, #30-36, $2053psf

    786sf, $1592900, #30-40. $2027psf

    1292sf, $2356880, #30-37, $1825psf,

    1744sf, $2893060, #27-30, $1792psf

    4BR Villas
    Start from $7738990, 6512sf

    5BR villas
    Start from $9363430, 7546sf.

    Call Florence Zheng Zhen 96916868
    And sms your email address, I will email the details summary report to you