Woodhaven (Review)

By The Folks @PropTalk - July 26, 2011 No Comments
Project Name:   Woodhaven
Tenure:   99-year leasehold wef from 7th Feb 2011
Location:   Woodgrove Avenue
District:   25
Site Area:   225,573sqft
TOP (estimated):   2015
Total Units:   337
No. of Blocks:   14
Developer:   Far East Organization

The wife and I decided to venture further up North over the weekend and found ourselves at the sales gallery of Woodhaven – a 99-year leasehold project by Far East Organization.

Woodhaven is located on a plot of about 225,600sqft at the intersection of Woodlands Ave 1 and Rosewood Drive. The sales gallery is located on the actual site itself.

Woodhaven is a low-rise development consisting of 14 blocks in total – 8 blocks of 5-Storey apartments/SOHO units and 6 blocks of 4-storey (basement + 1st + 2nd + roof terrace) townhouses. The main entrance to Woodhaven is via Woodgrove Avenue, a new access road that will be built specially for the development. There will also be a pedestrian access gate leading out to Woodlands Ave 1.

Woodhaven offers a mix of condo apartments, SOHO units and townhouses:
• 1-Bedroom Condo/SOHO (134 units):   614 – 663sqft
• 2-Bedroom Compact SOHO (45 units):   717 – 760sqft
• 2-Bedroom Condo (59 units):   878 – 1000sqft
• 3-Bedroom compact Condo (20 units):   1131 – 1191sqft
• 3-Bedroom “typical” Condo (40 units):   1179 – 1239sqft
• 4-Bedroom Townhouses (39 units):   3268 – 3314sqft
Facilities wise, you get the usual assortments of swimming pools, gym and even a tennis court located on the rooftop of one of the blocks (Block C). However, what is conspicuously missing is the clubhouse (together with the indoor function room).

Parking lots are all located in the basement - we were told that there will be at least one lot per Condo/SOHO unit, while each townhouse will get 2 private parking lots.

There are 3 showflat types being featured in the sales gallery:
• 1-Bedroom SOHO
• 2-Bedroom SOHO
• 2-Bedroom Condo

For the purpose of this review, we shall look at the 878qft, 2-bedder condo (Type B1)

Once you step through the main door, the home shelter is right in front of you. This is a narrow rectangular strip of an area and is totally enclosed – so if you choose to house your domestic helper here, she will definitely have to leave the (home shelter) door open when she is inside her “room” to avoid suffocation.

The kitchen is the next area you see. It not only houses the hob/hood, sink, fridge and oven, but also the washing machine as there is no yard space within the apartment. A small dining table that sits four is also incoporated into the kitchen area.

The living area is rectangular and quite spacious for an apartment of this size. The ceiling height is 3.6m (3.85m for ground floor units), which is quite generous. However, you only get 60cm x 60cm homogenous-tile floors (for both living & kitchen area), which is rather disappointing.

The balcony is a small rectangular space that will probably fit a small table plus 2 chairs so as to allow you to sit, relax and enjoy the view outside. However, we suspect many residents will utilize the balcony to dry clothes.

The common bathroom is decent sized and comes with homogenous-tile floors and ceramic walls. The wife and I are not particularly impressed with the bathroom (Hansa) and toilet (Ideal Standard) fittings that are provided.  

The common bedroom is quite small and definitely requires some creative use of space. Consolation is that there are no bay windows to deal with in all the bedrooms.

The master bedroom has decent space if you can make do with a Queen bed. It comes with small timber-strip floors (similar for all bedrooms) and a glass partition wall that separates the bedroom area from the attached bathroom.

The master bathroom is fairly good-sized and comes with marble floors/walls. And instead of the normal standing shower, you get a sunken bath with “rain shower”. However, we are again unimpressed with the quality of bathroom/toilet fitting provided.

Pricing wise, the average price of the condo units are $1,000psf, whereas you can expect to pay an average of $1,030psf for the SOHO units. The townhouses are going at around $800psf.

The sales gallery of Woodhaven was only opened about one and half month ago and almost 83% of the units have already found buyers:
• All the 2-Bedroom SOHO units have been sold
• Majority of the 2-Bedroom apartments have been snapped up

What we like:
• The wife and I like the layouts of the SOHO units as well as 2-bedroom condo, which make the respective units feel more spacious than what we originally expect.

Woodhaven is located fairly close to amenities – there is an ESSO petrol station right next to development and it is also a 5-minute walk to The Woodgrove Shopping Centre, where you can find numerous F&B outlets and NTUC supermarket.

• The American School and Singapore Sports School are within 5 – 10 minutes’ drive away, which may increase the rental prospects of Woodhaven especially with American expat families.

• Several choices of primary school within 1-km of Woodhaven – Si Ling, Fu Chun, Woodgrove and Innova Primary.

What we dislike:
• The wife and I are not particularly impressed with the quality of furnishing and fittings as seen in the showflats - this is probably the worse Far East project (in terms of quality) that we have seen since we started our blog.

• Because there are so many blocks (14 in total) within Woodhaven, the development seems rather “built up” and somewhat claustrophobic.

• The facility offering is rather “run of the mill”, unless you are a big fan of swimming pools. And the absence of a clubhouse/function room, especially in a project consisting of mainly small apartments, is particularly disappointing.

• We also find it a bit strange to have the tennis court on the rooftop of an apartment block. Hopefully, the people living on the 5th floor of Block C will find the sound of bouncing tennis balls… therapeutic.

• Although we were told that Woodhaven is within walking distance to the MRT station, we reckon it is at least a 15-minute walk to the nearest station (Woodlands MRT). This can be quite laborious on a hot (or worse, stormy) day.

Our Verdict: Other than the spacious layouts, Woodhaven does little else for the two of us. So it is absolutely mind blogging to think that there are so many buyers who are willing to fork out an average of $1,000psf for units in a 99-year leasehold project located in Woodlands, which is not particularly close to an MRT station and (in our opinion at least)  far below the quality that one comes to expect with Far East projects.

As a comparison, below are the recent average transacted prices for the other condo projects next-door to Woodhaven:
• Woodgrove Condominium (TOP: 1999; 248 units):   $700+psf
• Casablanca (TOP: 2006; 478 units):   $800+psf
• Rosewood Suites (TOP: 2012; 200 units):   $700+psf

However, if SOHO unit is what you are looking for, the unit type is unavailable in the three neighboring developments.

And we leave you to decide on whether it is really value for money to pay some $200+psf more for Woodhaven over the existing (older) projects, SOHO notwithstanding...


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