The Skywoods (Review)

By The Folks @PropTalk - September 29, 2014 3 Comments

One of our readers had asked us about The Skywoods. Given that it has been awhile since we last visited the Dairy Farm area, the wife and I decided to make our way there last week.

The sales gallery of The Skywoods is located at Petir Road, just before you hit Foresque Residences and Tree House if you are coming by Dairy Farm Road. However, the actual site of The Skywoods is along Dairy Farm Road - next door to Dairy Farm Estate.

The 99-year leasehold site was purchased via a government land sales programme back in September 2012. A consortium that included Hock Lian Seng Holdings, King Wan Corporation and TA Corporation - the same folks that are responsible for projects such as Starlight Suites, The Inspira and Parc Seabreeze - paid $616psf ppr for the 188,000+sqft plot.

A quick check indicated that The Skywoods was launched back in September 2013 so the project has been selling for exactly a year now.

The sales gallery was largely empty on the day of our visit. The Skywoods consist of 420 units spread over 6 tower blocks of 15-storey each. Unit types available range from 1+Study to 4-bedroom penthouses. Access to the development will be via Dairy Farm Heights - you will not find this stretch of road on any road directory (yet) as it is purposefully built by the developers for this project.

Facility wise, The Skywoods is quite generous with its offerings - the facilities are grouped under different "zones" within the development and you get your fair share of different themed swimming pools, fitness court & jogging trails, Clubhouse with fully equipped (even kitchenette) function rooms and Cabanas with outdoor dining options. The developers have even thrown in a tennis court for good measures.


In terms of parking, the development has 420 lots (the usual "1 to 1") plus 4 handicapped parking.

The sales gallery featured showflats for the 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom unit type. We will focus on the 4-bedder layout for this review.

The unit concerned is a Type 4(S1) of 1,346sqft. As you enter the main door, you arrived into the living/dining area. The space you get is actually pretty decent relative to the unit size, as evident from the photo we took.

One unique feature of the apartments within The Skywoods is their high ceilings - the typical ceiling height is 3.25m while ground-floor units go up to a whopping 4.65m! And unlike most other developments, you do not have to pay for the "double volume" space that comes with the ground-floor units. The much higher ceiling definitely makes the units at The Skywoods feel more spacious and with a bit of creativity, the "double volume" within the ground-floor units can actually be converted into more physical space at no additional purchase cost.

You also get compressed marble flooring in the living/dining area.

 
Unlikely many of the new projects that we have seen recently, you do not get the "kitchen view" immediately upon entering the apartment (which is a welcomed change in our opinion). The kitchen is again pretty good-sized and comes fully equipped with appliances (hood/hob, fridge, oven from Electrolux and a full set of top/bottom cabinets). However, we are not particularly impressed with the workmanship of the cabinets.

There is no yard to speak of so your washing machine will have to share real estate with the kitchen (you do get a Electrolux washer/dryer as consolation though). The utility room is a narrow strip of space located at the end of the kitchen and is really more suited for storage of goods rather than housing human (aka your helper), especially since the only ventilation you get is via the entrance. The bathroom next door is again tiny so expect everything (toilet bowl, wash basin etc) to be wet once someone decides to take a shower inside.

 
On one side (nearer to the main door) of the living/dining area is the junior master suite. The only reason for calling this bedroom a "suite" is that it's en-suite (attached bathroom), because the size of the bedroom is far from "suite-like" - you put in a Queen-bed and all that's left is just walking space around the room.

The other 3 bedrooms are all across the hall from the junior master suite. The two common bedroom are really tiny - the developers weren't kidding when they displayed a cot in one of the bedrooms because that's about all the space you get. The only saving grace with the bedrooms are the timber flooring, which looked more than decent in quality.

 

The common bathroom is ... functional. That is probably the best way to put it given the nondescript design and quality of fittings you get. 

Finally, the master bedroom. This is the largest of the four bedrooms (stating the obvious) but do not expect very much more space. Maybe the developers should have dispensed with the long-bath in the attached bathroom and convert this into more bedroom space. But at least they have gotten things right by having a separate shower cubicle (instead of making you climb over and into the long-bath when you merely want a quick shower). Again we weren't particular impressed with the bathroom fittings and the standard "rail" shower in the cubicle.

  
Pricing wise, a 4-bedder unit {Type 4(S1)A} of 1,292sqft on the 6th floor is currently asking about $1.51 million. Price is after a 3% discount and translates to around $1,168psf. The wife and I were told that despite the project being launched for a year now, it is less than 30% sold.



What we like:

1.     The high ceiling offered for apartments within The Skywoods, especially with the ground-floor units. The fact that they do not charge you extra for it is a significant selling point. 

2.     The development is supposedly about 600m away from the upcoming Hillview MRT station on the Downtown Line Stage 2, which is scheduled to come into service sometime in 1Q2016. 


What we do not quite like:

1.     The quality aspect of the project (from what we can gauged in the showflat) is average at best. 

2.     We are resigned to the fact that the bedrooms in new developments these days are small but those we had seen (especially the common bedrooms) at The Skywoods have given new perspective to the meaning of "small".

3.     When comes to the kitchen, the wife has particular concern with the rubbish chute, which is located in the kitchen and directly opposite to the cooking area. Not very hygienic, she said, which I cannot help but agree (and not just because she is the wife). 

4.     For those who need to put their kids into primary school in 2015 or after, your only two options within 1-km of The Skywoods are Bukit Panjang Primary (co-ed) and CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace (all-girls). So get ready your affiliations or pray very hard that the parcel of land next-door - supposedly slated for "educational facilities" - is for building of another primary school.


Our parting shot

After visiting The Skywoods, the wife and I can appreciate the reasons for its dismal sales thus far. There is really very little going for the project. And not helping the developers' cause is the fact that there are quite a few land parcels surrounding the project that are slated for private residential developments.

So unless market sentiments improved significantly, we reckon that The Skywoods will have to drop prices by alot more than the 3% than they had already done so in order to move units.


3 comments to ''The Skywoods (Review)"

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  1. Could you do a similar review on Eco Sanctuary? Thanks!

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    1. Another vote on Eco Sancturay, which is near to the Skywoods

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    2. The wife and I have actually done a review on Eco Sanctuary back in October. Cheers!

      http://www.sgproptalk.sg/2014/10/eco-sanctuary-review.html

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