The Scala: Modern Convenience
Updated: Jan 1, 2021
Project Name: The Scala
Address: 130 Serangoon Avenue 3
District/Planning Area: D19 / Serangoon
Year of Completion (TOP): 2013
Tenure: 99 years from 2010
Land Size: 13,877sqm
Developer: Circle Line Pte Ltd (Hong Leong Holdings)
Total Number of Units: 468
Property Condition: 🌕🌕🌕🌗🌑
Common Facilities: 🌕🌕🌕🌑🌑
Surrounding Amenities: 🌕🌕🌕🌗🌑
What We Love:
✓ Direct MRT Access
✓ Amenities & Mall Nearby
✓ No “space-wasters” like bay windows Rather efficient layout
✓ Façade generally well-preserved
What Is Not So Appealing:
x West Sun for Middle Blocks facing road
x Household shelters in units (Sorry storage lovers)
If you are looking for great convenience and with decent condo facilities, The Scala might appeal to your needs.
With an MRT station literally at your gate, there aren’t many condos which can beat this development in terms of travel convenience. (Yes, we get the typical overused “With a stone’s throw away…” reference in so many ads, when in fact they may actually be referring to godly Olympians’ throws beyond us mere mortals.)
Anything better... you’d have to look towards Integrated Developments, where your condo is really a part of the Interchange. (But trust us, this gets you faster than to the train platforms than most integrated developments)
Literally at your doorstep
General Unit Information:
The Scala consists of 5 main residential blocks, each with 6 stacks of units having different layouts.
Due to the many types of unit layouts and widely varying conditions of individual units, we will not be elaborating much on the units themselves but focus more on the condominium in general.
For penthouse lovers, the highest units sit on the 17th floor, spread across 2 storeys for certain units such as the 2-Bedroom penthouse layout below:
There are household shelters built in every one of the units, which is not so appealing in our perspective due to the lesser availability of space for living and bedrooms. On the other hand, it may appeal to those who appreciate extra storage in the house for all their barang-barangs.
Also, units do not have the traditional condominium “space-wasters”, e.g. bay windows, planter boxes, both of which were designed more for increasing saleable strata area by developers in the 2000s than actual practical uses.
Generally, the unit layouts are more regular and squarish, compared to some in Chiltern Park condo where the living room may be more irregular, thereby complicating furniture arrangements.
However, Chiltern Park has no balcony space, instead allocating the internal floor area towards larger bedroom sizes, typical of old condo developments, as opposed to the smaller-sized bedrooms of more modern condos.
A 2 Bedder layout in Chiltern Park Condo
The façade of the buildings in general is still well-maintained in the eyes of visitors, which is expected for a 7-year old development. It remains to be seen how well the management can continue to upkeep the property and preserve it in the best light for years to come.
Nice chill-out spot to appreciate the development, particularly during nighttime
Full-sized Tennis Court
Basic gym equipped for some general fitness
Decent space to host your friends over a BBQ party
Simple & great place for your kids to expend their energy while you recharge at the side
Jacuzzi & a Children’s Pool to keep the kids safely occupied
There are basic amenities available pretty nearby at the Block 326 HDB shops just two bus-stops away, or about 5-7 mins walk if you need some light cardio done for the day (at non-Olympic racewalker pace).
Your basic needs covered at just two bus stops away
Pretty safe to say this takes about 5-7 mins to walk!
If you need some retail therapy to destress, you might wanna consider riding 1 stop further down to reach the “Heart of Serangoon” – NEX Shopping Mall. I don’t think this place needs much further introduction, so I’ll leave it as it is.
To satisfy your sweet tooth, hardcore dessert fans will revel in the proximity to the famous, insta-worthy Wimbly Lu along Jalan Riang in the private landed enclave, just 7 mins walk away.
Apart from the drool-worthy direct entrance to Lorong Chuan MRT Station & bus-stop just right in front of the development, let us examine convenience from a driver’s perspective.
Strategically located more towards the “central” part of Singapore, drivers can look forward to rather well-balanced travel times to various West, Central, East landmarks, namely JEM, MBS & Changi Airport for reference purposes.
Just 15 mins drive to MBS,19 mins drive to JEM, 20 mins drive to Changi Airport
If Primary Schools are a key concern for you, there are 3 of them within the coveted 1km radius: CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel, St Gabriel’s Primary School, Yangzheng Primary School, thereby improving your chances at enrolment with close distance.
Meanwhile, an additional 7 primary schools are also of decent proximity within the 2km radius.
Latest Transaction Prices
The latest transaction prices for the various unit types and the general price trend over the years shows two key observations:
1) Resale prices are hovering between $1100+ psf to $1600+ psf, depending on unit sizes. This is comparatively cheaper than the Rest of Central Region (RCR) New Launch prices these days ($1400 - $2100 psf on average). Then again, we must be cautious not to mistake price for value as there are many factors leading to the strong showing in the New Launch market these days. 2) Resale prices seem to be stagnating since its coming slightly off its peak in 2013, similarly between $1200 - $1600 psf. This is largely due to the novelty factor of a newly-TOP (Temporary Occupation Permit) development leading to greater willingness to fork out higher prices back in 2013. However, since The Scala is a leasehold development, it suffers from the usual leasehold fate of stagnating prices years after TOP, barring any major changes in the area.
Comparison with Surrounding Developments
When comparing with the neighbouring condos, The Scala posts an average of $1439 psf at levels rather similar to The Chuan and Goldenhill Park, both which are 999-year leasehold and freehold respectively. At almost 40% premium compared to its 99-year leasehold neighbours (albeit much older), we do not believe that The Scala in general is trading at a significant bargain right now.
There is always a possibility that potential buyers may choose to go for the much longer & indefinite lease alternatives, or pay much lower for the older leasehold developments instead, since both types are also in close proximity to the Lorong Chuan MRT station.
As mentioned earlier, the fact that The Scala is a few years past its TOP, which is typically the peak price for leasehold development, makes it hard to expect further significant appreciation potential. There seems to be no major transformation plans according to the URA Master Plan in the near vicinity, thereby limiting its potential for lucrative capital gains.
Nevertheless, The Scala has proven to be a hugely popular destination for tenants, who are possibly looking to take advantage of the excellent connectivity in terms of public transport. The locality supplies prospective staff and affluent tenants from families with children enrolled in the several international education institutions, as well as office and mall employees from the newly-refurbished New Tech Park Mall.
Prospective tenant pool in the vicinity
Let’s take a quick look below at the sheer amount of rental transactions in this development and you can see an extremely healthy rental demand by tenants of various origins, which can help reduce fears of a stagnant unrented unit should you decide to rent your unit out someday.
An impressive 19 rental contracts were inked only in the month of September, and an overwhelming total of 43 contracts when combining both the months of September and August 2020. This translates to a rental transaction volume of 9.19% of the total number of units moving in just two months! Now talk about popularity!
Our Honest Opinion
In a nutshell, The Scala is still relatively new and pleasing aesthetically, especially if you look directly across the road at the more seasoned Chiltern Park. Being the youngest development in the vicinity will definitely help to attract buyers and tenants who are more inclined towards newer and more modern architecture.
Facilities in general are rather basic and sufficient, though not luxurious. Some of them do seem to require a slightly greater amount of upkeep though.
The direct sheltered access to MRT station of the The Scala is definitely our favourite part of the condominium. As such, the transport convenience may still prove to be a trump card for its value preservation, at least for a few more years, partially due to the high rental demand, which may appeal to rental investors.
If you have strong emotional or physical needs to buy into this condominium, particularly due to the location, then The Scala will be the one for you.
However, if you are looking for greater value and return on your injected capital, we strongly believe that there are way better alternatives out there in the market.