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Daintree Residence Review: Lush side of life

toh tuck new launch

toh tuck new launch

Introduction

Thank you for stopping by my Daintree Residence Review. Daintree is the new private condominium project launched in July of 2018 at the former site of the Canadian International School. Located along Toh Tuck Road and in District 21, Upper Bukit Timah. 

When the site was launched for tender under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme in 2017, it drew a record bid from 24 developers. In addition, the top seven bids blew past analysts estimates.

September 2020 update: with the recent relaxation of the circuit breaker and new project launches around the vicinity like Forett@Bukit Timah, The Linq @ Beauty World and Verdale, Daintree is getting heighten interest and sales are brisk. Keeping in mind Forett and The Linq are freehold.

As of 25th October 2020, there are only 31 units left. For guide prices, head on to our pricing section. To see some photos of the construction progress, click here.

9 units sold in October.
31 units sold in September.
48 units sold in August.
56 units sold in July.
34 units sold in June.

Rating of Daintree Residence

Accessibility……………….…..8/10

Amenities………………..……..7/10

Facilities………………………….8/10

Layout……………………………..9/10

Value…………………….…………8/10

Pros

  • Location
  • Developed by a FIABCI award-winning developer
  • Modern facilities with a tennis court
  • Good grounds to building ratio
  • Near good schools
  • Functional unit layout and size

Cons

  • No children’s playground
  • Limited views as it is surrounded by condos
  • Leasehold in the midst of freehold properties
  • One lift per block

Quick facts about Daintree Residence

Tenure: 99 years leasehold from July 2017

Estimated completion: June 2022

Site Area: Estimated 201,510 sq ft

No. of Towers: 12

No. of Storeys: 5

No. of Units: 327 units

Carpark Lots:  327 lots + 4 handicap lots

Unit Type  Size (sq ft)
1-bedroom 538 – 560
2 + 1 bath 603 – 678
2 + 2 bath 710 – 786
3-bedroom 1,001 – 1,249
4-bedroom 1,485 – 1,539

About Daintree Residence

Located at 11 Toh Tuck Road, the site sits sandwiched by three other condos and some landed houses. High Oak Condo sits to its right, while The Creek @ Bukit is to its left. View at Kismis, which was launched one year after Daintree, sits at the rear. 

daintree residence construction site aerial birds eye view

Toh Tuck Road is a major arterial road connecting Bukit Batok to Bukit Timah. This road can get pretty busy during peak hours and experiences much traffic almost all hours of the day. 

The terrain that Daintree sits on is not flat. It is generally sloping upward from the entrance to the rear and from High Oak to The Creek. Because of the hilly nature of this location, the condos here have a staggered-height feature.

As the blocks aren’t all at the same height, it gives some top floor units a less obstructed view, and those beneath a little bit more light and ventilation. 

daintree residence reviewDaintree Residence was the very first new project launched immediately after the announcement of new property cooling measures on the 5th of July in 2018. S P Setia won the hotly contested site when it was put up for sale under the Government Land Sales Programme. 

The name Daintree Residence was inspired by the world’s oldest tropical rainforest located in Australia. The landscaping and the overall design language of this condo are heavily influenced by the lush and green environment as its namesake.

Daintree condo review logo

Even the design of the font of this condo’s name was deliberate. The cursive script lends certain softness and the double ee in Daintree signifies elegant and exquisite. Look carefully at the site layout and you will also see the blocks laid out in the double e formation. The developer chose to call the first e the Valley Wing. The other wing, which is further away from the entrance, will be known as the Rainforest Wing. 

There is even a tag line, Lush side of life, which really summarises what the designers and developer hope to achieve with this property. 

An example of care in the development of the property is the conservation of a Raintree that is about half a century old, which the developer took pains to preserve and built around. 

Speaking with the developer’s staff. I get a strong sense of pride in their work and design ethos to provide the best homes they can.

Here is a fly-through video showing how it will look like when it is completed

Check out the facilities

Daintree boasts a full suite of modern facilities that include a tennis court. Tennis courts are seldom a feature in a low rise condominium or even for most modern condominiums. Despite the space constraints, this condo still boasts a tennis court on the roof of Tower A. 

Daintree residence condo review

Typically for a low-rise development, you will find that the buildings’ footprint tends to occupy a large percentage of the site. It is no different here for Daintree, however, what is different here is the creation of a 330-metre Treetop Walk that is approximately 35,000 square feet of additional communal space for the residents to enjoy.

Daintree residence new launch opinion

Starting with the Grand Entrance, Valley Boulevard and Lantern Arrival. These are the features that will greet every homeowner and visitors when they enter the condo. It gives off a posh vibe and at the same time feels warm and welcoming. Similar to what you get in modern higher-end condos, certainly less common in this stretch of the Toh Tuck Road. 

Daintree honest opinion

There is a total of 50 named features or facility in this condo. This is a fairly impressive number of features for such a modestly-sized development. Let me highlight some features that residents might find useful.

The Valley Club – One of the two clubhouse of Daintree Residence

There are two clubhouses, one for each wing. The Valley Club which consists of Valley Pavilion and Verandah forms the clubhouse in the Valley Wing. While the Rainforest Club houses the Rainforest Club, the gymnasium, steam rooms and the Rainforest Bridge. 

daintree residence good and bad

Because of the two wings, there is also a near duplication of facilities on both sides. Reflecting that are the two pools, a 25-metre Infinity Pool at the Valley Wing and a 50-metre Leisure Pool at the Rainforest Wing.

Located just after the Guard House is the Smart Storage. I believe this is a highly welcome addition to any condo with the rise in e-commerce. It is definitely going to bring great convenience and not to mention, better security, for the residents. 

Mentioned earlier was the Treetop Walk, this is not just a meandering path for residents to take a leisurely stroll but located on the roof of this development are many functional spaces for the residents to mingle or entertain their friends and relatives. 

Daintree residence treetop walk review

There is an added benefit of having cooking and eating areas up on the roof as opposed to having them on the ground like most traditional condos. The smell and noise from the cooking will dissipate upwards and not disturb the other residents. 

How about the residents on the top floor? I have heard complaints from tenants living one level below facility decks in other condos. Well, we won’t know for sure whether it will be the same case for Daintree until after its completion. 

However, I understand that there is a deliberate gap designed between the tennis court and the unit below it. This gives some reassurance to those units below the various dining pavilions spread out on the Treetop Walk that there will some sort of buffer against potential noise from the people utilising the facilities on top.

What is nearby? Location, location, location

Looking at the map of Singapore, Daintree isn’t particularly central. But its location is still sought after primarily because of its proximity to a myriad of educational institutions spanning from pre-school all the way to post-university. And also a plethora of international schools.

So much so, the Chinese nationals, whom prize education highly, coined a term that they refer to properties in this location – 学区房. Or loosely translated, properties within an education district. 

Despite it’s less than central location, the drive to the central business district takes only 20 minutes but rise to an average of 45 minutes during peak hours. Fortunately, the Downtown line will also bring you to the CBD in about the same time during peak hours. 

Another interesting point to note about Daintree’s location is its position at the crossroads of the original CBD and Singapore’s second CBD.

Transportation

Daintree is just about a 600-metre or 7-minute walk to Beauty World MRT station’s Exit C. There are two traffic junctions to cross in this walk and it is currently only partially sheltered.

Fortunately, there is a bus stop right in front of the condo entrance. This is especially helpful on days when it is raining, you might want to just hop on to bus number 41 or 173 for a quick 2 stop ride to the MRT. 

Plans have been announced for an Integrated Transport Hub (ITH) to be located at the junction of Jalan Jurong Kechil and Upper Bukit Timah Road. This Integrated Transport Hub will add a bus interchange to the MRT, making Beauty World a more robust transportation node.

Bringing greater convenience to the residents here and also better traffic to the various businesses located here. The ITH is slated to be completed in 2025 or 2026. 

A potential Cross-Island Line (CRL) and Downtown Line MRT Interchange could also be in the works! Looking at the map of the MRT lines, you can see that the CRL cuts through the Beauty World area, it would make sense to have an interchange at the Beauty World station. This interchange could come into fruition sometime in 2030 to 2031.

That is one of the important factors or checklist criteria for a potential property hotspot, have a read at my earlier article detailing how to identify potential property hotspot for investment here!

There are a pair of bus stops right at the doorstep of Daintree

One is on the opposite side of the road, Bus Stop number 42231 (before Jalan Jurong Kechil) and has three bus numbers calling. Namely bus numbers 41, 77 and 173.

The other one, which is on the same side of the road as Daintree is Bus Stop number 42239 (after Jalan Jurong Kechil) also have the same bus numbers stopping here. 

How about for those that drive or are driven? They will find that Daintree is well connected by major arterial roads and also major expressways. More importantly, Daintree has a few alternative routes you can choose to bypass heavy traffic. 

The traffic condition around Daintree can be pretty heavy during peak rush hours. Having multiple alternative routes makes a difference whenever there is a particularly bad jam in one of the routes.

Take for example if a resident is travelling to Changi Airport by taking the Pan Island Expressway. To get to PIE, the driver has a choice of four routes! Moreover, the resident can choose to take the Ayer Rajah Expressway if PIE does not have favourable traffic conditions.

Amenities

Near to Beauty World, Orchard Road, Demsey Village, Holland Village, Grandstand, a myriad of shops along Bukit Timah Road and Dunearn Road. All these are well and good, but can you do your day to day living without needing to travel too far?

Yoga studios? Pet hotels? Clinics? Supermarkets or even the traditional wet market? Facials and hair salons? From my chat with some of the residents, yes, they pretty much do those within the neighbourhood. Some will travel to neighbouring estates for, say yoga, but otherwise, Beauty World and the Bukit Timah stretch do cater to daily living needs and wants.

Schools

Pei Hwa Presbyterian and Bukit Timah Primary School are within 1km. Of course, being at one end of the education district stretching from Newton to Beauty World, your kids have it covered from infant care all the way to university. To be fair, the universities aren’t in the same location but by then the kids would be grown and this location is considerably nearer to NUS and NTU than say East Coast.

Other points of note

Wide range of food options

Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre and Adam Food Centre are places to go to for affordable and good local food like carrot cake, satay, BBQ chicken wings, nasi lemak, fried kuay teow etc.

Cheong Chin Nam Road and Lorong Kilat do house some excellent restaurants and eateries catering to a myriad of tastes from Korean to Japanese to Italian to Indian cuisines. 

Be close to nature

The Bukit Timah, Bukit Batok and Dairy Farm Nature Reserves are just some of the green spaces nature lovers can enjoy and reach by foot. If you don’t mind travelling a little further, there you will have the Singapore Botanical Gardens.

Yet another good news is the completion of the Rail Corridor and the Sky Park scheduled for 2022 and 2024, respectively, would further enhance the reputation of Bukit Timah as a nature lover’s haven. 

Plenty of recreational options

The British Club, Raffles Town Club, Swiss Club, Temasek Club. 

Site discussion

There are two wings, the Valley and Rainforest wings as covered in the facilities section of this review.

In my view, instead of choosing to lay out the units in the traditional North-South facing. Much like the layout at Terrene at Bukit Timah or The Creek at Bukit, Daintree looks refreshing and interesting from the air. 

However, this causes some units to have less desirable facing like those that face the west or the neighbouring condos.

Also noteworthy is that there are no penthouses in this condo. The developer has instead chosen to sacrifice the attic level of the penthouses to create the Tree Top Walk. The developer is probably astute in not creating such a product as experience has shown us that there is a limited market for such properties. 

The first floor and the fifth-floor units in Daintree comes with higher ceilings of 4.3 meters for the living room, dining room, the bedrooms and the study. The positive is that Setia doesn’t charge you for the air space. This is unlike some other condos where the air space is included in the strata area.

However, do take note of the prices for the ground floor and the top floor units, they are adjusted higher to reflect the premium in having a loftier ceiling. Po-tay-to or po-tah-to, you decide. 

high ceiling bedroom

Heritage Lawn is where the tree that sits originally on the former Canadian International school site, Setia preserved it and design the building around it in order to conserve it. 

Finishing and layout

One selling point the developer would like to highlight is the provision for a smart storage cabinet near the entrance to the unit. Previously, most of the developers will just house the Electrical Distribution Box in just a simple and shallow cabinet that is mostly useless.  The “deluxe storage” cabinet is a nice touch and should be standard provision – NOT a selling point! I have started to see this as quite a standard feature in the recently launched condos.
smart storage cabinet

Essentially this cabinet is properly sized for your cleaning appliances like vacuum cleaners. The doors also have compartment and hooks for equipment like a broom, dustpan etc. It also has shelves for you to store your cleaning detergents.

One nice touch is found in the 2-bedroom show suite. I think by providing these shelves for keeping the condiments are a nice touch. Curiously these shelves are absent from the 3-bedroom showflat. 

daintree missing condiment shelve

Show suite virtual tour


 

Pricing and sale progress

Setia bid a little too aggressively for this piece of land to come up tops among 13 developers. At that time, there was never so many bidders for a piece of land put on sale by the GLS programme. Putting their breakeven cost at around $1,448psf ppr.

Daintree units are sold at an average of $1,686psf. The $psf ranges from as low as $1,524psf for a 2-bedroom, 775sqft unit to as high as $1,952 for a 1-bedroom, 560sqft unit.

daintree price chart
Each blue dot represents a unit sold and it’s corresponding time and $psf pricing. Source: Squarefoot Research
daintree sales progress
Sales has taken off lately in Daintree. Source: Squarefoot Research

25th October 2020 update: these are the available units, the usual disclaimer applies. Prices and availability may change without notice and may not be updated here in a timely fashion. Best to drop me a text or give me a ring. 

Unit Type Size (sq ft) No. of Units available Indicative Price Range
1-bedroom 517 to 560 6 $971,270 to $1,038,540
2-bedroom 678 to 786 FULLY SOLD  
3-bedroom 1,001 to 1,249 24 $1,691,880 to $2,113,000
4-room 1,593 LAST UNIT $2,636,420

Here is a sample of prices for a nearby comparable project, Forett@Bukit Timah, keep in mind, Forett is a freehold project.

𝗨𝗻𝗶𝘁 𝗧𝘆𝗽𝗲:
1 Bedroom + Study (474sqft)
#04-14 $935,000 ($1973psf)
#07-47 $941,000 ($1985psf)
#08-47 $950,000 ($2004psf)
#06-14 $952,000 ($2,008psf)

2 Bedroom (570sqft)
#07-49 $1,140,000 570sf ($2000psf)
#08-49 $1,152,000 570sf ($2021psf)

2 Bedroom + Study (689sqft) (Open Kitchen)
#03-40 $1,330,000 ($1930psf)
#04-40 $1,339,000 ($1943psf)

2 Bedroom + Study (Enclosed Kitchen)
#02-45 $1,340,000 721sf ($1859psf)
#03-45 $1,345,000 721sf ($1865psf)
#02-31 $1,382,000 721sf ($1917psf)
#02-17 $1,485,000 764sf ($1944psf)

2 Bedroom Deluxe
#02-05 $1,343,000 743sf ($1808psf)
#03-05 $1,372,000 743sf ($1847psf)

3 Bedroom Deluxe (947sqft/980sqft)
#02-06 $1,752,000 947sf ($1850psf)
#02-96 $1,752,000 947sf ($1850psf)
#03-10 $1,756,000 947sf ($1854psf)
#02-94 $1,816,000 980sf ($1853psf)

3 Bedroom Dual Key
#02-01 $1,949,000 1033sf ($1987psf)
#03-01 $1,970,000 1033sf ($1907psf)
#02-81 $1,977,000 1033sf ($1914psf)

3 Bedroom Premium
#02-73 $2,132,000 1109sf ($1922psf)
#03-73 $2,149,000 1109sf ($1938psf)
#04-39 $2,156,000 1087sf ($1983psf)

4 Bedrooms Premium
#01-87 $2,483,000 1281sf ($1938psf) 𝙃𝙞𝙜𝙝 𝘾𝙚𝙞𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜
#01-38 $2,558,000 1356sf ($1886psf)

4 Bedroom Suites (1442sqft)
#01-27 $2,808,000 ($1947psf)
#02-27 $2,828,000 ($1961psf)

5 Bedroom Suites (1884sqft)
#02-51 $3,783,000 ($1984psf)
#04-51 $3,803,000 ($2019psf)

Prices for Forett are accurate as of 16th October 2020.

Construction update

Here are some photos I have managed to snap when I passed by the site on 22nd April 2021. 

Daintree construction
Daintree construction update
Daintree construction update
Daintree construction

Below are two photos I have managed to snap when I was at the site on 22nd September 2020. 

Shot on 22/9/2020. A photo of Tower A, Stack 02.
Photo taken on 22/9/2020. Not sure if that is Tower E peaking out from behind the Setia logo.

Conclusion

As this review is just my side of the story, I have always believed in listening to the customer and understanding their needs. If you have any doubts as to which project to choose, feel free to get in touch to have a chat.

I am also happy to receive feedback on this project if you have any, would love to hear your views!

To get started, pick a date below. 



farrand hey

About The Author

Farrand blogs to share his experience gathered over the last decade of serving homeowners and investors. (but he prefers to meet face to face and talk)

He is passionate about helping the younger generation plan for their future and to grow their wealth.  

His clients and colleagues alike frequently sought him out for his unbiased and honest views. 

When he is not busy with work or writing, he loves to cook and watch reruns of Top Gear.

Making it a point to stay healthy, he struggles to wake up earlier to fit in some cardio. Although he finds it hard to resist the lure of tasty food.

Recently married, he is still basking in marital bliss. That’s a photo of him the day after proposing to his wife (doing what else, but eating).

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