The Newton and Novena areas are highly desirable residential neighbourhoods, boasting excellent transport connectivity, as well as proximity to amenities and schools, and the city centre. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - This Master Plan master class of the Newton & Novena areas also featured three noteworthy projects that interested buyers could consider.
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The Newton MRT Interchange Station is one of the busiest underground railway stations in Singapore, connecting commuters to stations on the North-South and Downtown Lines. It is also a prominent public transport hub in the popular Newton area.
The interchange is at the centre of a 2km radius that encompasses the Newton and Novena Planning Areas.
Presented by EdgeProp Singapore CEO Bernard Tong, the NDP Master Plan Master Class webinar on Aug 6 covered key development plans for the Newton and Novena Planning Areas laid out in the 2019 URA Master Plan. The presentation also showcased research and analytics tools available on EdgeProp Singapore’s online property portal.
Newton and Novena Planning Areas
The Newton Planning Area is primarily an upmarket residential district near the Orchard Road shopping belt. According to the Master Plan, this planning area is bounded by Balmoral Road and Bukit Timah Road, and also comprises the sprawling grounds of the Istana, the official residence and office of the President of Singapore.
Newton’s central location puts it close to the Civic & Cultural District and CBD, while its prime location in the Core Central Region and proximity to the city centre make it a popular residential neighbourhood that is characterised by numerous luxury developments.
Meanwhile, the neighbouring Novena Planning Area is a commercial and residential district bounded by Dunearn Road, Lornie Road, Thomson Road, and parts of the Central Expressway (CTE) and Pan Island Expressway (PIE). The entire planning area consists of several subzones including Moulmein, Balestier, Mount Pleasant and Dunearn.
Most of the commercial activity in Novena is anchored by several established shopping centres and office developments clustered at the junction of Newton Road, Thomson Road and Moulmein Road. The area is also an established medical district featuring prominent hospitals and healthcare institutions such as Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. (Find Singapore commercial properties with our commercial directory)
Given the popularity and proximity to convenient amenities within and around Newton and Novena, most of the residents tend to be working professionals, based on population statistics compiled by EdgeProp Singapore.
Families with school-going children would also find both areas convenient, especially those who intend to enrol their children into one of the nearby primary schools such as Anglo-Chinese School (Primary), Farrer Park Primary School, Singapore Chinese Girls’ Primary School and St Joseph’s Institution Junior.
Health City Novena
The largest urban transformation taking place in the Novena area is the 17ha HealthCity Novena, which is envisioned to be “an integrated community of healthcare, medical education and translational research in a vibrant and sustainable communal environment”.
Novena is an established medical precinct in the central region of Singapore, with several notable healthcare developments and hospitals near each other. These include Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Ren Ci Hospital, the National Skin Centre and the National Neuroscience Institute.
Complementing them are the Novena Medical Centre and the Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital and Medical Centre. Ancillary facilities include the Square 2 Mall, which is linked underground to the Novena MRT Station as well as the Novena Medical Centre, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, the Velocity mall and United Square.
In 2013, the master plan to develop Health City Novena was jointly unveiled by the Ministry of Health, the National Healthcare Group and Tan Tock Seng Hospital. It was billed as an integrated care approach to support the total healthcare needs of the growing and greying population in Singapore.
The future Health City Novena will boost the healthcare services offered by existing hospitals such as Tan Tock Seng Hospital. (Picture: Tan Tock Seng Hospital website)
Under this master plan, new and existing healthcare buildings that perform complementary functions will be interlinked by skybridges and pedestrianised streets. Health City Novena is expected to be completed by 2030 and will be completed in two phases.
As part of the first development phase, three new developments have been completed so far this year. The completed buildings are the Ng Teng Fong Centre for Healthcare Innovation, the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, and the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine Clinical Services Building.
By the end of this year, two more new buildings will round off the first development phase. The soon-to-be-completed developments are the Tan Tock Seng Integrated Care Hub and the new National Skin Centre.
The next development phase of Health City Novena will commence in 2023.
Future residential build-up around Health City Novena
There are only a handful of existing residential developments around Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Based on EdgeProp Singapore’s Landlens analytics tool, there are just 36 residential developments within a 500m radius of the hospital. The total number of housing units these private developments offer is about 2,300.
According to the Health City master plan, the healthcare facilities, research institutes and educational buildings are expected to accommodate more than 30,000 people per day when it is eventually completed and fully operational by 2030.
Based on the Singapore population census in 2020, the demographics of the Newton-Novena area is decidedly more mature (with a high proportion of those in the 40-54 age group) and in the higher echelons in terms of monthly income compared to Singapore as a whole. For instance, 45% of the population in the Newton area fall in the $10,000 to $15,000 bracket, while 11% of the population earn more than $15,000 a month. In Singapore as a whole, 54% of the population fall in the $10,000 to $15,000 income bracket, while 8% earn more than $15,000.
About 17% of the households in the Newton-Novena enclave are tenants. This translates to 3,113 such households, according to EdgeProp Landlens, based on Singapore population census 2020. Looking at condominiums located within a 500m radius of Tan Tock Seng Hospital and the existing Novena medical cluster, the monthly rental rates range from $4.20 psf to $5.80 psf, with rental yields in the 3.2% to 4.5% range, based on EdgeProp Landlens estimates.
Residential developments around the proposed Health City already attract strong rental and resale demand. (Map: EdgeProp Singapore)
Within a 500m radius of the Novena medical cluster, there has not been a new condominium project launch since Novena Regency, a boutique, freehold mixed-use development with just 55 apartments, located directly opposite the Novena Church. Launched in April 2013, units were sold at an average of $2,197 psf. The latest transaction was for the largest of the three-bedroom penthouse on the fourth floor, a 1,744 sq ft unit that changed hands for $2.21 million ($1,267 psf) in July 2021, based on a caveat lodged.
However, in the future, there will be more residential developments located in the vicinity of HealthCity Novena. Based on the Master Plan 2019, two residential sites along Mandalay Road are now listed as “subject to detailed planning”. This means that some details of the future redevelopment site, such as the gross plot ratio, are still being finalised.
The largest site earmarked for future residential redevelopment is more than 877,000 sq ft, and it was the location of the original Communicable Disease Centre, which had been housed there since 1985. The site has been used for various government healthcare facilities since 1907.
The second plot that might make way for redevelopment is about 184,700 sq ft. Based on the URA master plan, the site is an amalgamation of two plots of land — an existing car park and the site of a still-operational private education institution.
More details regarding the redevelopment plans for these earmarked plots of land are expected to be unveiled in the next URA master plan, which may be launched in 2024.
One of the largest ongoing infrastructure projects in Singapore is the construction of the 21.5km North-South Corridor (NSC). Overseen by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the NSC has been billed as Singapore’s longest Transit Priority Corridor.
Transit Priority Corridors were initially introduced by LTA in 2017 and are roads that integrate dedicated bus lanes, wider footpaths for pedestrians and dedicated cycling paths.
When this infrastructure project is completed in 2027, it will enhance the overall road connectivity for towns along the corridor towards the city centre. Some of these residential towns and districts include Woodlands, Sembawang, Yishun, Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Toa Payoh, Novena and Newton. The NSC will also provide links to expressways such as Seletar Expressway, Pan Island Expressway and East Coast Parkway.
A transport connectivity map of Singapore - the North-South Corridor is represented by the blue line running from Woodlands in the North, to the city centre. (Picture: URA)
The integration of various travel modes along the NSC will result in faster and smoother travel for commuters heading to and from the city centre, says LTA. It adds that bus commuters can expect to save up to 15 minutes of travel time when the corridor is fully operational.
One of the aims of the NSC is to alleviate road traffic along the heavily utilised CTE and major arterial roads such as Marymount Road, Thomson Road, and Newton Road. Tunnelling works to facilitate the construction of the NSC underneath Thomson Road started in 2020.
Residents in the Newton and Novena areas will benefit from the enhanced road connectivity of the future NSC.
Future evolution of Orchard Road
The Orchard Road shopping belt will be another future area of transformation that residents of Newton and Novena will be able to enjoy, given the areas’ proximity to the shopping belt.
The latest master plan laid out several proposals to transform sections of the shopping street, enhancing the overall character of the Orchard Road area into a lifestyle destination rather than just a shopping street.
URA envisions each of the subzones along Orchard Road evolving into areas with distinctive characteristics. These include enhancing the Tanglin Road area into a new arts and artisanal mixed-use neighbourhood, elevating the core Orchard Road area featuring luxury and flagship stores, transforming the Somerset area into a youth-centric entertainment zone, and turning the Dhoby Ghaut area into a family-friendly section with lush green spaces.
Newton is beside the renowned Orchard Road shopping belt which could see future transformation. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
The master plan highlights the potential redevelopment opportunities along Orchard Boulevard where several vacant State Land parcels could be turned into vibrant mixed-use developments in the future. The attractiveness of these potential developments will be enhanced when the Thomson-East Coast Line extension to Orchard MRT Station is completed later this year.
This section of the Thomson-East Coast Line also includes the nearby Orchard Boulevard MRT Station.
Plans are also afoot to establish Orchard Road as an urban green corridor with more green spaces. For example, URA proposed to strengthen Orchard Road’s attractiveness as a walkable urban corridor between the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Fort Canning Park.
Residential options in Newton and Novena
Most of the upcoming private residential supply in the Newton and Novena areas stems from private collective sales.
For example, in the Moulmein subzone of the Novena Planning Area, the upcoming luxury development Pullman Residences by EL Development is a redevelopment of the former Dunearn Gardens, which was sold in an en bloc deal worth $468 million in April 2018.
The area also recently saw the soft launch of the 25-unit Enchante by boutique developer Victory Land on July 23, with an official launch due in early September. The developer acquired the site, where a bungalow once sat, for $18.25 million in March last year.
The only Government Land Sale site in the vicinity is the Kampong Java Road plot, which was awarded to CEL Development with its winning bid of $418.38 million in January 2019. The new development is the luxury Kopar at Newton, which was launched in March 2020.
Most of the recent launches in the Newton and Moulmein areas are small-sized developments of less than 200 units. (Map: EdgeProp Singapore)
Using EdgeProp Singapore’s Landlens tool to view the list of recent new launches in the area, only eight new projects have been launched in the Moulmein area. Kopar at Newton and Pullman Residences are the only sizeable new developments with more than 200 units. Based on developer sales data available on Landlens, about 63% of the available units in these eight new launches have been sold to date.
The former Chancery Court, a privatised HUDC (Housing and Urban Development Co) estate, was purchased for $401.8 million by Far East Organization in 2018. However, the developer intends to refurbish the units and hold them for lease as corporate residences.
Meanwhile, two residential sites at 32 & 34 Gilstead Road were sold to a company owned by Kheng Leong Co for $70 million in February this year. While the developer has yet to announce its redevelopment plans for both plots, if amalgamated, they could be redeveloped into a 56-unit residential development, subject to approvals.
Looking ahead, a major transformation of the built environment in the Newton and Novena areas is already underway. Development plans laid down in the 2019 Master Plan and ongoing infrastructure projects in these planning areas look set to support residential and commercial demand for real estate in the areas.
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This Master Plan master class of the Newton & Novena areas also featured three noteworthy projects that interested buyers could consider.
Check out the latest listings near Newton, Novena, Pullman Residences, Enchante, Kopar at Newton, Newton MRT Interchange Station, Novena MRT Station, Anglo-Chinese School (Primary), Farrer Park Primary School, Singapore Chinese Girls’ Primary School, St Joseph’s Institution Junior, Orchard MRT Station