Forest Woods Review – latest post TOP analysis for resale condo buyers

Forest Wood Review

Table of Contents

It is natural that most condo reviews are normally created during the development’s new launch phase. This is the period when there is the most hype and excitement around the project and also when buyer’s interest is at its peak.

We noticed a gap in reviews tailored for investors and property owners, specifically interested in scouting around for a resale condo instead of a new launch.

Following up on our previous article that dive into the performance of new launches that achieve its TOP status between 2019 to 2023. Forest Woods is one of the developments that stands out in terms of its outstanding 22% capital appreciation.

In this article, we will specifically conduct an in-depth review of Forest Wood. We will be reviewing it from the perspective of a resale condo buyer interested in buying into a resale condo that can appreciate further after its launch.

Review Criteria

Without sounding too academic, this is the general framework that we will be using to review Forest Woods. The review criteria established are all criterias that have shown to have a significant impact on a property’s potential for price appreciation.

  • Development’s age – considering the risk of price plateauing due to lease decay
  • Size of development – directly impacting transaction volume
  • Pricing – price competitiveness of development vs comparable properties
  • Quantum – the overall price to be paid for a specific unit, affecting affordability
  • Supply – the no of comparable competing properties in the vicinity
  • Exit audience – the size prospective exit buyers
  • URA Master Plan – future plan or competing properties for the area
  • Proximity to MRT – affects rentability and buyer’s demand
  • Proximity to Reputable School – major factor valued by families
  • Proximity to amenities
  • Rental demand
  • Density of development – consider no. of units sharing common space and facilities
  • Quality of facilities
  • Unit Layout – reviewing for efficiency in layout

Specific to the development and its prospective buyers, taking into consideration whether future buyers are purchasing for their own stay or for investments purposes, certain criteria will have more weightage than the other.

In the interest of keeping the article short, we will only touch on the notable ones for Forest Woods.

Summary – SWOT Analysis, Forest Woods

I understand that most of you guys would be time pressed. To spare you the details, I will be sharing the TLDR upfront in the form of a SWOT analysis, highlighting the key strength, weakness, opportunity and threat for Forest Woods.

Feel free to dive further into details for each of these components in later sections.

Strength

  • Supply – Forest Woods is the newest condo with closest proximity to Serangoon MRT, surrounding condos are all older developments
  • Proximity to Reputable School – Forest Woods is within 1km radius of both Paya Lebar Methodist Girls School and Maris Stella Primary School.
  • Pricing – competitive pricing, reasonable price gaps between Forest Woods and its lower bound comparable developments in Kovan and upper bound comparable developments in Woodleigh.

Weakness

  • Density – higher number of units sharing common facilities and space
  • Lack of a URA transformation narrative – unlike areas like Punggol, Jurong East and Bidadari. Forest Woods is not located in an area that is undergoing URA transformation.

Opportunity

  • Spill over demand from Kovan, Woodleigh, Bartley – opportunity to tap on spillover demand from buyers that are considering properties in these areas.

Threat

  • Buyer preference for larger sized units – future buyers may be interested in purchasing equally new but larger properties; further out into the OCR regions, in areas like Kovan, Punggol and Sengkang.

General information about Forest Wood

Information Details
Address 11 Lorong Lew Lian · 536493
District D19
Neighbourhood Serangoon
Property Type Condo
Project Size Medium (519 units)
Built Year 2016
TOP 2021
Tenure 99 years
No of Block 7
Floor 12
Gross Floor area (sqft) 452,142
Developer City Developments Limited (CDL)

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Unit Distribution

Unit Type Est.Size (sqft) No. of Units Percentage (%)
1 Bedroom + Study 490-530 69 13%
2 Bedroom 590-810 38 7%
2 Bedroom + Study 630-760 76 15%
2 Bedroom + Study (Premium) 720-870 88 17%
3 Bedroom 710-1100 133 26%
3 Bedroom Premium 970-1160 59 11%
4 Bedroom 1230-1450 53 10%
Penthouse (5 Bedroom) 2050-2570 3 1%
  Total 519 100%

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Historical Performance of Forest Wood

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Data as of Sept 2023

Profitable / Unprofitable Transactions

Transaction Count Percentage
Total Profitable / Unprofitable Transaction 73  
Profitable Transaction 73 100%
Unprofitable Transaction 0 0%

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Average profit and capital gain by bedroom type

Bedroom Average Profit (S$) Average capital gain (%)
1 164,482 22%
2 204,925 21%
3 307,144 24%
4 486,500 27%

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leo.

Supply – Current

One noteworthy strength about Forest Woods comes from a supply perspective. In the area surrounding Serangoon MRT, Forest Woods is the newest development with over 500 units.

The area is surrounded by a good mix of smaller boutique freehold developments. Its closest competitor is Sunglade, a 475 units, 23 year old development that TOP in 2003.

Supply of comparable properties in Serangoon Area

Project Name Tenure Tenure Completion No of units Dist (m) Avg Price (S$ psf) Age (as of 2023)  
SUNGLADE 99 yrs FROM 2000 2000 2003 475 299 1,441 23 2023
Forest Woods 99 yrs FROM 2016 2016 2020 519 373 1,873 7  
THE SUNSHINE Freehold hold 2003 45 419 1,268 20  
JADE RESIDENCES Freehold hold 2017 171 474 1,610 6  
CHERRYHILL Freehold hold 1994 163 499 1,391 29  
CHERRY GARDENS 99 yrs FROM 1996 1996 2004 48 559 815 27  
8 EDEN GROVE Freehold hold 1999 41 563 1,245 24  
CASA CAMBIO Freehold hold 2014 198 567 1,533 9  
ROSALIA PARK Freehold hold 1995 88 569 1,285 28  
VIBES@UPPER SERANGOON Freehold hold 2016 60 593 1,618 7  
THE GAZANIA Freehold hold 2022 250 770 1,956 1  
THE MINTON 99 yrs FROM 2007 2007 2013 1,145 884 1,434 16  
THE SCALA 99 yrs FROM 2010 2010 2013 468 914 1,747 13  
The Lilium Freehold hold 2021 80 965 1,804 2  

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On a side note, the healthy performance of Sunglade serves as a testimony to the buyer’s demand for the area. Sunglade owner’s have enjoyed a healthy capital appreciation of over 12% over a 4 year holding period, averaging a profit of over $150,000.

Sunglade Profitability

Project Name Location District Region Completion No of Units Profit Price Appreciation (%) Holding Period
Sunglade Serangoon D19 OCR 2003 475 393,142 56.06% 10.4
Sunglade – 3-5 year holding period Serangoon D19 OCR 2003 475 149,745 12.60% 4.3

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Supply – Future

A review of the URA Master Plan confirmed the fact that there will be no future government land sale site available for tender within the Serangoon MRT vicinity. This ensures that the supply dynamics remains in Forest Woods favour, with sites for new competing developments to be developed.

The closest GLS site available for tender is the site in Toa Payoh Lorong 1

Pricing

Price comparison between Forest Woods and developments within the Serangoon area

Given that Forest Woods is the newest development with greatest proximity to Serangoon MRT station. It will be used as a benchmark in comparison with older developments within the Serangoon area.

Referencing the price comparison table below.

Forest Woods shows a reasonable price gap between older comparable developments like Sunglade and Minton, pricing at a premium between $486 and $541 psf.

It is interesting to note that The Scala which is a relatively newer development, but 7 years older than Forest Woods, situated near Lorong Chuan MRT is only priced at $145 psf discount. This inferred some value in paying $145 psf more to get a newer unit in Forest Woods while being equally close to a MRT station.

Project Name Tenure Completion No of units Avg Price (S$ psf) Price Difference vs Forest Wood (S$ psf)
Forest Woods 99 yrs FROM 2016 2020 519 1,732 0
SUNGLADE 99 yrs FROM 2000 2003 475 1,246 486
THE MINTON 99 yrs FROM 2007 2013 1,145 1,191 541
THE SCALA 99 yrs FROM 2010 2013 468 1,587 145

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Price comparison with developments within the Kovan area – lower bound

Using Dhoby Ghaut as the centre point, Kovan being 1 MRT stop further away from centre than Serangoon MRT marks the lower bound for comparison.

Referencing the price comparison table below.

It is important to note that both Kovan Residences and Kovan Melody are priced between $385 to $465 lower than Forest Woods. And these two developments being just 1 MRT stop away from Serangoon MRT serves as close competition for Forest Woods. Buyers looking to purchase a larger unit, at a lower price point would be considering these two developments as alternatives.

On the other hand, Stars of Kovan being priced at only $26 psf discount to Forest Woods, adds strength to Forest Woods’ price competitiveness.

Project Name Tenure Completion No of units Avg Price (S$ psf) Price Difference vs Forest Wood (S$ psf)
Forest Woods 99 yrs FROM 2016 2020 519 1,732 0
STARS OF KOVAN 99 yrs FROM 2015 2019 390 1,706 26
KOVAN RESIDENCES 99 yrs FROM 2007 2011 521 1,347 385
KOVAN MELODY 99 yrs FROM 2004 2006 778 1,268 464

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Price comparison with developments within the Woodleigh area – upper bound

Woodleigh, being one MRT stop ahead of Serangoon from Dhoby Ghaut MRT forms the upper bound benchmark for Forest Woods.

Referencing the price comparison table below.

A price gap between $246 and $403 psf forms the cushion for Forestwood. Buyers who cannot afford to buy into the pricier options in Park Colonial and Woodleigh Residences would be considering Forestwood for a lower quantum purchase.

Project Name Tenure Completion No of units Avg Price (S$ psf) Price Difference vs Forest Wood (S$ psf)
THE WOODLEIGH RESIDENCES 99 yrs FROM 2017 2023 667 2,135 0
Forest Woods 99 yrs FROM 2016 2020 519 1,732 403
PARK COLONIAL 99 yrs FROM 2017 2021 805 1,978 0
Forest Woods 99 yrs FROM 2016 2020 519 1,732 246

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Quantum

For a development to perform well in terms of capital appreciation. Aside from being priced competitively from a psf perspective, its overall price quantum needs to be affordable as well.

This is the common selling point that newer developments use to differentiate itself from older developments.

While developers priced these newer developments at a higher psf. They build these newer developments in more efficient layout, getting rid of the usual bay windows, bomb shelters and planters boxes to produce smaller units that results in an affordable quantum.

Let’s see if this holds true for Forest Woods, when compared against its counterpart.

3 Bedder Quantum Analysis – Forest Woods and comparable developments

Development Size (sqft) Average Price (S$ psf) Quantum (S$)
Forest Woods 990 1,850 1,831,500
Forest Woods – 3 bedder with 1 balcony 753 1,850 1,393,050
Sunglade 1,087 1,399 1,520,713
The Minton 1,216 1,392 1,692,672
The Scala 1,033 1,710 1,766,430
Stars Of Kovan 947 1,773 1,679,031
Kovan Residences 1,173 1,487 1,744,251
Kovan Melody 1,173 1,411 1,655,103
The Woodleigh Residences 958 2,239 2,144,962
Park Colonial 980 2,049 2,008,020

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2 Bedder Quantum Analysis – Forest Woods and comparable developments

Development Size (sqft) Average Price (S$ psf) Quantum (S$)
Forest Woods 603 1,850 1,115,550
Sunglade 807 1,399 1,128,993
The Minton 936 1,392 1,302,912
The Scala 829 1,710 1,417,590
 
Stars Of Kovan 732 1,773 1,297,836
Kovan Residences 883 1,487 1,313,021
Kovan Melody 872 1,411 1,230,392
 
The Woodleigh Residences 570 2,239 1,276,230
Park Colonial 570 2,049 1,167,930

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Referencing the tables above.

You can see that a smaller 990 sqft, 3 bedder at Forest Woods is priced at $1.8mil. While a larger 3 bedder unit in older developments like The Scala and The Minton cuts close to Forest Woods price quantum with its 3 bedder being priced between $1.7 to $1.76mil.

Further out in Kovan, the price quantum gap narrows as well, as the larger 1,173 sqft 3 bedders is priced at between $1.65 to $1.75mil.

URA Master Plan

We see this as a weakness for Forest Wood. Being situated in Serangoon, a mature estate, there are no upcoming URA transformation plans in the pipeline.

Unlike areas like Punggol, Woodleigh, Jurong East and Harbor Front, there are no exciting URA transformation plan that can be used as selling points to drive further capital appreciation.

Density of Development

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Another possible drawback for Forest Woods is that it is rather dense in terms of its build up. There are 519 units built over a land area of 14,040 sqm.

Compared to developments like Sunglade, Kovan Residence and Kovan Melody, residents would enjoy more space and less crowded facilities.

Project Name No of units Land Size (sqm) Space per Unit (sqm)
SUNGLADE 475 18,852 40
THE WOODLEIGH RESIDENCES 667 25,441 38
KOVAN RESIDENCES 521 17,634 34
KOVAN MELODY 778 25,272 32
THE SCALA 468 13,877 30
Forest Woods 519 14,040 27
STARS OF KOVAN 390 10,097 26
THE MINTON 1,145 27,821 24
PARK COLONIAL 805 12,483 16

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Layout

From a layout perspective, the proposition of new launches with smaller sized built but more efficiency holds true. Taking a 3 bedder in Forest Woods as an example, when compared against layout of older developments in Sunglade and Minton, there are no bomb shelters, bay windows or planters box built in.

Floor plan – Sunglade 3 Bedder

Floor plan – Minton 3 Bedder

Floor plan – Forest Woods 3 Bedder

Image Credit : 99.co

Final Words

This concludes our review, highlighting the key notable strengths and weaknesses for Forest Woods as a development. Given the many strengths that Forest Woods have over its competitors in the Serangoon area, it would be an interesting property to consider as an investment to tap on future home stay buyers interested in living within the Serangoon area.

Given that ABSD presents an issue, check out the following article on decoupling and avoiding ABSD.

More reads, more gains ?

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If so, do check out the following articles.

Author

  • Jue Wen

    Jue Wen is the content marketing lead. This means he spend his waking hours researching and writing all things real estate. He believes life is a hustle and there is no joy in grinding away daily in our little rat races. He believes making wise moves in real estate investment can be a game changer. Aside from writing all things real estate, you can find him in your nearest bouldering gym.

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Jue Wen

Author

Jue Wen is the property analyst and content marketing lead at decoupling expertise.
He specialises in helping clients overcome the complexities involved in owning their second private property in Singapore.
He had over 10 years of experience in real estate investing and have written over 40 detail guides on decoupling and minimising ABSD. He is a licensed real estate consultant and holds a Bachelor degree in Business Management from the Nanyang Technological University.

Kenji

Co-Author

Kenji is the Group Division Director of ERA Realty Network.
He have got over 20 years of experience in real estate and have successfully helped over 50 couples purchased their second property. He specialises in helping client achieve the best approach towards acquiring their ideal investment properties while minimising ABSD.