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

InformationDetails
Address11 Lorong Lew Lian · 536493
DistrictD19
NeighbourhoodSerangoon
Property TypeCondo
Project SizeMedium (519 units)
Built Year2016
TOP2021
Tenure99 years
No of Block7
Floor12
Gross Floor area (sqft)452,142
DeveloperCity Developments Limited (CDL)

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Unit Distribution

Unit TypeEst.Size (sqft)No. of UnitsPercentage (%)
1 Bedroom + Study490-5306913%
2 Bedroom590-810387%
2 Bedroom + Study630-7607615%
2 Bedroom + Study (Premium)720-8708817%
3 Bedroom710-110013326%
3 Bedroom Premium970-11605911%
4 Bedroom1230-14505310%
Penthouse (5 Bedroom)2050-257031%
 Total519100%

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Historical Performance of Forest Wood

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Data as of Sept 2023

Profitable / Unprofitable Transactions

TransactionCountPercentage
Total Profitable / Unprofitable Transaction73 
Profitable Transaction73100%
Unprofitable Transaction00%

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Average profit and capital gain by bedroom type

BedroomAverage Profit (S$)Average capital gain (%)
1164,48222%
2204,92521%
3307,14424%
4486,50027%

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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 NameTenureTenureCompletionNo of unitsDist (m)Avg Price (S$ psf)Age (as of 2023) 
SUNGLADE99 yrs FROM 2000200020034752991,441232023
Forest Woods99 yrs FROM 2016201620205193731,8737 
THE SUNSHINEFreeholdhold2003454191,26820 
JADE RESIDENCESFreeholdhold20171714741,6106 
CHERRYHILLFreeholdhold19941634991,39129 
CHERRY GARDENS99 yrs FROM 1996199620044855981527 
8 EDEN GROVEFreeholdhold1999415631,24524 
CASA CAMBIOFreeholdhold20141985671,5339 
ROSALIA PARKFreeholdhold1995885691,28528 
VIBES@UPPER SERANGOONFreeholdhold2016605931,6187 
THE GAZANIAFreeholdhold20222507701,9561 
THE MINTON99 yrs FROM 2007200720131,1458841,43416 
THE SCALA99 yrs FROM 2010201020134689141,74713 
The LiliumFreeholdhold2021809651,8042 

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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 NameLocationDistrictRegionCompletionNo of UnitsProfitPrice Appreciation (%)Holding Period
SungladeSerangoonD19OCR2003475393,14256.06%10.4
Sunglade – 3-5 year holding periodSerangoonD19OCR2003475149,74512.60%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 NameTenureCompletionNo of unitsAvg Price (S$ psf)Price Difference vs Forest Wood (S$ psf)
Forest Woods99 yrs FROM 201620205191,7320
SUNGLADE99 yrs FROM 200020034751,246486
THE MINTON99 yrs FROM 200720131,1451,191541
THE SCALA99 yrs FROM 201020134681,587145

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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 NameTenureCompletionNo of unitsAvg Price (S$ psf)Price Difference vs Forest Wood (S$ psf)
Forest Woods99 yrs FROM 201620205191,7320
STARS OF KOVAN99 yrs FROM 201520193901,70626
KOVAN RESIDENCES99 yrs FROM 200720115211,347385
KOVAN MELODY99 yrs FROM 200420067781,268464

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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 NameTenureCompletionNo of unitsAvg Price (S$ psf)Price Difference vs Forest Wood (S$ psf)
THE WOODLEIGH RESIDENCES99 yrs FROM 201720236672,1350
Forest Woods99 yrs FROM 201620205191,732403
PARK COLONIAL99 yrs FROM 201720218051,9780
Forest Woods99 yrs FROM 201620205191,732246

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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

DevelopmentSize (sqft)Average Price (S$ psf)Quantum (S$)
Forest Woods9901,8501,831,500
Forest Woods – 3 bedder with 1 balcony7531,8501,393,050
Sunglade1,0871,3991,520,713
The Minton1,2161,3921,692,672
The Scala1,0331,7101,766,430
Stars Of Kovan9471,7731,679,031
Kovan Residences1,1731,4871,744,251
Kovan Melody1,1731,4111,655,103
The Woodleigh Residences9582,2392,144,962
Park Colonial9802,0492,008,020

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2 Bedder Quantum Analysis – Forest Woods and comparable developments

DevelopmentSize (sqft)Average Price (S$ psf)Quantum (S$)
Forest Woods6031,8501,115,550
Sunglade8071,3991,128,993
The Minton9361,3921,302,912
The Scala8291,7101,417,590
 
Stars Of Kovan7321,7731,297,836
Kovan Residences8831,4871,313,021
Kovan Melody8721,4111,230,392
 
The Woodleigh Residences5702,2391,276,230
Park Colonial5702,0491,167,930

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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 NameNo of unitsLand Size (sqm)Space per Unit (sqm)
SUNGLADE47518,85240
THE WOODLEIGH RESIDENCES66725,44138
KOVAN RESIDENCES52117,63434
KOVAN MELODY77825,27232
THE SCALA46813,87730
Forest Woods51914,04027
STARS OF KOVAN39010,09726
THE MINTON1,14527,82124
PARK COLONIAL80512,48316

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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.