Thomson Three Review – An updated unbiased analysis for resale buyer

Thomson Three Review

Table of Contents

Who is this article for ?

There are many different types of property buyer out there and each adopt a very different set of criteria when reviewing their property.

At one end of the spectrum, there are buyers who see their property solely as a place for their family to live in and tend to purchase on emotion, i.e when their wives like the property or when their child loves the playground.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are Stayvestors. These are buyers who see their property as an investment asset that can save them from the grind of the mindless 9 to 5 rat race.

If you fall into the latter group of buyers, this article is crafted specially for you. In this article, there will be no or little mention of swimming pool size and how much you or your kid will enjoy the facilities. We will specifically focus on the money making potential of the property.

Property in focus

2022 and 2023 sees several new launches being launched in the area surrounding MRT stations around the Thomson East Cost Line.

AMO Residences was the first to get things going, setting a new record high $2100 psf selling price for OCR condos. It sold 98% of its unit on the day of its launch and is situated near Mayflower MRT.

Lentor Modern and Lentor Hills stole the spotlight in 2023, with Lentor Modern selling 84% of its unit on launch day. This brought a fresh supply of new condo developments to the Lentor MRT.

One MRT stop away from Lentor MRT is the Bright Hill MRT, it is year marked to be the interchange between the Thomson East Coast Line and the up and coming Cross Island Line.

In this article we look to review the existing resale condo developments in the area and check out if there are any buying opportunities. We will specifically be focusing on Thomson Three as the subject of our review.

Key draw for the Bright Hill MRT / Sin Ming area

The Sin Ming area is an area that attracts families purchasing property for their own stay.

The presence of two highly sought after primary school, namely Ai Tong School and CHIJ St Nicholas Girls School serves as primary motivators for parents to vye for a property within 1km radius of these schools.

General information – Thomson Three

Here’s a quick overview of the general information regarding Thomson Three.

InformationDetails
AddressBright Hill Drive
DistrictD20
NeighbourhoodBishan
Property TypeApartment
Project Size435
TOP2016
Tenure99 Yrs From 07/11/2012
No of Block13
Floor21
Gross Floor area (sqft)540,316
DeveloperUNITED VENTURE DEVELOPMENT (THOMSON) PTE LTD

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List of comparable developments

Setting the context for the review, here are the noteworthy comparable developments that will be used as comparison with Thomson Three.

Project NameTenureCompletionAgeNo of unitsDist (m)
AMO RESIDENCE99 yrs FROM 2021U/C2372647
THOMSON IMPRESSIONS99 yrs FROM 201520188283480
THOMSON THREE99 yrs FROM 2012201611435714
THOMSON GRAND99 yrs FROM 2010201513339368
THE GARDENS AT BISHAN99 yrs FROM 1997200426756310
BISHAN PARK CONDOMINIUM99 yrs FROM 1991199432320404
THOMSON VIEW CONDOMINIUM99 yrs FROM 1975198748254646

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Did the existing owners of Thomson Three make money ?

Now let’s look into the profitability of Thomson Three in comparison to its peers.

Profitability Comparison with Comparable Development

Project NameLeaseTOPProfitPrice Appreciation (%)CAGR (%) – Annualized Yearly GrowthHolding PeriodRemarks
THOMSON THREE99 yrs FROM 20122016251,72020%3%7Include New Launch
THOMSON IMPRESSIONS99 yrs FROM 20152018201,29517%3%5Include New Launch
THOMSON GRAND99 yrs FROM 20102015146,1489%1%7Include New Launch
THE GARDENS AT BISHAN99 yrs FROM 19972004450,69654%5%9Resale Only
BISHAN PARK CONDOMINIUM99 yrs FROM 19911994244,20741%4%9Resale Only
THOMSON VIEW CONDOMINIUM99 yrs FROM 19751987357,15256%4%9Resale Only

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As a caveat. Our original intent was to exclude all transactions including buyers that purchase during the new launch phase, to truly measure the profit enjoyed by resale buyers.

But due to the long average holding period of greater than 5 years, there were very little resale buyer to resale buyer transactions for the first three developments. Hence we included transactions of new launch buyers into consideration.

Decent performance but over a long 7 year holding period

Thomson Three achieved a decent performance, with an average 20% price appreciation and an average profit of $251,720.

It surpassed the newer Thomson Impression that achieved its TOP status in 2018, which saw a 17% price increase and an average profit of $201,295.

Thomson Grand performed poorly, which only sees a 9% price appreciation with an average profit of $146,148. With this amount of profit made, you will barely break even after netting off buyer stamp duties and interest incurred.

The key to note is that this level of profits is derived over an average of 5 to 9 years. If you are an investor, time is equal to opportunity cost.

Using the same period of 5 to 9 years, you can potentially make 2 properly flips, each with a average of $250,000 profit,

Supporting the thesis that most buyers for properties around the Bright Hill MRT area, are families looking to purchase bigger 3 bedder units for their own stay.

From the table below you can see that the 3 Bedder unit performed much better with a 23% price appreciation versus the respective 13% and 19% price appreciation achieved by the 1 bedder and 2 bedder units.

Thomson Three – Profitability – Breakdown by Bedroom Type

BedroomsAverage Holding PeriodAverage ProfitAverage Price Appreciation (%)
1794,46613%
26197,68919%
36330,50323%
47426,19521%

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Will you make money if you purchase a unit in Thomson Three today ?

To properly answer this question, we will review Thomson Three using the following set of criterias.

  • 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

To keep the article short, we will only elaborate on noteworthy factors in the section that follows.

Summary – SWOT Analysis – Thomson Three

For the time pressed readers, here’s a summary of the outcome of the review for Thomson Three.

Strength

  • Price – Decent price gaps versus new launch condo recently launched in the area
  • Affordability – Thomson three has the most affordable price quantum amongst the younger, below 10 year old developments in the region
  • Proximity to Reputable School – 1km from Ai Tong School

Weakness

  • Distance from MRT – Thomson Three is not the nearest to MRT, it is situated 713 m away from MRT, losing out to its counterpart
  • Supply – There is a abundance of developments at different age and price point for buyers consideration
  • Average Rental Demand – The rental volume and yield for the development is sub optimal, falling below the sub 3 percent range

Opportunity

  • Surrounding New Launch facilitating price appreciation – The surrounding new launch AMO residences and Lentor Modern could serve as a catalyst to help price appreciate

Threat

  • Increasing Supply of newer condo in the surrounding area – Aside from new launches in Lentor area, there are more new launch development coming up

Elaboration on note worthy review criterias

Now that we have established the summary for the Thomson Three review, let’s dive deeper into each review criteria.

Price gap between comparable developments

Project NameTenureCompletionAgeNo of unitsAvg Price (S$ psf)Avg Price (S$ psf) Rebased back to 99 year leaseAvg Price vs AMO Residences (S$ psf)Avg Price vs AMO Residences (S$ psf) Rebasing all lease back to 99 years
AMO RESIDENCE99 yrs FROM 2021U/C23722,1152,15900
THOMSON THREE99 yrs FROM 20122016114351,6631,871452288
THOMSON IMPRESSIONS99 yrs FROM 2015201882831,7161,867399292
THOMSON GRAND99 yrs FROM 20102015133391,4311,647684511
THE GARDENS AT BISHAN99 yrs FROM 19972004267561,2951,756820402
BISHAN PARK CONDOMINIUM99 yrs FROM 19911994323201,1731,733942425
THOMSON VIEW CONDOMINIUM99 yrs FROM 19751987482541,1462,225969-66

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Using the latest new launch AMO residences as a upper bound benchmark for price comparison. Thomson Three being 9 years older than AMO residences shows a decent price gap of $452 psf.

To allow for a better apple to apple comparison, we rebased all properties lease back to 99 years. We did this by dividing existing average S$ psf with remaining lease life and multiplying it by 99 years.

Referencing the column Avg price vs AMO Residence after rebasing, you can see that the 3 younger developments Thomson Three, Thomson Impression, Thomson Grand all showed a healthy price gap of between $288 psf to $511 psf.

Note that Thomson Grand is an abnormally its significantly lower psf is offset by the significantly larger unit for each bedroom type.

We will revisit this in later section which we will touch on quantum and affordability

Price gap between neighbouring new launch developments

Project NameTenureCompletionAgeNo of unitsAvg Price (S$ psf)Avg Price (S$ psf) Rebased back to 99 year leasePrice Gap vs Thomson Three (S$ psf)Avg Price vs AMO Residences (S$ psf) Rebasing all lease back to 99 years
AMO RESIDENCE99 yrs FROM 2021U/C23722,1152,159452288
Lentor Modern99 yrs FROM 2021U/C26052,0922,135429264
Lentor Hills Residences99 yrs FROM 2022U/C15982,1002,121437251
THOMSON THREE99 yrs FROM 20122016114351,6631,87100

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Extending the comparison further into neighbouring new launches that launched one MRT stop away, around Lentor MRT.

The decent price gap of between $251 to $288 psf remains after rebasing all development lease back to 99 years.

Affordability – Quantum comparison with comparable development

Aside from pricing per square fit, the overall quantum that is required to purchase a unit in a development significantly affects buyer’s affordability.

And the unit size of each bedroom type plays a role in influencing the overall purchase quantum.

One of the propositions that newer condo possesses in a more efficient layout, leading to a smaller square footage. Hence, factoring a higher price per sqft, over a smaller unit size, it may still result in a smaller or similar price quantum.

We shall see if this holds true in the comparison table below.

Quantum Comparison 3 Bedder

DevelopmentSize (sqft)Average Price (S$ psf)Quantum (S$)Difference vs Thomson Three (S$)
THOMSON THREE10331,8171,876,9610
THOMSON IMPRESSIONS10551,8151,914,82537,864
THOMSON GRAND13461,6242,185,904308,943
THE GARDENS AT BISHAN11521,4711,694,592-182,369
BISHAN PARK CONDOMINIUM12701,2831,629,410-247,551
AMO RESIDENCE9582,1882,096,104219,143
Lentor Modern9692,1222,056,218179,257
Lentor Hills Residence9582,1002,011,800134,839

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Quantum Comparison 2 Bedder

DevelopmentSize (sqft)Average Price (S$ psf)Quantum (S$)Difference vs Thomson Three (S$)
THOMSON THREE7101,8171,290,0700
THOMSON IMPRESSIONS7321,8151,328,58038,510
THOMSON GRAND9041,6241,468,096178,026
THE GARDENS AT BISHAN8611,4711,266,531-23,539
BISHAN PARK CONDOMINIUM12921,2831,657,636367,566
AMO RESIDENCE6142,1881,343,43253,362
Lentor Modern6782,1221,438,716148,646
Lentor Hills Residence6782,1001,423,800133,730

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Referencing the table above

Quantum is a key proposition for units in Thomson Three. A family would only need $1.8 million to afford a sizable 1033 sqft 3 bedder unit in Thomson Three. Whereas Thomson Three despite lower price per sqft, its larger 3 bedder unit of 1346 sqft resulted in a high overall quantum of $2.1 million as an entry price.

Comparing it with the recent launches in the area, you still see a decent $219,143 quantum gap between Thomson Three and AMO residences.

Proximity to reputable school

Thomson Three is situated within 1km radius from highly sought after Ai Tong School and fulfils one of the criteria that attracts families looking for a unit in the area.

Project NameReputable School within 1km
AMO RESIDENCEAi Tong School, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls School
THOMSON IMPRESSIONSAi Tong School
THOMSON THREEAi Tong School
THOMSON GRANDAi Tong School, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls School
THE GARDENS AT BISHANAi Tong School, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls School
BISHAN PARK CONDOMINIUMAi Tong School, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls School
THOMSON VIEW CONDOMINIUMAi Tong School
FABER GARDEN CONDOMINIUMAi Tong School

As a sidenote, we have written extensively about finding investment properties around reputable schools. Check out the following article to learn more

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Floor plan

Thomson Three features an efficient regular shaped floor plan with no wastage of square footage on bay window and bomb shelter. The only drawback is the significant use of space in the elongated balcony that extends from the living room to the master bedroom.

Unlike Thomson Grand, which has a key drawback in its layout that features significant space being invested into a private lift lobby.

Proximity to MRT

One of the weaknesses for Thomson Three is its distance from Bright Hill MRT. Referencing the table below, you can see that Thomson Three is the furthest away from the MRT when compared to its peers.

Project NameTenureCompletionAgeNo of unitsDist (m)
THE GARDENS AT BISHAN99 yrs FROM 1997200426756310
THOMSON GRAND99 yrs FROM 2010201513339368
BISHAN PARK CONDOMINIUM99 yrs FROM 1991199432320404
THOMSON IMPRESSIONS99 yrs FROM 201520188283480
THOMSON VIEW CONDOMINIUM99 yrs FROM 1975198748254646
AMO RESIDENCE99 yrs FROM 2021U/C2372647
THOMSON THREE99 yrs FROM 2012201611435714

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Rental demand

As we have mentioned earlier, the Bright Hill MRT area is typically sought after by families. It is not a natural location for tenants to be located.

This is reflective in the rental yield of the units in the area. Aside from Thomson Impression that is situated nearer to the MRT, all the developments in this area have a rental yield below the 3% average.

Rental Demand and Rental Yield Comparison with Comparable Development

Project NameTenureCompletionAgeNo of unitsDist (m)Rental VolRental Yield (%)
AMO RESIDENCE99 yrs FROM 2021U/C2372647
THOMSON IMPRESSIONS99 yrs FROM 2015201882834802383.3
COUNTRY GRANDEURFreehold199668348241.9
THOMSON THREE99 yrs FROM 20122016114357143662.9
BISHAN POINT99 yrs FROM 19972005164401502.7
THOMSON GRAND99 yrs FROM 20102015133393682312.5
COUNTRY ESQUIREFreehold199260410272.2
THE GARDENS AT BISHAN99 yrs FROM 19972004267563102712.9
FLAME TREE PARKFreehold1989160505561.7
BISHAN PARK CONDOMINIUM99 yrs FROM 1991199432320404812.5
THOMSON VIEW CONDOMINIUM99 yrs FROM 19751987482546461412.1
FABER GARDEN CONDOMINIUMFreehold1984392332861191.5
THREE 11Freehold201565867642.6
THE WINDSORFreehold1988150888502
ADANA @ THOMSONFreehold201874890542.5

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Supply – Current and future

The supply situation is not exactly in Thomson Three favour. A buyer looking to purchase a unit in the area has ample options to consider.

Aside from the recent surge of new launch supply in the neighbouring Lentor and Mayflower MRT area. There are two new plots of land awaiting tender and pending development of new condo developments

Final Words

The Bright Hill MRT area remains a choiced location for a family residence. But from an investment standpoint, the odds are not in Thomson Three favour.

For more insights on undervalued resale properties with potential for price appreciate check out the following article

More reads, more gains ?

Kudos on making it this far. The fact that you have invested the last 5 mins reading this article. We believe you are a like minded real estate investor looking to beat the rat race by getting more out of your real estate investment.

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.