Developers in Singapore are notorious for giving their condo and EC developments unpronounceable foreign names. In that regard, the Ola is actually fairly straightforward and shouldn’t cause the taxi uncle to shout “huh?” too many times.
This upcoming executive condo (EC) in the Sengkang area is meant to evoke Mediterranean living (“ola” means wave in Spanish), but frankly, our main concerns are how close it is to an MRT station and whether we can actually afford it.
Ola EC at Anchorvale Crescent – project overview
|Developer||EVIA & Gamuda Land|
|Tenure||99 years leasehold|
|No. of units||550|
|Unit types||2- to 5-bedroom penthouse, 775 to 1,722 sq ft|
|Price||Estimated at $1,100 psf|
|Maintenance fees||$300 to $440|
For those who are still wondering what the difference is between ECs, HDB flats and condos, ECs are sold by the HDB but developed by private developers. They usually look no different from private condo developments, and come with facilities like swimming pools.
The main differences between the two are: 1) ECs are cheaper than private condos, 2) ECs are usually located at quieter, non-mature estates, and 3) as they are sold by the HDB, you’re subject to HDB rules such as racial quotas and an income ceiling (currently $16,000).
After 10 years, your EC basically becomes private property. That means that if you decide to sell it, the buyers no longer have to fulfil HDB’s criteria, so single people under 35 and foreigners can buy it.
To find out more about ECs, read our Step-by-Step Guide to Buying an Executive Condo (EC) Unit in Singapore.
Ola EC price
Currently, The Ola EC price list has not been released to the public. You can, however, book an appointment to view the show flat and price list, possibly even getting “early bird” discounts.
According to the developers, the average estimated selling price of units at The Ola is $1,100 psf.
That means buyers will be forking out about $852,000 (or more, since small units tend to be sold at higher psf prices) for the smallest, 775 sq ft 2-bedroom units. The biggest 5-bedroom penthouse units, at 1,722 sq ft, will cost $1,894,200.
Now, that sounds pretty damn expensive, but such prices have actually been typical of Anchorvale lately.
For instance, listings for another EC development, Treasure Crest, located just a stone’s throw from The Ola, were priced at about $1,058 to $1,111 psf. Meanwhile, the average indicative price of EC Rivercove Residences, launched in the Sengkang area in 2018, was about $950 psf, which makes the property significantly cheaper but also much farther away from the nearest MRT station and therefore more reliant on the LRT.
That’s still expensive compared to, say, Hundred Palms Residences @ Yio Chu Kang EC, launched in 2017, which was priced at an average of $836 psf, with units costing from $715,000 for 3-bedroom units to $1.288 million for 5-bedroom units.
Ola EC location
The Ola is located right opposite Sengkang Community Hospital, which might be a deal-breaker for the superstitious. Hospitals are considered very “yin”, so living too near one is bad feng shui.
In terms of transportation, the Ola isn’t so bad. The nearest MRT station, Sengkang, is about 10 minutes’ walk away. It is also located 2 minutes’ walk from Cheng Lim LRT station… but it actually takes less time to simply walk to Sengkang MRT station than to take the LRT there. Besides, if you’ve ever lived in a location that required you to take the LRT, you’ll know that it can be a pain in the neck.
The MRT ride from Sengkang MRT to Raffles Place MRT takes about 36 minutes and involves taking the North-East line and then switching to the North-South Line at Dhoby Ghaut. You’ll also have to factor in walking time to Sengkang MRT from home. The journey is longer if you wish to take the LRT and then the MRT.
All in all, you’re looking at a morning commute of about 50 minutes by public transport if you work in the CBD, which is longer than average.
|Nearby amenities and facilities|
|Supermarkets||Sheng Siong (Anchorvale Crescent), U Stars (Anchorvale Street), Prime Supermarket (Compassvale ST), Cold Storage (Compass One)|
|Shopping malls||Compass One, Rivervale Mall, Rivervale Plaza, Waterway Point, Seletar Mall|
|Schools||Springdale Primary School, Nan Chiau Primary School, Punggol Green Primary School, Seng Kang Primary School, Compassvale Primary School, Fern Green Primary School, Sengkang Green Primary School, Nan Chiau High School, Edgefield Secondary School, Seng Kang Secondary School, CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent|
Ola EC facilities
There is a Sheng Siong within walking distance, U Prime and Prime Supermarket outlets at about 10 minutes’ walking distance, as well as a big Cold Storage at Compass One, located beside Sengkang MRT.
The closest shopping mall is Compass One, followed by Rivervale Mall, Rivervale Plaza and Seletar Mall. Punggol Waterway Point isn’t too far away by car or public transport.
There are lots of primary and secondary schools in the area, including some within walking distance, like Springdale Primary and Compassvale Secondary School. For those parents who want to send their kids to brand name schools, SAP school Nan Chiau High School and CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent are close by.
Families with kids and waters sports enthusiasts might also find the proximity to Punggol Waterway Park to be a plus—it’s even reachable on foot in about 40 minutes, and the walking paths and cycling tracks by the nearby river give the area a scenic charm.
Recreational facilities in the area include Anchorvale CC and Sengkang Sports Hub.
Ola EC facilities
Other than the Spanish-inspired lifestyle the developers claim you’ll get to enjoy while living at the Ola, the most visible facility would be the swimming pool, an indoor and outdoor gym, and tennis courts.
The development supposedly features Spanish-made decorations and paintings courtesy of a Spanish artist, and based on the developers’ mock-ups, they plan to give the place a Mediterranean look with palm trees aplenty. That being said, the actual property looks like a pretty standard EC.
Conclusion: is Ola EC at Anchorvale Crescent a good buy?
The Ola is a bit on the pricey side considering its location in Sengkang. If you prefer a more centrally-located property, you can probably find better deals at this price. Unless living in Sengkang is a particular draw for you, such as if you want to have access to Punggol Waterway Park, it’s not really worthwhile to pay such a premium.
Do you think the Ola is a good buy? Share your opinions in the comments!
Featured image credit: artist’s impression, taken from official site (ola-ec-official.com).