Touring Thomson Garden Estate: Find freehold homes from $2.8 million, Money News
Not far from Teachers’ Housing Estate and Sembawang Hills Estate is another of Singapore’s “cheapest freehold” enclaves, Thomson Garden Estate, where there are around 480-500 homes depending on which property portal you visit – you can see that District 20 is an area you cannot ignore if you are looking to enter the freehold land market, as it contains two of the 5 “cheapest” freehold properties in Singapore. (Teacher’s Housing Estate, although nearby, falls under D26, not D20.)
Thomson Garden Estate consists of the following streets:
- Jalan Minggu
- Jalan Isnine
- Jalan Cempah
- Jalan Pintau
- Jalan Hari Raya (I like the name of this street!)
- Jalan Kuak
- Jalan Chegah
- Jalan Rabou
- Jalan Khamis
As I was driving to visit Thomson Garden Estate, the first thing that struck me was the activity on the estate. As I usually visit landed estates early in the morning they are usually quite quiet – I can see a few people going out and exercising, but that’s about it. Thomson Garden Estate, on the other hand, was a real hotbed of activity even at 7am on a Tuesday morning.
Leaving the main road, I immediately encountered two people walking quietly in the middle of the road (to be fair, there is no footpath, so they had nowhere to walk but on the road) . However, given that the road is rather narrow and has some sharp turns, I suspect I’m not the only driver who would prefer not to have to deal with pedestrians walking in the middle of the road.
Note that if you are driving, there seems to be only one way to access the estate, which is to leave Sin Ming Road and Jalan Minggu. (I wouldn’t stake my life on this being the car‘s only entry point, but I checked Google Maps and couldn’t see another road).
For pedestrian access, however, the estate is remarkably well connected and many of the estate’s roads have their own entry/exit points onto the surrounding main roads. If true, it could get very busy during rush hour – even if only half of the estate’s residents have cars, that would be around 240-250 cars weaving through the narrow streets. It’s not very ideal.
As we went we passed several cars and even trucks – I counted at least 10 vehicles coming and going?
Another thing I’ve noticed about the estate is that the locals seem overly fond of Christmas: I walked past several houses that had Christmas hats hanging on their doors. After the 4th or 5th house like this (I think I spotted at least 12 Santa hats on my trip), I realized it couldn’t just be a coincidence. Either one of the neighbors or the local CC/MP/what-not must be a very friendly person who has given a Santa hat to every house in the neighborhood!
Suspicion supported by the fact that one of the hats was still in its wrapper with a note attached – I assume the residents of this house have gone away for the holidays? (If you live there, let us know in the comments if I was right.) Either way, it’s always nice to live somewhere that has a community spirit.
While Thomson Garden Estate is bustling in person (lots of Santa hats, people and moving cars), its online presence is the opposite: I Googled the neighborhood and all the streets of the estate, but only found two. -three relevant search results. I guess no news is good news?
Like Teachers’ Housing Estate and Sembawang Hills Estate, Thomson Garden Estate is a mix of old and new houses. However, it looks very different from the Teachers’ Housing Estate and Sembawang Hills Estate although they are all located in the same area.
For the latter two, you hardly see any high-rise buildings, as even the surrounding condos tend to be mostly low-rise (for now, at least – I understand some of the lots around the teachers’ housing estate have a plot ratio of 2.1, so it looks like high-rise developments will soon be moving into the neighborhood.) However, from almost every street in Thomson Garden, you can see a building rising in front of you, which whether it’s an HDB block or condo (Jadescape, estimated TOP 2023).
Another point of contrast is that while all three areas have new homes that are taller than their older neighbors, the homes in Thomson Garden Estate look particularly tall and looming. ( For attached houses there is no plot ratio, as there are planning restrictions and controls instead – some areas allow you to build two floors + attic, others three floors + attic, etc. – I am not qualified to advise you on this, so you should confirm with your contractor or architect that you can indeed build higher than normal at Thomson Garden.)
ALSO READ: Touring Teacher’s Housing Estate: The cheapest and most spacious freehold land estate
As with all of Thomson’s land enclaves, it’s an easy drive from the city, but the main point where Thomson Garden Estate stands out is its easy access to the MRT. (Most land properties aren’t really located for convenient access to public transportation.)
There are two MRTs near Thomson Garden Estate, one of which (Upper Thomson MRT) is a 5-15 minute walk away, depending on the exact street you live on. The other station is Marymount MRT, about a 12-15 minute walk.
Properties for sale, at the time of writing
There are a few homes for sale, two of which are under $3 million:
There are also larger and more expensive properties for sale, such as the $6.5M Behemoth below (still under construction), but since this series is all about “Singapore’s Cheapest Freehold Properties”, they’re not quite the focus here!
For comparison, similarly sized HDB townhouses in Jalan Bahagia/Stirling Road, which are halfway through their leases (so 40-50 years left), cost around $800,000-$900,000(ish) , so the price difference is about 2-2.5x.
(If you want to know more about HDB townhouses, I briefly considered them at the start of my house search, but am now very happy to have passed them on – you should see the pictures of floods/ponds in some units by Jalan Bahagia!)
In the estate itself there are no shops – although one of the houses has listed an “RWD math expert”, so perhaps there is a tutor in the estate? But once you walk on the main road, you can find many commercial spaces, including:
- A kopiiam across the road
- A ballet school
- A place where you can get the fastest wax
If you can’t find what you want here, Thomson Square is a 15 minute walk away, and since they have an NTUC and even a Daiso, I’d be surprised if you can’t find what you need (referring only to basic necessities, of course!)
One last look at the estate’s unique seats before you go – looks like they used to be bus stops? I would be amazed if a double-decker bus could cross the narrow lanes!
Join me next week as I head to the final estate on the list of five cheapest freehold land in Singapore: Opera Estate.
This article was first published in Stackedhomes.