Not far away from Teachers’ Housing Estate and Sembawang Hills Estate is another of the “cheapest freehold landed” enclaves in Singapore, Thomson Garden Estate, where there are about 480-500 houses depending on which property portal you visit – you can see that District 20 is an area you can’t overlook if you’re looking to enter the freehold landed market, as it contains two of the Top 5 “cheapest” freehold estates in Singapore. (Teacher’s Housing Estate , whilst in the vicinity, falls under D26, and not D20.)
Thomson Garden Estate consists of the following streets:
- Jalan Minggu
- Jalan Isnin
- Jalan Chempah
- Jalan Pintau
- Jalan Hari Raya (I like the name of this street!)
- Jalan Kuak
- Jalan Chegah
- Jalan Rabu
- Jalan Khamis
As I drove over to visit Thomson Garden Estate, the first thing that struck me was how active the estate is. As I usually visit the landed estates in the early morning, they’re typically quite quiet – I might see a few people out and about exercising but that’s all. Thomson Garden Estate, in contrast, was a veritable hotbed of activity even at 7am on a Tuesday morning.
Turning in off the main road, I immediately encountered two people leisurely walking in the middle of the road (to be fair, there is no pedestrian path so they had nowhere else to walk but on the road). However, given that the road is rather narrow and has sharp turns, I suspect I am not the only driver who would rather not have to deal with pedestrians walking in the middle of the road.
Note that if you drive, there appears to be only one way into the Estate, which is turning off Sin Ming Road and into Jalan Minggu. (I wouldn’t stake my life on this being the only car entry point, but I did check Google Maps and couldn’t see another road in).
For pedestrian access, however, the estate is remarkably well-connected and many of the roads in the Estate have their own entry/exit points onto the surrounding main roads. If this is true, it could get rather crowded during peak hours – even if only 1/2 the residents in the estate have a car, that would be about 240-250 cars squeezing in/ out on the narrow streets. It’s not very ideal.
As we drove further in, we passed several cars and even lorries – I counted at least 10 vehicles out and about?
Another thing I noticed about the estate is that the residents seem inordinately fond of Christmas: I passed several houses which had Christmas hats hanging on their gates. After the 4th or 5th such house (I think I spotted at least 12 Santa hats on my journey )I cottoned on to the fact that this couldn’t just be a coincidence. Either one of the neighbours or the local CC/ MP/ what-not must be a very friendly person who has gifted a Santa hat to every house in the hood!
A suspicion supported by the fact that 1 of the hats was still in its packaging with a note attached – I guess the residents of that house went away for the holidays? (If you live there, do let us know in the comments if I was right.) Either way, it’s always nice to live somewhere there’s community spirit.
Whilst Thomson Garden Estate is very lively in person (lots of Santa hats, people, and cars out and about), its online presence is the opposite: I ran Google searches on the area and on every street in 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 feels very different from Teachers’ Housing Estate and Sembawang Hills Estate despite them all being located in the same area.
For the latter two, you pretty much don’t see any high-rise buildings around, as even the surrounding condos tend to be mostly low-rise (for now, at least- I understand some of the plots around Teachers’ Housing Estate have a plot ratio of 2.1 so it seems high-rise developments would be moving into the neighbourhood soon.) However, from almost every street of Thomson Garden, you can see a building towering in front of you, whether it be an HDB block or condo ( Jadescape, estimated TOP 2023).
Another point of contrast is that, whilst all three areas have new houses which are taller than their older neighbours, the houses at Thomson Garden Estate seem particularly tall and looming. ( For landed houses, there is no plot ratio, as they go by Planning Restrictions and controls instead – some areas allow you to build two stories + attic, others three stories + attic, etc – I’m not qualified to advise on this, so you’d need to 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 landed estate
As with all the Thomson landed enclaves, it’s an easy drive from town, but the main point for which Thomson Garden Estate stands out is its easy MRT access. (Most landed estates aren’t really situated for convenient public transport access.)
There are two MRTs near Thomson Garden Estate, one of which (Upper Thomson MRT) is a 5-15 minute walk away, depending on which exact street you live on. The other station is Marymount MRT, about a 12-15 minutes walk away.
Properties for sale, at the time of writing
There are a couple of houses for sale, two of which are under $3million:
There are also some larger and more expensive properties for sale, such as the $6.5 million behemoth below (still under construction), but as this series is on the “cheapest freehold landed properties in Singapore”, they’re not quite the focus here!
As a point of comparison, similarly-sized HDB terrace houses in Jalan Bahagia/ Stirling Road, which are about halfway through their leases (so 40-50 years left), are going for about $800,000-$900-000(ish), so the price difference is about 2-2.5x.
(If you want to find out more about HDB terrace houses, I briefly considered them at the beginning of my house hunt but am now very glad I passed on them – you should see the flooding/ponding photos at some units at Jalan Bahagia!)
Within the estate itself, there are no shops- although one of the houses had an “RWD Math Expert” sign up so maybe there’s a tutor within the estate? But once you walk to the main road, you can find commercial spaces galore, including:
- A kopitiam across the road
- A ballet school
- A place at which you can get the fastest wax
If you can’t find what you want here, Thomson Plaza is a 15 minutes stroll away, and since they have an NTUC and even a Daiso, I’d be surprised if you can’t find what you need (referring to basic necessities only, of course!)
One last look at the unique seats in the Estate before we leave – they look like they used to be bus stops? I’d be amazed if a double-decker bus can traverse the narrow lanes though!
Join me next week as I head to the last estate on the list of the five cheapest freehold landed areas in Singapore : Opera Estate.
This article was first published in Stackedhomes.