At a glance: Situated at Geylang, freehold condo MORI isn’t for everybody. But its prime location near the CBD and Paya Lebar’s commercial hub as well as its possible capital appreciation and decent rental yield make it one to watch.
|Developer||RL East Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Roxy-Pacific Holdings|
|Address||217-223A Guillemard Road and 1-21A Jalan Molek|
|Number of Floors||5/8 storeys|
|Unit Types||1-bedroom, 1-bedroom + study, 2-bedroom, 2-bedroom + study, 2-bedroom + guest, 3-bedroom, 3-bedroom + guest, 4-bedroom|
|TOP Date (Expected)||Dec 2026|
|Nearest Amenities||Hawker Centres|
• Old Airport Road Food Centre (~10-min walk)
• Sims Vista Market & Food Centre (~14-min walk)
• Geylang Serai Market and Food Centre (~7-min drive)
• Golden Mile Food Centre (~9-min drive)
• Hao Mart (~4-min walk)
• NTUC Fairprice at Jalan Tiga (~9-min walk)
• Sheng Siong at 301 Geyland Road (~10-min walk)
• PLQ Mall (~4-min drive)
• Kinex (~5-min drive)
• Singpost Centre (~6-min drive)
• Paya Lebar Square (~7-min drive)
• Kallang Wave Mall (~7-min drive)
• Leisure Park Kallang (~7-min drive)
• Aperia Mall (~7-min drive)
Parks and Recreation
• Singapore Sports Hub (~8-min drive)
• East Coast Park (~8-min drive)
• Gardens by the Bay (~11-min drive)
• Kallang Riverside Park (~12-min drive)
|Nearest MRT Stations||• Aljunied – East-West Line (~8-min walk)|
• Mountbatten – Circle Line (~9-min walk)
• Dakota – Circle Line (~11-min walk)
|Schools Within 2-km|
|• Aljunied – East-West Line (~8-min walk)|
• Mountbatten – Circle Line (~9-min walk)
• Dakota – Circle Line (~11-min walk)
|Nearby International Schools||• EtonHouse International School Broadrick (~16-min walk)|
• Canadian International School (~5-min drive)
• 5 Steps Academy (~6-min drive)
• GIG International School (~6-min drive)
• One World International Suntec Campus (~8-min drive)
• Nexus International School (~12-min drive)
|Facilities||Facilities at 6th Storey|
a) 23m Lap Pool of approximately 119 sqm
b) Spa Pool (Wellness Pool) of approximately 16 sqm
c) Pool Deck (Sun Loungers) of approximately 31.5 sqm
d) Pool Lounge of approximately 28 sqm
e) Jet Pool (Bubble Pool) of approximately 11 sqm
f) Hammock Pool of approximately 14 sqm
g) Play Pool of approximately 22 sqm
h) Sunken Lounge (Social Lounge) of approximately 33 sqm
i) Outdoor Dining (Social Dining) of approximately 25 sqm
k) Pavilion (Grill and Dine Pavilion) of approximately 48 sqm
l) Kid’s Playground (Kid’s Creative Play) of approximately 30 sqm
m) Pool Cabana of approximately 7.2 sqm
n) Accessible Toilet / Changing room in tiles finish
o) Rain Shower in tiles finish of approximately 1.5 sqm
Facilities at 2nd Storey
a) Lounge (Projector Lounge) of approximately 46 sqm
b) Fitness Corner (Multipurpose Station) of approximately 30 sqm
c) Floating Deck (Floating Island) of approximately 30 sqm
d) Hot and Cold Spa (Onsen Hideaway) of approximately 15 sqm
e) Pond (Serenity Pond) of approximately 20 sqm
f) Floating Deck (Ripple Bay Alcove) of approximately 14 sqm
g) Garden Terrace (Herb Garden) of approximately 29 sqm
h) Accessible Toilet / Changing room in tiles finish
i) Rain Shower in tiles finish of approximately 1.5 sqm
The Site and Developer
The site is bounded by Guillemard Road, Jalan Molek and Lorong 24 Geylang. It used to be a plot of land for 15 adjoining two-storey terrace houses. Totalling 37,131 square feet, it was first put up for sale in 2018 and then sold to RL East, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Roxy-Pacific Holdings, at $93 million in November 2020.
Because of the limits set by URA, the side fronting main road Guillemard Road will be five storeys, while the side fronting the side road Jalan Molek will have an eight-storey limit.
MORI, which is translated to “forest” in Japanese, will adopt a wabi-sabi philosophy in terms of its design. Expect something a bit more rustic, with plenty of wood grains and soothing neutral tones in line with the Japanese idea of beauty in imperfection.
Guillemard Road is a major arterial road that leads into major expressways KPE and PIE, so you can surmise that while connectivity is stellar, traffic noise will definitely be a point of contention, especially for units facing the main road.
Roxy-Pacific’s a pretty high profile developer, with several well-known condominium projects under their belt, including Upper Bukit Timah’s View at Kismis, Dunearn 386 along Adam Road, Wilshire Residences at Farrer Road and Fyve Derbyshire at Novena. In addition, they are currently developing Arena Residences, which is also along Guillemard Road and isn’t too far off from MORI.
Most of Roxy-Pacific’s projects tend to be medium-sized, boutique ones, catering to niche markets. They have managed to pack quite a decent amount of facilities within some of those condominium projects given their plot size, but we are unlikely to see the same for MORI.
MORI is a pretty small development with just 137 units on a small-ish plot of land, so you really cannot expect a lot of facilities on site. Coupled that with the height restrictions set out by URA, the developer really has their hands tied. It is therefore interesting to see how they will manage the space.
Compare it with upcoming 98-unit Arena Residences, which has a smaller site area but fewer units and less restrictions on height (Arena will have 14 storeys). Facilities are set mainly on the second floor and roof terrace, where there are gardens, a fitness atrium and a seating lounge on the lower floor and a swimming pool, water jets corner, pool deck, dining pavilion, bbq pits and an urban farming area on the higher level.
The exact details with regards to the facilities available at MORI haven’t yet been released, but there will be at least one swimming pool. It’s not a project bursting with facilities or designed for a luxury market, but it’s definitely one to hold on to for the longer term, as we will see later in this review.
MORI: No short of amenities surrounding it
What it (probably) lacks in facilities, it more than makes up for it in its amenities-packed surrounding. The stretch along Geylang road, which is just a 3-min walk from MORI, is haven of food options, anchored by well-known eateries like J.B Ah Meng and Geylang Lorong 9 Beef Kway Teow.
For more local favourites, Old Airport Road Food Centre and Sims Vista Market & Food Centre, both popular hawker centres, are also within 15-min walking distance.
There are plenty of mini marts near MORI to grab daily necessities at. But if you are looking for the larger supermarkets for weekly grocery shopping, Hao Mart along Lorong 24, Sheng Siong at Lorong 15 and an NTUC Faiprice next to Old Airport Road Food centre are all within a 10-min walk.
Shopping malls are mostly driving/public transportation distance away. The nearest one is PLQ Mall, which has a great mix of shops. You’ll find a large number of food and beverage as well as retail options, a Fairprice Finest supermarket and Shaw theatres.
For those who like sports, sand and sea, you will get all three within a short driving distance from MORI. Book facilities at the Sports Hub for a wide range of indoor and outdoor sports, which include skateboarding, lawn bowling and kayaking or head down to East Coast Park to enjoy the sun and ocean breeze.
As we’ve said, connectivity is great for MORI residents. It is a straight road to two major expressways, KPE and PIE. Driving to the Downtown Core is similarly straightforward via Nicoll Highway, and will take you just under 10 minutes.
For public transport users, MORI sits right in the centre of three existing MRT stations. You get the option of Aljunied MRT, which is on the East-West line, and Mountbatten MRT or Dakota MRT, which are both on the Circle Line. All three stations take around 8 to 11 minutes to reach by foot. Not great, but definitely walkable.
Getting to areas in town and the business districts is pretty convenient. For instance, it’s just four stops to City Hall and five stops to Raffles Place on the East-West Line. On the Circle Line, it’s three stops to Tai Seng, which houses a number of industrial and commercial sites, and five stops to Marina Bay.
Buses at the bus stops outside of MORI along Guillemard Road are also pretty convenient. They take you to neighbourhoods like Clementi, Jurong East, Outram, Marine Parade, Ang Mo Kio, Serangoon and Bedok.
The elephant in the room: Geylang and its association as the red light district
Before we delve further into our review, we want to tackle the elephant in the room. Think Geylang, and you immediately associate it with vice, seedy businesses and brothels.
But the neighbourhood is really a lot bigger than that. It is a hodgepodge of different cultures and influences and is home to beautiful shophouses, good food and durians. Sandwiched between a vibrant commercial hub in Paya Lebar and the city centre, Geylang is also surprisingly strategic.
But we get it—it still has a shady connotations.
The parts in Geylang that are known as the red-light district falls mainly between Geylang Lor 4 and Geylang Lor 22. This zone was rezoned by the URA to a commercial-only space back in 2015, so residential projects, save for the ones that are being built, will no longer be allowed to be built within the parameters.
The reason cited by URA was to “minimise issues arising from the incompatibility of uses and friction between residential and non-residential uses in the area.” The drunkard fights, illegal parking, among other issues were likely getting on the nerves of the residents living there.
Image courtesy of URA
What does this mean if you are getting a unit at MORI? Because of the condominium’s location just on the right side—in both senses of the phrase—of this rezoned zone, you are essentially acquiring a scarce resource.
Scarcity almost always mean an increase in property value, as long as demand remains strong for this area. And we think demand will continue to be pretty good for Geylang.
This is mainly thanks to its prime location, which we mentioned earlier, at the fringes of the CBD and its location near Paya Lebar’s commercial centre. With the relocation of Paya Lebar Air Base from 2030 onwards, the area (which is around five times of Toa Payoh town) has the potential to grow into an even bigger commercial hub. Rental prospects will continue to remain high in Geylang and this area will continue to be a draw for PMETs.
As Geylang becomes increasingly residential with more condominiums sprouting up in the neighbourhood, there is also a chance that it may no longer be recognised as Singapore’s red-light district.
In Singapore’s short history, it has seen several shifts in its red-light districts. Previous ones were located in places like Bugis, Keong Siak, Smith Street, Changi Village and even Woodlands. What this illustrates is that the red-light district entity is always fluid. Already, Geylang is seeing a decline in vice activities and footfalls since 2019 with more brothels moving out of the area.
A “cleaned up” Geylang may just be in the foreseeable future.
Capital Appreciation: The only way is up?
We don’t have the prices for MORI yet, but if we look at the average transacted prices for the past 6 months on upcoming developments in the area, you can get an indication of how the pricing will be like.
MORI is currently transacting at average prices of $1,900 psf.
Average transacted prices for upcoming condominium projects near MORI:
|Project Name||Tenure||TOP||Average Indicative Pricing (pcf)|
Prices for MORI are likely to reflect that of Rezi 24, which is situated just opposite and is also along Lorong 24. Prices for Arena Residences are on the higher side, likely because it’s closer to Kallang and the area where the Singapore Sports Hub is located whereas Noma’s just a short walking distance to Paya Lebar Quarter.
As an important note here, you may find it a bit more difficult to get a housing loan from most banks for MORI, seeing that it’s located next to Lorong 24 Geylang. Most banks tend to impose loan-to-value restrictions when it comes to a property in Geylang, particularly if it sits along a below 30, even number in Geylang. The rise of more residential properties in the area have ease the restrictions somewhat and as long as you have good credit, most banks are still able to provide the loan.
In terms of capital appreciation, if you look at the average transacted prices in District 14 over the past 8 years, you can definitely see a gradual appreciation of prices for non-landed properties in this district. Appreciation percentage figures are at a decent 17.1% based on the following data.
It’s definitely worth holding on to a unit at MORI for the longer term, since changes around the Geylang will take some time. There were plans announced earlier this year to revitalise and strengthen the nearby Geylang Serai area, which falls next to Geylang Road. These plans will include integrated cycling lanes as well as improvement works to Geylang Serai Market.
Paya Lebar’s current commercial hub will also be further expanded in the future, following the relocation of the Paya Lebar Air Base.
Rental potential for MORI
Rental yields in District 14 have always been relatively high, with some places fetching a 5% rental yield. To get a sense of the rental yield for MORI, we zero in on the rental yields of nearby condominiums, based on transacted data for the past 6 months:
|Project Name||Tenure||TOP||Rental Yield (%)|
As you can see, newer condominiums are able to fetch a higher rental yield of about 3.5%, which is a decent rate to get if you are holding it out for a better price down the road. Rental yield drops once your property hits the 20 year mark, but it is still pretty decent if you compare it with other districts in Singapore.
In absolute numbers, here’s the amount of rent you can expect to fetch for a unit at MORI based on August and September 2021 transactions:
Granted, MORI isn’t all that attractive for owner-occupiers. There are a couple of major cons, including traffic noise along Guillemard Road, the still relatively seedy surroundings, and the possible lack of facilities within the development.
That said, it is still a worthy buy if you are planning to hold out for a capital appreciation, owing to future developments and also because the indicative pricing isn’t too high. This area’s rent potential is also a major plus, with it being close to plenty of amenities as well as the central business district. All in all, MORI’s looking pretty good on the investment front.
|TYPE||Available Unit||PRICE STARTING|
|1 Bedroom + Study|
|2 Bedroom + Guest|
|2 Bedroom + Study|
|3 Bedroom + Guest|
|3 Bedroom + Guest|
|3 Bedroom + Guest|