Saturday, September 1, 2012

Commercial buildings also stand to gain


Straits Times: Sat, Sep 01

HOMES close to the new Thomson Line MRT stations may have been in the spotlight this week but other property sectors are also likely to see gains, experts say.

Shophouses, offices and industrial buildings near the stations, for example, will benefit from the increased connectivity and rise in human traffic once the new line is fully up and running in 2021.

A row of shophouses along Upper Thomson Road, for instance, will be next to the upcoming Springleaf MRT station. Another row of shophouses along the same road will be close to Upper Thomson MRT station.

Owners of industrial units in freehold development Tan Boon Liat Building are also expected to see the property values rise owing to its proximity to the upcoming Havelock MRT station.

Similarly, strata-titled shop space in Thomson Plaza next to the future Upper Thomson MRT Station will benefit from higher levels of pedestrian traffic.

But just as with the residential sector, prices and rents may face pressure in the short term as the massive construction works get under way, experts say. Prices are likely to climb when the MRT stations are completed.

OrangeTee head of research and consultancy Tan Kok Keong said the owners of such properties would have already raised their selling prices so investors are unlikely to make huge profits now.

But the upside to this is that some of the buildings, such as the Tan Boon Liat Building on Outram Road, are quite old, he said.

"This may trigger a developer to buy it over for redevelopment or the Government may adjust the plot ratio upwards in the future... Without these things happening, it is difficult to make huge profits in the short term," Mr Tan added.

But Mr Nicholas Mak, SLP International's head of research, noted that the average prices of factory space islandwide dropped by 10.7 per cent from the 12-month period before the announcement of the Tai Seng MRT station in 2001 to the same period after.

Prices of similar properties within a 500m radius of the station, however, dipped just 2 per cent, suggesting that being close to an MRT station had a buffer effect on price falls.

But some experts sounded a word of caution.

International Property Advisor chief executive Ku Swee Yong noted that Holland Village was still trying to attract patrons back after years of traffic disruption during the construction of Holland Village MRT station.


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