Saturday, September 1, 2012

Look out for projects near new stations


Straits Times: Sat, Sep 01

HOME buyers with an eye on long- term capital gain could find the Thomson MRT Line just the ticket.

There are a number of vacant plots near new stations that could be developed into residential or commercial properties, while some existing estates are already well positioned for the new service.

Experts say projects within a 500m radius of the stations are expected to enjoy a healthy gain in home prices.

Land around the new Woodlands station is intended for development to further shape the area into a regional centre so there will also be opportunities for commercial and industrial property investments.

An Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) spokesman told The Straits Times: "This is part of our strategy to provide commercial space outside the central area and bring jobs closer to homes.

"With the plans to enhance transport links to the north like the new Thomson MRT Line and the North-South Expressway, we are planning for new commercial developments at the Woodlands Regional Centre to be staged in tandem with the development of transport infrastructure."

Ms Chia Siew Chuin, Colliers International's director of research and advisory, said there is a strong likelihood that the plots around the station will be developed into mixed developments similar to those being built in Jurong East. She added that hotels could be part of the project mix.

Mr Alan Cheong, head of research at Savills Singapore, noted that the area just north of the proposed Woodlands North station has already been slated for residential development, subject to detailed planning.

"It is envisaged that the future Woodlands estate would start to creep up north from here," he said, noting that sites could be sold for a higher price.

It is a similar story for vacant sites around the proposed Caldecott station, which have largely been earmarked for residential use as part of Toa Payoh, the URA said.

The land is now mainly used for civic and community institutional purposes such as Lions Home for the Elders and the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped.

"The Caldecott area is still relatively undeveloped to its highest and best use... the only major clusters of private properties would be Braddell View and Thomson 800," Mr Cheong said.

In particular, the new station would strengthen the impetus for Braddell View's collective sale, if it gets privatised.

The URA said it will be reviewing the plans for Woodlands and Caldecott as part of the Master Plan review.

  
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