Monday, January 21, 2013

The rising popularity of the suburbs

Jan 21, 2013

The development of social amenities and an improved transport infrastructure in the suburbs have led to an increase in demand for homes in the northern, eastern and north-eastern parts of Singapore.

With about 10 condominiums and 6 executive condominiums (ECs) making up approximately 8900 units launched since 2010, prices have risen to $1000 to $1200 per sq ft (psf), up from about $800 to $900 psf in early 2012.

According to industry insiders, more plans are in the pipeline for waterfront commercial projects, green corridors and parks in these areas. In addition to that, new MRT lines and expressways are in the works. These factors make the suburbs potentially as attractive as housing estates in more central regions.

Experts note that the Eastern mature neighbourhoods of Bedok, Tampines and Pasir Ris are attractive to buyers who like the idea of living near the sea at East Coast Park and Changi Beach. Other recreational and entertainment spots such as Wild Wild Wet, Downtown East and Escape Theme Park are also popular for families with children.

Proximity to reputable schools, like Dunman High, Victoria Junior College and the upcoming Singapore University of Technology and Design is another plus. Tampines Regional Centre is also almost entirely self-contained, serving nearly all needs of the residents in the area.
For those who are looking to rent out their properties and are targeting expatriate tenants, the proximity to Changi Business Park and the airport is a winning factor.

For the North-eastern districts, Punggol and Sengkang are the current favourites among property buyers, especially young families and professionals. This is indicated by the demand shown at new property launches over the past few months.

Experts believe this is due to the rejuvenation plans for the area, such as the Punggol 21 Plus Masterplan. Under this scheme, the channel between Punggol and Coney Island will be transformed into a coastal promenade and park. The future 50ha park on Coney Island will feature chalets, camping grounds and a sea sport centre. These are on top of the attractive waterfront recreational activities already available at Punggol.

Prices of private housing in the North-eastern district are expected to increase together with the addition of new amenities and upgrading of existing ones, as the area steadily becomes more attractive to buyers.

Industry insiders estimate that with a high proportion of residents aged between 30 and 45 in the North-east districts, there is a high potential for subsequent upgrading from Housing and Development Board (HDB) to private properties.

Compared to East and North-eastern districts, the North has a relatively quiet showing on the property front, with a lack of new launches. The neighbourhood with the most potential, acccrding to experts, is Woodlands.

The new MRT station at Woodlands on the Thomson Line linking the neighbourhood to the North-South Line will help establish Woodlands as the regional centre of the North. The infrastructure will be further improved with the future North-South Expressway.

Currently, the estate is already a self-contained regional centre with the mega-mall of Causeway Point serving residents in the region. Woodlands is also where several schools are located, including the Singapore Sports School, Republic Polytechnic, and the Singapore American School. It also boasts the first hospital in the North, the 550-bed Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. 

Furthermore, with more Singaporeans investing in second homes in Johor Bahru, the Woodlands area can expect more economic activities. This may become even more apparent when the plans to extend the mass transit system to Johor are realised.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has plans for more industrial and commercial developments in the north within the next 10 to 15 years. The appeal of these areas may improve then.

Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C
Senior Sales Director
DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA) Pte Ltd (L3006301G)

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