31 January 2013 2248 hrs
SINGAPORE: Analysts say the comprehensive Land Use Plan released by the government on Thursday will present many opportunities for developers.
It will also boost the property market in years to come.
They add that home prices in some areas could also appreciate, though not any time soon.
Housing estates like Woodlands, Sembawang, Seletar and Punggol may be far from the city today, but come 2030, these towns are likely to be just as vibrant.
The government plans to turn the north coast into a buzzing economic centre with more business activities.
It is one of two new commercial hubs lined up to bring jobs closer to homes. The other commercial centre is the Southern Waterfront City, stretching from Marina Bay to the current Pasir Panjang Terminal.
Analysts are not expecting any immediate impact on property prices, especially for homes located near to the new commercial hubs laid out in the Land Use Plan.
This is because home prices tend to grow in tandem with infrastructure development, which will only happen further down the road.
The new Land Use Plan is also not expected to reduce the demand and value of the residential and commercial space in the existing CBD and core central region (CCR).
"That's because the new jobs created in the suburban areas will not replace the financial jobs in the CBD," said Nicholas Mak, executive director of SLP International Property Consultants' Research & Consultancy Department.
"Even with the new land use plans, the residential real estate prices in the CCR are still expected to be the highest on this island due to its scarcity, quality and prestige."
Take the Jurong Lake District for example. In 2008, the government announced that it will be developed into the largest regional centre and commercial hub outside the central business district.
But some analysts say home prices in the area only started to move up when developments are being rolled out.
Property agency Propnex says the prices of new condominiums in Jurong have outpaced that of launches near the Tampines Regional Centre -- at S$1,300 per square foot, compared to about S$1,100 psf in Tampines.
Market watchers are excited with the plans ahead, but they also highlighted some concerns.
Png Poh Soon, head of Consultancy & Research at Knight Frank, said: "One of the fundamental concerns is, 'how is the government going to pace all these in?'
"I think they have to spread it out in order to ensure that there will not be any sharp spike in construction cost. With all these construction work going on, all the development plans being announced, and reclamation plans also in the pipeline, I am sure labour will be an interesting issue to look at."
Mohamed Ismail, CEO of Propnex, said: "With the increase in population, the chance of property prices slowing down is going to be less likely, coupled with the fact you are creating more regional centres around the various parts of Singapore."
Some analysts say rental yields in the new commercial hubs could also rise, supported by demand from expatriates working there in the future.
They expect interest in land sales to continue to be healthy.
Desmond Sim, CBRE Research's associate director, said: "Developers will show keen interest in areas such as Punggol, Downtown and other areas identified to be major towns.
"Developers who have bid for land plots in these areas recently will be confident in pushing out the projects, given the level of interest expected from potential buyers."
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