Skies Miltonia and The Miltonia Residences are among a number of new residential launches in Yishun in recent years
The Straits Times - February 16, 2013
YISHUN may be one of Singapore's largest and most mature property estates, but it tends to be seen as a quieter cousin to neighbouring towns such as Ang Mo Kio and Woodlands.
That could change as interest in the fast-emerging Iskandar development region just over the border in Malaysia grows stronger, according to property experts.
Situated in the Republic's northern region, Yishun comprises both industrial and residential property - and is a natural jumping off point for Iskandar. A new highway, the Eastern Dispersal Link, has shortened considerably the travelling time between the Causeway and Iskandar.
Yishun's industrial property market has been fairly dynamic in the past year, with a focal point of activity centred on the stretch between Yishun Avenue 6 and Yishun Avenue 7.
This stretch includes developments such as A'Posh Bizhub, Northpoint Bizhub and North Spring Bizhub.
These three projects accounted for nearly a quarter of all industrial transactions in District 27 - which not only covers Yishun but also other neighbourhoods like Sembawang and Admiralty - in the year to January.
A total of 133 transactions were recorded by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, 23 per cent of the 582 industrial transactions during that period.
The area has also seen a number of new residential launches in recent years, including private property projects like Skies Miltonia and The Miltonia Residences.
These projects have contributed to Yishun's 1,189 residential property transactions in the year to January.
Data compiled by Savills suggests that Yishun may be undergoing a revival in buyer interest.
Only seven transactions were recorded within the area in January last year, made up of new sales, sub-sales and resales. But in January this year, 26 transactions were recorded, with 20 of them lodged after the latest round of property measures, announced on Jan 11.
Still, while the number of sales has risen, prices in the area declined marginally owing to the absence of new launches in recent months, said Mr Alan Cheong, head of research at Savills Singapore.
"The average prices in January 2013 were $874 per sq ft, roughly the same as those a year ago. Prices have come off the high recorded in October 2012... achieved due to the launch of Skies Miltonia."
Mr Colin Tan, director of research and consultancy at Chesterton Suntec International, said the area has positive traits that will continue to attract buyers, including its large estate.
Mr Tan added that aside from Woodlands, Yishun is one of the towns closest to Malaysia.
"(It's) close but not too close. As they say, its location is just right... (Yishun is also) popular with residents who have business in Malaysia and those who love to go to Johor on short trips to shop."
Details from the Department of Statistics show that Yishun has a low percentage of residents aged 15 years and below, while 11 per cent of residents earn between $1,000 and $1,999 a month.
But experts say Iskandar's rise could bring on a radical change in Yishun's residential market.
"As Singapore becomes more connected and with the population increasing significantly, prices in this estate may find a sudden uplift," said Savills' Mr Cheong.
He added that part of this push might need to involve building more public and private housing, which would attract younger buyers with greater earning power.
"Given an older population with a lower-income profile, getting the public part of the estate to undergo a revival would need much greater effort."
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