This Is Why The East Is Now A Property Hotspot For Singaporean Buyers In 2017
Sales of private property have rebounded to levels unseen since 2013, but what is significant this time around is the proportion of Singaporeans who are buying.
According to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data, Singaporeans made up 77.6% of private home buyers in the first seven months of 2017, up from 74.4% in 2016, and the bulk of these buyers are snapping up properties in the East.
Properties within district 15 (Bedok, Geylang, Kallang Marine Parade) saw the highest level of demand from Singaporeans this year, followed by district 19 (Serangoon Garden, Hougang, Punggol) and district 5 (Clementi, Queenstown). In this article, we will look at a few factors behind this trend.
Attractive investment opportunities
Homes in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outer Central Region (OCR) have gained appeal as attractive investment opportunities due to a number of reasons, which include the revival of suburban localities, the establishment of new growth corridors, MRT lines and key regional centres.
Take the Bedok area for example – it is currently being revitalised and properties in surrounding areas stand to benefit from it. The URA’s plans for Bedok include facilities and amenities such as a new integrated Transport Hub with a shopping centre (Bedok Mall) and a condominium (Bedok
Residences) integrated with a bus interchange, a new hawker centre with multi-storey
carpark and town plaza, a new healthcare facility at Bedok North Road and a new nursing home.
There will also be upcoming initiatives to bring most of the homes in Bedok to within 400m of parks or park connectors. These include new parks at Bedok North Road, Bayshore Road, Telok
Kurau and Jalan Kembangan, and a new landscaped outdoor play corridor to provide
direct cycling and pedestrian links between Bedok Reservoir Park and East Coast Park.
Such initiatives and rejuvenation efforts are likely to bring about an uplifting impact on property prices. Incidentally, Bedok saw the highest level of sales transactions of private homes within district 15 among Singaporean buyers in 2017.
The upcoming Paya Lebar commercial centre
Paya Lebar is set to become a new commercial centre, with major developments almost completed. The project is part of broader decentralisation plans by the authorities to create commercial clusters outside the city centre, in providing jobs closer to homes, and reducing congestion and travelling times to and fro the city centre.
Just drop by the Paya Lebar MRT station and you will be able to see the construction of the Paya Lebar Quarter, a mixed-use development that will comprise commercial, retail and residential components.
On the commercial side, the development will comprise three Grade A office towers with close to a million square feet of floor size, and with the capacity to accommodate 10,000 employees. Towers 1 and 2 will have 14 floors, while Tower 3 will have 13 floors.
Meanwhile, on the retail side, the Paya Lebar Quarter mall will have the capacity to house over 200 stores, and NTUC FairPrice Finest and Kopitiam are among the first tenants to have signed on. Finally, Park Place Residences at Paya Lebar Quarter comprises three residential towers that will offer one to three bedroom units.
The project’s commercial and retail components slated for completion in the second half of 2018, while its residential component by the first half of 2019.
With all this in the works, it sure looks like residents in the East might soon find themselves conveniently living near their workplace and close to a massive retail hub. Further, as existing growth centres outside the city centre continue to gain momentum, demand and prices of properties in these locations are also likely to follow suit.
Connectivity and accessibility to public transport
Properties located along MRT lines provide travel convenience and is an important consideration for home owners who don’t drive, and increased connectivity in the East has likely spurred demand for properties in the region.
For starters, the new Downtown Line (DTL3) stations, which opened on October 21, will link the north-western and eastern housing estates and offer residents much greater accessibility to the Central Business District (CBD).
It also makes their daily commute a whole lot easier. To start, the unveiling of the new Bedok Reservoir MRT station will cut travelling time for residents at surrounding residential developments by up to 15 minutes. For instance, residents at Baywater previously had to travel some 2.2km to get to the closest MRT station, which was Bedok MRT station along the East-West Line. In comparison, the new Bedok Reservoir station on DTL3 is located less than 200m away.
Meanwhile, the new Upper Changi MRT station could slash the walking distance for residents at nearby residential properties by more than three times. The new station is located just 200m away from Changi Court. Previously, the nearest MRT station from the freehold development was Expo, located some 1km away.
The upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), to be completed in five stages from 2019 to 2024, will provide further convenience to properties in the East to the rest of the MRT network. It will link key areas in the East Coast such as Tanjong Rhu, Katong Park, Marine Parade, Siglap, Bayshore, Bedok South and Xilin.
This elevated convenience and ease of travelling that residents now stand to enjoy could be primary factors behind the rising volume of sales transactions for properties in the East.
Daniel Lim is a finance writer and a content marketing specialist with nearly 10 years of experience writing for clients in diverse industries.