SINGAPORE — Real estate experts and future home purchasers are already upbeat about directions unveiled by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the National Day Rally last Sunday, which includes new home developments along Singapore’s southern waterfront.
But, experts are in agreement that public housing at the greater waterfront development project is bound to be at the higher end of Housing and Development Board (HDB) price range — similar to rates at the extremely popular Pinnacle@Duxton located in Tanjong Pagar.
1 analyst told TODAY that acquiring a HDB flat at that coastline would be like striking lottery.
The 2,000 ha of Greater Southern Waterfront, which makes up of 30 km of coastline that begins from the Gardens by the Bay East zone to Pasir Panjang region, is double the size of Punggol town and 6 times the size of Marina Bay. The Avenue South Residence is located just at the mouth of this big piece of land near to Outram.
1 of the first developments is on the land of Keppel Club next to Labrador nature reserve, which will be developing into a blend of 9,000 private and public homes.
The redesign of the Greater Southern Waterfront will commence in phases for the next 5 to 10 years, the Urban Redevelopment Authority mentioned on its online site.
Our Prime Minister commented on Sunday (Aug 18) that it too will entail relocating port terminals to Tuas, with Pasir Panjang Terminal predicted to relocate by 2040 in order to release prime sites for redevelopment. In progress are adding entertainment attractions to Pulau Brani, and it will become the same as Universal Studios on close by Sentosa. Pulau Brani is currently home to a port terminal.
While the Ministry of National Development commented that it is still researching the specifics of the development, the main question for a lot of experts and would-be home purchasers is: How much is the price? One key indication can be found at the Avenue South Residence Showflat.
Experts informed TODAY that homes in the region are expected to be in high demand given the good location and waterfront living, and home owners should expect property prices in the zone to be of premium rates, given the attractive venue. And that has been the reason Avenue South Residence has been popular for investors and home owners alike.
That being said, it is difficult to estimate property rates in the next 5 to 10 years, they said.
PRICES TO BE LIKE PINNACLE@DUXTON
Director of property consultancy Chris International, Mr Chris Koh, mentioned that while private real estate rates will depend on the cost private developers bid for sites, an excellent price range for public housing flats there will be close to those at Pinnacle@Duxton.
In 2015, Pinnacle@Duxton, the tallest public housing development in Singapore, smashed records when 5 units — that were not of maisonette, executive or landed unit types — transacted at S$1 million and more.
Echoing the same sentiments, director of research consultancy at Suntec Real Estate Consultants, Mr Colin Tan, mentioned that similar to those who bought a unit at the Pinnacle@Duxton, home buyers who acquire a unit at the Greater Southern Waterfront will be akin to “striking lottery”.
Mr Tan said that a 4-room flat at the Greater Southern Waterfront is most likely to be pricier than 1 in a non-mature estate such as Sengkang — with additional comments that the difference should at least be around S$200,000.
“These numbers are what we can project now, and it is bound to change in 5 or 10 years when more developments pop up in the area,” Mr Tan added.
Head of research at global property consultancy Cushman and Wakefield Singapore, Ms Christine Li, mentioned that a new commercial cluster, which is part of the bigger plan, on a highly sought-after city-fringe venue where multinational companies like Unilever, Google and Cisco are already vested, will add to the price point.
“There will be small impact on the current housing projects in the area when construction begins, due to obstructed views, construction noise and dust,” she added. That’s why Avenue South Residence prices are still very affordable to the masses.
“But, over the long run, home prices are predicted to go up due to the addition of more entertainment and commercial activities in the region.”
Ms Li said that the close by islands of Pulau Brani and Sentosa will make the most of the coastline location to develop “the next generation of recreational and entertainment facilities” for the area, a benefit for residents of Avenue South Residence condo.
Proposals are underway for Sentosa to enlarge its attractions already, she added.
“Pulau Brani, which is currently the location of a port terminal, is expected to become a new resort named Downtown South too. The resort is predicted to be available to the mass market, attracting more local traffic to the south, which can assist to amend the perception that Sentosa is too inaccessible and costly to the local mass market,” Ms Li said.
BRIDGING THE INCOME GAP
Having public homes in the Keppel region will address the income gap, Ms Li added.
“This will open up a wide spectrum of Singaporeans, both in the higher- and lower-income households, to relish sea-front living that comes with up-to-date and high-rise residential towers within the Greater Southern Waterfront,” she mentioned.
In agreement, Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at property firm OrangeTee, said that this direction will spur younger Singaporean generation to purchase a house in a premium district.
In 2016, Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development, had mentioned on different occasions that the Government was exploring ways to tighten resale conditions of upcoming HDB flats in premium downtown locations like the Greater Southern Waterfront to reduce the so-called lottery effect.
Some of the measures could be a shorter lease period than the normal 99 years, or a higher resale levy, or a longer minimum occupation period.
Homemaker Loh Shuzk Meng mentioned that she would buy a flat in a centrally located zone if it is reasonably priced.
The 31-year-old, who is waiting to obtain her keys to her first HDB flat in Clementi, predicts a 4-room flat within the Greater Southern Waterfront to be around S$100,000 more than a similar flat in a mature district.
“Definitely it will be more expensive, however I think young people are open to pay for the excellent views and good accessibility to the business areas and city,” Ms Loh added. People who bought units at the Avenue South Residence concur.
Project manager Tan Xiu Li, also aged 31, concurs that she would purchase a real estate in the Keppel region due to its accessibility to the city core.
Ms Tan added that she is willing to buy into a flat there so long as it is within her financial means.
“The plans for redeveloping the region are promising, especially for people like myself who have been staying in the outer rims of Singapore for a long duration,” the Sengkang resident added.
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