URA master plan: Woodlands, Holland Village top picks

PHOTO: URA master plan: Woodlands, Holland Village top picks

Investors hoping to take advantage of the master plan out this week should look at Woodlands and Holland Village but hang fire on Kampong Bugis, Marina South, Serangoon Gardens and Jalan Kayu, said consultants.

They added on Friday that while plans for Tanjong Pagar and the Greater Southern Waterfront were exciting, they would materialise only far into the future.

Woodlands emerged as analysts' top pick, mostly due to its upcoming development as a regional centre.

It will house the first business park cluster in the north, under the draft master plan released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday.

"Woodlands has the most potential from an investor's point of view," said Chesterton Singapore research head Elaine Chow, adding that economic activity in the area would grow.

"Greenfield sites are aplenty in this northern town, but the pace of development is set to accelerate within the next five to 10 years."

The Government will put a commercial plot near the Woodlands MRT site up for sale next month to kick-start the development of the Woodlands regional centre.

Holland Village is another area ripe for investment, consultants said. The estate will be extended over the next two years and will get 1,500 new homes and a new community park while preserving its identity, the URA said.

ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim said owner-occupiers are likely to be attracted to the improved iconic "urban-village" lifestyle that Holland Village offers. "Investors will be scouting for easily rentable units to the ready pool of good-quality tenants from the nearby Biopolis and Fusionopolis at One North," he added.

R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng noted that although resale prices and rentals in Holland Village have stagnated this year, they could rise after the new developments.

Consultants preferred to take a wait-and-see approach on other areas mentioned in the master plan. Development plans for Kampong Bugis, Marina South and Tanjong Pagar will take several years to materialise while the revamp of Kampong Bugis will begin only after 2016 and Marina South after 2017 or 2018.

The development of the Tanjong Pagar port area into part of the Greater Southern Waterfront is even further away and will happen only after 2027.

Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong noted that Kampong Bugis "already has the necessary population and workforce density to create that critical mass of work and play. One does not have to spend that much effort to nurture the place up".

As for Marina South, Mr Ong said home rentals there may be out of reach for many expatriate tenants in future and they may prefer to live farther from their offices, in places like Holland Village.

Consultants were lukewarm on Serangoon Village and Jalan Kayu, noting that Serangoon Village was already an established mature estate and Jalan Kayu was rather inconvenient to get to.


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