Making the decision to move home or to buy your first flat is big deal. Besides being a major investment, it would impact where your kids attend school, how challenging a commute you’ll need to get to work, or how quickly you can make a grocery run if you’ve suddenly run out of eggs.
As a potential home buyer, you need to consider the value of the property and the future plans of the area around it, especially if you have the intention to sell it in the future.
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According to some property experts, there’s no better time like now to invest.
“Minister Lawrence Wong recently mentioned the government has achieved its aim of stabilising the property market. Hence, we should not be expecting further cooling measures any time soon,” says Eugene Lim, Key Executive Officer at ERA Realty Network Pte Ltd.
“Market conditions are expected to remain stable so buyers need not fear that they are being forced to buy at prices that are constantly on the rise,” he adds.
Eugene, who’s had 28 years’ experience in the real estate and property development industry, says, “Developers have been launching quite a number of units and there are many choices for buyers. They’re also aware that buyers are price sensitive and hence they have priced their units competitively in order to achieve sales.”
Michelle Chia, Ohmyhome real estate consultant, adds that the current property market is soft with more potential sellers than buyers. “This works in the favour of potential buyers as they can negotiate for better prices,” she says.
So if conditions are suitable, what are the areas and upcoming estates we should be aiming for?
“Properties located within established neighbourhoods typically command a price premium, as infrastructure and amenities are already in place,” Eugene says. “As such, buyers may have a smaller headroom for capital appreciation in the future.”
“Comparatively, areas with development plans in place are up-and-coming areas. These locations may have a bigger upside for home buyers who are quick to recognise their potential and capitalise on the advantage as first movers.”
Here’s a rundown of five areas worth honing in on:
1. BIDADARI – “The New Bishan”
If there’s one area real estate experts are putting their money on, it has to be Bidadari. In 2014, the Housing Development Board (HDB) announced the estate’s master plans to build a housing estate in this historic area. When completed, Bidadari will boast 2,139 Built-To-Order (BTO) and HDB flats, as well as The Woodleigh Residences, a private residential-cum-retail development overlooking the new Bidadari Park.
“The major draw of this city-fringe town are its central location, excellent infrastructure and easy accessibility by road and public transport,” Eugene explains.
Close To Greenery
Residents of what people have dubbed “the new Bishan”, will not only have the lush Bidadari Park at the centre of the estate, but also Alkaff Lake, a playground and a 700-m-long heritage walk.
The 10-hectare park is also being designed with inspiration from Winnie The Pooh’s 100-acre woods. Those who like the outdoors and taking long walks or cycling will look forward to the greenway that will be constructed from Upper Serangoon Road to Bartley Road.
Convenience Is King
Bidadari will also be the site for one of Singapore’s first underground bus interchanges. It will be located at Basement 2, Woodleigh Village, an integrated transport and residential hub. Besides the bus interchange, the development will also be linked to a hawker centre and the Woodleigh MRT Station.
One of Bidadari’s biggest draws is its proximity to numerous amenities. For example, Woodleigh MRT station is on the North-East Line and it is only one stop away from Serangoon Interchange, where commuters can access the Circle Line. This makes it very easy to access different places in the city.
“Thanks to its proximity to great schools and MRT stations, Bidadari would be the perfect spot for young families”
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Christina Lee, Key Executive Officer, Landvin Pte Ltd, says, “Situated between the busy (Dhoby Ghaut, Bugis) south and serene north (Punggol and its parks), Bidadari is a great in-between place for young couples and families who want to have fun options.
Being near well-developed and connected estates such as Serangoon and Hougang means there’s access to malls and other amenities that might take a while to be ready in Bidadari itself. There’s also room to grow once Paya Lebar Airport is relocated and turned into new developments.”
Near Lots Of Good Schools
Another huge draw is how close the estate is to many schools. Parents will be pleased to know that the estate is surrounded by schools such as Cedar Primary and Secondary, Saint Andrew’s Primary, Secondary and Junior College, Maris Stella High School and Ascension Kindergarten.
Eugene agrees it’s a good area for young families as “it is on its way to becoming an established HDB estate when completed.” Michelle adds, “Thanks to its proximity to great schools and MRT stations, Bidadari would be the perfect spot for young families or newly-weds who are looking to buy their first home.”
“I would look at Bidadari overall if I am buying for the first time. Commuting is not an issue and the price is likely more affordable for the great amenities,” she continues. “Given the future development committed to this area, I believe when I am ready to do my ‘upgrade’, the value should appreciate well to allow me to achieve that dream.”
BAYSHORE – Waterfront Urban Village
Bayshore, an area located next to East Coast Park, is not a new hotspot. In fact, there are already many existing public and private homes in the area. However, it is earmarked for future development into a lifestyle waterfront urban village for about 12,500 dwelling units of private and public housing, making it all the more desirable.
Bayshore has in the past been less accessible, but by 2023, the new Bayshore MRT station will change all that. Located near The Bayshore and Costa Del Sol condominiums, and other private homes around Bayshore and Upper East Coast Road, the new station will make getting to schools and shopping areas easier.
Lots Of Exciting Upgrades
The area will also boast a new one-km-long street with wider pavements so that pedestrians and cyclists can share the path. “When completed, it will be a vibrant neighbourhood where the long main street will be lined with shops, cafes, grocery stores, childcare and elderly facilities all within a short walk or bicycle ride from home,” says Eugene.
“Residents can enjoy tree-lined walkways, or cycle along dedicated cycling paths to Bayshore MRT station and Bedok South MRT station – which will be within 5 to 10 minutes from their homes. As these plans have just been put into place, the location will have good upside potential as things fall progressively into place in the future.”
“Bayshore will be a vibrant neighbourhood where the long main street will be lined with shops, cafes, grocery stores, childcare and elderly facilities all within a short walk”
Residents can also look forward to being able to walk directly to East Coast Park via a new bridge that has been planned access East Coast Parkway. East Coast Park will also be only a 10- to 15-minute walk from the MRT station, making access to the beach and recreational activities super convenient.
The East Coast is famed for its food and cafes, and there are many supermarkets and entertainment facilities in the area from Bedok Mall to Bedok Point and Parkway Parade. Schools in the area include Tao Nan Primary, Temasek Primary and Anglican High School.
DAKOTA CRESCENT – Where Old Meets New
Dakota Crescent is one of Singapore’s oldest public housing estates, and in 2015, it was announced that the estate would be refreshed with new HDB flats to be built in the area. Designed to preserve Dakota Crescent’s rich heritage, the new public housing will be planned around some of the preserved Singapore Improvement Trust blocks and the iconic dove playground from the 50s.
Great For Multi-Generational Families
The area is currently serviced by Dakota MRT station which is located on the Circle Line. Dakota is only one stop away from Paya Lebar MRT where residents can access the Green line as well as Paya Lebar Square, the upcoming Paya Lebar Quarter and SingPost which has a Golden Village Cinema.
“Dakota Crescent’s proximity to the city and also recreational areas around Marina area make it a convenient location for multi-generational families”
Christina says, “Dakota MRT provides easy access to the city, Sports Hub, the East-West MRT line (one station from Paya Lebar MRT) and the city via the Circle Line. With Geylang and the Old Airport hawker centre nearby, residents are always in close proximity to quality, affordable local fare at all times.”
Residents can also look forward to the new Tanjong Katong MRT Station which will be on the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line and which will provide easier access to Tanjong Katong area with its cafes, restaurants and entertainment facilities.
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Schools nearby include Kong Hwa School, Geylang Methodist Primary School and Tanjong Katong Primary School, which will make the older estate a draw for younger Singaporean families.
“Dakota Crescent is likely most ideal for multi-generational families; its proximity to city for work and also recreational areas around Marina area make it a convenient location for the young ones to play. Furthermore, the nearby old charm of Paya Lebar offers a sense of nostalgia and the likes will provide much community feel for the retirees and older folks at home,” says Michelle.
HOLLAND PLAIN – Luxurious Living Space
An estate which will be located within an already established residential area, Holland Plain will span 34-hectares and host about 2,500 private units.
“Holland Plain is a renowned, high-end private housing estate in the eminent district 11 known for prestigious living and investment opportunities in the form of new private residential units,” Christina explains. “The URA also has plans to develop a wetland park in the area, and notable primary, secondary and tertiary schools nearby continue to make houses there extremely desirable.”
Close To Nature
Residents can expect much in terms of future development. “The 34-ha site will be designed with generous park spaces and water sensitive features in response to the surrounding green environment. To be compatible with the nearby landed housing areas, new private residential developments will be low to mid-rise. They will incorporate design features that will be sensitive to the green surroundings,” Eugene shares.
For starters, residents will be right in front of the upcoming Rail Corridor, an initiative by the National Parks to celebrate the biodiversity and heritage of railway bridges and artefacts such as Bukit Timah Railway Station and the Upper Bukit Timah Road truss bridge.
Residents will also be at the doorstep of the Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal which is a project that will enhance flood protection. The canal will provide community spaces for residents and their recreational activities.
Luxurious Amenities Abound
Holland Plain is a 10- to 15-minute walk from King Albert Park MRT Station which is on the Downtown Line. The station is three stops away from the Botanic Gardens and smaller malls like Cluny Court, Coronation Shopping Plaza and Holland Road Shopping Centre are nearby.
“Holland Plain offers luxurious living space, an abundance of amenities and is at the centre of exciting development”
Considering its proximity to schools such as Henry Park Primary, Methodist Girls’ School, St Margaret’s Secondary School, as well as to nature, Holland Plain is a great option for family units, and those with a longer-term view to property investment.
Eugene says, “Similar to Bayshore, there are plans for the area that will be rolled out progressively. As such, one can expect upside potential when completed.”
Christina says the advantages of areas like Bidadari and Holland Plain are luxurious living space, an abundance of amenities and being at the centre of exciting development between town and the Jurong Innovation district.
Michelle agrees. “Both Holland Plain and Bidadari are in RCR (rest of central). Future plans have been announced to rejuvenate these precincts. These areas allow home owners to live very close to the city without being affected by steep pricing. They have great rent-ability as well and amenities. They’re certainly happening!”
FARRER PARK – Affordable City Living
Farrer Park is the one to keep an eye on. The area has seen some controversy lately with regards to its redevelopment plans. In original plans from 2018, the boxing gym, which used to house the Singapore Amateur Boxing Association, was slated for demolition.
However, following petitions to retain the area’s rich sporting history, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced this year that they would be retaining the former gym and iconic swimming pool amid their plans for new housing.
“With its relatively affordable pricing, Farrer Park will allow more homebuyers to live near the city”
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When asked why homeowners should invest in property such as Farrer Park now, despite the fact that plans are still underway, Christina says, “These estates should be strongly considered while they’re still reasonably priced. These prices will only go up with time.”
Michelle adds, “Due to its relatively affordable pricing, Farrer Park will allow more homebuyers and young couples to live near the city.
It’s a five-minute walk away from Little India MRT station which is about 15 minutes from the Orchard area. In terms of shopping and food, residents can easily access City Square Mall and Mustafa Shopping Centre as well as Tekka Market.
And there you have it! Five distinct neighbourhoods in five different parts of Singapore that you should definitely check out if you’re looking for property to invest in. Which suits your fancy the most?
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