Overlooked gem in the East

By Michael Lim / The Edge Property | October 4, 2015 12:20 PM SGT
A Singaporean who only wants to be known as Tee says he currently lives in the Changi area and is looking for his next property investment. “I want to see if there’s any chance to buy in this area (Tampines North),” he says. Tee was at the sales gallery and showflat of the 597-unit The Santorini, a condominium located off Tampines Avenue 10. It is being developed by Chinese developer MCC Land, which is a subsidiary of Hong Kong and Shanghai-listed Metallurgy Corp of China.
There was a hubbub five years ago over the new Jurong Lake District, which is poised to be the next CBD in the 2008 Master Plan; the announcement of the North Coast Innovation Corridor in the northern reaches of Woodlands in 2013; as well as the revamped Master Plan for Punggol 21 Plus announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally speech in August 2007, with enhancements and introduction of leisure facilities in August 2014. “By comparison, Tampines appears to be overlooked,” says Ooi Yi Tung, director of analytics and technology at TheEdgeProperty.com.
More than two decades ago, Tampines, Woodlands and Jurong were identified as regional centres. Tampines Regional Centre was the first to take off, and is by far the most established regional centre compared with Jurong and Woodlands, which have largely been associated with industrial estates.
“Traditionally, Tampines has been perceived as a more upmarket suburb compared with Jurong and Woodlands, and therefore, a more desirable neighbourhood to live in,” says Ooi. However, the price trend between Tampines and Jurong started to reverse sometime in 2008, following the announcement of the new Jurong Lake District. “The Master Plan had a huge influence on property prices,” he adds.
‘Future growth priced in’
When the first private condo in the new district was launched in June 2013, namely the 738-unit J Gateway by MCL Land, all units were sold on the first day of launch. The 99- year leasehold condo, which is located near the Jurong East MRT interchange station, even saw a 484 sq ft unit hit a record high of $1,774 psf. Even though the launch coincided with the introduction of the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) that same evening, units that were returned to the developer were quickly snapped up by other interested parties.
The 696-unit Lakeville, MCL Land’s 99-year leasehold condo in Jurong West, was launched in...