Singapore’s Urban Evolution: Unveiling Major Transformations and Future Prospects in 2024 And Beyond

Jee Sheong

March 9, 2024

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Change is inevitable, as exemplified by Singapore’s dynamic growth. With a current population of 5.5 million and projections reaching 6.5-6.9 million by 2030, ongoing infrastructural developments are essential. Regardless of your life stage, staying informed about the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) Master Plan is crucial. This statutory land use plan shapes Singapore’s development over the next 10-15 years, undergoing review every 5 years. Keeping up with URA updates ensures adaptability in your real estate journey and helps you align with your long-term objectives.

Considering to expand your real estate portfolio or finding a new neighbourhood that suits your family’s lifestyle and long-term goals? This article delves into significant transformations across Singapore, aiming to assist you in envisioning your future real estate plans. We’ll summarise 5 key developments from URA’s Master Plan: Woodlands Regional Centre, Jurong Lake District’s evolution into a major business hub, Greater Southern Waterfront transformation, Changi region redevelopment, and the relocation of Paya Lebar Airbase. Additionally, we’ll cover recent and upcoming new launches in these regions to help inform your decision-making process.

1. Changi Region Redevelopment

In this area, developments will centre around three key areas: Changi Aviation Park, Changi City, and Changi Airport Terminal 5, with a vision to establish a comprehensive ‘live-work-play-learn’ ecosystem around the airport. The existing Changi Aviation Park is set for expansion through the development of Changi East Industrial Zone, serving as a base for new aviation-related businesses and sectors. The expansion of cargo facilities will significantly enhance Changi’s handling capabilities.

The imminent completion of Changi Airport Terminal 5, which will be the largest terminal in the airport’s history, is designed to accommodate up to 50 million passengers annually. Additionally, a prospective waterfront district to the south is under consideration, linked to the Changi East Urban District. This waterfront area may house new offices, conference facilities, hotels, and serviced apartments.

2. Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW) Transformation

The Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW) transformation spans over 30 kilometres from Pasir Panjang to Marina East, envisaging the creation of approximately 9,000 new homes along the southern coast. A continuous paved walkway, surrounded by green spaces, will connect the entire area. Currently, port operator PSA occupies land at Keppel, Brani, and Tanjong Pagar for terminals. As PSA relocates their terminals between 2027 and 2040, these land parcels will be freed up for the GSW transformation. Repurposing possibilities include converting two power stations in Pasir Panjang into mixed-use developments. Additionally, new attractions are planned for Pulau Brani near Sentosa, with potential for a resort development.

3. Paya Lebar Airbase Relocation

Covering an expansive 800 hectares, equivalent to the size of five Toa Payoh towns, this vast land will be transformed into a new township following the relocation of the air base to the Tengah area in the 2030s. To preserve the site’s historical identity as a former air base, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) intends to repurpose certain aviation buildings and portions of the runway, ensuring the retention of its heritage. This upcoming township will be a crucial and impactful addition to the entire North-East region, enhancing property values.

4. Woodlands Regional Centre

With the Housing Board’s vision to establish Woodlands as the ‘star destination of the North,’ it is slated to become the largest economic hub in the region. Over the next 15 years, Woodlands Regional Centre will witness new spaces dedicated to business, industry, research and development, as well as learning and innovation. The site is designated as the focal point for the Northern Agri-Tech and Food Corridor, according to the URA. The waterfront precinct in Woodlands will see the addition of new homes and workspaces, including plans by JTC for a new building catering to industrial and general manufacturing companies. Woodlands Central is set to undergo new mixed-use developments, integrating residential, office, and retail spaces, all connected to the Thomson-East Coast Line MRT station. A planned paved walkway will further connect Woodlands Central to Woodlands North Coast.

5. Transformation of Jurong Lake District

When the transformation is complete, Jurong Lake District is set to become the largest business district outside the Central Business District (CBD). This includes a substantial increase in housing, fostering a closer work-home proximity for residents. A dedicated leisure and recreational cluster around Jurong Lake will capitalise on its unique lakeside and garden setting. Plans involve creating a new waterway at the lake’s eastern shore, forming a new third island. The district will boast infrastructure that incorporates data-driven decision-making platforms. This includes simulation models aiding planners in analysing and visualising the impact of developments on outdoor spaces’ thermal comfort, facilitating decisions on adaptation measures such as increasing greenery.

Uncovering Recent and 2024 Launches in Transforming Regions

These major developments are expected to significantly boost property values in their respective neighbourhoods or entire regions. As residential, commercial, and office projects, along with amenities and potential recreational spaces take shape, the impact on property values across these regions is inevitable. The proximity to work nodes and preferred lifestyle amenities will naturally drive residents to seek housing in these transformed areas. This section covers recent and upcoming residential projects in or near these areas, which stand to gain from these transformative developments. It’s crucial to note that these transformations will take years to start and complete. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the timeline of these developments, evaluating whether residing in or around the transformation would be beneficial, and if it aligns with your long-term investment goals.

1. Northern Region

Enhanced by the upcoming Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link connecting Johor Bahru and Woodlands North, and complemented by the Thomson-East Coast Line, seamless cross-border travel is anticipated for visitors from Malaysia entering Singapore. The forthcoming Woodlands Regional Centre may further catalyse cross-border business collaborations, potentially expanding the tenant pool for properties in proximity to the transformation.

Lentor, an up and coming neighbourhood just three stops away from Woodlands on the Thomson-East Coast Line, stands to gain from neighbourhood developments and the Woodlands Regional Centre. Lentor Hills Residences, launched in July 2023, has achieved a noteworthy 70% inventory sell-out, averaging $2,107 per square foot (PSF) as of November last year, indicating positive public sentiments about the potential of this neighbourhood. Expected 2024 launches in Lentor include Lentor Mansion, Lentor Gardens, and Lentoria.

In Woodlands, several Built-To-Order (BTO) HDB projects are set for launch from February 2024, offering 2-Room Flexi to 5-Room unit configurations. Additionally, a Government Land Sales (GLS) bid for a Champions Way plot in Woodlands, accepted on September 12th, 2023, marks the first GLS tender in Woodlands (excluding executive condominiums) since 2011. This potential development could accommodate 350 units.

2. Southern Region

To kickstart the GSW transformation, the former Keppel Golf Course site is designated for about 9,000 new homes, including around 6,000 public housing units. Linked by the Telok Blangah and Labrador Park MRT stations, this neighbourhood aims to be a mixed-use gateway along the southern coast, offering residents access to green recreational spaces and nearby nature parks. Another emerging area is Marina South, envisioned as a car-lite waterfront precinct with sheltered pedestrian walkways connecting developments, Gardens By The Bay, and Marina South MRT Stations. Over the next few decades, it’s estimated to feature more than 10,000 homes, along with parks, recreational facilities, and retail spaces.

Pioneering the transformation on Keppel Island, a development on Plot 6 is set to launch this year, featuring 86 exclusively luxurious units. Meanwhile, Marina South will see the launch of a prestigious development with an estimated 790 units this year. These developments hold a unique first-mover advantage, being the inaugural projects in their respective neighbourhoods. Other anticipated launches in the GSW area this year include Skywaters Residences near Tanjong Pagar and Shenton Way MRT Stations, and Marina View Residences adjacent to Shenton Way MRT Station.

3. North-East Region

As mentioned, the upcoming town on the Paya Lebar Airbase site is a vast area, five times the size of Toa Payoh, strategically located in the heart of established North-East Region neighbourhoods like Punggol, Hougang, Sengkang, Serangoon, Pasir Ris, Tampines, and Bedok. Currently, the URA is actively seeking public feedback and opinions for the development vision, emphasising environmentally sustainable practices and envisioning car-free neighbourhoods.

Anticipated private new launches this year in the North-East region include redevelopments on former Chuan Park and Jansens Mansions condominium sites, following successful En Bloc sales. The Chuan Park site, a 99-year leasehold project near Lorong Chuan MRT Station, is estimated to feature 916 units at an average launch price of $2,675 per square foot (PSF). The former Jansens Mansions redevelopment, on a 999-year leasehold land, will be a boutique project with approximately 19 units. Conveniently located near Serangoon and Kovan MRT stations, it presents an attractive option in the area.

HDB has announced the launch of two BTO projects in the North-East Region this year, specifically in Hougang and Punggol. The Hougang project will feature 2-Room Flexi to 4-Room flat configurations, while the Punggol project will offer 2-Room Flexi to 5-Room flats.

4. East Region

To enhance connectivity to the upcoming Changi transformation, the fully operational Cross Island MRT line (Singapore’s longest MRT line) by the 2040s will link the Western and North-Eastern corridors to the East, connecting major hubs like Jurong Lake District and Punggol Digital District to Changi. Envisioned transformations for the Changi area include a waterfront district in the longer term. In Changi City, the plan is to establish an innovative ecosystem with a live-in community, attracting businesses and institutions engaged in freight transportation and aviation-related research and development, including artificial intelligence and robotics technology.

The appeal of East Singapore is evident, demonstrated by recent successful new launches. Grand Dunman, a mega project launched in July 2023, sold 54.6% of its total inventory on the launch day at an average of $2,500 per square foot (PSF). Nearby, Tembusu Grand achieved 53% sales out of its total inventory of 638 units on the launch day in April 2023, averaging $2,465 PSF. Both projects are conveniently located near Dakota MRT Station.

For those eyeing the East region, six anticipated private home launches this year offer a range of options. Adjacent to Tembusu Grand and Grand Dunman along Jalan Tembusu, a 99-year leasehold project from a successful GLS bid is estimated to launch at an average of $2,556 per square foot (PSF). Another leasehold project, Kasia in Tampines along Flora Drive, is projected to feature 276 units. Of the four freehold developments expected to launch, all are redevelopments post-En Bloc sales. The former Bagnall Court site in Bedok is estimated to house 113 units at $2,336 PSF. In District 15, redevelopments on the former La Ville and East Court sites are anticipated to offer 107 and 19 units respectively, both within walking distance to Katong. In District 16, the former Meyer Park condominium site is estimated to house 295 units at an average launch price of $3,266 PSF.

Two upcoming BTO projects in Bedok are also expected to launch this year, featuring unit configurations ranging from 2-Room Flexi to 5-Room flats.

5. West Region

The West Region will also be affected positively by the Cross Island Line, and the Jurong Lake District transformation will benefit from the fully completed Jurong Region Line by 2029, specifically serving the Western region. As the largest business district outside the CBD, the Jurong Lake District is designated as a car-lite area, surrounded by lush greenery. Future residents can enjoy leisurely strolls through the entire area using J-Walk, a sheltered elevated pedestrian network, while cycling paths with lush green landscaping will be available on every street.

In 2023, J’Den, a 368-unit development, made headlines by selling 88% of its total inventory on launch day in November. With an average of $2,451 PSF on launch day, all its one and two bedder units were sold out on the same day.

In 2024, the Western region is set to see new launches, including Lumina Grand, an Executive Condominium (EC), the first in District 23, conveniently located near Bukit Gombak and the upcoming Tengah MRT stations. Another anticipated project, Hillhaven, near Hillview and Cashew MRT stations, is expected to launch this year. Within Jurong Lake District, Sora, launching this year at an estimated $2,216 PSF, may attract families seeking to be part of the transformation. Additionally, a BTO project is expected to launch in Choa Chu Kang.

In Conclusion 

The URA’s blueprint transformations will undoubtedly reshape Singapore’s landscape, providing appealing options for both owner-occupiers and investors. However, it’s essential to consider the timeline of these changes and assess whether residing in these transformed areas aligns with your goals or if investing matches the development timeline in your chosen neighbourhood.

If you’re in the market for a property and have burning questions you want answered, do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced consultants here. Our friendly consultants here at PropertyLimBrothers are always eager to help.

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