S’pore-JB rail to up Woodlands’ appeal

S’pore-JB rail to up Woodlands’ appeal

Facility expected to increase home values in district

By Melissa Tan (The Straits Times, June 28 2014)

THE future construction of a rail terminal in Woodlands has put the estate on track for brighter property prospects.

A station for the Rapid Transit System (RTS), which will link Singapore to JB Sentral in Johor Baru, will be be built near Republic Polytechnic in Woodlands.

The RTS is targeted to be completed by 2018 and to begin operations by 2019. The resulting improvement in connectivity for the Woodlands district, formerly seen as a far-flung northern suburb, could boost its long-term appeal to buyers and tenants, consultants say.

“When the rail is completed, there will be more Malaysians – including permanent residents – working here who will relocate to rent an apartment or a flat in Woodlands,” said R’ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.

Consultants added that the presence of the rail terminal could drive more business activity in Woodlands, which would further ramp up demand for homes there several years down the road.

SLP International research head Nicholas Mak said there could be greater demand for transit hotels there, to serve rail commuters.

Mr Ong said: “There will also be added commercial vibrancy in Woodlands with the completion of the rail and it will (lift) up Woodland’s positioning as a modern sub-regional centre.”

There are no private projects in the immediate surroundings of Republic Polytechnic, but several streets to the school’s south lies a cluster of condominiums along Rosewood Drive and opposite Innova Junior College.

These are also close to the Causeway Point mall and Woodlands MRT station.

Newer condos in that cluster include Parc Rosewood, which is still uncompleted, and Rosewood Suites which was completed in 2011. These sit next to older projects such as Casablanca, completed in 2005, and Rosewood which was completed in 2003. All four are on 99-year leaseholds.

The average selling price at the 689-unit Parc Rosewood was $1,319 per sq ft (psf) over the past six months. The project was launched in January 2012 and sold out by October that year.

The development by Fragrance Properties mostly consists of one-bedders and two- bedders, and the smallest unit is a shoebox apartment of 431 sq ft.

At Rosewood Suites next door, the average resale price was $872 psf over the past six months.

The 200-unit project was boutique developer EL Development’s first full-scale condo.

The older Casablanca, which has 478 units and was developed by Far East Organization, sold at similar price levels. The selling price over the past six months there was $873 psf on average.

For the 437-unit Rosewood condo, which is separate from Rosewood Suites, units went for $800 psf on average over the past six months. The project was developed by Centrepoint Properties, the forerunner of Frasers Centrepoint.

Consultants said they expect home prices in Woodlands to increase at a moderate pace in general, but the development of Woodlands into a full-fledged regional centre to rival Tampines could take several years to materialise.

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