Nearby residential projects to benefit

Homes within 500m of new stations likely to enjoy sizeable price gains

Published on Sep 01, 2012

By Esther Teo, Property reporter

DETAILS of the new Thomson Line MRT stations have set the property market buzzing over just which project might benefit the most from Wednesday's announcement.

Experts say the clear winners are residential projects within a 500m radius of the new stations as they are expected to enjoy a healthy gain in home prices.

But some developments have the exceptional luck of being right on the doorstep of a station, guaranteeing even more robust price and rental increases, they add.

Projects like The Calrose, Far Horizon Gardens and Thomson Grove, for example, are right next to the future Lentor MRT station.

And The Gardens @ Bishan and Faber Garden Condominium are right smack beside the upcoming Sin Ming MRT station.

Some projects in the city will enjoy even greater connectivity.

The Equatorial, for instance, will be right next to the Stevens MRT station, while owners of The Trillium, The Cosmopolitan and Yong An Park will cheer now that the Great World MRT station will be right in front of their homes.

Experts add that while home owners are expected to gain from the rise in prices of these apartments, the interim construction period might also be a very painful one.

PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail said that a safe bet for investors looking for a home close to an MRT station might be to look for developments that are in good condition.

If they are on a 99-year lease, then they should be less than 10 years old to ensure higher capital appreciation since the line will be fully running only in 2021.

In the much longer term, some older projects might even have collective sale potential as their plot ratios could be raised now that they are more accessible, he said. "But at the end of the day, deciding when to buy depends on the individual. It will be a trade-off between construction inconvenience and paying a higher price as the station nears completion," Mr Ismail said.

International Property Advisor chief executive Ku Swee Yong said that while the hype might result in owners raising their selling prices now, "reality will sink in when construction starts and that's when prices will stagnate or even drop".

Tenants will also avoid these projects owing to inconveniences such as road diversions, noise and dust. Rental yields will suffer too.

The best time for investors keen on buying a unit next to an MRT station could be a year or two before the station opens instead, Mr Ku added, as this anticipates the larger price gains that typically happen only after the station is open.

Mr Jason Pung, 37, who lives with his family at The Calrose, said that while they are happy with the news, they have concerns about the long construction period and the traffic situation in the future.

"We've always had offers from agents as we are close to St Nicholas Girls' School and the French school... but we have no intention to sell yet because we might not be able to find something else as convenient for the same price."

[email protected]