Junction 10 houses Giant Hypermarket and an LRT station, providing convenience to residents in the neighbourhood.
In the words of the late British real estate tycoon Harold Samuel: “Location, location, location” – accessibility is the top factor in commanding a good price in the property market. And when it comes to public transport here, MRT services are key. We look at how the latest DTL2 development – in operation since Dec 27, 2015, and servicing 12 new stations from Rochor to Bukit Panjang – has affected the market value of districts along Upper Bukit Timah Road.
There are a couple of notable observations unique to Bukit Panjang. Unlike other residential areas located along the DTL2 stations, Bukit Panjang is predominantly a Housing Board (HDB) estate. The DTL2 isn’t the only form of rail transport in the estate – the Bukit Panjang Light Rapid Transit (LRT) loop has been in operation since 1999, ferrying residents to and from Choa Chu Kang MRT station (and interchange) on the North South Line.
Now, easy connectivity to two MRT lines should make for a winning combination in boosting residential prices. Sales figures from the HDB’s website do not disappoint. At $460psf for a five-room flat at Jelebu Road, it is priced higher than a five-room equivalent at Choa Chu Kang Central, at $361psf. Both flats are located within five minutes from the MRT and LRT stations, and were sold last May and October, respectively. ERA property agent Shahlan Bin Saim says that the new MRT station has led to this improvement in property prices: “Apart from more interest seen in the flats around the area, some homeowners are asking for a higher price – about a 5 to 10 per cent increase.”
The property market around Cashew station is mostly made up of private condominiums and landed properties with 999-year leases, with lease commencements dating back to 1882. While the accessibility afforded by the new DTL2 has pushed up prices across the board, 999-leasehold condominiums in the area, such as Espa, Cashew Heights and Hazel Park, generally command better prices over their 99-year leasehold neighbours. This is especially since residential sites with 999-year leases put out for tender by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) are dwindling.
Besides the conventional gym, Hazel Park Condomium also features a putting green, suitable for nurturing little golfers.
According to the URA’s data, a 1,658sqf apartment at Cashew Heights was sold for $905psf in March this year. This is significantly higher than the $685psf for a 1,313sqf apartment at the 99-year leasehold Maysprings condominium, sold around the same time. Maysprings is considered more accessible and convenient with its proximity to both the Bukit Panjang MRT station and LRT stations, as well as shopping malls Junction 10 and Bukit Panjang Plaza. Another example of a 999-leasehold condominium that benefits from being near the station is Hazel Park. Former resident Leo JS paid $506,000 for his two-bedroom apartment in 2007, and sold it for almost $1 million in 2012. “Even though the DTL2 was not completed yet, having Cashew station being built at my doorstep helped me market my unit at a good price. The buyer, an investor who intended to rent out the unit, knew that the convenience of a nearby MRT station will make it easier to attract tenants, and was thus willing to pay more.”
Maysprings residents can look forward to even more retail options once construction of the nearby Hillion Mall is completed in 2018.
Those seeking 999-year lease landed property in the area should look out for Cashew Green – a development by Far East Organisation consisting of 17 terraces houses expected to be completed in 2017. The property features a roof-top sun deck complete with a swimming pool and basement car park.
While the slew of cooling measures caused prices to dip in recent years, they are stabilising and remain competitive, owing to the new Hillview station. At The Hillier condominium that sits atop Hill V2 shopping mall, an 818sqf apartment was sold at $1,229psf in March 2014. A smaller 624sqf unit that was sold in January 2016 (after the station opened) commanded $1,230psf – quite a remarkable figure, considering its 99-year leasehold, in comparison to the nearby 999-year leasehold condos.
Another brand new project still up for sale is 99-year leasehold Kingsford Hillview Peak, to be completed in early 2017. Like The Hillier, prices here are stabilising, too. One of its 517sqf shoebox apartments was sold for $1,355psf in 2013, and another at $1,337psf in April 2016.
ERA marketing director Tina Lee rationalises the relatively higher prices of apartments in Hillview: “The properties in Cashew might have 999-year leases, but are older, so buyers may need to spend more on renovations.” Another selling point: Hillview station is a short stroll away from the popular eateries at The Rail Mall and the new Hill V2 mall, apart from being a stone’s throw from Dairy Farm Nature Park.
Completed in 1984, Beauty World Centre recently made the news when a mystery buyer made a $17.5-million offer to buy its open-air food centre on Level 4.
Beauty World station provides direct access to the many establishments in this vicinity. Examples are Bukit Timah Shopping Centre and the stretch of shophouses on Cheong Chin Nam Road, just off the main road, that house notable and popular eateries such as Boon Tong Kee and Al-Azhar.
While it has improved accessibility for diners and shoppers, Beauty World station has also benefitted residents of the surrounding landed houses and condominiums. At Meadow Lodge, one of the condominiums nearest to the station, prices for two similarly sized apartments of about 1200sqf made a decent gain from $944psf in May 2015, to $1,118psf in January 2016. The station also services the small HDB estate of Toh Yi Gardens, where an improvement can be observed in the HDB resale figures. A 1,313sqf flat along Toh Yi Drive recently transacted at $626psf, up from $595psf for a 1,377sqf flat sold in April 2015.