HSR scrapping

HSR Scrapping Could Slow Growth Of Commercial Property Prices In Jurong

SINGAPORE – Some experts believe that the cancellation of the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project connecting the city-state with Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur could decelerate the growth of commercial property prices within the Jurong district, reported The Business Times on Friday evening (1 January).

Prices of residential and commercial properties in the area are expected to increase at a slower rate, but values are still forecasted to rise over the long-term, Savills Singapore’s Executive Director Alan Cheong told the news agency.

Knight Frank Singapore’s Head of consultancy Alice Tan also said that if the massive transport project proceeded, it could have boosted the tourism and business sectors of Singapore and Malaysia.

“The absence of the HSR would mean strategies to grow the tourism sector would have to be recalibrated for the longer-term post-COVID, such as expanding new tourist target markets, exploring modes of connectivity, and enhancing alternative modes of partnerships with Malaysia and other countries,” she remarked.

Due to the termination, Tan foresees that planners would have to review their master plans for Jurong and make some changes for new supporting economic activities in lieu of the HSR project.

Still, Cushman & Wakefield’s (C&W) Associate Director for research Wong Xian Yang believes that the cancellation of the HSR project is unlikely to impact the decentralization of business activities away from Singapore’s central business district (CBD), as decentralization has already been occurring for several years amidst a “flight to value trend” in the market.

“The decentralisation story remains very relevant, and given the increased adoption of flexible working arrangements and new ways of working, we could see higher demand for decentralised space as companies review their workspace strategy and potentially look to provide multiple satellite offices near their employee’s homes.”

Wong thinks that there won’t be a significant impact on Jurong Lake District’s long-term prospects, including residential prices there, as there are other upcoming catalytic projects like the Jurong innovation district and the Tuas Mega Port. However, the government could make some minor changes on planned tourism and hospitality facilities that are dependent on the HSR project.

“Although the latest development on the HSR Terminus is not what some property owners in the Jurong area would desire, the impact of this news would be short-lived and it would not diminish the pull factors and potential of the Jurong-Lakeside area,” added Nicholas Mak, Head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty.

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