J Gateway condo to test Jurong’s appeal

Jurong’s transformation from a standard suburb into an increasingly desirable place in which to live will be tested this weekend with the launch of the relatively upscale J Gateway condominium.

At between S$1,450 and S$1,650 per square foot, the development is priced much higher than most suburban condominiums, which are often launched at less than $1,000 psf.

However, despite its relatively hefty price tag, property watchers believe that J Gateway should see strong demand.

Colliers International’s Director of Research and Advisory Chia Siew Chuin pointed to the recent launch of JEM, Singapore’s largest suburban shopping mall, and the coming Westgate megamall as major features which are making the area a much more desirable place in which to live.

In addition, a lack of new residential project launches in Jurong in the last two years has resulted in some pent-up demand which should also help draw potential buyers to J Gateway.

But, even more important for the area’s property market is the fact that the Jurong Lake District, consisting of Jurong Gateway and Lakeside, is one of three regional centres identified under the government’s decentralisation strategy to sustain growth, said Ms Chia.

“As with any area that has a government-backed strategic plan to chart its development in a steady and calculated manner, Jurong East will, without a doubt, become an attractive place in which to live,” Ms Chia noted.

Under the plan, Jurong Gateway is being transformed into the largest commercial hub outside of the Central Business District, with 500,000 square metres of office space and 250,000 sq m of retail, F&B and entertainment space. Lakeside, on the other hand, is being developed into a leisure destination.

“As development momentum in the Jurong Lake District gains traction, there will be increasing interest from commercial companies, families whose place of work is in the west, as well as those who might need to commute to Johor via the Second Link,” said Ms Chia.

With the expected increase in economic activity as a result of developments in Jurong, resale prices and rental yields for non-landed private properties in the area might experience some upside to add to the increases that have already started to emerge as buyers eye the area’s future potential, said analysts.

Data from the Singapore Real Estate Exchange showed that the average resale price of non-landed private housing in the area rose to around S$904 psf between June last year and May this year, from S$786 psf in the previous 12 months. Rental yields, on the other hand, were steady at above 4 per cent.

“Once the major commercial and institutional developments are fully completed within the next three years, the projected expansion of working and resident population would increase demand for properties, thereby propelling the growth of rental and resale markets,” said Ms Alice Tan, Knight Frank’s Associate Director and Head of Consultancy and Research.

But while J Gateway’s prices are likely to set a new benchmark for private residences in the Jurong area, Ms Tan noted that the impact on the price tags of surrounding projects would also be dependent on factors such as accessibility to MRT stations and amenities.

Source : Today – 29 June 2013

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