Singapore property market watch 2023

March 1, 2023 / By  

What strategic investment opportunities should investors explore in safe haven Singapore in 2023? We provide some guidance here.

1) Master development opportunity in Jurong Lake District

In June 2023, the government will offer three plots of land totalling 6.8 hectares in the Jurong Lake District (JLD) for mixed-use development to a master developer. This is the first sale of sites by the government in the 410-hectare district since unveiling the vision in 2017 for it to become Singapore’s largest mixed-use business district outside the city centre. JLD is also envisioned to be a model sustainability district with a goal to achieve net-zero emissions for new developments around 2045.

Table 1: Brief particulars of upcoming government land sales site at Jurong Lake District*

*Subject to changes pending the release of tender details
Source: Release of first half of 2023 Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme, URA, 8 December 2022

Some factors contributing to JLD’s potential to be a vibrant business hub include the availability of a ready and deep talent pool from the one million residents and six institutes of higher learning in the western region in which the precinct is located. It will enjoy good connectivity to the rest of the island via four Mass Rapid Transit lines – the existing East-West and North-South lines and the upcoming Jurong Region and Cross Island lines.

Additionally, committed to turning JLD into the largest hub outside the CBD, the government has declared that JLD will be the focus of new developments in the next two decades by prioritising sales of sites within the district. This should help to manage the risk of investing in a growth district.

2) Tuas Mega Port ecosystem

The Tuas industrial area is garnering increasing attention from market players eyeing its growth potential as the home to the upcoming SGD 20 billion Tuas Mega Port. When fully completed in 2040, this is expected to be the world’s largest automated port with a handling capacity of 65 million twenty-foot equivalent units.

Recent activities in the area include Schneider Electric’s launch of its new carbon-neutral logistics hub in LOGOS Tuas Logistics Hub in November 2022. The LOGOS property group’s redevelopment of 20 Tuas South Avenue 14 into the LOGOS Tuas Logistics Hub was completed in 2022, and we understand that both phases are fully committed. Motul Asia Pacific also launched its new Asia Hub at the PLG Tuas HQ Building in 2022. Upcoming new projects include Soilbuild Group’s redevelopment of 2 Pioneer Sector 1 into a new four-storey ramp-up warehouse and Boustead Projects’ redevelopment of 36 Tuas Road into a new five-storey ramp-up multi-tenanted warehouse.

The first phase of the port was officially opened in September 2022 with three berths operational. This is a significant milestone which, we expect, will further accelerate the momentum for synergistic real estate development and investment activities in the Tuas area from 2023 onwards.

3) Retail and high-end residential property markets will receive a booster shot from China’s reopening

China was Singapore’s top tourism source market for three consecutive years, between 2017 and 2019, before the pandemic. It has also been Singapore’s top source of foreign purchasers for private residential properties since 2016. China’s reopening, which facilitates outbound travel, particularly by the well-heeled given costly airfares amidst limited flights, will bode well for the retail and high-end residential property markets.

The anticipated return of Chinese tourists and home buyers can help mitigate the short-term dampening effects of inflationary pressures, rising mortgage rates and downbeat economic prospects.

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