Announced in 2013, the Greater Southern Waterfront is a very ambitious project that includes new housing projects, attractions, and a dedicated office district, hence making it a great real estate investment opportunity in Singapore. Covering an area of 2,000 ha (twice the size of Punggol or six times the rise of Marina Bay), the project is estimated to have approximately 9,000 new homes, two power stations, and more.
“It will be an opportunity to reshape the Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW) into a new place to live, work, and play,” said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Although a very attractive investment opportunity, investors need to remain wary of the potential risks of investing here. In this article, we’ll look over the central core region of the Greater Southern Waterfront for buying or for rent in Singapore and the considerations to make when investing.
The Greater Southern Waterfront Map – Location is Key
The Greater Southern Waterfront will stretch from Gardens by the Bay East to Pasir Panjang. Also dubbed “Punggol by the Bay” by PM Lee, it includes:
- Gardens (Bay East)
- Cruise Hub & Coastal Park (Marina South/Straits View)
- Keppel Terminal
- Tanjong Pagar Terminal
- Pasir Panjang Terminal
- Mount Faber
- Keppel (Labrador)
- Pasir Panjang Power District (and therefore also includes the power plants)
- Pulau Brani and
All of this and its connection to the Bay has the potential to make it a prime real estate investment in Singapore. The development plans aim to offer a variety of work, play, and live opportunities by offering:
- Around 9,000 housing options
- Numerous open spaces and parks for families
- Dedicated commercial and office zones for increased job opportunities
- More recreational and entertainment amenities for residents.
The URA Masterplan for the Greater Southern Waterfront focuses on three core areas:
1. Powering-up Pasir Panjang
The two decommissioned power plants in the power district of Pasir Panjang will be redeveloped with respect to the public call for transformation ideas. Unlike St James Power Station (which turned into a nightlife destination, the winning creative submissions for the district are geared towards residential and/or office towers. Power is moving underground across the country, anyway.
2. Improving Accessibility
The URA Masterplan also showed interest in connecting different places in the Greater Southern Waterfront region with a continuous waterfront promenade. For example, the rail system and cable car station would carry visitors from the foothills of Mount Faber to the top. This would be ready by 2023.
3. Urban Living
The Keppel Club’s lease is set to expire this year (2021) and will be redeveloped into the residential area mentioned above. It would have direct access to the waterfront, host public transport links, parks, and more.
The Greater Southern Waterfront – Future Plans
The prices of property in the region have always fluctuated in the past, especially in the boom area, which is why investing here had been tricky. But what about the future? Would it be a great investment opportunity, considering the “Lottery Effect”, government subsidies, and future developments?
These funding opportunities can lead to a significant increase in demand for some areas, while others may end up suffering, impacting selling prices and rentals alike. A full detailed plan has yet to be laid out but some key elements that we know are coming up for the Greater Southern Waterfront include:
- 9,000 new homes in the GSW. This will also include the BTO flats, and construction is set to begin in Q1 of 2022 (after lease expiry). The premium HDB flats have always shown overwhelming interest and may cost about $1 million in resale.
- Rail Corridor. The former railway line for Malaysia KTM, which was taken back by Singapore in 2011. Now, they have been developed into promenades. Now, the Pagar Railway station will be preserved and turned into a multi-functional community building (along with the underground station, of course) by 2025.
- Sentosa–Brani Master Plan. Phase 1 of the $90-million project — Sentosa Sensory Scape. This will be another tourism spot, expected to open by 2022 and increase the property value even further. It is expected to include a new waterfront part and a port heritage park.
- Super Mario World and Minion Park. By 2025, these parks will become a great place for adults and children alike.
- 1/3rd of the Pulau Brani will include the Downtown South Water Resort.
- The repossession of golf course and development of buildings to support 9,000 homes (think of it like five new Pinnacle and Duxton buildings being developed in the same space). Private houses there are estimated to be roughly $25,000 and onwards.
- The SGH Campus. The campus will be completed in the 2030s, creating more jobs and shooting up rental demand in the area.
- More office spaces. Corporations, such as Google, Samsung, Cisco, Unilever, Pfizer, SAP Asia, and more, will have their offices here and hence, create more jobs.
- The Circle Line (CCL). Estimated to be completed in 2025, it will include stations at Keppel, Cantonment, and Prince Edward. The completion of the Circle in 2025 will mean faster travel throughout the country, let alone the areas such as Pasir Panjang, Telok Blangah, and Harbourfront. The property around the three new MRT stations will shoot upwards considerably.
- The North-East Line (NEL).
- Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL).
- And more MRT stations with time.
- The area near Pulau Brani will close up for a second city reservoir. This will maximize the water resources, but at the same time construction work will mean a reduced rental demand in the area temporarily. This will take place after 2025.
- More green spaces. The Greater Southern Waterfront will feature more trails the future Pasir Panjang Linear Park, Labrador Nature Reserve, West Coast Park, and seamless connections between different places.
A Bit More About The Brani-Sentosa Precinct
Despite all the development and redevelopment plans, CBD’s favorite child Brani-Sentosa will not be forgotten, and it’s important to highlight it here. A 30,000 sq. meter, high-tech, multi-sensory walkway is expected to be finished by Q3 2022 at an estimated $90 million cost. This walkway would be 2-tiered and will be connecting the southern beaches to the northern Resorts World.
The plans suggest that the area will five zones:
- A Vibrant Cluster, dedicated to festivities, attractions, and cultural performances
- Island Heart with indoor and outdoor attractions and a direct view of Mount Serapong,
- The Waterfront
- Ridgeline, and
The beaches will also get a facelift and will get dedicated, sheltered event spaces and a water show attraction. And of course, it will get a transport system; the railway (funicular) system is expected to be ready by 2023.
The Rebuilding Incentive
With the CBD around Tanjong Pagar being redeveloped, the old office towers may seem unsightly in modern Singapore real estate. PM Lee has sanctioned an incentive scheme featuring a 25% additional GFA for the redevelopment of old commercial real estate in Singapore. This venture is expected to rise the commercial property prices for the area as well.
With so many developmental projects being initiated, the current time offers a great window for investing in Singapore real estate. However, not every Great Southern Waterfront property can offer the best ROI or rental income in Singapore. Investors may need to navigate through the megaproject very carefully, as some properties face en blocs or reduced demand because of the upcoming development ventures.
It is important to remain cautious when looking for an investment opportunity in the central core region or any other Singapore real estate.
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