Despite Covid-19, sales continue with flexibility due to constant demand in homebuying

People who grew in the eastern region of the Singapore tend to settle down there itself due to the memories they have for their birthplace. But apart from their nostalgic mindset there are several reasons that make the eastern region of Singapore an attractive location.

Bedok, Changi, Changi Bay, Pasir Ris, Paya Lebar and Tampines are the six planning areas that sum up the east region defined by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). The East region offers both homeowners and residents a whole lifestyle package with a long, extended seaside stretch and a large variety of services (for example the Airport of Changi). The East Area is the second least populous region of Singapore, occupying a total area of 115 square kilometers (sq km), with northern region being the least populous area.

The population in the East area rose 5.8% from about 656,000 in 2000, to around 694 000 in 2012 before dropping 1.2%, to about 686,000 in 2019, based on new statistics from the Singapore Department of Statistics.
Between 2015 and 2019, there was a 6.8 per cent increase of the total residential units in the eastern region from about 221,000 in 2015 to 236,000 in 2019, including private households or executive housing and EC housing.
Nevertheless, over the same time the increase was greater at some 11.5% in private residential properties (excluding EC units) from around 61,000 units to 68,000 units, with a majority comprising non-landed residential houses in the Bedok, Pasir Ris and Tampines residential areas.

Not many big projects were launched for sale in the Eastern Area in 2015 and 2016. The new volume in the three planning areas of Bedok, Pasir Ris and Tampines of unlanded private residential properties (not including ECs) then created an increase of usually less than 200 units per quarter, mainly due to sales growth from existing launches.
Nonetheless, in the fourth quarter of 2016, primary revenues from the 4th quarter of 2016 to the 2nd quarter of 2017 rose by more than 500 units, such as the Alps Residences, Grandeur Park Residences and Seaside Residences – which totalled up to 2,200 units.

The demand for new houses dominated by the Tampines Planning Area was steady, from 2019 to Q1 2020, from 250 to 350 units per quarter. Even through the second quarter of 2020 this continued robust new home demand in the East. In the course of this time, there were still 192 additional revenue restrictions (according to available data as of 23 June 2020) following limits on human and economic activity imposed during the partial lockout of the circuit breaker.

New projects have contributed to boost pricing in the major residential regions of Bedok, Pasir Ris and Tampines, challenging the upper limits in private homes prices in the last five years with sustained demand for new condominium units in the East Region.

The Bedok planning area continues to surpass the other two planning areas by the highest overall price per sq ft., with average prices for the new unit of homes in the country increasing by approximately 23% between the first quarter of 2015 and the second quarter of 2020.

The rental median in the region ranged from S$2.60 psf and S$2.90 psf a month, from the first quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2020, based upon the data available in the region on 23 June 2020, showing stability of the past five years and so on.

Like new housing prices, Bedok is the highest rent medium and, because of location, it outweighs Pasir Ris and Tampines. Bedok is located the closest to Singapore’s central areas and the famous East Coast Park.
The Eastern Area offers home purchasers a magnifying picture of the leisure of large parks and interconnectors along the beaches of the East Coast Park, Pasir Ris and Changi Ris, and the special jewel of Changi Airport.

The construction of Terminal 5 at Changis Airport will lead to new jobs centers in the coming decade and beyond, through the growth of the complementary Changi East Industrial Zone and Changi East Urban District. The East Area will be further linked with the rest of Singapore if the Thomson-East Coast Line and the finished stages of the Downtown Line are completed with the Cross-Island Section.

Lifestyle and accommodation are also expected. Around 12,500 new public and private homes will be constructed in the new Bayshore 60-hectare (ha) area, providing open spaces and amenities in the waterfront projects outside the city. New recreation areas, such as the Clubhouse HomeTeamNS, will also be built in Bedok Reservoir Park. However, the future shift of the Paya Lebar Air Base must be the game changer. Around 800 ha of land currently being used primarily for military purposes is being released for construction of residences, offices, plants and leisure areas, with an approximate construction footprint equal to 2.5 times the size of Bishan, including the nearby industrial estates, which are also to be renovated.

With the aid of new transmission corridors and direct routes into the East region, connectivity will be improved without Paya Lebar Air Base being circumvented in future. If old lands, now no longer cluttered by low-rise parcel ratios, will instantly make dramatic changes in land prices after 2030, expansion of the collective sale opportunities may not be irrational. Buyers from projects launched in Tampines, Residence Twenty-two, Infini at the eastern coast, Urban Gems, Tedge and [email protected] East Coast, will be able to expect a better integrated community facilities in a well-planned area with a long recreational coastline and airport with these developments expected to lead to transformations of East region.

The benefits of these reforms and developments over the next decades can also be taken into account by potential future home buyers as they decide on possible eastern ventures.

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