Ever since the High Speed Rail (HSR) link between Singapore and KL was announced at the back end of 2016, the government, not to mention the sales and marketing departments of the developers in Jurong have been telling us what an incredible impact it will have on the area. Now that the project has been postponed (the rail link has been shelved, not knocked on the head permanently) there is understandable concern by both developers and those who have recently purchased or are thinking of purchasing properties in the area. Are their worries justified? Is there more to investing in Jurong than just the HSR?
Let’s take a step back away from the furore the announcement from across the Straits has caused. Jurong has been touted and promoted as one of the areas of investment for several years. It is to become a second CBD, with or without the Malaysian rail link. Work has been carried out for a decade now, with several malls, plus infrastructure and other milestones already completed or nearing completion. The Jurong Lake District – 360 hectares of business, retail and residential space, is a prime example of how the area is being transformed and remains such a key focus for investment.
The HSR may have been put on hold, but other transport networks certainly have not. The Jurong Region Line (JRL) is scheduled to open in 2026 (reaching completion in 2028), and its 24 stations will much improve the region’s connectivity, not just locally, but with the rest of the MRT network and the island in general.
Another thing Jurong has going for it, is its proximity to the island’s technology hubs. Buona Vista’s One-North Business Park, the NUS, NTU and of course the Jurong Innovation District are all on the area’s doorstep. This along with the influx of businesses for the second CBD and the Lake District mean there will be continued demand for new launch condo and resale developments in the region, both in terms of rental and purchasing.
Away from all of that, Jurong is one of the most attractive places to live when it comes to green spaces and parks. The one thing that put people off was its perceived remoteness from the city itself. By both improving transport links, and bringing businesses, retail, leisure and dining facilities into Jurong, it goes a long way to eliminating that negative.
There is no doubt that the HSR would have meant that Jurong would have been an attractive proposition for those working in Singapore with friends and family in Malaysia. The loss of that market – especially the rental one will have an impact. But, the HSR and the impact it would have had is only one piece of the jigsaw that makes Jurong such an attractive place to live and invest in. Singapore, and Jurong itself is big enough and robust enough to cope with a change in policy from foreign governments.
And let us not forget one thing that we mentioned earlier. HSR is not dead in the water. There is every likelihood that in some shape or form, it will get resurrected in years to come, and if and when that does happen, Jurong will be ready and waiting.
Something you might not know…
Jurong Innovation District – do you know Jurong is also a test bed for Singapore’s national effort to become a Smart Nation?