City Developments Limited (CDL) which has made a name for itself in the real estate world as Singapore’s second-largest developer, has recently put forward a proposal that looks to redefine Singapore’s existing tourism industry.
Addressing the Government, executive chairman of CDL, Mr.Kwek Leng Beng requested that the enclave of Sentosa be marketed as a tourism must-visit. He suggests that the island of Sentosa, which is currently a property hub estimated at billions, be repositioned to reflect an image which is as important as Bali’s – the current tourism mecca of Singapore.
Bali, despite its congestion, increasing traffic and weather issues still attracts a steady flow of tourists whereas Sentosa’s tourism has slowly been on the decline. This has, in particular, affected property values in Sentosa adversely causing the real estate market to remain in the dumps still.
Sentosa was once an investment realm for the rich and has since borne an image of luxury and leisure. This was once Sentosa’s biggest selling point. However, with the property market of Singapore seeing a dip in recent years, this very image has turned out to be Sentosa’s biggest drawback. More and more investors are looking away from the island to find cheaper investing options.
Residential property rates on the island have gone down by over 30 % in the last decade. As such even as the property prices in rest of the nation is slowly finding a way back into recovery, Sentosa still is bearing the brunt of the market crash.
It is worth remembering that Sentosa still remains the only location wherein non-citizens of Singapore and foreigners can make land and property investments. However, the island has seen a big decline in foreign investors as well because of the inflation in rates of stamp duties in the last ten years.
As a result, several homes constructed with the aim of attracting foreign buyers remain empty and several local outlets aimed at the tourists, especially restaurants around the waterfront, have been closing their business in the recent years.
CDL’s proposal includes a suggestion to use non-residential portions of Sentosa for ancillary activities like meetings and conferences while giving the existing hotels and tourist hubs an uplift.
CDL is looking at ways to revive Sentosa’s billion-dollar property market in an effort to create fresh business opportunities for itself and its partners in the island cove. It currently has hotels, retail projects, and residential projects in Sentosa, most of which have been affected in the market’s slump in the recent years.
Development in Sentosa