Are Jurong properties still worth buying without the High Speed Rail?
Malaysia’s under new leadership, as you would have heard, and they’re no longer eager about the planned High Speed Rail (HSR).
Some are still pretty much bullish about the prospects and might see this change as an opportunity to get into the property market in Jurong. If you need some help with that…
Others, however, are showing signs of panic, especially for those who have already parked a significant portion of their budget to a property inJurong.
But is the panic really warranted? The HSR has been touted as a major selling point for a long time, but there’s surely more to Jurong than that.
How would the HSR have impacted Jurong properties?
The HSR was planned to run between Jurong (from the Jurong Lake District) to Kuala Lumpur. This was a major highlight of the Jurong Lake District, and was a component in the long term plan to turn Jurong into a “second Central Business District”.
The HSR was especially attractive to investors, who intended to buy and rent out properties. There are a large number of Malaysian workers in Singapore, who travel back on the weekends or during public holidays.
It was assumed they would want to live in Jurong, where they had quick access to the HSR. This would allow landlords to charge premium rental rates.
Some of the older developments in the region, such as Ivory Heights and Lakeside Towers, were also counting on the HSR to boost or see through en-bloc sales. These may now be harder to pull off.
However, there are four main reasons that Jurong properties will still hold up.
The Jurong Region Line is on the way
The 24 kilometre Jurong Region Line (JRL) adds 24 MRT stations to the existing network. It connects all the major hubs in Jurong, including Jurong Industrial Estate, the Jurong Innovation District, and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
The JRL will open with 10 stations in 2026, connecting Choa Chu Kang to Boon Lay, and see total completion in 2028.
The JRL is significant to Jurong properties because it fixes a longstanding problem in the area. Residents have traditionally complained that Jurong feels remote and inaccessible, compared to other parts of Singapore.
Although a lot has been improved since 2008 when the Jurong Gateway and Jurong Lake District projects started, there’s still room for improvement. This increased accessibility will be a boon to properties in the Jurong area, as it improves connectivity.
Even without the HSR, it’s improbable that Jurong will be dropped as a second CBD
The plan to develop Jurong Lake District’s 360 hectares already began in 2008, and plenty of major components are already in place.
Malls like JEM, J Cube, and the refurbished IMM have already brought a bustling retail sector into the area – and besides development of the nearby Jurong Innovation District, there’s still the Tuas Mega Port project which is close to the region.
It’s unlikely that further development in Jurong will be abandoned, as many milestones have already been reached.
Besides, there’s little choice in decentralising the CBD – the existing MRT infrastructure can’t handle shifting huge numbers to and from a single point (City Hall and Raffles Place) indefinitely. That’s the entire reason Singapore is developing separate business hubs.
Jurong is in the middle of Singapore’s “tech corridor”
The nearby Jurong Innovation District, One-North Business Park in Buona Vista, the National University of Singapore (NUS) and NTU all surround the Jurong region. Proximity to these areas, along with the government’s drive to turn Jurong into a business hub, improves its rental potential.
As more businesses and offices open up in the area, landlords will see increasing demand. This in turn can drive up overall property prices, even without the planned HSR.
Jurong retains some of the best park spaces
The Jurong Lake District has 116 hectares of green space, and the 90-hectare Jurong Lake Gardens are currently being renovated. When completed, there’ll even be a waterfront activity centre along the lake, for recreation and retail. This includes the creation of a third island in Jurong Lake, to create the “third Botanic Gardens”, the second being Gardens by the Bay.
The Jurong Lake District will also be a car-lite area, like its counterpart in Tengah. The plan is for eight in 10 rides in the Jurong Lake District to be public transport, suggesting an intensive, well-connected area with low traffic congestion.
It’s not hard to foresee continued interest in the Jurong region, HSR or no
The loss of the HSR is a speed bump, to be sure. But it’s unlikely to crash the Jurong project, as the region has a lot more going for it than just a connection to Malaysia. Home buyers, in particular, would do well to consider the growing lifestyle hub in the Jurong Lake District.
There are few spaces in Singapore that offer so much greenery, along with quick access to major business parks and retail that will rival the CBD. We can’t say it will be cheap anymore, as Jurong’s improvements have likely been priced into the properties there.
As they say, you have to strike while the iron is hot. By the time the JRL opens in 2026, the rest of the Jurong Lake District will probably already be complete. At that point, prices will be even higher. If you were already considering a home in Jurong
Get started by choosing the home loan that is within your budget range, and we’ll help you along with a detailed comparison of home loans that have interest rates that are as low as 1.6 per cent per annum!
Don’t let the HSR derail your plans (yes, pun fully intended, #sorrynotsorry).