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Property development opportunities with Malaysia-Singapore railway land swap

KUALA LUMPUR: The historic agreement between Malaysia and Singapore signed on May 24, 2010 to settle the long-standing railway land issue between both countries is expected to open up property development opportunities in Singapore and Iskandar Malaysia in Johor, according to DTZ Research Insight released on Wednesday, Jan 12.

"The return of the railway land will facilitate the comprehensive development of land in land-scarce Singapore, while the Malaysian government can develop and build on the growth in values for the newly swapped parcels which are located in areas identified for development in Singapore," the research stated.

The railway station site at Tanjong Pagar has the greatest redevelopment potential given its size and the government's plans for this district, compared to the other returned railway land in Singapore. Bukit Panjang is another area that could see more development to ride on the future completion of a mass rapid transit station.

In a statement on Friday, following the release of the report, DTZ head of South East Asia research Chua Chor Hoon said: "The Spottiswoode area just north of the railway station may be totally rejuvenated as the old existing residential developments are prime candidates for redevelopment." Higher rents and prices are being achieved and more investors are becoming more interested in the once sleepy Tanjong Pagar area, with newly completed and in the pipelines office, hotels and apartments.

The report said Iskandar Malaysia is envisaged to see more Singaporean investors due to the warmer bilateral relations. An increase in demand in the property sectors in Iskandar Malaysia is expected as the smoother and cheaper transport system arising from the agreement will encourage more Singapore investors, consumers and companies to take advantage of the lower accommodation and living costs.

"The degree of success of Iskandar Malaysia will be partially determined by political co-operation with neighbouring Singapore as well as economic factors," DTZ Malaysia executive director Brian Koh said.
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