Getting Ready for URA Masterplan 2013

I‘m surprised. Everyone that I’ve talked to seem to have forgotten that our priceless URA Master Plan is due for a new gazette this year; From the last update it was done in November 2008, and I hope it should be around the same time that this is happening for this year as well.

Singapore’s Master Plan is updated every 5 year, and with each update comes very important updates that determines the land usage of the country. During 2003, a lot of emphasis was on enhancement on plot ratio around the public transportation stations and for our current 2008 revision, the core was strengthened and determined to decentralize and even out the business hubs around the whole region. The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA) is the statutory board which is in charge of gazetting this important plan. You can read more about Master Plan 2008 here.

Should the timeline be similar, you would be expecting URA to be having a Draft soon for public comments and gazette to happen towards the end of the year.

What Should We Expect from Master Plan 2013?

All these are based on assumptions of what has happened for the past years after 2008. Ministry of National Development has already penned down a very lovely eBook on their focus with each individual sectors (basically everywhere. Central, North, South, East and West) and the concentration of improving existing mature townships. Concentration was done especially on the commercial nodes in the country so as to have people working closer to where they are living around the island.

Places like Punggol is maturing very rapidly with upgrades, constructions and projects in the area. Land has been reclaimed and the Punggol Promenade is already up with residents strolling and having healthy activities throughout the day, making the township looking very vibrant. A commercial node would also seem to have been earmarked in MND’s plan as well.

Commercial Nodes by 2030 in Singapore
Go on! read the full MND publication, it’s interesting :)

URA has also touched on promoting Woodlands as a regional centre as well with concepts already drawn. You can read more about it here.

I wouldn’t expect 2013 to be huge on plot ratio revision since there is so much emphasis on decentralizing and bringing up current commercial nodes live. Just purely speculative, I would think focus would be on land reclamation, recycling land with lower intensity uses to improve productivity and speeding up the processes of maturing the new commercial hubs in out of central region (OCR).

Channel News Asia has a great documentary talking about Singapore’s past, present and future in terms of space and urban planning. Do watch the 45-minutes of documentary if you have the time to spare here.

What? Prices Would Go North Again?

The cooling measures took some toll in prices and curbing buying spree from speculators and foreign funds quite well for the past 2 quarters. I’m not really surprised if these curbs were also in placed well before the announcements of Master Plan 2013. Every revision of Master Plan always revitalize and brings excitement to the country on how will it further develop. Expecting the population to increase to 6.5 million by 2030 is not unrealistic. Increasing GDP for all sectors would probably be realistic as well since we are connecting and improving transport links with new stations, highways.

How are Singaporean’s accepting the previous concept and current Master Plan on the commercial nodes such as Jurong Lake District and Paya Lebar Central? Overwhelming and ready. The preview of J-Gateway by MCL Land for the past two days was packed crazy. Realtor friends on the ground also mentioned that given even the prices are not low, our locals are ready to invest.

We probably have one of the best urban planning team in the world, and what is promised is mostly delivered to the country. With all the fundamentals in place, prices could only go one direction. Sure financial sectors could wane, corrections could happen, but don’t expect prices to be what it is 5 years ago as even the Other Outside Central Region (OCR) and Rest of Central Region (RCR) starts to pick up their important roles in driving the country’s GDP.

Get ready for Master Plan 2013.

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About the author

Benson Koh is a professional Real Estate realtor with SLP Realty with over 6 years of experience specializing in all forms of real estate consultancy and brokeraging of different segments from regal homes to commercial spaces. With his partner Bruce Lye, both of them heads SRI5000, one of the most dynamic team in the industry.
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