Thomson-East Coast MRT line makes East Coast properties hotter

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East coast properties have always had their allure for home buyers because of its seafront living, green spaces and food paradise status

East coast properties
Image: credit:

East coast properties have always had their allure for home buyers because of its seafront living, green spaces and food paradise status, but now it has gotten hotter because of the Thomson-East Coast MRT line.

The Thomson–East Coast Line (TEL) is a medium-capacity Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line which is coloured brown on the rail map, it is fully underground and, when complete, will serve 32 stations over 43 kilometers in length, becoming one of the world’s longest driverless rapid transit lines.

It runs along a combined north–south and east–west corridor, starting in the north at Woodlands town, passing through Upper Thomson and the towns of Ang Mo Kio and Bishan, before heading south to Orchard Road and Marina Bay, then running eastwards along the east coast through Kallang, Marine Parade and Bedok South, before ending at Upper East Coast.

The TEL was announced by the Land Transport Authority on 15 August 2014, merging the previously planned Thomson (TSL) and Eastern Region (ERL) lines. By then, construction of the Thomson Line had begun in January 2014. The line is set to be opened in 5 stages, with stage 1 (from Woodlands North to Woodlands South stations) which opened on 31 January 2020, stage 2 (from Springleaf to Caldecott stations) opened on 28 August 2021 and further stages up to stage 5 (from Bedok South to Sungei Bedok stations) opening between 2022 and 2025.

In January 2019, an infill station Founders’ Memorial station was announced, with the LTA considering to integrate the Changi Airport Branch into the TEL. When fully opened, it is expected to serve about 500,000 commuters daily in the initial years, rising to one million commuters daily in the long term. It is the fourth MRT line to be operated by SMRT Trains Ltd and also the fourth to be completely automated and driverless. The line is currently served by Mandai Depot, with another depot East Coast Integrated Depot opening in 2025, and services are operated by CT251 trains.

The TEL will better connect the East Coast properties and its owners to the rest of the MRT network, via nine stations.

These are:

  • Tanjong Rhu
  • Katong Park
  • Marine Parade
  • Marine Terrace
  • Siglap
  • Bayshore
  • Bedok South
  • Sungei Bedok
  • Xilin

It is these connections which makes East Coast properties that much more hotter now for prospective home buyers and investors.

Mr Paul Ho, chief officer at iCompareLoan, said: “The Thomson-East Coast Line is good news for the many East Coast properties which are situated near the MRT stations. It will raise the value of their properties.”

“The low interest rate environment and the liquidity situation means that the many private properties that are situated along this MRT line may find good buyers,” he added.

The East Coast properties also get a leg up from the revitalisation of Bedok. Bedok town centre will be revitalized with a new hawker centre and town plaza, as well as an air-conditioned bus interchange connected to a shopping mall and condominium.

A new integrated complex comprising a community club, sports facilities, library and polyclinic is also being planned. In addition, Bedok will have new park connectors, cycling routes and walkways, while the planned MRT lines will bring about shorter journeys to the city.

Also, the Joo Chiat/Telok Kurau/East Coast vicinity is one of Singapore’s most iconic and storied neighborhoods, having been designated as the first “Heritage Town” in 2011. Much of the precinct’s charm comes from its historical heritage as a Peranakan enclave with colorful shophouses that have been beautifully retained. The area is known for popular F&B establishments, trendy bars and hipster boutiques. Some of the well-known F&B establishments in the immediate vicinity include Alforno, EMOs, Comida Mexicana, Mad Nest, Wolaa Kitchen & Bar, JAG Wine and Beach Road Prawn Noodle.

“With developments in Paya Lebar, which is fast becoming a new business hub, and Tampines turning into a lifestyles hub, investors in East Coast properties will have a good buy,” said Mr Ho.

East Coast properties already offer some of the best waterfront views, easy access to the beach, CBD and Changi Airport, as well as the convenience of living close to amenities such as schools, malls, eateries and restaurants. These factors make the properties in the area very attractive.

Are the properties in the East Coast cheap?

Mr Ho added, “although the East Coast properties are not cheap, it does not mean that you need to pay crazy prices just to live there. There are properties in the $2 million range in the East Coast area. And if you manage to get the best home loan, it can become fairly affordable.”

The East Coast Road/Katong area is predominately an affluent residential neighborhood that is characterised by a mix of colorful Peranakan shophouses, high-rise condominiums and landed housing enclaves. Due to the large residential catchment, the area has attracted multiple popular restaurants, bars and hipster cafes. The neighborhood is currently undergoing further rejuvenation with the upcoming Marine Parade MRT on the Thomson-East Coast Line by 2023 and the Asset Enhancement Initiatives being conducted at i12 Katong which is scheduled to be completed by first quarter 2021.

Written by Ravi Chandran

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