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Queenstown could get 5,000 new HDB flats by 2027

16 Oct, 2019

More than 5,000 new homes could be launched in Queenstown by 2027, based on details in a traffic study that will be conducted for Singapore's oldest town. The Housing Board called a tender for a traffic impact assessment (TIA) on Monday.

According to tender documents, about 2,060 of these homes in two developments could be launched as early as 2021 or 2022. Another 3,280 units across four developments are expected to be pushed out five years later. In total, there are 10 development sites comprising 7,147 proposed units, up to 6,600 sq m for commercial use, and a primary school. The documents did not say when the other 1,807 units would be launched. The developments span 29ha in all.

The tender documents did not specify the locations of these homes, but said the developments could be served by new roads connected to Queensway, Portsdown Avenue, the Ayer Rajah Expressway and Alexandra Road.

The diamond-shaped area, which is likely the site of the developments, is now largely a swathe of greenery, save for Alexandra Hospital, Queensway Shopping Centre, Alexandra Fire Station and Hang Jebat Mosque. It has been earmarked for residential use in the Urban Redevelopment Authority's masterplan.

Among other things, the study aims to assess the junctions likely to be affected by traffic coming from the proposed developments during peak hours, and make recommendations to ease congestion. An HDB spokesman said yesterday that the TIA is "part of the planning process for any parcel of land" to see what transport infrastructure is needed.

"The TIA study at Queenstown is for proposed future comprehensive development that includes residential units," she said, without specifying how many of the 7,000 units would be public housing. More information will be provided when detailed plans are ready, she added.

The tender, which closes on Oct 29, means Queenstown, which has some of the most expensive HDB resale flats in Singapore, could receive an injection of new public flats soon.

While about 3,700 flats should be completed by next year in the mature estate, these are meant to replace old Tanglin Halt units under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme. The last Build-To-Order (BTO) launch for Queenstown was the 1,179-unit Ghim Moh Edge in November 2012.

Before that, the HDB released 1,718 units for SkyTerrace@Dawson and SkyVille@Dawson in December 2009. Real estate professor Sing Tien Foo of the National University of Singapore said the tender details may prove useful for couples eyeing a home in an estate that rarely sees the launch of new HDB flats.

"Sometimes, people make decisions without any knowledge of future supply," he said. "Here, you know this is a likely spot for new flats, around this period, and they can take it from there." But Dr Steven Choo, veteran urban planner and chairman of real estate advisory firm Vestasia Group, advised would-be buyers to be circumspect. "Seven thousand units sound like a big number, but they will be staggered across several developments and over a period of time," he said. "It's not like there is a sudden influx of flats in the mature estate."

OrangeTee & Tie research head Christine Sun said that the timing of the launch of the Queenstown flats is critical. She noted that the Greater Southern Waterfront is another upcoming and desirable precinct. It will occupy the existing Keppel Club site, where 9,000 public and private flats will be built after the club's lease expires in two years.

"We expect the Greater Southern Waterfront and Queenstown HDB flats to be priced higher than usual BTOs, but if many BTOs in 'hot' areas are launched around the same time, it would raise the median price of new flats. "This, in turn, could raise resale prices," she said.

Adapted From The Straits Times, Oct 16 2019