SINGAPORE: Progress made on the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link is fueling a boom in properties in Johor Bahru, says real estate website EdgeProp on Nov 24.

The link will be an important part of the solution to the persistent traffic problems on the Causeway between Singapore and Malaysia, which is used by around 300,000 people daily. The majority of these commuters are Malaysians who go to Singapore for work.

The RTS Link will connect Bukit Chagar station in Johor Bahru to Woodlands North station in Singapore and has the capacity to transport around 10,000 passengers each way. The project is budgeted to cost RM10 billion (S$3.24 billion). Malaysia will provide RM3.716 billion for the project, while Singapore will shoulder the remaining 61 per cent.

In March this year, Malaysia’s Transport Minister, Dr Wee Ka Siong, told his country’s Members of Parliament that work on the Link had been “almost 10 per cent completed.” By October, the Link was said to be at 52 per cent complete. The Link is set to be operational early in 2027.

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Meanwhile, progress on the Link has made the property market in JB “a hot spot,” Mr Previn Singhe, the founder and group CEO of Zerin Properties Group, a Malaysian real estate agency, is quoted in EdgeProp as saying.

“It has given property buyers a shot of confidence, leading to a surge in inquiries from Singaporeans particularly interested in investing in properties near the upcoming Bukit Chagar station, which will benefit from the enhanced connectivity,” he added.

Mr Singh also said, “High-rise residential projects launched in recent years and newer developments around the RTS station in JB have seen robust demand from local and foreign buyers. Average selling prices have surged to RM1,000 psf and beyond, aligning them with prices of high-end residential properties in the KLCC.”

The strong Singapore dollar, especially against the Malaysian ringgit, which has been underperforming this year, is another reason for the real estate boom in Johor Bahru, the report said. Given the red-hot property market in Singapore, would-be buyers may be looking at other locations, and Johor Bahru is among the most convenient due to its proximity. Lower living costs in Johor Bahru mean the Singdollar gets stretched further, along with more spacious accommodations.

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One person in the industry told EdgeProp that many of the buyers at the projects the firm he works for is developing are Malaysians who work in Singapore and commute daily, Singaporeans planning on retiring in Johor Bahru, and expats in Singapore who want to relocate due to high housing costs in Singapore. /TISG

Read also: M’sia begins construction of S’pore-Johor RTS Link; project cuts travel time to 5 mins