International Business & Economy Singapore's Budget 2016: Jurong West and Boon Lay the big winners in...

Singapore's Budget 2016: Jurong West and Boon Lay the big winners in the property market




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With significant budget allocation for the Jurong Innovation District, the completion of the Tuas-West MRT Extension Line, High Speed Rail station and Jurong Lake District Masterplan, Jurong West and Boon Lay is the next growth centre.
By: Khalil Adis
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat last week announced a slew of measures to help Singaporeans and bolster the local economy in the face of job cuts and challenging economic outlook. We dissect the budget and list five ways it will affect you and your property. 
Office and industrial property sectors to benefit
Budget 2016 had set aside significant budget allocation to support industries and innovation.
In all S$4.5 billion has been allocated under the Industry Transformation Programme.
This would lead to new industries and start-ups that would boost demand for office and industrial space.
Jurong West and Boon Lay poised for further growth
In line with this budget allocation, homeowners living near Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Boon Lay should hold on tight to your properties in the next six years.
The government will be developing the Jurong Innovation District located close to NTU to support the growth of learning, research, innovation and production industries up to 2022.
JTC’s start-up arm JTC Launchpad will spearhead developments there and is currently building Launchpad @ JID to serve as a space for entrepreneurs, researchers and students to spur innovation similar to the one at one-north.
With the growth of the start-up industry in Jurong West, it will spur demand for homes and commercial spaces within the vicinity.
We can expect property price appreciation of between 1 to 3 per cent on a conservative estimate while the rental market is expected to enjoy a boost from the spill over impact of the various industries.
All these, together with the opening of the Tuas West MRT Extension in 2016 plus the Jurong Lake District masterplan will augur well for the property market in Jurong West and Boon Lay.
More help for low-income families to own their homes
Sold your home previously and now living in public rental flats? In such cases, families who had done so will not be able to get housing grants as they had already received a housing subsidy before.
If you are thinking of buying a house but need extra helping hand, good news. The government’s Fresh Start Housing Scheme will enable you to do just that with a housing grant of up to S$35, 000 to buy a 2-room HDB flat but with a shorter lease.

There are strings attached – you must be a family unit, meaning with children. In addition, you must be able to help yourself by demonstrating your ability to stay employed and ensuring your children attend school.
Rental market will continue to soften
Budget 2016 remained focused on increasing productivity and therefore tightening on foreign labour.
This would have a significant impact on sectors that are heavily reliant on foreign workers such as retail, food & beverage and manufacturing.
As such, the already challenging rental market will continue to soften amid this new policy direction.
Be prepared to lower your asking price as landlords now outnumber rent-seekers.
To move your units quickly, do simple renovations like a fresh coat of paint, ensuring everything works plus throw in a washing machine and other modern conveniences.
Prospective tenants will appreciate your small gestures and this will put your property on top of their list.
Infrastructure spending and urban development will boost your property values
Budget 2016 has allocated S$5 billion on public infrastructure projects. This is some 7.3 per cent higher than the financial year for 2015.
The areas that will see spending include healthcare, education, security and urban development.
The government has announced this year’s budget will see “large expansion in public infrastructure and housing projects”, albeit the subdued property market.
No specific locations have been mentioned aside from the Jurong Industrial District.
For those residing in Jurong West and Boon Lay, this will certainly spell good news for your property.

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