Francis Tan (Guru Talk)

City expansion — a historical perspective, a review of current plans, and a take on what might happen in the future.

By Gordon Tay

Interest in the local property scene has been running high, especially since the announcement of new property-related government measures, and as more property seekers learn of plans for the Central Business District (CBD) expansion. This was well reflected at the packed City Gate show suite, where the latest edition of PropertyGuru’s Guru Talk was held.

Guru Talk is a series of property knowledge empowerment seminars aiming to provide even more Guru Views of the property market. The seminar held on 25 September 2015 saw ‘Guru Talk-er’ and industry expert, Francis Tan, Chief Investment Officer at SLP Scotia, share keen insights on the new expanded city and its effects on the local property scene.

Taking attendees on a journey through time, Francis opened his keynote presentation by providing a historical perspective of the various expansion plans the nation had undergone since 1959. He felt this would serve as a good opener for attendees to better understand Singapore as a nation in constant progress.

“(In 1959) Marine Parade and the entire East Coast Park never existed. The Changi area — Tanah Merah Country Club, even Changi Airport, for that matter, did not exist. We reclaimed it out of (the) deep blue sea. What I am trying to suggest is this: do not for one moment think Singapore will stay stagnant, that our grand-children will stand at this place (Keypoint) and call it the same thing. No, it is going to change,” Francis said.

Bringing the well engaged attendees back to present day Singapore, Francis then systematically explained current CBD expansion plans. He noted that the CBD is set to see an extension that stretches both eastwards and southwards.

“We are going to do two things (for the CBD). We are going to extend the CBD eastwards, towards the Ophir-Rochor corridor. This (District 7) will be part of the city. The gates of the city will be where Golden Mile Complex currently is. We are going to push it southwards towards the greater southern waterfront,” Francis pointed out.

“The new ‘Downtown’, as we call it, is going to be two times (the size) of the current Raffles Place, at 22 million square feet,” he added.

Francis went on to provide some future perspectives by looking at current price trends. He shared the intriguing fact that had it not been for loan controls, property prices — particularly commercial properties — would have shot up.

“I just want to bring your attention to District 25. We all know it is up and coming and we see that (commercial property) prices have actually shot up…the price gap (for commercial properties) between the inner-city core and the so called ‘ulu’ areas are narrowing,” he said.

“With the narrowed price gap, you will realise that the inner-city core may be in a ‘bargain-hunting season’. If not for all the loan control, prices for properties within the inner-city core would have already shot up. This is because of ‘easy money’, quantitative easing; the rising tide.”

Attendees of this Guru Talk spoke of the fruitful time they had had and said they had benefited greatly from the two-hour session.

To have a full view of what was shared at this Guru Talk seminar, please proceed to watch our videos at:

Keen on getting even more Guru Views, particularly on emerging markets? Register to attend our Emerging Markets Property Show, happening 10 to 11 October 2015, at: now!

Image: Francis Tan giving his keynote presentation. 


The PropertyGuru News & Views This article was first published in the print version The PropertyGuru News & Views. Download PDF of full print issues or read more stories now!