OWNERS of property near the old Malaysian railway track could reap some benefit when the area is refreshed.
Prices in some areas might enjoy a lift once the 24km path from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands, known as the Rail Corridor, is revamped.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday sought ideas from design professionals on how to develop the historic strip of land.
The aim is to ensure the path remains continuous and at the same time reflect its heritage as a railway line while preserving its green nature.
Six areas would come in for special attention: the former Bukit Timah and Tanjong Pagar railway stations, the old Bukit Timah fire station, two areas near the Kranji and Buona Vista MRT stations and a stretch near Sungei Pang Sua canal in Choa Chu Kang.
That could give home owners potential gains to look forward to, although the residential areas near the old track are mostly already pricey private landed houses in the Bukit Timah district, including Holland Road and Rifle Range Road.
There are light industrial areas in Bukit Merah and Buona Vista, while Kranji to the north is more thinly populated, with some industrial activity.
Owners of property near the track have already reaped some benefit from the termination of rail services, which meant no more noisy trains rolling by, said Mr Nicholas Mak, SLP International executive director.
That had previously dragged down property values by 1 to 2 per cent. But the end of rail services means this is no longer the case.
Still, there already tends to be a premium in the nearby precincts as some are gazetted Good Class Bungalow Areas, including Ewart Park and King Albert Park, said Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE research head for South-east Asia and Singapore.
But values typically appreciate after announcements such as the latest one from the URA, and additional gains may be expected as new capital investment takes form, said Dr Chua Yang Liang, JLL research head for South-east Asia and Singapore.
“A lot of the potential upside will depend on… how the additional land that has been freed up is integrated with the surrounding area, and whether these enhancements are in line with the overall ambience and characteristics of the neighbourhood,” he added.