Tampines,The forgotten regional Centre.
Ever since the government decided to decentralized our Central Business District in 1991 and create more CBDs to prevent congestion, there are many changes in our MRT planning and of course property prices affecting our lives.
Regional Centres- what is it? Basically a Regional Centre is like another CBD beside our Raffles Place area. The government feel it doesn't make sense that everyone travels everyday to the center of the country to work and go back every night as it creates congestion and reduce efficiency. So they create small CBDs with Tampines being the pilot project in 1992. Basically in the regional centre, you can work , live and play in the area. You need not travel on congested public transportation every morning that takes your precious time to go to work, and its also in turn give you more time to spend with your family members as you can reach home earlier given your office is near your house. Not only this creates family bonding , but offices can also set up outside the main CBD of lower rental which reduce cost and of course encourage more MNCs to come into Singapore which creates more jobs. This makes total sense to me of course as a Singaporean. I can wake up later to go to work, still fetch my kids to school which is nearby, save on ERP, and even go home to inspect his homework during my lunch time. This was not possible back then when my office was in Raffles Place. Of course, to build a new CBD out we do need to plan for infrastructure.
LTA (Land Transport Authority) have announced that the Tampines East & West downtown line will be ready in a year time! 2017! The surprising fact is that from 1992 to 2017, a span of 25 years there was no connectivity to Tampines beside the original Tampines MRT. There was data that shown more than 50% of people that work in Tampines actually stay in Tampines, hence was it ever needed to travel to Tampines to work using public transport as most people just stay around there? Whatever the case is, with increased connectivity now and the government support of a regional centre, we will confirm see more activity in Tampines. But why was the activity slower than the Jurong Regional centre that was set up much later? lets look into it.
This two charts shows private apartments and condominiums in the district of the two regional centres. First stack difference, there is a difference in average PSF of which Tampines is $1089psf while Jurong have $1307psf. Secondly in terms of sales volume, Tampines district and its vicinity have cross 200 units for many months (for a single month) while Jurong district and its vicinity have only cross 200 units a couple of times. This doesn't makes sense in economics theory. Firstly Tampines was the first regional centre to be launch, it has a higher number of units being sold but still have a lacklustre price compared to Jurong? Have Jurong being overrated with all the high speed railway plan and over marketing or Tampines is a diamond yet to be polished?
In my next article , I will talk about the areas of Tampines which I feel is a unpolished diamond.