Information is essential in making that decision to buy or sell that property. The common principle that property investment is all about location, location and location is rooted in the minds of many property investors. Property investors can make visits to the location but how do they know what is the history of that particular site and what are the future developments in the next 5 years or 10 years?
In Singapore, the state is the primary landlord and the agency responsible for looking after state land is Singapore Land Authority (SLA). Formed on 1 June 2001, its main mission is to optimise land resources for the economic and social development of Singapore. Besides looking after state land, another key function of SLA is to maintain the national land information database. Public can visit SLA to purchase information on any parcel of land in Singapore. To make information readily available to the public, SLA also manages One Map. This is an integrated map system where anyone can find location-based information. For example, property investors may like to know the breakdown of demographics of residents staying in an area, or the distance from a particular MRT station to the development. Such information can be obtained from the website.
Another important agency is Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). URA has an important role to oversee the master planning and zoning of different parts of Singapore. It is also commonly known as the national urban planning authority in Singapore. Established on 1 April 1974, URA works on the long-term strategic land use plans and medium-term plans which are reviewed every five to ten years. For example, the development of Jurong East into Singapore’s second CBD (Central Business District) is the clever outcome from URA planners. Property investors usually have a 3 to 5 years or even longer investment timeframe. With the help of the Master Plan information found in URA website, they can get a good understanding of the future developments in the vicinity of their properties.
Singapore has an area of only 71.9 hectares but it also enjoys a very extensive road and rail network. There are 10 expressways measuring more than 163 kilometres. Currently, there are 5 MRT lines in operation and another 3 MRT lines under planning and construction. These public transport facilities are developed and managed by Land Transport Authority (LTA). A condominium near a transport node such as MRT station or bus interchange usually fetches higher rental than its counterparts further away. Moreover, there are more commercial activities such as shopping malls near MRT. Hence. the extra convenience that comes with staying in a condominium near MRT could translate into higher selling price in future.
Singapore is recognised for its strong governance and this could not be achieved without the success of government agencies. Hence, property investors who can digest essential information and news flow from these 3 agencies should be well-rewarded in their property decisions.