A friend made a passing remark the other day about High Speed Rail KL – Singapore. He said if this comes true, what it meant is that we should look at properties around all these stations, buy something affordable and wait. I told him that if that’s a strategy, please go ahead. However, I think every buyer must understand that buying a property for investment purpose may mean a great buy, a good buy or even a bad buy. In other words, understanding what we are buying is critical! It’s simply not enough that a train happened to stop by. Just look at every area with LRT stops today, surely we can see huge differences in price between different areas….? Perhaps we can start with these three considerations.
Current attraction. Does the current stop already has lots of attractions in the first place? Is it near enough to a major tourist destination today? If there are already lots of visitors today, chances are the number of visitors would quickly increase with another mode of accessibility. In this case, High Speed Rail will bring more visitors from Singapore as well as other cities within the line. One beneficiary in this case may be Ayer Keroh, IF it’s very well connected to the city centre of Melaka.
Working population. Does it already have some industries? For example, factories and space for more factories? Universities? Private hospitals? Offices? My ex-Japanese GM told me that he travels via bullet train to work daily, around 400km to and fro. Perhaps not for most Malaysians but this represents possibilities. Do note that trains are also very comfortable, with spacious seats and walking aisles plus we can enjoy a cup of coffee or even watching a movie.
Second / Weekend home suitability. I say suitability because today if I am a retiree, I would hate to be in a city where I see people, jam, haze and high cost. However, some small towns are so small and so hard to reach that I do not find it attractive. Well, when we look at some of the stops, for example, Seremban, Ayer Keroh and even Batu Pahat, they are pretty okay for this purpose. Enough activities and great accessibilily as it is within the HSR line. Since many people would prefer a city which is much cheaper than Singapore, then both JB and KL would benefit. I do not know enough about Muar to comment. Appreciate if any readers can add.
Cost Savings Advantage. Many Singaporean businesses, especially the smaller ones which want to continue to use Singapore as a HQ would welcome this HSR. It allows more departments to be located at a cheaper location and yet well connected. In fact, it’s now really possible to supervise a factory which is a few hundred kilometres away easily. The CEO could start with a meeting in Singapore in the morning, arrive in the factory by noon and by end of the day back to beloved family members in Singapore. Think about the best of both worlds.
I do not think I need to talk too much about the potential for the Bandar Malaysia and Nusajaya. It is already a given that HSR will benefit both places tremendously. For Singapore, it is a huge advantage because now they can even have another CBD in Jurong. Think about two CBDs within a city instead of the usual one like many other cities. It may even help to improve cost efficiency versus currently which has given Singapore the title as one of the most expensive cities in Asia. Suffice to say, HSR will benefit both countries and I look forward to taking a ride in it once completed. hopefully by then, I no longer have a full-time job. Happy believing.
written on 21 July 2016
Next suggested article: Singapore’s future growth potential depends on local SMEs