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[B][SIZE="5"]Projects add some buzz to Bartley[/SIZE][/B]

[B]Experts say new amenities, cheaper prices may wake area from 'slumber'[/B]

Published on Jun 9, 2012

By Amanda Lee


SLEEPY, tucked-away Bartley may not be the first area that springs to mind for home hunters, but it is likely to come into its own as a housing area in years to come, some property experts have said.

More than 12,000 homes - public and private - are set to be built on the nearby former Bidadari cemetery plot when it gets redeveloped.

Meanwhile, there will be more than 1,000 units coming up from two plots of land being developed into condominiums by Hong Leong Holdings, City Developments and TID Residential.

One is the 702-unit Bartley Residences, which will be ready in 2015. About 400 units have been launched to date, with 80 per cent sold.

Work on the new town at the Bidadari plot will begin by year end, and the first Housing Board launch may be as early as 2015, which may mean new homes by 2018.

Ms Chia Siew Chiun, director of research and advisory at Colliers International, said the area is traditionally quiet because of its mix of users, which include a columbarium, Gurkha camp and places of worship.

It is also a long-time enclave of private, low-rise properties.

But the area is likely to 'fully awaken from its slumber' in the next five to 10 years once new developments fill up, she said.

She pointed out that, as a new town, Bidadari will also boast new amenities which can cater to Bartley residents.

In addition, a site near Woodleigh MRT station has been slated for a future residential and commercial development.

But SLP International Property Consultancy research head Nicholas Mak felt that Bartley will not be able shed much of its current sleepy image.

'It's a bit more attractive now because of nex mall in Serangoon and the newly built MRT station. But if not for these, the area will be a hard sell... I wouldn't call it a central area,' he said.

Still, he pointed out that Bartley has schools like the popular Maris Stella High School.

Mr Mak said the redevelopment of old shophouses in the area might yield new amenities such as shopping malls, although developers may be wary of setting up shop too near to mega-mall nex.

Home buyers eyeing Bartley could also consider areas with more amenities such as Potong Pasir and Kovan, he said.

Price comparisons can be made with established north-eastern neighbourhoods such as Kovan and Serangoon, said R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.

For instance, a unit at Bartley Residences costs an average of $1,250 per sq ft (psf) whereas a similar unit at a new project in Kovan costs some $1,300 psf or more.

Generally, new condos would be about 5 per cent cheaper in Bartley than in Kovan, Mr Ong said.

In the resale market, prices are likely to be 8 to 10 per cent lower.

For instance, freehold Oasis Garden costs $1,020 psf but the 99-year-leasehold Kovan Melody costs more at $1,040 psf.

Bartley's prices are even lower than projects in Serangoon.

This could make the area a good bet for those working in the nearby Tai Seng and MacPherson industrial areas, consultants said.

'There will be housing demand in Bartley because it's near to centres of employment... although those working there may not be as highly paid as those in Raffles Place,' Mr Mak noted.

Those who appreciate a quainter, quieter area could also look to Bartley, Mr Ong said.

'With a mix of small and family-sized homes at Bartley Residences, this could mean a younger residential profile that can slightly energise the feel of the 'mini- town',' he said.

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