RTS link btw Spore and JB will not de-value Spore properties

Many Singaporeans are lured by the cheaper prices of goods and service to travel across the Causeway and visit Johor Bahru the capital of Johor State, as well as other parts of Malaysia.

Malaysians working here commute frequently by land. It is not surprising that there are usually massive traffic jams at the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints.

The Johor Bahru – Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS Link) is a game changer.

As of the end of 2023, the four-carriage RTS Link (a 4-km cross border rail shuttle service) that connects Woodlands North MRT Station in Singapore to the Bukit Cagar station in Johor Bahru was 65 percent complete. The service is expected to start in December 2026.

The RTS Link is capable of serving 10,000 people an hour in each direction. Estimated train travel time is five minutes.

Passengers will only have to clear immigration at the departure station, as the immigration offices of Singapore and Malaysia are located at both stations.

The future could bring a lot of convenience to commuters between Singapore and Johor Bahru.

Could Singapore’s property suffer if many people choose to live, play and work in Johor Bahru rather than Singapore?

Businesses and/or individuals in Singapore can save a lot of money by using Johor real estate for their office space, warehouses and industrial facilities. They can also use it for homes, healthcare facilities and other residential properties.

RTS Link will not adversely affect the demand and value for Singapore real property.

Better transport connectivity between Singapore, Johor Bahru and other cities can attract new businesses and existing businesses who want to expand in Singapore.

Businesses may choose to house staff in Singapore or Johor Bahru. Renting office space in Singapore is more expensive, but it allows businesses to place staff in the centre of an international financial and business hub.

Johor Bahru is a nearby office that offers a lower cost of living and is easily accessible. The Johor Bahru office space could be used for support functions, training or as a backup office in the event of a disaster.

Businesses may choose to locate warehouses and industrial buildings in Singapore to take advantage of the port and airport. They can also consider Johor, where land costs are low and there is plenty of space.

If the Johor Singapore Special Economic Zone (JSSEZ) becomes a reality, it will further enhance the strength of a combined Singapore-Johor offer to businesses. A JS-SEZ could pave the path for increased investment and improved cross-border flow of people and goods.

Second, the easy connectivity between Singapore to Johor Bahru can benefit both the tourism sector and the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) here.

RTS Link allows tourists to make day trips from Johor Bahru to Singapore. Such day-trippers might patronise Singapore malls.

Selling Singapore and Johor Bahru together can be a powerful way to increase Singapore’s appeal, both for tourists in general and the Mice market.

With so many things to see and do in Singapore and Johor Bharu, tourists may be more inclined to stay and visit longer. Accommodations in Singapore and Johor Bharu can be mixed and matched based on budget and preferences.

Mice events are also a good example – if Singapore and Johor Bharu collaborate, they can offer a wider range of venues and accommodation options to better compete with global competition.

The combined attraction of Singapore and Johor Bharu can help hospitality operators serve more guests.

Third, the benefits of a closer Singapore-Johor Bahru connection may outweigh the loss of Singapore homes by Singapore residents who move to Johor Bahru in order to take advantage of the lower costs of living.

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Singaporean retirees, in particular, may enjoy living in Johor Bahru. Renting out a Singapore home allows one to live just across the Causeway while still having easy access into Singapore for medical appointments, family gatherings, and running errands.

Singapore’s economy may become more dynamic with a closer connection to Johor. Singapore’s economic prospects could be harmed by high business costs. However, this can be reduced through Singapore-Johor collaboration.

Once the RTS Link becomes operational, many Singaporeans may find it more attractive to live in Johor Bahru. It may be possible for children to attend school in Singapore while they live in Johor Bahru. Johor Bahru is a good option for people who work remotely but also have an office in the city.

It can be an advantage to offer more housing options in Singapore or Johor Bharu for knowledge workers who want to come and work here. Many of these workers will be happy to stay in Singapore, despite the higher cost. This is because Singapore has a vibrant and cosmopolitan culture with good public spaces.

 


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