By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
The operation of the light rail transit (LRT) is estimated to trigger an increase in property prices of respectively 25.5 and 22.6 percent in the Macau peninsula and Taipa, a Government study has shown.
The study on the socio-economic benefits of the first two phases of the LRT, conducted by the Institute for Sustainable Development of the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) and commissioned by the Transportation Infrastructure Office (GIT), released the findings to the media yesterday.
The research investigated the direct and indirect economic benefits as well as other unquantified benefits which may be brought by the LRT.
Of the indirect benefits, it has been found that real estate which is situated 100 metres away from the light rail stations in the centre of the Macau peninsula will become more expensive by an average of MOP 1,009 per square foot, up by 25.5 percent by January 1, 2014, thanks to the operation of the LRT phase one.
The increase in central Taipa, meanwhile, will be MOP 513 per square foot, representing a 22.6 percent increase.
The report indicates that the closer the residence to the light rail stations, the more notable the increase in the property price will be.
The highest growth reached MOP 1,420 and MOP 730 per square foot in Macau and Taipa respectively, the study revealed.
With regard to the impact the LRT phase two may bring to the property prices, by January 1, 2020 the growth is estimated to be 7 percent, 5.5 percent and 4.5 percent respectively in areas that are 100 metres, 200 metres and 300 metres away from the light rail stations.
The second phase of the LRT will only operate in the peninsula, from Ilha Verde, Fai Chi Kei, the Red Market, Pier 16, Praça de Ponte e Horta (Inner Harbour) and Ha Van.
If speculated that by January 1, 2025, the increase will be 8.2 percent, 6.6 percent and 5.7 percent respectively according to the three different distances.
The estimate was calculated based on the data from the Statistics and Census Services, which reported that in the second quarter of 2009, the highest transaction price of a residential unit was MOP 3,958 per square foot, located near Nape and the Nam Van Lake reclaimed area.
The same data for the Taipa island was MOP 2,270 per square foot, a property located near the Taipa Village.
Meanwhile, the assessment report shows that the two phases of the LRT will be able to generate a total of MOP 15.8 to MOP 16.4 billion of economic benefits from 2014 to 2025.
Compared to buses, it is estimated that passengers can save an average of 34.4 minutes if commuting by the light rail.
In addition, the findings suggest that a total of around 10,400 construction jobs could be created by phases one and two, and up to 1,500 employees will be needed to maintain the operation of the LRT by 2025.
It also found that the operation of the LRT phase one could contribute to a minimum 15 percent reduction of nitrogen dioxide and respirable dust by 2014.
Copies of the report can be found at local public libraries, libraries of various tertiary institutes and also secondary and primary schools.