Property prices in Jakarta have more than doubled since 2009, but with a new infrastructure push in the city, the boom might only be getting started, analysts said.
"Jakarta just doesn't have a comprehensive transport plan," Nicholas Holt, head of research for Asia Pacific at Knight Frank, said last week. "The cost to the economy if it takes somebody hours to get across the city [can be huge]."
The price tag is estimated in the billions of dollars every year in lost time, fuel and health. The city's traffic was ranked the world's worst, with around 27 percent of driving time spent idling and drivers experiencing a whopping 33,240 "stop-starts" annually, the highest globally, according to the Castrol Magnatec 2014 stop-start index. More than 12 million motorized vehicles may ply Jakarta's roads and it's estimated that less than 15 percent of trips taken by the city's population of more than 9 million people are on public transport.
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But all that clutter hasn't held back property buyers, with prices of centrally located prime condominiums surging, Holt noted. The city's property price index climbed nearly 150 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009 through the end of last year, according to data from Knight Frank.
Holt is looking ahead to the opening of the city's first metro line, scheduled for 2018, although it isn't clear it will be completed on time.
"It will lead to some areas seeing huge growth, especially around walking distance of the new metro stations," Holt said. Land prices around the northern portion of the planned metro rose 30-40 percent by mid-2014 and areas around the southern end are expected to become a new hotspot, Knight Frank said.