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The good  locations for property  investment in Singapore.

 

Singapore is the most expensive city in the world. The cost of housing is one of the contributing factors to the high cost of living. Property is a very popular form of investment in Singapore. Coming from Singapore, I am often asked by foreigners, and sometimes by locals, about where are the good  locations for property investment in Singapore.

 

Singapore’s national urban planning authority of Singapore is the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). The URA determines which areas in Singapore are used for what  purpose. The good  thing about this is that  it makes investing in Singapore real estate that  much easier. There  are areas of growth which will be outlined by the URA. Land use  will be optimised through careful urban.

 

planning and the use  of the various plots of land can  be found in the URA’s Master Plan. This is a statutory land use  plan which guides Singapore’s development in the medium term  over the next 10 to 15 years. This Master Plan is reviewed every ve years and can  be found on the URA’s website. The URA divides Singapore’s private residential property market into 3 geographical market segments. The Core Central Region (CCR), Rest  of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR). Adhering to these segments may give you a brief idea  of where the good  locations in Singapore are but we need to analyse deeper to identify growth potential as investors.

 

Prime Areas

These are the best of the best. The wealthiest people live here.  The properties in these areas are the most expensive in terms of price per square meter. If you believe that  Singapore property is a good  investment, you should always consider these areas as these areas move  in tandem with Singapore’s growth. They are the blue chips in property investment in Singapore. Let us break them down  to understand the prime  market better.

 

The Orchard Area

This is perhaps the focus of many  property investors, local and foreign. Thus have broken Orchard Road down further into three areas

 

This location is indisputably the most prime  area in Singapore. Properties around Orchard MRT Station are the most expensive in Singapore in terms of price per square foot.  The bulk of the owners and tenants are mainly wealthy foreigners. If you are looking to purchase  a property here be prepared to pay top dollar. In return, you will get one of the best properties money can  buy in one of the safest and most developed cities in the world.  Recent positive sentiment in the property market may propel prices higher  in the near  future.

 

Ardmore Park

This location is just a stone’s throw  from Orchard Road. It is more residential and just slightly away from the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road. The developments in this area are extremely high-end and cater to the ultra-wealthy. If you are looking to live in the heart of Singapore and yet want  a residential feel to your surroundings, this is the area to purchase. There  is a top school Raes Girls’ Secondary School,  nearby. The surrounding areas like Claymore or Draycott are also extremely upmarket.

 

Nassim Road

Many Singaporeans would remember this location as the most expensive property in an earlier version of Monopoly. This was  also how I got to know about this area. The interest in the properties along  Nassim Road has remained strong all through these years. Nassim Road is situated extremely near  the Orchard Road shopping belt and the properties in this area are low rise, low-density developments. Nassim Road also leads into the prestigious Bukit Timah  area which is one of the most prime  landed property zones in Singapore.

 

Sentosa

This is the only area where foreigners are allowed to buy landed properties. Landed properties in Singapore are only reserved for Singapore citizens. However, the Singapore government allows foreign ownership of landed properties in Sentosa Cove on Sentosa Island. Sentosa is an island south of Singapore. It is located just outside Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD). The island of Sentosa is an extremely exclusive and you need a resident’s access card  to enter the guarded and gated community. There  are two golf courses on Sentosa Island  itself.  The Tanjong Golf Course and Serapong Golf Course.

 

Near Prime Areas

I would say that  these areas are around the prime  areas that  I just mentioned. They are perhaps one or two MRT stations away  from where we just discussed. Traditionally when  people think of the most prime  areas, they immediately think of Orchard Road and Sentosa. However, these areas are holding  strong in their own right. There  are growth stories in these areas and if you are looking for good  price appreciation and rental yield, some of these areas may do better than  the prime areas we just discussed. This is because the premium for the prime  areas has most probably been factored in.

 

Newton and Novena

If you drive it would take  barely few minutes to get to Orchard MRT from Newton and Novena. I place the two together because they are very close to each other and they are very small areas. There  is the famous Newton Hawker  Centre along  Newton Circus  which is walking  distance to Newton MRT Station. There  is this extremely high-end development, Reignwood Hamilton Scotts and Sheraton Towers Hotel just next to Newton MRT Station as well. Novena is growing to become a medical hub. There  are many  specialist medical centres in Novena Specialist Centre. There  is even  an Oasia Hotel next to the Specialist Centre to support medical tourists. Mount  Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre and Mount  Elizabeth Novena Hospital is also around the corner. The Novena area is also a very family-centric neighbourhood. There are many enrichment centres in the area. One of the malls in the area, United Square, is catered to children and families. There is a good primary school in the area, Saint  Joseph’s Institution (SJI) Junior. Many ministers and Singapore’s previous president were alumni members of this school. The closest condominium to Novena MRT Station.

 

The Marina Bay, Tanjong Pagar and Bugis area  

This is pretty  much Singapore’s CBD. Properties in this area are not cheap and The Wallich Residence’s asking price of SGD$100 million is the highest ever in Singapore. This is for a three- storey penthouse complete with a private pool on the 64th  oor of the tallest building  in Singapore. The Singapore government has also seen the potential in this area and has co-developed Marina One Residences and Duo Residences with the Malaysian government through a joint venture between Singapore’s state-owned Temasek Holdings with Malaysia’s state-owned Khazanah Nasional Berhad.

 

Somerset, Cairnhill, Dhoby Ghaut and River Valley

For some particular reason, the properties here  are slightly less premium as compared to Ardmore and Nassim. This is despite the fact  that  Somerset and Dhoby Ghaut  are located along  the Orchard Shopping Belt. However, demand for these properties is relatively  strong from tenants. If you are looking buy to rent, properties around the Cairnhill area do attract good  corporate tenants. The properties around Somerset and River Valley area are a little more residential. There  is growth potential in the area around Killiney and Oxley Road. Singapore’s founding prime  minister, Lee Kuan Yew, used to live in a detached house along  Oxley Road. Since  his passing, there is a possibility

that  there may be a revision of the high restrictions in the area.

 

Keppel Bay

This is the area just before you enter into Sentosa. These developments are fronting the coastline facing Sentosa. Many expatriates and wealthy locals live in these developments. They are also extremely easy to rent out as they are very centrally located. Harbourfront MRT and Telok Blangah MRT Stations make connectivity a breeze for people living in these developments. There  are also a large  number of oces located in Harbourfront. Large multinational corporations like Bank of America are situated here.  It takes about ten minutes to get to the CBD. Vivocity Shopping Centre, one of the largest shopping malls in Singapore, is just around the corner. Projects like Corals at Keppel Bay and Reections at Keppel Bay have  very impressive views and architecture. You will get nice views of the docks and the sea and occasionally you can  see large  cruise ships pass by from a distance.

 

The area around Great World City Shopping  Centre

This is still along  River Valley Road. However, I feel compelled to isolate this area on its own because I truly believe in the growth potential here.  There  is a Thomson-East Coast MRT Line coming up and there will be a station next to Great  World City Shopping Centre. This train station is just one stop away  from Orchard MRT Station. The Thomson-East Coast MRT Line will intersect with the existing North-South MRT Line at Orchard MRT Station. This essentially will make Orchard MRT Station an interchange. The Thomson-East Coast Line links the east of Singapore to Orchard Road and runs  all the way up north  to Woodlands. This line will dramatically cut travelling times for people in the north  and east of Singapore who are travelling to Orchard Road. This compels me to say that  if you are looking for growth potential, you need to see past the current inconveniences.

 

East Coast

This area includes places like Katong, Marine  Parade and the area near  Fort Road and Tanjong Rhu. This is a very large  area but then  the community tends to be the same across this area. Katong  is famous for its chic bars and restaurants. There  is perhaps the widest array of food choices and bars in this area. There  are two good  community malls in i12 Katong  and Parkway Parade which is along  the next parallel street, Marine  Parade. Walking to East  Coast Park takes about 5 to 10 minutes and involves going  through an underpass to get to the park. You can  jog or cycle further east and the park will connect you to Pasir Ris and Changi  or you can  go towards the south which will take  you to the Marina  Bay area. There  is the East  Coast Expressway (ECP) and it all it takes is a 10-minute drive to get to the city. During non-peak hours I have  driven from Suntec City to Katong  in under  10 minutes. Majority of the properties around Katong  are freehold. There are some new developments in the Marine  Parade area which are selling  well. One of the more recent condominiums to come up is Seaside Residences. As the properties facing the sea are built on reclaimed land issued by the government, these are usually  99-year  leasehold properties. Demand in this area is picking up signicantly. Demand for this area has traditionally been strong but because of the upcoming Thomson-East Coast MRT Line, demand in this area has recently gone up a couple of notches. The Fort Road and Tanjong Rhu area is also a very good  area to buy a property. It is very close to Singapore’s National Stadium and Sports Hub and is a very serene environment to live in. You can  take  walks  along  the Kallang River and recently, the Singapore government announced plans to rejuvenate the area.

 

Bukit Timah and Holland Road

Bukit Timah  is perhaps the area in Singapore with the highest concentration of good  schools. This is also a place with a huge  concentration of landed properties. It is also home to many  good  class bungalows. Travelling  to the city centre is extremely convenient now that  the Downtown MRT Line has opened. It takes about 10 minutes by train to get to the Chinatown area. The condominiums are usually  lined along  the main  Bukit Timah  Road with the landed properties further inside. Holland Road is one major  street away  from Bukit Timah  Road and has a very strong expatriate vibe to the area. Holland  Village is a very popular area to have  a good  meal  and some drinks  in the evening. Now that  there is a train station in Holland  Village itself  the connectivity of the area is much better. It is also close to Singapore Polytechnic and the National University of Singapore. The people who stay in the Bukit Timah  area are usually  the upper-class Singaporeans since there is a large  number of landed properties in the area. There  is strong demand from expatriate tenants when it comes to renting the condominiums along  Bukit Timah  Road and Holland  Village but you will still see more locals than  foreigners in this area as compared to Orchard and Ardmore.

 

Tiong Bahru, Queenstown and Redhill

Recently there has been a lot of developments coming up in this area. I personally think that  it is going  to be some oversupply in the area. Connectivity to the city centre is excellent. The East-West MRT Line connects these areas to Tanjong Pagar, Raes Place City Hall and Bugis by MRT. Thus  if you are working  in Singapore’s CBD, living in these areas will make your life extremely convenient. Also, these areas are very close to housing estates and with that  come amenities like supermarkets and food  centres. I do think that  properties in this area will remain extremely easy to rent out. I personally like a development in the area called Queens Peak. It will have  direct  access to Queenstown MRT. This is literally MRT at your doorstep.

 

 

Growth Areas

 

Jurong

These areas are up and coming. There  are government-led initiatives to develop these areas. The Singapore government takes urban planning very seriously and when  it announces the development of a new town, it goes through extensive efforts to ensure that  there are adequate infrastructure and population growth to sustain these areas. I would say that  this area is already fullling its potential. The plan to make Jurong Singapore’s second CBD is already bearing fruit. Moreover, the station for the high-speed rail linking Singapore to Kuala Lumpur  will be located in Jurong. Many multinational corporations have  already set up their oces in Jurong. Jurong has developed into a self-contained town.  Amenities wise it has major malls like Jem, J Gateway and Big Box. It has a community hospital, an international business park and hotels in the area.

 

Paya Lebar

This area has been getting a lot of interest in the past year. The Singapore government announced that  they will close down  the 800 hectare Paya  Lebar Airbase in 2030. In its place will be the development of a new township. The area around Paya  Lebar MRT is also developing very quickly. Oce buildings have  sprung up and developers like Australian-listed Lendlease have  come in to develop commercial and residential buildings. Their recent residential development, Park Place Residences, sold  out its rst phase within a day. Paya  Lebar is extremely accessible. It is about 10 minutes away  from the CBD. The URA has included the development of Paya  Lebar Central into its Master Plan. They have  outlined plans to make this area a vibrant  commercial hub.

 

Woodlands

Due to its close proximity  to Johor Bahru, Malaysia, Woodlands has always been seen as a gateway to Malaysia. Come  2024,  there will be an MRT station in Johor Bahru, further connecting Singapore to Johor Bahru. Home  prices and rents have  been steadily increasing. There  is a regional hub in Woodlands Central as well. The bulk of the tenants are usually  Malaysians who come across the border into Singapore to work. They rent in this area due to its proximity  to Malaysia as well as the fact  that  rents in Woodlands are much cheaper than  in the city centre.

 

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