Property prices up along 3 hip streets
WITH a burgeoning mix of eclectic dining establishments alongside long-standing shophouse businesses, Yong Siak Street, Jalan Riang and Everton Park are fast gaining ground as some of Singapore's hippest streets.
Many there - from tenants to home buyers - are willing to fork out a premium for a piece of such trendy hot spots, even as property prices in those streets are headed upwards faster than those in surrounding areas.
For instance, figures from real-estate firm SLP International showed that landed-home prices in Jalan Riang went up from an average of $1,130 per sq ft (psf) in 2012 to $1,437 psf last year.
In contrast, average landed-home prices in neighbouring areas, like Jalan Girang, inched up from $1,227 psf in 2012 to $1,342 psf last year.
Commercial rents in Jalan Riang have been heading northwards faster, too. Figures from the STProperty portal showed that the median monthly rent for a shophouse doubled to $4.06 psf in 2012 from a year before. In comparison, rent for a Housing Board (HDB) shop in a neighbouring area dipped by about a fifth to $5.01 psf. Last year's figures were not available.
Mr Patrick Lee, 61, owner of bakery Bakersworld in Jalan Riang, told MyPaper that the rent for his 1,500 sq ft store has been going up over the last six years, by at least 20 per cent each time the rental contract was due to be renewed.
But he said he will stay put even as the rent is poised to rise because of the store's location in a "tranquil neighbourhood".
"There's a bohemian feel about this row of shops, and you don't get unsavoury characters or rowdy crowds," he said.
For financial analyst Desmond Wang, 29, his recent purchase of a three-room resale HDB flat in Everton Park for about $450,000 was a steal.
"It's centrally located, yet not overly busy. The nearby shophouses also help rejuvenate the old estates, which make the area really unique," he said, adding that he would have been willing to pay more for his house had it been necessary.
Everton Park is home to cafes like Nylon Coffee Roasters and The Audacious Cakery.
Executive director Andy Choa of real-estate firm DWG noted that such locales are seen as "cosy enclaves that serve the surrounding neighbourhoods, which are likely to have a younger, more savvy population".
"For business owners, being located in close proximity to like-minded establishments is a big plus," he said, explaining that such areas will become niche markets slowly on their own and attract a regular customer base.
Real-estate consultant Danny Wong, 42, told MyPaper that he welcomes the rapid gentrification of his neighbourhood in Yong Siak Street. "Without the changes, the price of my house might not have gone up," said the five-year resident, adding that he plans to sell his walk-up apartment to upgrade to a bigger house elsewhere.
Although long-time resident Alvin Thiam, 66, prefers the Yong Siak Street of old - with old-fashioned provision shops and open communal spaces - he said that he and his wife will not consider selling their property, despite the lucrative price.
"It still holds a lot of sentimental value for us," said the retiree, who has been living there since his birth.