A wave of transformation is sweeping through the once-sleepy Tiong Bahru estate.
Thanks to a new breed of indie retail shops and coffee houses, the 20 blocks of pre-war conserved flats have attracted renewed interest from home buyers and this has pushed up home prices in the area by about 50 percent over the last two years.
Located near Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre, the area bounded by Seng Poh, Outram and Tiong Poh Roads was once an old estate.
The 20 blocks of pre-war flats were built in the 1930s and awarded conservation status in 2003.
In the past year, the estate has been gaining attention for the rising number of independent shops and coffee houses that has sunk roots there.
One of the shops specialising in Bhutanese art and home decor opened for business in March this year.
Tan Tiong Pin, owner of Bhutan Shop, said: “This was still considered an old estate two years ago. Many elderly folks lived here. But with new condominiums built, many expatriates and yuppies now live here.”
A couple who moved into one of the Tiong Bahru pre-war apartments nine years ago fell in love with the estate.
Three months ago, they opened a shop selling curios and vintage items, which are attracting tourists and residents from other estates.
Terence Yeung, owner of Flea & Trees, said: “There’s a charm in this space. When people come to this area, they find it’s like an oasis in a big city, right next to the heart of the city and that’s very charming.”
With new life breathed into Tiong Bahru, prices of the pre-war flats have also gone up.
Property agents say conserved flats in Singapore are rare.
With the attractive amenities and shops in Tiong Bahru, agents say prices for the pre-war flats have jumped.
A 1,000-square-foot pre-war flat, for example, is now going for close to a million Singapore dollars.
Source : Channel NewsAsia – 28 Dec 2011