In The Money

Long list of factors driving shophouse buying spree

This fortnightly column addresses readers' investing issues. I've read about coffee shop transactions and their high prices. Shophouses also seem to be doing very well. Why are investors so keen on them?

Some of the well-known areas are Boat Quay (pictured) where the shophouses are mainly commercial. PHOTO: SAVILLS
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SINGAPORE - Well, there are shophouses and there are shophouses. The ones grabbing the headlines with their eye-watering prices are situated in conservation areas - there are an estimated 6,500 to 6,800 such units in Singapore - and that is a factor in keeping their prices elevated.

They are a mix of residential shophouses, commercial ones and mixed commercial-residential, built between the early 1800s and mid-1900s. Some of the well-known areas are Emerald Hill, which features mainly residential shophouses, and Boat Quay, where they are mainly commercial. Joo Chiat in the east is also famous for its streets of shophouses.

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