At a glance: It isn’t always you get a chance to live in a shophouse unit, and bonus: it’s one that’s also incredibly convenient—265 Outram Road lies at the fringes of the city, is right in front of an MRT, and is located at the heart of hipster haven, Tiong Bahru. Not only does this make for a unique place to live in, this property’s also one for landlords, thanks to its dual-key units. We take a deep dive into all the ins and outs of this development.
|265 Outram Road
|Shophouse (Residential Building with Commercial at 1st Storey)
|Chiu Teng Group
|265/267/269/271 Outram Road
|Number of Blocks
|Number of Storeys
|Land Size (sqft)
|17 residential units + 4 commercial units
|Residential Unit Types Available for Sale (as of 21 April 2022)
|Nearest MRT Stations
|Havelock MRT on the Thomson-East Coast Line (~6-min walk) + Outram Park MRT station Interchange (East-West Line, North-East and Thomson-East Coast Line) (~11-min walk)
|Primary Schools Within 1 km (estimated,
actual distance will be determined by block)
|• River Valley Primary School
• Zhangde Primary School
|Nearby International Schools
|• 5 Steps Academy
• Knightsbridge House International School
We’ve got an interesting property to talk about today—265 Outram Road. This 4-storey entity has the same name as the address it is registered to, which not only tells you exactly where the property is located, but also avoids the (sometimes) pretentious naming practice common in other private properties in Singapore (ahem).
Spread over four shophouses, 265 Outram Road is zoned residential with commercial use at the first storey. It was bought over by Chiu Teng Group back in 2016 from a Lee Foundation-linked company for $23.8 million. Sitting within the Tiong Bahru Secondary Settlement Conservation Area, it is right next to the hipster town Tiong Bahru and located walking distance to the iconic Tiong Bahru Market.
The shophouses were already around 50 years old at the time of the first sale, but they underwent a sprucing up in 2019 and following that, the residential units were leased out to serviced apartment operator, ST Residences. (The lease ended in March this year.) In 2020, the property was put back on the market for a sale price of $50 million, but Chiu Teng Group has since decided to launch the units for sale individually, which brings us to this review here today.
Most of the 17 residential units have already been snapped up since March this year and last we checked, there are only four 2-bedroom units available (as of 21 April 2022).
What’s in the location?
If you are keen to own a bit of heritage in a well-connected area, 265 Outram Road’s really quite the catch. Situated along the very busy Outram Road, an arterial road that leads directly into the CTE, the shophouses sit at the fringes of the city and just within the edges of all the hustle and bustle of the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood.
Steeped in nostalgia and old-school architecture thanks in part to the art deco style post-war flats in the area, Tiong Bahru is today a gentrified and chic estate populated by cafes, restaurants and charming specialists boutiques. Think places like Forty Hands cafe, Tiong Bahru Bakery, and gluten-free restaurant The Butcher’s Wife. This area draws a hip, expatriate crowd, but it’s also a favourite among younger locals who flock to the neighbourhood during weekends.
It isn’t all bohemian cafe culture here though. Popular local delights are mostly centred in Tiong Bahru Market, which is just a 4-min walk from 265 Outram Road, although you will be able to find a number of hawker fare dotted throughout the area. And just down the road from the property, there’s Tiong Bahru Pau, where a wide selection of local dim sum awaits.
The property’s immediate surroundings comprise mainly of hotels, hostels and co-living spaces, so it’s no surprise why ST Residences, which manages a large number of serviced apartments/co-living spaces across the island, took up a lease here previously. This transitory living environment isn’t a huge issue if you are thinking of renting out the apartment, but if you are considering living here for the long-term, community spirit may be found wanting in this nomadic neck of the woods.
In terms entertainment, think evening walks along the Singapore River, which is just an 11-min walk away. The nearest shopping malls are Tiong Bahru Plaza and recently revamped Great World, both of which are still within a reasonable walking distance of about 15 mins (otherwise, it’s a short bus ride away). The nearest supermarket is a small-ish NTUC Fairprice at Kim Tian Road, which is a 10-min walk.
There are two nearby MRT stations to 265 Outram Road. The nearest one, Havelock along the Thomson-East Coast line, is less than 10 mins away by foot. It is only set to open by the second half of the year though, as part of the line’s stage 3 opening. Once opened, it will take just 2 stops to reach Orchard, Singapore’s shopping belt and 4 stops to Marina Bay, which is at the heart of the CBD. The Thomson-East Line is scheduled to be fully completed by 2024.
Walk a bit further (about 11 mins) and you’ll be able to get to Outram Park station, an interchange that sits on three MRT lines—the aforementioned Thomson-East Coast, East-West and North-East. What this spells for you is incredible convenience. You’ll be able to get to several business and commercial nodes from Outram Park, without having to switch train lines, making it really convenient for those who work in these areas. These places include Tanjong Pagar (1 stop), Harbourfront (1 stop), Raffles Place (2 stops) and City Hall (3 stops).
And if that wasn’t enough, the numerous buses that stop at the bus stops across Outram Road and Tiong Bahru Road will take you to right across town and a ton of neighbourhoods, notably Bishan, Clementi, Toa Payoh, Jurong East, Paya Lebar, Bedok and Bukit Timah.
Pricing and floor plans
Prices for the four available 2-bedroom units are going for between $1,600,800 to $1,886,400, which translates to around $2,400 psf. This is relatively higher than nearby freehold resale condo properties, The Regency at Tiong Bahru and Twin Regency, which comes as no surprise if you take into account the ages of the condominiums:
|Average price psf
|265 Outram Road
|The Regency at Tiong Bahru
265 Outram Road’s prices are also priced steeper than the new condo launches in this area. But these new condos are leasehold, rather than freehold, which 265 Outram Road is, after all.
Because this property’s no condominium, you don’t get to enjoy similar condo facilities like the gym, pool or security. This may also be an issue if your pool of renters are looking for facilities like these. But most people who pick this Tiong Bahru neighbourhood are likely to prefer the vibe the overall area gives rather than the facilities available, so that shouldn’t be such a big issue if you are investing in this as a landlord.
Since it’s not a condo, maintenance fees are a lot more affordable, compared to the ones you have to pay if you live in a condo:
The chance to live in a conserved shophouse isn’t always going to come by. The fact that it’s conserved will mean there isn’t a huge possibility that it will be teared down to make way for new roads or MRT stations, thus able to command better value retention even when you compare it to freehold condominiums.
While prices are on the high side, we think there is still possibility for price appreciation, owing to the rarity of shophouse apartments in general as well as the lack of other similar competition in the area. Plus, with exciting new developments in the Great Southern Waterfront to come, neighbouring Tiong Bahru will likely reap some of its benefits.
In recent years, there has been a major surge in interest in the older Tiong Bahru flats and walk-up apartments as well, particularly those located in the pre-war and post-war buildings. Leases for these are running out, and will eventually make it really difficult to buy for the majority of homeowners because of the age. So properties like 265 Outram Road, which is not only freehold but has that heritage bonus of being old, can make for a good alternative to these buyers.
Ultimately, it comes down to what you are looking for. This property is worth it if you are looking for a unique place to stay and one that will retain its value for a long time to come. Plus, its dual-key units (as we will see below) can also mean you get to stay in one part of your home while renting out the other, allowing you to partially finance your apartment.
Here’s a closer look at the still available units and their floor plans:
#03-01, #03-05, #04-05
Size: 667 sqft
The layouts for these three units are dual key and are essentially split into two 1-bedders with a shared foyer. Set on a linear layout, both sides are nearly mirroring one another. There is a bedroom, a bathroom, living/dining areas and a kitchen/yard area on each faction, which is quite generous seeing as most dual-key apartments usually come with a more full-fledged side accompanied by a mere studio bedroom with kitchenette design on another. In this layout, one side does come with a slightly bigger kitchen area with more countertop space.
Size: 786 sqft
Although not dual-key, this layout has a slightly larger floor size and is the largest residential unit at 265 Outram Road. This translates to more spacious living areas as well as generous bedroom sizes that come with substantial wardrobe space. Because of how the rooms are arranged, there is a lot of privacy for both the bedrooms, so it’s still possible to rent the bedrooms out separately. However, there is only one communal zone here.
And here’s a look at the actual interiors:
To get a better sense of the space, you’ll want to head down to the units to better see them for yourself.
For those who are investing for rental purposes, the nearby commercial zones and its city-fringe location will mean you get to attract a sizeable group of potential renters. Then there is the proximity to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH), which is currently undergoing a major overhaul that is scheduled for completion by 2026. This will likely also drive up demand from healthcare professionals for rental properties around the area.
Because of the unit sizes, the main pool of renters will likely be single professionals—both foreigners and locals—who are willing to pay a premium to live near their workplaces and at the heart of an exciting neighbourhood, rather than family renters.
What can you expect in terms of rental income? Here’s a look at the nearby properties and what they are fetching. Keep in mind how much you can get in rental depends on whether you are renting out just a section of your dual-key unit or renting out both sides. Take these estimates to consideration when you are setting your asking price.