Savvy buyers eye Geylang

What are the three most important factors in determining the value of a home?

Location. Location. Location.

This is a very old real estate joke that has survived the years because there is so much truth to it.

Another piece of advice that has persisted through time is to buy the worst house in the best neighbourhood you can afford.

Both of these ideas point to the fact that location is by far the most important of all the factors that determine the value of a home.

While the quality of a building and its interior impact price, it is the location that ultimately drives the value of a home.

For example, savvy buyers and investors are combing through Geylang in search of bargains that will rise in value as the area upgrades.

As the accompanying graph (above) illustrates, they see opportunities to buy at a dip in the price.

Geylang is situated in an excellent location, surrounded by expressways, with quick access to downtown, Marina Bay, East Coast Park and other points of interest.


All Geylang needs is some re-zoning and a facelift, and it will be competing with the more fashionable neighbourhoods of Singapore.

Other areas, like Novena and Balestier, are making their play for under-appreciated neighbourhoods that are up and coming.

These neighbourhoods have several things in common.

First, they are conveniently located next to expressways and train stations, with quick access to places of work and shopping.

Second, they are next door to better-known and more well-to-do locations.

This is very important because by buying into these under-appreciated neighbourhoods, you essentially get the same location but at home prices that are considerably less expensive.

Also, the more affluent area next door will start to merge with your neighbourhood and pull its value up.

This means that before you know it, you are joking that your home has appreciated so much that you can no longer afford to buy it.

That's a joke we can all hope for.

Sam Baker is co-founder of the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX), an information consortium formed by leading estate agency companies to share proprietary sales and rental data.

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This article was published on May 3 in The New Paper.

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