The shophouses in some of Singapore’s oldest neighborhoods are nothing short of stunning. These colonial-era buildings, some of which date back to the 1840s, are highly sought after by investors despite their exorbitant prices. Just in the first quarter of this year, the sales volume of shophouses in Singapore skyrocketed by 52.2%, amounting to $169.1 million Singapore dollars, according to a Knight Frank report. The surge in interest has mainly been attributed to high-net-worth individuals looking to diversify their portfolios.

It’s not just ordinary investors who are buying up these historical shophouses. The wealthy and the famous from around the world have also jumped on the bandwagon. From Jack Ma’s wife to renowned Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio, it seems that owning a shophouse in Singapore has become a status symbol among the elite. Icons like Jackie Chan and Spanish tycoon Ricardo Portabella Peralta have also been rumored to have acquired these prestigious properties, adding to the allure surrounding them.

With only around 6,500 shophouses designated as conservation buildings in Singapore, the supply of these unique properties is severely limited. According to Sebestian Soh, chief placemaker at Meir Collective, the intricate details and design elements of these shophouses cannot be replicated by modern technology. This makes them a precious commodity that can never be recreated. The appeal of commercial shophouses has only grown stronger with the introduction of property cooling measures that exempt these properties from additional levies and duties that other real estate assets are subject to.

While the price tags on shophouses may seem astronomical to the average person, they are considered a sound investment for ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Loyalle Chin, a director at Propnex, highlighted how wealthy individuals are increasingly turning to these properties as a safe haven for wealth preservation. In a time of economic uncertainty, real assets like shophouses offer a sense of stability and security that more common asset classes may not provide. They are not just properties; they are tangible assets that hold historical, cultural, and monetary value.

The wave of interest in shophouses in Singapore reflects a larger trend in the real estate market. As the ultra-rich seek out unique investment opportunities that go beyond traditional stocks and bonds, these historical properties are becoming more coveted than ever before. While the price barrier may be high, the allure of owning a piece of Singapore’s heritage is proving to be irresistible to those looking to solidify their wealth and make a statement in the world of luxury real estate.

Real Estate

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