Own properties in Geylang- red light district. Why not!?.
I can understand your thought that own Geylang property is some kind of joke. However, you should rethink, because whenever the topic comes up – even among real estate professionals – the result is a lot of sniggering and winking.
Honestly, Geylang properties have rental yields of between three to five percent, beating out plenty of other districts in this weak rental market. And the property prices there may rise even higher. There are top 4 unexpected reasons that make you think again about owning real estate in Geylang.
Reason #1: The Re-zoning of Geylang
Geylang has undergone some changes in zoning lately, as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) wants to prevent friction between residents and people who are there for the brothels, food, and illegal cigarettes counterfeit merchandise.
Moreover, there will be fewer residential zones in Geylang in the future. A long stretch from Lorong 22 to Lorong 4 will now be designated for commercial, rather than residential use. This means any condos there will become a scarce resource, and you have to combine this factor with the others below.
Reason #2: Geylang has a solid location and future prospect as a small business hub
I want to mention is that Geylang condo for sales is close to the Central Business District (CBD). It’s just 10 minutes away, and if not for the vice activities you can bet a lot of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will crowd in here. Geylang has also excellent connective via the MRT, with Aljunied, Dakota and Paya Lebar stations, help you move quickly to different ends of the district.
Geylang is, for all intents and purposes, a great location for commercial development. In the next time, it put to that use soon, given its proximity to the new business hub in Paya Lebar. This will be a big boon to those who have the foresight to get overstanding property projects in the area; these will make for good rental prospects when businesses move in.
Reason #3: The Relocation of Paya Lebar Airbase
Paya Lebar Airbase will be relocated in 2023. This will change the height restrictions on buildings in the surrounding areas. It is likely Geylang will be affected as well.
That means is the ability to build higher, developers will start to search the area for prospective en-bloc purchases (when you can build higher, you can squeeze more units into the same plot of land, thus turning a sizable profit). Geylang right now has many freehold residential properties, which are likely to be the target of aggressive bidding by developers.
Although still, 2030 is a long time away – if you are buying a property for a long-term investment, you know there are some solid prospects at the end of it.
Reason #4: It may look seedy to you, but Geylang has a large pool of prospective tenants
Plenty of expatriates rent in properties for rent in Geylang. Put aside the vice activities, and look at it from the perspective of an expat here to work for two or three years.
You’re not going to be living in the house for long, so you don’t care too much about the seediness (remember, seedy is not the same as dangerous; even the most crime-ridden areas (ahem, Yishun) in Singapore are about as lethal as a plastic spoon). What you do care about are amenities, fast access to your office in the CBD, and affordable rent compared to other places in town. The answer to that is Geylang.
And if you’re a landlord, yes the rent they pay is less than that in other central areas. But because Geylang property is priced low, your rental yields can still remain quite high. And once the new zoning laws take place, and it gets harder to find residential units here, there is a good chance that your rental income will rise.
In general, Geylang presents opportunities for the bold in a stagnant market.
With the shock of central region properties sliding in value (1.9 percent fall in prices compared to one percent in other regions in Q3 this year), and condos everywhere on the way down, landlords need to look outside the conventional districts.
For those who have the capital take risks and are willing to hold a long-term view, it’s worth looking beyond the usual snide remarks about Geylang. The core rule of property investment has always been location – and if there’s only one virtue Geylang has (that might be literally true), that’s a good location.
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Adapted from 99.co