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Shophouse Singapore for Sale and Rent

ShopHouse Singapore Buy / Sell / Rent allow you to find different kind of shophouse ranging from F&B / Entertainment / Office / other Commercial usage. Let us know your requirements and we will let you know which is the most suitable for you. Call Vincent 9379 9993 Now to Find out More!

Why is Shophouse a Great Investment

Can sell anytime and there is no seller stamp duty. Unlike residential property and industrial property where there is stamp duty payable for any property sold within the first 3 years.

No ABSD (Additional Buyer Stamp Duty), meaning the don’t have to pay any additional tax for being a non Singapore Citizen or pay any additional tax for buying shophouse as additional property.

Some Shophouses are not GST registered meaning there is no need to pay GST when you purchase or rent for these shophouses.

High Capital Gain Potential, Shophouse have shown high capital gain potential for the past few years.

High loan to value, you can loan up to 80% of the property value or purchase price whichever is lower. After your property have increase value you can gear up to get more cash in hand which can be use to purchase the next shophouse and you can repeat to process to own multiple shophouses.

Multiple usage possibility, so trades have higher rental than others. Some shophouses can be rented out as F&B or entertainment purpose for higher rental rates to get better rental yield. At the same time a shophouse can be lease to multiple tenants. Rental yield are usually higher if the shophouse have been split into more units.

Foreigners Eligible to buy shophouse in Singapore that are Full Commercial, in other words anyone can buy. Singapore Residential landed property only allow Singapore Citizen to buy. Commercial Shophouse allow anyone to buy. This means that when you sell, you can sell to anyone in the world and not just Singapore Citizen and you have a bigger buyer pool in the future when you are selling.

Potential increase in GFA (Gross Floor Area), some shophouses with high ceiling height in the unit can be gut out builds additional stories into the unit increasing the total usable space.

Type of Shophouse

9 reasons to buy a shophouse (instead of a condo)

Shophouse Near Clarke Quay MRT Full Commercial with Nightclub Entertainment License for Sale

Few things get more attention than a shophouse for sale — and for good reason. In 2014, median shophouse price in Singapore peaked at $3,824 per square foot (psf) on land area. Due to the implementation of the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) loan curb, however, demand for shophouses decreased in line with other types of property. In 2017, the median shophouse price stood at $3,301 psf on land area.

Even post-TDSR, many shophouses managed to rise in value. Notably, a freehold unit in the Tanjong Pagar area was bought in 2013 for $6.2 million and then resold in 2017 for $9.1 million — a 47% profit over four years. Here’s why shophouses are popular with property investors and buyers alike, and why you should give them some serious consideration:

1. Many shophouses are in central locations

In places like Chinatown, Telok Ayer, or Amoy Street, shophouses are often used as an alternative office space. They’re especially favoured by startups or small companies that want a location within or near the Central Business District (CBD), but cannot afford the higher rental rates of conventional offices.

Most shophouses provide a rental yield of between 2.5 to 2.7% according to Colliers International; but there are occasionally boutique firms – such as design agencies – willing to fork out more for units that flow with their unorthodox, hipster-ish vibe.

Investors have long been aware of this. Hence, there has constant demand for shophouses within or near the CBD. Case in point: In 2010, a row of five shophouses (112 to 116 Amoy Street) was sold for $24.5 million. In 2011 – yes, that’s one year later – the same units were sold for $34.3 million. And that’s not the end of it: 8M Real Estate bought the same shophouses for $50 million in 2014 — more than double the 2010 price paid.

2. Many shophouses are protected

Many shophouses have been given conservation status. Historic districts with conserved shophouses include Boat Quay, Chinatown, Kampong Glam, Little India, Blair Plain, Cairnhill, and Emerald Hill.

For conserved shophouses, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has put in place certain restrictions and rules on renovations, such as having to seek clearance before any air-conditioning can be installed. Although this can prove a hassle for shophouse owners and tenants, it’s overall a positive thing for investors; when the government takes back land for roads, MRT stations or other use, they have an obligation to try to leave the conserved shophouses untouched.

3. Shophouses can hold their value

Much like fine wine or art, shophouses provide a cultural value that’s not always easy to quantify. Moreover, a combination of the prestige that comes with owning a shophouse, along with the scarcity of these properties, helps them to hold value even during downturns.

For example, in 2015, when the property market was still in a slump, Spanish tycoon Ricardo Portabella Peralta paid around $2,600 psf for two shophouses near the Telok Ayer MRT station. The total price ($18.2 million) is still one of the highest recorded transactions in the area, proving that shophouses can hold their value even in a weak market.

4. A lot of space, despite being in built-up areas

When you think of living or working spaces in built-up areas, such as the CBD, Chinatown, or Joo Chiat, you’re probably thinking of small spaces. There aren’t many new developments that can be crammed into these already packed areas.

The good news is, shophouses were in this area long before they got so packed. That gives you a lot of room (often at least 1,200 square feet) despite being close to major amenities.

5. Shophouses give presence to a business entity

It’s not usually hard to find a business tenant for a shophouse, because of its unique character.

The location of a business reflects on its philosophy and character (it’s the “flavour” of the business, if you like), and it’s hard to pull that off in some locations – malls and office buildings tend to have a standardised, modern-looking design and interior.

To understand the boost a shophouse can give to businesses, consider the famous Chye Seng Huat Hardware (a deliberately mis-named cafe-eatery located in a shophouse). The establishment’s retro-industrial image would be hard to pull off authentically in a shopping mall. Even if that had been possible, some stone-faced mall manager would probably take issue with the name and disallow it.

In terms of homes, shophouses let you create living spaces that are harder – or sometimes impossible – to achieve with cookie-cutter condo units. If you like the loft aesthetic, for instance, you can create it easily with a shophouse.

6. A conserved shophouse happens to be very rare

There are only around 6,500 shophouses under conservation in Singapore. If you’re considering the more ornate shophouses with ornamentation and elaborating tiling, there’s even fewer of them standing. What this means is that the shophouses have scarcity value (there’s a reason gold costs more than steel). And as time goes by, scarcity value can only increase, reflecting the sense of prestige and privilege in owning a sizeable piece of national history.

7. A good compromise between a condo and a full-sized bungalow

Sometimes you don’t want the massive upkeep of a bungalow, or find it too empty given your family size. But, at the same time, you may find condo living to be a little too constrained.

A shophouse provides a good middle-ground between the two, and is much more charming than the common terrace house. It’s more spacious than a condo. And, while the maintenance cost is still higher, it may not be as steep as that of a bungalow. (Do get a contractor to check on the state of the shophouse before buying. Those in poorer condition might just be as costly to maintain as a bungalow, if not more).

8. One-of-a-kind architectural features

Some shophouses have an open front or rear courtyard. This is an architectural boon that provides a perfect setting for family gatherings. Some might also have an airwell in the middle of the shophouse. Besides allowing natural light to enter and optimising air circulation (essential before the days of air-conditioning), owners can also implement unusual features such as an indoor Zen garden or a giant water feature. One thing’s for sure, your interior designer will be as excited as a kid in a candy shop.

9. Location, location, location

So you’re a hard-nosed property investor, who’s not swayed by things like historical value or clever, ironically-named cafes. Well if you go back to the root of property value – location – there’s no denying shophouses have it.

Shophouses along Katong are located in the middle of a gentrifying food paradise, and shophouses in the Holland Village area have quick access to nightlife, retail, and dining. Meanwhile, shophouses in places like Boat Quay are, as we’ve pointed out above, in the heart of Singapore.

There are so many shophouses located in a well built-up or central area, that it’s hard to go wrong when picking one. Act fast – a shophouse (especially ones with conservation status) tends to sell quickly once it becomes available on the market.

Singapore Shophouse History

Singapore shophouses

The shophouses of Singapore evolved from the early-19th century during the colonial era. It was first introduced by Stamford Raffles who specified in his Town Plan for Singapore the uniformity and regularity of the building, the material used as well as features of the buildings such as a covered passageway. After the colonial era, shophouses became old and dilapidated, leading to a fraction of them abandoned or razed (by demolition work or, on occasion, fire).

In Singapore, the Land Acquisition Act for urban development, passed during the early-1960s and amended in 1973, affected owners of shophouses and worked a significant compensatory unfairness upon them when their shophouses were seized to satisfy redevelopment efforts. Over the decades, entire blocks of historical shophouses in the urban centre were leveled for high-density developments or governmental facilities.

Owners and occupants of colonial shophouses in Malaysia underwent different experiences involving a series of rent control legislation put in place between 1956 and 1966. Under the most recent 1966 Control of Rent Act, privately owned buildings constructed before 1948, including scores of shophouses, were subjected to rent price controls to alleviate housing shortages, with the intent of providing the increasingly urbanised population with sufficient affordable housing. In the decades following the introduction of the act in 1966, development of sites that the shophouses rest on were often unprofitable due to poor rental takings, leading to historical urban districts stagnating but being effectively preserved, although entire blocks of shophouses were known to be demolished for a variety of reasons during the upsurge of the economy (from government acquisitions to destruction from fires). With the repeal of the act in 1997, landowners were eventually granted authority to determine rent levels and be enticed to develop or sell off pre-1948 shophouses; as a result, poorer tenants were priced out and many of the buildings were extensively altered or demolished for redevelopment over the course of the 2000s and 2010s. Shophouses have also been documented to be illegally sealed for use to cultivate and harvest edible bird’s nests, leading to long-term internal damage of the buildings.

Many shophouses in Singapore that escaped the effects of the Land Acquisition Act have now undergone a revival of sorts, with some restored and renovated as budget hotels, tea houses, and cinemas. Some shophouses are now considered architectural landmarks and have substantially increased in value. In 2011 in Singapore, two of every three shophouse units sold for between S$1.7–5.5 million (US$1.4–4.4 million), while larger units sold for between S$10–12.5 million (US$8–10 million), a sharp increase from 2010, while average per-square-foot prices increased 21% from 2010. The median price in Singapore in 2011 was 74% higher than in 2007.

The Shophouse Heritage

Shophouses—a historical source of delight and nostalgia—are a prevalent building type in Singapore’s architectural and built heritage. These buildings are generally two- to three- storeys high, built in contiguous blocks with common party walls. They are narrow, small terraced houses, with a sheltered ‘five foot’ pedestrian way at the front.

Constructed between the 1840s and the 1960s, these shophouses formed the majority of the pre-World War 2 urban fabric of the old city centre as well as several other parts of Singapore. They are also commonly found throughout the historic cities of South East Asia.

Shophouses therefore form the bulk of our gazetted conservation buildings. The key elements of the shophouses have been carefully restored and conserved according to our conservation guidelines.

Find out more on the good practices for maintaining a conserved shophouse.

Key Elements

The quality restoration of a shophouse requires an appreciation and understanding of the architecture of the building. The key elements that need to be respected in the restoration of a typical shophouse are:

shophouse features

Click to enlarge

Key Elements of the ShophousesDescription
Party WallsThese are principle load bearing walls that separate a shophouse from its neighbouring shophouse.
Timber Structural MembersThis refers to the main and secondary timber beams, that span from one party wall to the other and supports each floor. .It also includes the timber floor boards, and timber rafters that support the roof.
AirwellsAirwells are courtyards that are exposed to the sky, they provide natural ventilation and lighting to the interior of the shophouse They facilitate a comfortable indoor environment in our tropical climate.
Rear CourtAn open courtyard located at the back of the shophouse. It is bounded by the rear boundary wall, service block, rear elevation of the main shophouse and the party wall. This area was traditionally used for functional needs such as the kitchen and the toilet.
Timber WindowsTimber framed windows that are designed in the French or Casement style. Some have solid infill panels while others will have operable timber shutters/jalousies to allow for air and light.
Timber StaircaseThis refers to the staircase inside the shophouse, which are often of timber structural construction In some houses, the timber balustrades can be of ornate design. .
Front FacadeThe front ‘face’ of the house that faces the street. Facades from different architectural eras will have different aesthetic approaches.
The Upper FloorThis projects over the five-footway to form a covered pedestrian arcade.
The ColumnsLocated at the front of the building. They support the upper floors and form five-foot way colonnades.
The Five-FootwayThis provides pedestrians with a sheltered environment for passage away from the hot sun and torrential rain. This feature was mandated by Raffles since the first Town Plan for Singapore.
The RoofThe roof is usually of a ‘pitched’ construction on a timber structural frame and laid with natural coloured, unglazed V-profile terracotta roof tiles. Shophouses from the 1900s onwards tend to use natural coloured, unglazed flat-interlocking tiles (also commonly called ‘Marseilles’ tiles).

CASE STUDY: The NUS ‘Baba House’: Richness of Straits-Chinese Architecture Restored

Once the ancestral home of a Straits-Chinese family, the NUS ‘Baba House’ located at No. 157 Neil Road, is an example of an architectural beauty that has been carefully restored by the URA to illustrate conservation best practices. . It is one of the last few untouched Straits-Chinese Houses in Singapore.


Not only has its façade been revived with original ornamental details, the restoration also showcases the 1920s domestic culture of the Straits Chinese community in Singapore. Welcoming visitors to the Baba House are the wooden half doors or pintu pagar, a typical cross-cultural feature that used to be common in Singapore’s historic residences.

The main hall features elaborate and intricately carved structures of floor to ceiling screens and partitions.

The Baba House is representative of the visual interest that a well restored shophouse can provide to our urban landscape, and at the same time, remind us how these shophouses are representative of Singapore’s unique cultures and aesthetic tastes. 

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