Bukit Timah: Not just a rich man’s playground

The common perception of the Bukit Timah neighbourhood is an exclusive one, where expensive private homes sit in abundance, their occupants far away from living the typical Singaporean experience.

However, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to this misunderstood neighbourhood.

Some Convenient Spacious Rentals

First of all, Bukit Timah isn’t all private housing. Unbeknownst to most people, HDBs do exist there! an approximate 2,500 units are available in the neighbourhood.

In line with the luxurious living of the area, Bukit Timah’s HDB units include the elusive maisonette style units. These rare 2 story units are larger than most HDB units, and are highly sought after in both the resale and rental markets.

Jardin, Bukit Timah. Picture: iProperty

The Toh Yi Drive area, for example, has maisonettes that are 139 sqm in size, and only 2 minutes walk from Beauty World MRT.

Bukit Timah’s high quality private housing is in abundance, especially for the rental market. While the units in question usually ask for around double the rental of a HDB unit, the condominiums along Bukit Timah Road are not only conveniently located, but also boast well-maintained facilities and solid fittings with close proximity to the Orchard belt.

Robin Residences. Picture: iProperty

A great example would be a 135 sqm loft unit at The Legend. It is within walking distance to 3 schools, 5 minutes walk from the new Stevens MRT station, and less than 1.5 KM away from Orchard Road.

Train Stations upping convenience

Talk about train stations, it’s clear that the introduction of the Downtown Line (DTL) MRT stations have helped to make a difference in demand across Bukit Timah.

Take, for example, Units at The Equatorial, near Stevens MRT. transacted sales per square foot have risen beyond the $1400 psf cost, to $1,633 psf for its most recent transaction.

In general, housing prices nearer to MRTs and Bus Interchanges are higher, mostly because these stations tend to be a nexus point for amenities as well. While Bukit Timah Road itself is littered with an entire series of bus stops, the connecting services do not reach every part of the country.

Related: Premium on properties along the train lines

The introduction of the DTL plays into the government’s “Hub and Spoke” strategy, which has stations serving as hubs, connecting neighbourhoods efficiently.

Great Neighbourhood Finds

Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre. Picture: iProperty

Serene Centre’s oldish facade belies its superb selection of dining options, many of which have been well-loved by people in the neighbourhood for a long time.

La Petite Cuisine, for example, has been operating for years and even expanded in size. The place sells authentic, affordable French food, and is a dinner fixture for many. Other great eateries include Sugarhaus, The Fat Belly, and Island Creamery.

The world famous Botanic Gardens is also part of this neighbourhood, right next to the Botanic Gardens MRT (CCL). The iconic 82-hectare Singapore Botanic Gardens is Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a perfect place for an afternoon picnic.

Comfortably Connected

The Bukit Timah neighbourhood lies close to the busy Orchard Road belt, has multiple MRT stations, and dotted with bus stops, so public transport is clearly not a problem.

A large number of great schools exist within the neighbourhood. Bukit Timah is peaceful, friendly and ultimately a great neighbourhood to set up a home in.