Geylang – More than just a red-light district

Gentrification is a term most commonly tossed about in major cities in the West. But it is happening more frequently in Singaporean districts with a rising middle class. Gentrification refers to the process of redeveloping or refining of an area to suit middle-class tastes.

Geylang’s gentrification may result in positive outcomes

Le Regal, Geylang.

Geylang was, and perhaps still is, Singapore’s most famous red light district. But in recent years, besides being a hip place for visiting backpackers, Geylang is becoming home to many well-visited food places and a worthy neighbour to the upcoming business hub that is Paya Lebar.

And perhaps the tide of days when prices of properties here are low because of its scruffy atmosphere is turning. It’s proximity to the Aljunied and Paya Lebar MRT stations brings more foot traffic to the already-vibrant food scene here. It also makes the area more accessible to tourists who want a slightly more different feel of Singapore.

With the Downtown Line 3 up and running, the Geylang Bahru, Mattar and Ubi stations allow workers easy access to and from the area.

Fall in supply of residential properties may increase demand

In addition, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has proposed to rezone parts of Geylang for commercial purposes.

Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ)

The new Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) nearby will provide jobs for many locals and expatriates. And there will be those looking to rent a place close to work. With a fall in the number of available properties in the area, rental and sale demand of properties here will no doubt increase, hence raising property prices of existing units.

Property analysts are looking forward to the change that is happening in Geylang. With the seedier aspect of the area taking a backseat to rising business and commercial prospects, the demographics of residents here may very well slowly shift towards a more wholesome and family-friendly one.

For the moment, the increasing number of private condominiums in the area are ideal for singles, young couples or expatriates who may want convenient access to their workplaces.