Neighbourhood Guide: Bukit Merah

Neighbourhoods with a touch of heritage, yet close to the city centre, are exceedingly rare. Bukit Merah’s neighbourhoods offer exactly that, with its sprinkling of historical housing and generous offerings of convenience.

Bukit Merah reads as “Red Hill” in the Malay language, a reference to the red soil that was uncovered during the excavation of the Henderson and Lengkok Bahru areas.

The area used to be home to pepper and gambier plantations, but that old village charm has given way to the government’s rapid estate development. Today, Bukit Merah is a modern neighbourhood that’s a great place to live in.

Rare Pre-war Housing

19 Tiong Bahru Road, HDB. Picture: iProperty

Bukit Merah’s popular Pre-war housing was developed by the SIT, a predecessor of today’s HDB. These well-situated, low-lying homes are very much sought after, even though they are much older than some of the buildings that are just a stone’s throw away. A great example would be this 3-room apartment along Tiong Bahru Road.

For those interested in living just a little bit further away from the city, there’s always the remarkably convenient Redhill. This area has some great amenities, so it is no wonder that housing here is a little more expensive. Take, for example, this 5-room, 1076 sq ft apartment near Redhill MRT.

The proximity to the MRT, combined with closeness to eateries, schools and supermarkets pushes prices into the $800,000 region. This puts the per sq ft cost in the region of $743psf, which is rather high for a HDB flat.

There are more affordable alternatives, like this 4-room, 979 sq ft apartment along Bukit Purmei road. Units like this one have a lower asking, falling in the $460 – $500psf region. Units in this area are a little further from Telok Blangah MRT station, which is the nearest to this estate. Still, “further” means a 5-minute bus ride, or a 15-minute walk, so “far” is a relative concept here.

Condominiums Further Out

Beyond Redhill and Telok Blangah, Queenstown’s Stirling Road sees the most action for private housing. Condominiums have been popping up with regularity here, making it one of the hottest new areas to live and invest in.

One of the launches in this area is Stirling Residences. This 99-year leasehold, 1259 unit development is set for completion in 2022. The development boasts two 40-storey and one 38-storey tower, with the bells and whistles that we now expect from condominiums.

The development’s viability is further boosted by its proximity to several schools, as well as Queenstown MRT station. Prices will be high, ranging from $701,000 for smaller 1 bedroom apartments to $3.328 million for the largest units. That boils down to a $1300psf – $2364psf cost. While it does seem steep, the location is an up and coming neighbourhood, and prices are expected to continue to rise.

Regency Suites, Condo.

Home buyers looking for something that is already built, Regency Suites is well-located condominium sits closer to the city. Completed in 2008, Regency Suites is a rare, 104 unit Freehold private development that is situated close to Tiong Bahru MRT station.

This development is popular due to its proximity to the Tiong Bahru hipster enclave, as well as the conveniently located Tiong Bahru Plaza. Current prices range from $1,228 million for 1 bedroom units to $5.4 million for the larger 4 bedroom units. That boils down to a surprisingly palatable $1191psf – $2007psf.

See more: Bugis: Upscale Riverfront Living


There are some great amenities within the Bukit Merah area. For starters, there are quite a few malls that provide residents with all their basic needs. The recently redeveloped Tiong Bahru Plaza has over 160 stores, including a movie theatre and a FairPrice Finest supermarket.

Beyond Tiong Bahru, there’s also Anchorpoint Mall. It’s smaller than Tiong Bahru Plaza, but has a niche collection of premium brand name boutiques, and choice eateries. It also has a Cold Storage. Additionally, there is an Ikea near Anchorpoint Mall.

IKEA Alexandra, Queensway. Picture: iProperty

When it comes to parks and nature, the big one has to be Mount Faber Park. It used to be called Telok Blangah Hill, but the government has taken the time and put in the effort to turn it into a beautiful park that gives visitors a view from 105m above ground. This 56-hectare park is now a popular destination for families and tourists looking for a nice place to take a relaxing stroll in.

Finally, the neighbourhood is very well-connected to the rest of Singapore via the East-West Line (EWL) and the Circle Line (CCL). There are multiple stations serving this zone, so residents can take their pick from Tiong Bahru (EWL), Redhill (EWL), and Telok Blangah (CCL).

Rising Star on the Fringe

The Bukit Merah area has some choice places to stay in and a whole lot of great amenities to enjoy. The great thing about this place is that there are options, whether you want to to stay nearer to the city or live a little bit further away from the hustle and bustle.

Regardless of where you stay in Bukit Merah, there’s always a supermarket, great amenities and public transportation within reach. Bukit Merah is comfort and convenience in a great place!

See more: 7 things you should consider when renting in Singapore