Resident’s View: Newton

Seafood at Newton Circus Food Court. Photograph: Singapore Tourism Board.(Seafood at Newton Circus Food Court. Photograph: Singapore Tourism Board.)

One glance at the property prices in District 11 gives an indication of property prices in this area – most easily topping the S$1 million mark. Singapore spoke to two residents of Newton – Ruairi Brown from Ireland, who arrived in Singapore this year, and Craig Glass, from Scotland, who has been here since 2007 – to find out what living there is like.

Why did you choose to live here?
Ruairi Brown: It’s central, my apartment is close to the MRT, and there are lots of restaurants and supermarkets nearby.
Craig Glass: Newton is easily one of the most convenient areas to live. You’ve got the MRT and bus services, plus supermarkets and other facilities almost on your door stop.

What do you like and dislike about living here?
RB: The big pros are that the commute to work is very short, it’s very central to town, and yet it’s also quiet and residential. Newton and Novena are both quite expat-friendly, so the supermarkets have a good selection of bread, meats and cheeses, which we crave on occasion. There are a lot of wine shops around too and a couple of decent pubs. Newton Circus food court is always open too, to satisfy those midnight hunger pangs. The only drawback is that because it’s so central it’s quite expensive.
CG: It’s not a cheap area to live by any means, and you have to be willing to have a smaller space with a bigger price tag. I reckon that if you’re careful and with such good transport links you can balance it out.

Can you tell us a bit about the property you live in?
RB: We have a reasonably spacious two-bedroom, two-bathroom place in Evelyn Mansions. It’s about 10 storeys high with four apartments per floor. It’s a very peaceful development and we seldom see others using the pool. We’re off Newton Road and Bukit Timah Rd, but it’s so quiet and secluded that you cannot hear any traffic. The place is about 12 years old, but is modern, light and well maintained.
CG: Our condo, The Armadale, was built in 2000; it’s a two-bedroom (just!) place. It’s Balinese-themed in style, which is very nice and has good gardens and a nice pool. The unit has good views of greenery, and the fact that it has a little bit of privacy was a big selling point.

What would your advice be to people looking to relocate to this area?
RB: Personally, I would say: “Don’t come here! Go somewhere else and keep my rent low.”
CG: Be aware that the area has a lot of construction happening around it. If you’re looking at a place it’s something to be aware of if you’re looking for something near green spaces.

What is your favourite place for dinner or drinks in Newton?
RB: A crummy little pub called Café and Bar that has great food and atmosphere. I’m not sure why we love it so much but it’s great!
CG: Harry’s at Velocity is good for watching sport, and as it’s small, the service is pretty good. There’s also a lovely Japanese/curry fusion restaurant called Curry Favor in the same mall.

Any special finds in the area?
RB: There’s a fantastic Italian place about 15 minutes walk from Netwon MRT north up Bukit Timah Road called Al Borgo. They serve the best pizza I’ve had in Singapore, as they use proper mozzarella.
CG: The gym on the 5th floor of Revenue House is a hidden gem. It’s got friendly trainers and great facilities if you don’t just want to be on a treadmill staring blankly at a screen. Plus, there’s roof top tennis, squash, and badminton courts.