The changing face of Katong

Historically home to wealthy settlers and traditionally dominated by the Peranakan and Eurasian communities, Katong is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Newly-developed condos now stand among the traditional shophouses and Peranakan terrace houses creating a unique neighbourhood in a strategic location.

Known as one of the residential areas of choice in Singapore, District 15 encompasses Meyer Road, Amber Road, Marine Parade Road, Tanjong Rhu and the rapidly-developing Katong area. Located between Changi Airport and the CBD, Katong beckons with its wide range of restaurants and entertainment outlets, while there is an abundance of seafront recreational activities in the nearby East Coast Park.

With the opening of the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway, residents of D15 have the added benefit of convenient access to the prime shopping district in Orchard Road. The district is well connected by public transport services, including the future Eastern Region MRT Line that is slated to run along Marine Parade.

Today’s Katong is extremely cosmopolitan and foreign buying interest in many of the condominiums fronting the East Coast is strong. The district offers an excellent investment opportunity in terms of capital appreciation and Jones Lang LaSalle’s research rates it as one of the fastest-growing residential areas in Singapore.

Furthermore, we found that some of the new condos along Meyer Road have surpassed the values achieved at similar developments in Holland Road and Bukit Timah. Strong buying interest from foreign investors from China, Malaysia and India has contributed to the rapid capital growth.

As fundamentals improve, the construction of new condominiums is rising to meet the expectations of discerning buyers. This area consisted of large villas but we are now seeing an increase in the popularity of smaller apartments. We expect that these trends will continue, given the rapid development in the Katong area.

A good example is Moda, a freehold development by Hor Kew Land. Due for completion in 2013, it consists largely of stylish two-bedroom apartments. This high-rise development offers buyers a chance to attain ownership in prime District 15 at an affordable price. Moda is ideally located in the heart of Katong and within walking distance to Parkway Parade, a newly-refurbished Katong Mall and the future Eastern Region MRT Line.

Mr Dennis Aw, managing director of Hor Kew Land, said: “We have embarked on a distinctive approach to marketing this development. Moda gives buyers the opportunity to experience the benefits of Katong’s rich cultural heritage and gain an asset with close proximity to Singapore’s CBD, the new integrated resorts and East Coast Park.”

Recent Government measures to cool speculative buying may have taken a bit of the shine out of the residential property market. Nevertheless, District 15 will continue to feature strongly on the radar of both owner-occupiers and investors.

The face of Katong is changing but it is retaining the charm and cosmopolitan essence that attract residents and investors.

By David Neubronner, Head of Singapore Residential Project Sales at Jones Lang LaSalle.

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