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A rare piece of
Singapore’s colonial history

A diminishing asset from the early 1800s and to mid 1900s, many of these charming heritage buildings were flattened to make way for newer developments. However, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has gazetted many shophouses as conservation buildings. To date, only 6500 shophouses remain in Singapore.


In high demand

Whether they are located on food streets, heritage districts or quiet neighbourhoods, every shophouse caters to many businesses and investors. With a limited supply of shophouses, there is constant demand for rental and sales.


Tras Street and

its Michelin Star restaurants


Everton Park and

its high networth tenants


Boat Quay and

its colourful patrons

A strong investment

With the supply limited, as no new shophouses are being built, prices have only gone up.


Shophouses in Singapore present a compelling investment opportunity, combining historical charm with modern allure. These iconic structures seamlessly blend commercial and residential spaces, offering a unique blend of heritage and functionality. With their prime locations in vibrant neighbourhoods, shophouses promise consistent rental demand and potential capital appreciation. Singapore's robust economy and strategic urban planning enhance the appeal, making shophouses a resilient and lucrative investment choice. The enduring cultural significance, coupled with a dynamic real estate market, solidifies shophouses as a strong and enduring investment in Singapore.


Unique Styles

Despite being one category, shophouses are a vibrant mix of heritage and style. During its heyday, the shophouse underwent a total of six unique style transitions, reflecting Singapore’s then economy, affluence, urbanisation and architectural style.


Zoning Categories

As a unique class of real estate in Singapore, shophouses fall under a total of four different zoning categories. These zoning categories dictate the terms of allowed use for the building, an important factor for buyers looking to start a business or rent out their property.


Full Commercial

Where use of the entire building is allocated to commercial activities.


Commercial on

1st storey

Where use of the entire building is allocated to commercial activities.


Commercial & Residential

Where an entire row of shophouses are owned by a single owner/entity and can be allocated to both commercial and residential use in a 40/60 ratio regardless of storey.


Full Residential

Where use of the entire building is allocated to commercial activities.

Use and Licensing

Currently, there are a total of 18 use classes. Depending on the zoning category that the property falls under, there may be restrictions or applications required to obtain proper licensing or permits.


Additionally, certain streets no longer permit the addition of eating houses (Restaurant Use) due to overcrowded traffic.

18 Use Classes


Conservation Districts

Shophouses are divided into three conservation districts, with different levels of conservation practice.




The strictest form of conservation is practiced. The entire building is to be conserved but change of use from commercial to residential is permitted.


Residential Historic Districts

To suit the needs of individual owners, an extension lower than the main roof is permitted at the rear of the terrace houses


Secondary Settlements

Conservation is practised on a streetscape basis, owners may choose to conserve the entire building or build a new rear extension.

Contact us to find out what renovations are allowed before your purchase!

Things to look out for

With prices ranging from $5 million to over $20 million, purchasing a shophouse is no easy decision. Selecting the perfect shophouse for your plans will definitely play a part in your investment’s return. Having transacted over $1 billion in shophouses, our team has put together a checklist for prospective buyers to use before making their decision.

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