Shophouses increasingly popular among investors

Aside from being architectural landmarks, shophouses are now considered investments which can yields big gains.

According to The Straits Times, prices for coveted shophouses have been increasing in recent years and investors in such properties have made huge gains.

The cooling measures targeted at the residential sector have driven a throng of local and foreign investors to other investment alternatives, including shophouses, said consultancy firm CBRE.

Around 292 shophouses were sold last year for S$1.13 billion, slightly below the S$1.17 billion in 2010 and almost double the S$563 million in 2009.

Two in every three units sold were transacted for between S$1.7 million and S$5.5 million, with the larger ones sold for between S$10 million and S$12.5 million each.

The price of the properties has also increased sharply. CBRE said that in terms of land area, average psf prices increased to S$1,867 last year, up 21 percent from S$1,547 in 2010.

"What's more surprising is that the median price for last year was 74 percent higher than that in 2007, when Singapore's overall real estate market was at its peak," said Petra Blazkova, Head of Research for Singapore and South-east Asia at CBRE.

She noted that the increase is "a clear indication of a structural change in investors' appetite for shophouses."

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