Marina Bay properties are some of the highest sought-after properties in District 1 of Singapore. But District 1 is not just the Marina area; it also encompasses Chinatown and its charming neighbouring enclaves as well. We know just how obsessed people in Singapore are with properties in general, and so with that in mind, we at GET.com are launching a series of 2016 Property Guides to all the 28 districts in Singapore, starting with this District 1 Guide!
In this Chinatown and Marina Bay Property Guide, which is the first of the 2016 Property and Lifestyle Guide series by GET.com, we will show you the lifestyle highlights of each district, plus hidden gems you may not have known about! We'll also tell you how much properties cost in District 1 and the cool things you can expect from this district.
District 1 Properties: An Overview
According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority, to be considered under District 1, the first 2 digits of the 6-digit postal code must be 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, or 06. It includes general locations like Raffles Place, Cecil, Marina and People's Park.
Have you ever dreamt of living right in the heart of Singapore? You must love no-nonsense city-living a lot to be able to call this city-within-a-city your home! Oh, and you must be pretty wealthy, too.
Singapore's Central Business District (CBD) contains our core financial and commercial districts. It is also home to Singapore's world-renowned city skyline, numerous glitzy skyscrapers, iconic architectural structures such as the Esplanade and Marina Bay Sands, and luxurious residential properties.
But of course, the majority of Singaporeans do not reside here in District 1. If you don't already know, most Singaporeans stay in more affordable, lego-like public properties better known as HDB flats.
The CBD area is a dream come true for rich folks and expatriates who value city living and extremely close proximity to their workplace in the thriving financial district. It is more suitable for individuals or couples without children.
There aren't any HDB flats in the Marina area, though there are plenty of luxurious condominiums and apartments there. Most of the HDB flats are located in the Chinatown area and they aren't newly built, unlike those in the newer estates. Resale prices of flats in the Chinatown area lean on the higher side since it's literally within the CBD area.
With regards to transportation connectivity to other parts of Singapore, it is as convenient as it can be - and restaurants, bars, clubs, retail malls, supermarkets and other entertainment attractions are aplenty!
New & Refinance Home Loans in Singapore
Pros And Cons Of Living In Marina Bay And Chinatown
- Convenient transportation networks
- Great views of the city skyline
- Bountiful food, entertainment and shopping options
- A stone's throw away from offices in the financial district
- Lush greenery and waterfront promenade
- High property prices and rents
- No schools within the area
Amenities In Marina Bay And Chinatown
Besides the lack of educational institutions in District 1, pretty much everything you need is conveniently accessible.
Transportation is a breeze with the countless bus services and fuss-free MRT stations like Raffles Place, Marina Bay, Marina South Pier, Downtown, Bayfront, Telok Ayer and Chinatown in close proximity to the residential buildings in the CBD.
Major shopping haunts include The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Marina Square, Suntec City, Millenia Walk, People's Park Complex and Chinatown Point.
Image source: milleniawalk
Millenia Walk is a retail haven for the discerning shopper who appreciates curated retail offerings, inspirational lifestyle products, quality craftsmanship, bespoke offerings and exquisite gastronomic escapades.
Needless to say, food options are aplenty, ranging from restaurants, cafes, bistros, fast food to even hawker fare from the likes of Lau Pa Sat, Amoy Street Food Centre, Maxwell Food Centre and Golden Shoe Hawker Centre.
Image source: Singapore Tourism Board
Lau Pa Sat is a mish mash of history, striking architecture and delicious local food, altogether.
Truly a garden in a city, Gardens By The Bay is a 101 hectare park sitting in the CBD.
Despite the heavily commercialised downtown core, nature-loving souls have Gardens By The Bay, Marina Barrage and the 3.5km Waterfront Promenade to fall back on.
Cool Chill-Out Spots In Marina Bay And Chinatown
Drinkers rejoice! There are plenty of watering holes peppered around the area. For that exquisite chill-out experience to complement your decadent lifestyle living in the CBD, you have fantastic options when it comes to rooftop bars.
Lantern at The Fullerton Bay Hotel, La Terraza at The Screening Room, 1-Altitude at 1 Raffles Place and CÉ LA VI Skybar at Marina Bay Sands are just some from the pack that you've got to visit!
If riverside dining and lounging are the kind of things that you fancy, be sure to check out the slew of bars and restaurants along Boat Quay and Clarke Quay.
Image source: Singapore Tourism Board
Clarke Quay will be the new home to Zouk, Singapore's world-famous and award-winning nightclub, by September 2016.
Image source: Ah Sam Cold Drink Store
Besides Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall, in which other cosy bar in Singapore can you find comforting grubs like Ngoh Hiang, Char Kway Teow and Shrimp Paste Chicken?
Located at 60A Boat Quay in a conserved shophouse, Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall is a cosy, friendly bar along the Singapore River where you can enjoy great company with your homies, sumptuous local fare and quality cocktails that even the most discerning cocktail lover will appreciate.
The personable team at Ah Sam Cold Drink Store will make you feel right at home!
Image source: Harry's Bar Singapore
Who can forget Harry's Bar at Boat Quay? This brass-rail style bar is a hit among the many professionals who slog their days away in the nearby swanky offices.
Image source: Bitters & Love
Bitters & Love is the place to be if friendly service and bespoke cocktails are right up your alley.
Those who fancy bespoke, unique tipple creations that seek to satisfy all five senses have to visit Bitters & Love, a specialty cocktail bar located at 118 Telok Ayer Street.
Pick your choice of spirits and flavours, and let the Bitters & Love team do the rest. Of course, expect to find flavourful bar snacks to go along with your drinks at this warm & inviting chill-out spot!
Image source: Tamashii Robataya
The stylish and theatrical environment that embodies Tamashii Robataya makes it the ideal venue for business meetings, social dinners and fun-filled celebrations alongside the freshest Japanese ingredients for your selection.
Image source: The Black Swan
Set in a historic art deco building on 19 Cecil Street, The Black Swan houses a Grand Café & Bar, along with a mezzanine cocktail lounge.
If you fancy some carefully-curated European bistro classics (French, Italian, seafood and steak) in a distinctive chill-out spot, consider booking a table at The Black Swan in the core of the CBD precinct.
This bar and dining concept focuses less on frills and more on finesse. Expect top notch service and well-executed food here, too!
Kid-Friendly Places In Marina Bay And Chinatown
Given that the CBD is a through-and-through business district, it is understandable that the downtown area may not be that kid-friendly at all, hence less suitable for families with children. Nevertheless, there are several options that your kids (and you) will love!
Those who're keen in exploring fun and free attractions in the CBD area can catch free concerts at The Esplanade, a nightly Light and Water Show at Marina Bay Sands or even learn more about Maritime Singapore at the Singapore Maritime Gallery.
Image source: Alive Museum Singapore
Also, children and adults alike can experience the magic of 3D Art at The Alive Museum! It is conveniently located between Towers 3 and 4 at Suntec City Mall.
In addition, there are several childcare centres scattered across the area and family-friendly restaurants, shopping and play areas are accessible in major retail malls like Suntec City, Marina Square and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.
How Much Do Properties Cost In Marina Bay And Chinatown?
We did some research on the minimum and maximum per square foot (PSF) prices of private properties, as well as the median price of a resale 4-room flat in this district.
Minimum PSF: $634 at People's Park Centre
Maximum PSF: $3923 at Marina Bay Residences
Median price of a resale 4-room flat in the central region in Q2 2015: $855,000
*PSF figures for apartment and condominium transactions between Oct 2012 - Oct 2015 are pulled from URA.
*Median prices of resale flat(s) retrieved from CNA.
Note that if you're buying an HDB flat with loan from HDB, your downpayment must be 10% of purchase price or market valuation, whichever is lower. The remaining amount will then be your loan amount from HDB.
If you're buying an HDB flat with a loan from the bank, your downpayment must be 20% of purchase price or market valuation, whichever is lower. When borrowing 80% from the bank, your loan tenure cannot exceed 25 years; if your loan tenure is above 25 years (but not more than 30 years), note that you can only borrow 60% from the bank! For both cases, the sum of the loan tenure and age of borrower at the time of applying for the loan does not extend beyond retirement age of 65 years.
Similarly, if you're buying a private property with a loan from the bank, your downpayment must be 20% of purchase price or market valuation, whichever is lower. When borrowing 80% from the bank, your loan tenure cannot exceed 30 years; if your loan tenure exceeds 30 years (up to a maximum of 35 years), note that you can only borrow 60% from the bank! For both cases, the sum of the loan tenure and age of borrower at the time of applying for the loan does not extend beyond retirement age of 65 years.
Beautiful Homes In District 1
The Marina Bay Financial Centre is just next to Marina Bay Residences, while the corporate and business core of Raffles Place is less than a 5-minute stroll away.
Useful Tips For District 1
As you can see, District 1 is truly a mix of the fantastically new and historic old, an area where high finance merges with bountiful green spaces. In case you're intending to buy a unit or two in those luxurious condominiums and apartments, you can use GET.com's Home Loan Genius tool to compare home loans from all the banks in Singapore to get the lowest interest rate for your property loan.
Also, if you happen to be a resident living in this area, it'd be great if you could get in touch with us via email@example.com as we'd love to feature you and your experiences in our property and lifestyle guide.
Want to explore other districts of Singapore? We recommend you check out the Tanjong Pagar property guide, which is also part of Singapore's CBD area or our guide to uber-cool Tiong Bahru - an enclave for creative souls and millenials.