Bukit Timah Estate
Mention Bukit Timah to most Singaporeans and you are almost guaranteed to spark a conversation about one of three subjects: The hill itself; how expensive property is; and the preponderance of good schools. So is this all there is to the area? And do the facts that the majority of people routinely roll out about it actually stand up to scrutiny?
One thing is for certain, no one can deny the existence of the hill. Most Singaporeans have been to the top at some time or other, and can account for every one of its 163.63 metres. Most also know the misleading nature of its name. Bukit Timah, or “Tin Hill” in Malay, is actually a mispronunciation of Bukit Temak the original name of the hill, after the popok temak trees that once covered the slopes.
The area is one of the most exclusive and well healed areas of the country. The trend began in the mid 1800’s when European settlers enjoyed the slightly fresher, cooler air that the area’s elevated status afforded, and built their homes on the slopes and the surrounding land. This can still be seen in many of the street names, which hark back to the British royal family (King’s Road, Queen’s Road, Duchess Road and Prince of Wales Road are all nearby).
Today the region is still popular among wealthy expats as well as the upper echelons of Singaporean society. The area has one of the lowest densities of public housing, and a high proportion of its residencies are low rise, landed properties including some stunning bungalows.
This isn’t the whole story though, there are reasonably priced condominiums in the area, mainly along Bukit Timah Road itself, as well as Dunearn Road. Other developments also exist such as in Pandan Valley and the Adam Park Condominium. In Upper Bukit Timah there are HDB flats at the Bukit Batok and Toh Yi estates which are also very competitively priced. With around 80,000 HDB residents in the area, it has become a favourite for those wishing for a more relaxed way of life, surrounded by open green spaces. The disadvantage this area has had is the lack of public transport. Bus routes serve the main thoroughfares, but the lack of MRT access has put many off. The arrival of the Downtown Line from late 2016 onwards may well see a shift in people’s perceptions on this front.
Education-wise Bukit Timah certainly lives up to its reputation. Whether it is primary, secondary or tertiary establishments you are looking for, the area excels, not just in quantity and choice but also in quality, with some of the finest schools on the island based here. These include:
- Anglo-Chinese School
- Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School
- Henry Park Primary School
- Raffles Girls’ Primary School
- Ghim Moh Primary School
- Nanyang Primary School
- Bukit Timah Primary School
- Methodist Girls’ School
- Nanyang Girls’ High School
- Nanyang Girl’s High School
- Singapore Chinese Girls’ School
- Singapore Institute of Management
- Catholic Junior College
- National Junior College
- National University of Singapore
- Ngee Ann Polytechnic
With the proportion of wealthier residents, there has followed an influx of high end European style cafés and eateries in the area, but once again, you would be mistaken for thinking this tells the whole story. Many local and hawker style places still exist and indeed thrive, with the Adam Road and Bukit Timah Food Centres particularly enjoying a good island-wide reputation.
So while the area’s reputation does hold true, you don’t have to look too far below the surface to find another side, one that connects it very much to the rest of the island.
Looking for new launch condo in this region? Have a look at the residential developments below,
New freehold condos in the prime districts
New Condo Launches in 2015/2016
- Highline Residences
- The Orient
- Principal Garden
- Thomson Impressions
- Sturdee Residences
- Stars Of Kovan
Upcoming Singapore Condos