A Property Investment Guide by a Singaporean living in London

When I speak to London property investors, a common topics that always comes up is which areas is the “hottest” right now. The main criteria for being “hot” is of course an area set to grow in value in the near future, whether it be due to the arrival of a new train line (crossrail), or overall gentrification.

However, its easy to forget there are areas in London that remain timeless investments. One such area is St James, in the West End and part of city of Westminister. St James is home to famous land-marks such Pall Mall (a top investment even in the Monopoly game) , St James Palace (where Price George was recently christened), Jermyn St & Savills Row (no stranger to those in the know on men’s fashion), and Christies, for those fond of priceless antiques.

I was recently invited to join the St James Summer Garden Party in July, part of the London Art Week celebrations  organised by the St James Conservation Trust. As part of the evening’s programme, we also participated in a historic walking tour run by Art HistoryUK.

While I’ve always enjoyed being in the Green Park and St James area, learning more about its long history really helped me to see why this area has been considered “the” place to live since more than 100 years ago. Here were some highlights from London Art Week 2016 in St James:

Dunhill of Pall Mall


The Berry Bros & Rudd Wine Store & Cellars, from the 18th century where Napoleon III plotted his return to France

berry bro

The former home of Nell Gwynn, mistress to King Charles II and a famous actress

nell gymm home 2

St James Palace, the London home of Prince Charles

st james palance

Christie’s auction house, which holds the world record for achieving the highest price of $28m for a rare pink diamond of approximately 16.08 carats, the largest cushion-shaped diamond of its type to come to auction


While talking to a few first time buyers in the Far East, I’ve noticed that many do not pay much attention to whether the flat they have just bought off-plan has a large component of social housing attached to it.

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I went on a Woolwich Arsenal site visit organised by one of London’s largest developers, Berkeley Homes last week. This visit and site tour was organised by a department within Berkeley called the “Sustainability” department, to ensure local key government stakeholders including Councillors, Architects and Housing Association members were engaged during the development process. The tour started off at 5pm in the evening aboard a specially chartered Thames Clipper departing from Westminister Pier.

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As WalkingProperty.com is a housing-focused blog, I’ve mainly been covering topics relating to property trends in London.

However, as many of my readers are also interested in the costs of other living essentials other than rents, so as a follow up to my earlier article, “Singapore or London: How Much I’ve Spent Living in Each City”, I wanted to give my own take on how other essentials such as eating out, entertainment and utilities compare, particularly from the perspective of a Singaporean living in London. It is no secret that rents are the largest expense for many working professionals in London, many spending up to 40% of their income on rent. But if you’ve always thought that everything in London is expensive, do read on – the below may surprise you!

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Johor Bahru properties have never been hotter, and sometimes it seems that everyone, from the retiree dreaming of owning his own private garden  to the young couple seeking a weekend escape from hectic Singapore looking for a 2nd home, to the 30-something white-collar office worker hoping to get rich quick from property investment, have been considering buying a home across the causeway.

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One of the most frequent questions I get from Asia-based investors is what areas are the best to buy in London right now.

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What is the first thing that comes to mind when Londoners think of Chelsea? Most Londoners tend to associate Chelsea with the rich and famous, and later as an afterthought as the home of the Chelsea Football Club.

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While the Royal Docks certainly faces its share of challenges (as outlined in my earlier blog post, ‘Part 1: Can the Royal Docks Regeneration Area Ever Recover From Its Bleak Past?’), there are many promising signs to indicate that this part of South East London is well on its way to becoming one of London’s must-visit places, and could even become the top choice for many Londoners as a place to live. In this post, I outline the transformation of the area, which has attracted strong investment interest into what could well become London’s most sought-after address.

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I visited the VNEB (Vauxhall, Nine Elms and the Battersea) regeneration area for the first time last week, to see firsthand for myself the buzz surrounding what has been hailed as the biggest ever regeneration project in the UK. Despite the many years it would take for transport links and amenities to be put in place, property prices here were already going for a hefty price tag of more than £1,000 psf.

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In ‘Part 1: Can The Royal Docks Recover From Its Bleak Past’, I take a look at the challenges the Royal Docks are currently facing, and issues overseas investors should consider before putting their money into property in this area. 

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