Touring Everton/Blair Road: Freehold Conservation Landed Houses That Are Convenient But Not Near Schools
- May 7, 2023
- 12 min read
I’ve always been fascinated by conservation houses and would love to live in one. Of course, I don’t think that it would be possible, given that the ones at Emerald Hill started from about $10 million at the time of writing! When I was in Chinatown the other day doing research for my next article series (about co-living), I saw a row of residential shophouses at Blair Road that was going for “only” $ 6 million and above!
(There was even one going for $4 million-ish but I’m guessing that’s the exception and not the rule, as that plot of land is on the smaller side.)
Note: Similar to the piece I wrote on landed properties at Lucky Plaza, I’m not suggesting that $ 6 million is cheap. However, given that it’s almost half the price of the Emerald Hill properties AND you don’t seem to be paying a hefty premium for the conservation status here, I thought that the Blair Road properties were interesting and worth featuring! Moreover, despite being conserved, some properties are fairly modern and have swimming pools.
Before we start our tour, here’s the Master Plan and the map of the area, for those not familiar with Blair Road. As you can see, the landed houses here consist of 2-3 rows of properties, bounded by Kampong Bahru Road, Neil Road, Everton Road and Spottiswoode Park Road.
As shown above, the houses are sandwiched between a row of commercial shophouses, some HDB estates, a hospital, a few high-rise condos, a bus terminal and a large park (zoned as such so you don’t have to worry about it disappearing.) The land on which the bus terminal sits is subject to further planning but, for now, appears to be zoned residential. Within the landed conservation houses themselves, there are also 7 properties which are zoned as “residential with commercial at 1st storey.”
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s start our tour!
However, not all units are built like this. (I used to tutor a girl who lived in one of these shophouses, and her house was much more liveable as they didn’t have these steep stairs.)
However, since they’re open to all and 1st-come-1st-serve, you may not be able to park right outside your unit. (I do recall my student’s Mother saying that one of the problems you have staying in a conservation house is the lack of parking!)
Also, note how the house in the middle has taken advantage of the fact that there are no neighbours directly facing it and converted the solid wall into a glass one. (Conservation houses can be a bit dark, and the glass wall will help to let in more light!)
If you’re not a fan of Kith cafe, there are more choices just one row down, along Kampong Bahru Road, but I’ll show you the rest of the residential area before making my way over there.
Now the houses here are so beautiful, and so diverse in architectural styles (ranging from Chinese and Malay to Art Deco and Modern), that I could flood you with endless photos of the area, but I figure it’ll be more helpful to show you the rest of the neighbourhood, so I’ll just leave you with these 2 photos of the roads between the houses.
If you turn left at the main road above, you find a bus stop which has many bus connections: 2, 12, 54, 61, 121, 122, 124, 143, 147, 166, 167, 174, 190, 196, 197, 961 and 961M. Moreover, the nearest MRT station (Outram Park) is only an 8-minute walk away, so you can see how well-connected this residential enclave is. Another nearby MRT station, Cantonment MRT, will also be completed in 2026.
Turn right and you immediately reach a coffee shop which sells prata and Nasi Padang etc. (There were people dining there so I didn’t take a photo, so as not to intrude on their privacy.)
If you’re not keen on local food, you can also find other eateries such as this Bistrobar, an ice cream house, Canadian Pizza…
There are several other eateries that I’m not showing here but I think you get the idea – there’s basically no lack of choice when it comes to food in the area!
The commercial offering here is so comprehensive, I remember thinking I would like to live here when I used to come over for tuition.
There are a few other offices, as well as a building that has been turned into a museum (NUS Baba House), after which we find the residential houses. You can see a video of the conservation houses along Neil Road here.
Personally, I’d still prefer to live along Blair Road as the houses along Neil Road definitely get much more road noise. Also, do note that the houses in Blair Road are freehold but some of the properties along Neil Road are 99-year leasehold.
We’ve now reached the last shophouse, bringing us back to the HDB estate where we started the tour. If you want to see more of the Everton Park HDB estate, check out this video. (FYI there’s a bus stop here too, with buses 61, 166, 167, 196 and 197.)
Note that there is a condo in the middle of construction down this way but I didn’t hear much construction noise during my tour.
We’ve now reached the end of the tour. How did you find the area?
Personally, I loved the area and I loooooooove conservation housing. However, I must say it’s not for everyone. For example, many Singaporean parents may not find the area ideal as it’s not near any famous primary schools. (The closest are Cantonment Primary and CHIJ Kellock.) And note how we didn’t spot any playgrounds within the landed enclave (although residents can always use the ones at the neighbouring HDB estates.)
Last but not least, living in a conservation house isn’t the most convenient. I have friends who love it enough to have stayed in several but even they acknowledge the issues that come with the houses- parking, pests, soundproofing etc. The family that I tutored who lived in Blair Road eventually chose not to renew their tenancy because there was a terrible leak in the house. Another acquaintance used to rent out a conservation property but eventually chose to sell it because there were just too many maintenance issues to make it worthwhile for her.
I would say living in a heritage house is really a passion project: you must love the history and charm enough to put up with the problems!
Join me again next week as I go back to touring “regular” houses!