Historic colonial bungalows favourites with UK expats in Singapore

Published:  17 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: UK, South Africa, England
House-hunting expats who’ve recently arrived in Singapore are falling in love with the city-state’s historic ‘black and white’ colonial bungalows.

Reminiscent of Singapore’s colonial history and the British Raj, the spacious, quirky single-storey homes were designed and built in the 1930s in the Tudorbethan style favoured by Victorian home-buyers. Whitewashed walls highlighted with black-stained timbers hide original features designed to make the most of the colony’s warm, tropical climate. Wide eaves, high ceilings and shutters allow for shade and circulating air, making these unique homes cool and comfortable in the heat. The broad verandas are perfect for parties and get-togethers in the fresh Singaporean evenings, and help protect the properties from the worst of the rains.

The originality and charm of the bungalows has ensured their popularity with expats arriving from the UK to take up positions in the former colony or enjoy their retirement in this Southeast Asian hotspot. The luxuriously-finished spacious interiors, around 2,000 square feet in the single storey homes and up to 11,000 in the villas, allow plenty of space for families, and look out onto lush tropical greenery.

Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority has listed 100 of these unique properties as conservation buildings, the majority of which are privately owned. Although the bungalows are highly sought after by incoming British expats, few sales actually take place. Most of the 500 units in total are leased out by their owners, with just a few slated as commercial buildings.

Expats who are lucky enough to get their hands on one of these historic treasures will love living in a colonial time-warp surrounded by peace, quiet and lush tropical foliage. Since the end of 2012, rental rates have dropped considerably, due to market-cooling strategies by the government. The hard part comes when it’s time to relocate back to the UK, leaving just memories of this unique living experience.
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