For anyone who has lived in Singapore for at least twenty years, you know how drastically the place has changed.

Just look at a picture of its skyline from the 1960s.

singapore skyline 1970s

The skyline in the 1970s.

It’s been 51 years since Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965. In this time, the city-state has established itself as a global center, with some of the most expensive and luxurious real estates in the world.

singapore skyline today

Singapore’s skyline today!

Let’s take a look at some of the milestone’s in Singapore’s exciting real estate history.

1965 – Singapore becomes a sovereign state.  As the Republic of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew is still Prime Minister, while the HDB chief is still Lim Kim Sam, who was behind the construction of many high-rise flats, many of which are still used today.

1980‘s – Industries like education, medical, information technology, and software, get a major boost from Singapore’s Economic Development Board. Through intensive training programs, this boost in industry bolstered Singapore’s reputation as a capital-intensive and high-tech nation, indirectly allowing the real estate industry to benefit from larger incomes.

1984 –  The Ascott Limited is established as a pioneer in the serviced residences industry.  Today they operate some 35,000 units; they are the largest international serviced apartment operator worldwide.

1999 – The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) is formed under the Ministry of National Development to promote and enforce building quality.

2005 – Singapore and Malaysia sign ‘The Settlement Agreement’  to settle a territorial dispute over land reclamation. The BCA begins issuing the BCA Green Mark Certification for establishments that show environmental sustainability, innovative features, and efficient designs and construction methods.

2009 –The country’s premier commercial district, Orchard Road, undergoes a S$40 million renovation and beautification plan. The same year, Singaporean authorities introduce the first round of cooling measures to control soaring property prices.

marina bay sands

2010 – Marina Bay Sands opens. Located in the newly constructed downtown area, Bay Sands combines high-end retail, commercial, leisure and hospitality elements. In recognition of the world’s most sustainable cities, the biennial Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is established.

2013 – Singapore overtakes Tokyo as the most expensive city in the world, revealed the Economist Intelligence Unit. One of the most expensive residences in Singapore, located on 33 Nassim Road, lists on the market for S$242 million.

This year, Singapore rents are dropping. This can be attributed to fewer banking expats in the city. However, property prices are still quite high. Cooling measures have remained in place. Hong Kong is the most expensive Asian city, but Singapore sits just behind. Singapore remains a leader in sustainable, eco-friendly architecture, merging luxury with sustainable techniques.

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