June 17, 2021
Raffles Place is the centre of the Financial District of Singapore and is located south of the mouth of the Singapore River. Moreover, Raffles Place is a commercial space that includes buildings such as the Arcade, Clifford Centre, Straits Trading, Hong Kong Bank and OCBC Building – all situated within five minutes’ walking distance of one another. With such a prime location, Raffles Place has similarities with Thu Thiem urban in Vietnam which is located next to the Saigon River and easy to move to important places of Ho Chi Minh city.
Raffles Place in Singapore
Raffles Square was assigned by Sir Stamford Raffles as a commercial square in 1822. Raffles had decided to relocate the business sector across the Singapore River to its southwestern bank. This area, however, was swampy and had to be reclaimed. Therefore, under Raffles' supervision, the hill was leveled, and its soil was then used to reclaim the marshy southern bank of the Singapore River, forming the Boat Quay and Circular Road area. Commercial Square was created from the reclamation of the swampy southern bank of the river, with the development of business and commerce along the waterfront. Many of the merchants ran their businesses in Commercial Square and lived above their offices. Commercial Square was officially renamed Raffles Place, after Raffles, on 8 March 1858.
Commercial Square was created as an open space 200 yards long by 50 yards wide, with a small garden in the middle. Land in the area around the square was sold in lost through auction at $1200 and $1500 apiece. The expansion freed up a larger area designated for commerce and attracted more businesses such as retail store and banks to the area
Raffles Place in 1920
Thu Thiem urban area is located on Thu Thiem peninsula (District 2, Ho Chi Minh City), opposite District 1 across the Saigon River, with a total area of 657 hectares. Approved by the Government since 1996, this peninsula is expected to become a financial and commercial center of international stature and is expected to be the most beautiful city in Southeast Asia.
In the beginning, the price of land in the Thu Thiem area was extremely low. Many people in An Loi Dong ward were informed of compensation for agricultural land at the price of 150,000 - 200,000 VND per m2 in 2003. Meanwhile, the lowest compensation for residential land is 1.95 million VND per m2 and the highest in the following years is about 18 million VND per m2. Depending on the location and route, residential land in Thu Thiem recorded a market price of about 25 million VND per square meter.
As Raffles Place, Thu Thiem urban area entered the stage of infrastructure construction, attracting and calling for investment, pushing land prices here skyrocketing. In September 2015, in a report on Thu Thiem published by CBRE Vietnam, the average land price in Thu Thiem, District 2 reached a high level, recording more than 3,000 USD per square meter (equivalent to 68 million VND per square meter)
Both are peninsulas and surrounded by large rivers that are advantageous for the quick development of urban regions, as well as for the transportation and work of residents.
Raffles Place is regarded as a "gold mine," with real estate investors flocking to the area regularly. The price of luxury apartments has risen fastly to around 8,000 - 10,000 USD per sqm. Moreover, Raffles place even owns real estate projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Real estate rental prices also increased between 17% and over 35% so far.
Thu Thiem has had consistent economic growth from 2010 to the present. Real estate in Thu Thiem started at 2500 USD/m2 when it was originally launched in 2015. Currently, the price is between 5500 and 7000 USD/m2 (depending on product line and location). Like Raffles Place, Real estate rental prices also increased sharply to 15-20%.
In conclusion, because of its commercial character and high real estate value, Raffles Place has undergone many changes over more than 180 years, since its formation in the 1820s. However, it has remained the heart of Singapore’s financial district. Therefore, It can be seen that Thu Thiem urban will also bring positive signs in terms of real estate and commercial value in the future because its starting point is the same as Raffles Place.
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