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The New Paper
Sep 19, 2017
It costs less than half a million dollars to become a neighbour of the President of Singapore.
That is what can get you a flat in the Yishun Avenue 4 block where President Halimah Yacob has her family home.
It has been dubbed the "Yistana", a combination of Yishun and Istana, the official residence of the country's head of state.
Madam Halimah's jumbo flat made headlines recently after she said she will continue living there while in office.
At least one housing agent has capitalised on this, marketing a unit three floors below the President's as a place with high security.
Mr Lawrence Ng, 35, an agent with ERA Singapore, listed the unit on Carousell on Saturday.
He also listed it on Property-Guru on Sunday and has marketed it on social media.
Captioned "Yistana for Sale", the listing is of a five-room corner unit going for $460,000.
It features a "security officer" along the corridor, and of signs for reserved lots in the carpark.
"It's an interesting location. Residents will feel much safer with the 24-hour surveillance," Mr Ng told The New Paper yesterday.
"There have been a few interested parties calling me up and I'm optimistic that interest in Yishun property will go up."
The owner, Mr Wong, 35, a civil servant, has lived there for more than a decade.
"We already had plans to sell the unit before any names even came up for the presidency," he said.
"We've met Madam Halimah a couple of times and she's very friendly, always being the one to start a conversation."
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, which officially opened in 2010, has become a major part of the Yishun landscape.
The megamall Northpoint City is also set to open in the area by the end of the year and will feature more than 400 retail and dining outlets.
Property agents believe it is too soon to say if President Halimah's presence in Yishun will have any effect on the value of property in the vicinity.
Mr Alex Zhan, 28, an agent with Singapore Estate Agency, said: "Nothing much has changed so far in terms of interest and prices are unlikely to be affected by the President of Singapore living in Yishun.
"It should be picking up soon, but that's mainly because of other factors such as the usual supply and demand cycle."