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Neighbourhood Estate Guide: Is Yishun Simply Misunderstood?

From pineapples to bustling neighbourhood.

For one reason or another, Yishun, at one point in time, was often mentioned in the media, accompanied by negative news. From a series of cat killings, brothel raids, rioting and even murder.

So much so, Netflix featured Yishun in its supernatural series, Stranger Things, with the caption, “Is Yishun cursed, simply unlucky or struck by something stranger?.”

But it can’t be all that bad, …right? In fact, our President, Halimah Yacob, stayed in Yishun for 30 years before moving out due to her presidency.

In our latest Neighbourhood Estate Guide Series, we uncover if it is a case of bias reporting and find out whether Yishun as a town is a diamond in the rough.

Read Also: Neighbourhood Estate Guide: Smart Forest Living In Tengah – Singapore’s First Car-Free HDB Town Centre

Based on the Singapore Department of Statistics for Population Trend 2020, Yishun is home to 221,610 people. The planning area consists of nine sub-zones: Yishun Central, Northland, Yishun East, Yishun South, Lower Seletar Reservoir, Springleaf, Nee Soon, Khatib and Yishun West.

Before we look at the present happenings in Yishun, let us first understand its origins.

History – Named After Its Prominent Rubber And Pineapple Plantation Owner  

Yishun is the hanyu pinyin of “Nee Soon”. It was named after the prominent businessman, Lim Nee Soon, aka Pineapple King, who pioneered the local rubber plantation industry in Singapore and was also a major owner of pineapple plantations in the area stretching from Seletar river to Sungei Sembawang.

With the modernisation of Singapore, the old Nee Soon Village and its farms made way in 1976 for the current Yishun New Town to take shape.

Yishun is one of the earliest middle-aged HDB towns with the first few flats built at Chong Pang. Today, it is transformed as a shopping area made up of 125 shops, a hawker centre and a wet market serving the needs of many residents.

This brings us to the business activities in Yishun.

Business Activity – Mainly Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

The healthcare sector is one of the main employment drivers in Yishun. The National Healthcare Group operates the integrated development that houses the (795-bed) Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and the adjoining (428-bed) Yishun Community Hospital, collectively also known as Yishun Health. Furthermore, with the opening of Khatib polyclinic by 2026, there will be two polyclinics, with the other being the existing Yishun Polyclinic, serving the residents of Yishun.

During the British occupation, Yishun was associated with military presence due to the British Naval base. Now though, the men and women in uniform who are commonly sighted are from our Singapore Armed Forces and Air Force. There are around six camp bases sited in Yishun, employing men and women in various fields of work.

Today, the bulk of employment in Yishun is made up of small and medium-sized businesses operating from HDB commercial spaces and industrial developments along Yishun Avenue 6 and Gambas Avenue.

As a heartland town, Yishun may not be a major employment node. However, there are numerous entry-level employment opportunities for those who wish to work near their homes.

Accessibility – Good Connectivity To Other Parts Of The Island

Singapore has one of the best public transportation networks amongst developed countries. And Yishun is certainly a beneficiary of that system, despite its positioning in the northern region of Singapore.

Located in Yishun Town Centre, the Yishun Integrated Transport Hub (ITH), is the tenth ITH in Singapore. It was opened in 2019 and is connected to the Yishun MRT station. Aside from the feeder bus services providing interconnectivity within the town, there are also bus services plying to other parts of Singapore.

For example, residents can travel to north-east regions such as Sengkang and Punggol within 30 minutes to an hour. The other bus services take residents to the eastern regions of Bedok and Tampines, the central regions of Bukit Merah, Habourfront, New Bridge Road and Temasek Avenue and western region of Bukit Batok.

For rail transportation, residents can connect to the North-South line from either the Khatib or Yishun MRT stations. For residents in Springleaf, they can also hop on the Thomson line, which connects them to Orchard and eventually, Sungei Bedok.

For motorists, it takes about 30 minutes to reach either the shopping belt of Orchard Road or the Central Business District via the Central Expressway. Moreover, with the construction of the new road along Yishun Avenue 8, residents have quicker access to Seletar West Link, which provides them with an alternative route to the Central, Tampines and Selatar Expressways. Additionally, the bottleneck issue during peak hours at the junction of Lentor Avenue and Yishun Avenue 1 has been improved to allow smoother traffic flow.


Based on 2020 statistics, Yishun has a land area of about 778 hectares with over 65,158 dwelling units under HDB’s management, with a target of 84,000.

Based on the 1Q2022 Resale Statistics by HDB, the median resale prices in Yishun transacted closer to the bottom quartile range, which is as follows:

Median Resale HDB Prices
3-Room 4-Room 5-Room Executive
Yishun $360,000 $450,000 $582,500 $800,000

 Source: HDB

Read Also: HDB Price Guide: 5 Cheapest HDB Estates For 2022

We can group the resale HDB flats in Yishun into three categories. The first category of HDB flats is the pioneer batch. They were built between 1978 to 1990 and form the biggest base of available flats, based on the listings on property portals. The second category of flats is the middle-aged flats, which were built between 1991 and 2010. Again, based on the property listings, this category of flats forms the smallest group. Lastly, we have the newer HDB flats, that were built from 2011 to 2020. This category forms the second-largest group of flats that are available on the resale market.

Despite being predominantly an HDB enclave, Yishun does offer home upgraders more than a handful of private residential options including the upcoming executive condominium development, North Gaia at Yishun Avenue 9.

There are also two landed clusters in Yishun. The first is the Springside and Springleaf estates, a freehold cluster along Sembawang Road and Upper Thomson Road and the other is a 99-year leasehold estate, the Shaughnessy, along Yishun Ave 1.

Yishun was among the first few towns to undergo estate renewal programs to uplift and rejuvenate its surroundings. More recently, plans to rejuvenate Chong Pang City in the form of a new integrated development with a community centre, market and hawker centre including other facilities like swimming pool were announced in 2020.

Read Also: Complete Guide To HDB’s Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP)

Despite being billed as a non-mature town by HDB, Yishun provides many of the conveniences in terms of amenities and communal facilities that you would come to expect from a mature town without any frills.

Education – Good Mix Of Educational Institutions

When it comes to schools in Yishun, there are plenty of options for parents with children under the age of 18. Most of these educational institutions are well distributed throughout the town, making it convenient for residents to choose a school close to their homes.

For parents with preschoolers, there are four MOE-based kindergartens in Yishun, along with a few more privately operated centres such as Little Footprints Preschool, Little Petals Preschool, E-bridge Preschool, Star Learners @ Yishun and Skool4kidz Campus @ Yishun.

MOE Kindergartens
No Name of Kindergarten Location
1 MOE Kindergarten @ Huamin 21 Yishun Avenue 11, S768857
2 MOE Kindergarten @ Naval Base 7 Yishun Avenue 4, S769028
3 MOE Kindergarten @ North View 210 Yishun Avenue 6, S768960
4 MOE Kindergarten @ Yishun 500 Yishun Ring Road, S768679

 (list arranged in alphabetical order)     

Next, we have 10 primary schools in Yishun. With the recent revision by the Ministry Of Education (MOE) on the Home-School Distance (HSD), which is now calculated using the shortest distance from a point on the boundary around the school to the applicant’s home, prospective residents have a slightly wider area to select their next home.

The list below states the 10 MOE-based primary schools.

MOE Primary School
No Name of School Location
1 Ahmad Ibrahim Primary School 10 Yishun Street 11, S768643
2 Chongfu School 170 Yishun Avenue 6, S768959
3 Huamin Primary School 21 Yishun Avenue 11, S768857
4 Jiemin Primary School 2 Yishun Street 71, S768515
5 Naval Base Primary School 7 Yishun Avenue 4, S769028
6 Northland Primary School 15 Yishun Avenue 4, S769026
7 North View Primary School 210 Yishun Avenue 6, S768960
8 Peiying Primary School 651 Yishun Ring Road, S768687
9 Xishan Primary School 8 Yishun Street 21, S768611
10 Yishun Primary School 500 Yishun Ring Road, S768679

(list arranged in alphabetical order)     

Read Also: HDB Property Prices Near Popular Primary Schools: Do They Really Cost More?

Unlike primary schools, entry into the selected secondary depends on the applicant’s PSLE results. There are eight such secondary schools in Yishun and one junior college that may interest parents with children aged 18 and below.

The list below states the MOE-based secondary and tertiary schools in Yishun.

MOE Secondary School
No Name of School Location
1 Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School 751 Yishun Avenue 7, S768928
2 Chung Cheng High School (Yishun) 11 Yishun Street 61, S768547
3 Naval Base Secondary School 901 Yishun Ring Road, S768689
4 Northbrooks Secondary School 585 Yishun Ring Road, S768692
5 Northland Secondary School 3 Yishun Street 22, S768578
6 Orchid Park Secondary School 10 Yishun Street 81, S768454
7 Yishun Secondary School 4 Yishun Street 71, S768516
8 Yishun Town Secondary School 6 Yishun Street 21, S768610
1 Yishun Innova Junior College 3 Yishun Ring Road, S768675

(list arranged in alphabetical order)     

All in all, there is a good mix of educational institutions in Yishun.

As the saying goes, “all work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy”. We shall next look at the recreation options in Yishun where residents can unwind.

Recreation – Shopping And Recreational Activities

When it comes to shopping malls, the notable ones include Northpoint City, Golden Village Yishun and Junction 9, a mixed development.

Amongst these, Northpoint City is more popular as it is a community-centric shopping mall, housing the community centre and over 370 retail and dining outlets. It also has a community library, making it a one-stop destination to learn, entertain, and bond with members of the community.

Residents also have the option to relax and play at the Safra Yishun clubhouse or the recently opened HomeTeamNS, a five-storey clubhouse featuring an indoor adventure hub, including a tactical simulator, a gym and an eco-filtration swimming pool, or enjoy prawning and fishing at Orto, Singapore’s first multi-recreational park that is open 24 hours.

For nature lovers and sports enthusiasts, they can enjoy the many park facilities in Yishun including the award-winning Yishun Nature Park or play some golf at the Orchid Country Club or cycle along the Northern Explorer Loop, which starts from Lower Seletar Reservoir Park to the Woodlands Waterfront.

Read Also: Price Guide to Country Club Memberships in Singapore

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Criteria Ratings Remarks
Pedigree Average Yishun has a good pedigree for being a “blue-collar” town, with many of its early residents operating small and medium-sized businesses. Though the town has aged with its residents, the government has taken steps to revitalise it through the Remaking Our Heartland (ROH) programme to maintain its attractiveness as a town for new residents.
Accessibility Average Connections to other parts of Singapore are fairly decent in terms of public transportation system.
Affordability Very Good In terms of public housing, the average prices in Yishun are close to the lowest median prices in Singapore. Therefore, it is amongst the more affordable towns in Singapore.
Schools Good There is a good mix of learning institutions in Yishun that are well distributed around the town and should serve most of the children in Yishun.
Recreation Very Good As a heartland town, Yishun has plenty of recreational options both indoors and outdoors. From its parks, fishing spots, golf courses, recreational clubs and one-stop shopping malls, there are plenty of places to spend one’s leisure time.
Investment Potential Average The prices in Yishun are lower than in other parts of Singapore, making it a good entry-level option for budget-conscious homeowners. However, it has no upcoming master plans or major catalysts to boost its attractiveness as a town to live, work and play. As such, we rate it as “average” for its future investment potential.


This article was first published on 8 March 2022 and has been updated to reflect new information.

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