There was a lot of talk about buying a public flat there in the late 1990's, as actors and celebrities liked the bohemian/nostalgic feel of the place. One of the drawbacks that many nay-sayers mentioned was that the 99 year old lease hold apartments only had 60-70 years lease left. Even though they were priced around the $300000 - $500000 price level, many hesitated about buying a place there. Today, they are priced at over a million Singapore dollars, limited years lease left on the 99 year lease or not!
I tend to admire and give respect to those who dared to take the risks, despite what everyone else was saying and just do it. And they reap the rewards now of taking the leap to live in an aging estate in "old" apartments with massive property capital appreciation.