Wandervale Choa Chu Kang EC

Although there is abundant data about vacancy rates in the total Singapore private housing market, there are no official figures on the vacancy rate in single completed condominium developments. However, unlit windows at night tell their own story. The Business Times took some nocturnal photographs from outside ten of these developments in May 2014 and May 2015. The photographs show that in the sampled ten finished projects, the windows were mostly unlit in May 2014 and there were not many more lit Wandervale windows in May this year.

The Wandervale at Choa Chu Kang

To examine why this might be one must look at the different projects to see why so many windows remain unlit at night. Five of the ten condominium developments were completely sold by their developers. These are The Laurels, RV Edge in Shanghai, The Canberra Residences at Sembawang, The Vermont on Cairnhill, and the NV Residences on Pasir Ris Grove. In three other projects, the housing units are mostly sold, figures from June 11th 2015 show that 98.6% of the Marina Bay Suites units are sold, 91% of the Goodwood Residence, Bukit Timah, were sold and 85% of The Interlace units were sold for Wandervale.

Cape Royale and Hilltops were the two remaining developments and here the developers are concentrating on leasing the housing units. Ho Bee and IOI, the developers of Cape Royale, decided in 2003, in the light of the Sentosa Cove market conditions at the time and before the development was complete that they would not sell any of the 302 units in the project. Rents at the development are currently $4.70 to $5.50 Singapore per square foot per month for the three and four bedroom units in the Wandervale Choa Chu Kang development.

At the Hilltops Cairnhill development, the best estimates would indicate that SC Global have sold 62 of the 241 units, but that the developers are now also concentrating on renting out the remaining units. Current rents at this development are currently between seven and nine Singapore dollars per square foot. Although rental activity at both Cape Royale and Hilltops is said to be busy, in the Business Times’ night photographs show that the windows appear to be mainly Wandervale EC unlit.

Wandervale EC near Choa Chu Kang MRT

This seems to be the same even in those projects that were completely or mainly sold by the developers, where the units have been transferred to the buyers continue to remain dark, in spite of what Ong Kah Seng R’ST Research Director referred to as “decent leasing activity” based on the figures for lease commencement since the projects were completed.

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