Choa Chu Kang: From Plantation to New Town

Choa Chu Kang is one of Singapore’s earliest developed estate, starting as a plantation before turning into a fun blown heartland neighbourhood in 1977. This town, situated in the North-western part of Singapore, is a veritable HDB heartland with some great heritage!

Plantation History

Choa Chu Kang gets its name from the Teochew word for Plantation Owners, which is “Kang Chu”. It was an appropriate name for its time because gambier and pepper plantations line the river banks of the area in the earlier days of Singapore.

Villagers stayed in attap houses, and kampungs were commonplace. It was only in 1977 that the first HDB neighbourhood was complete at Teck Whye Avenue.

15 Teck Whye Lane. Picture: iProperty

Heavily Heartland

Today, Choa Chu Kang is home to 167,000 residents and 48,900 HDB flats. The estate’s heavily heartland slant means that there’s an abundant supply of flats, making prices fairly reasonable. Additionally, some of the flats here are a little older, so you actually get solid layouts and larger floor areas here in Choa Chu Kang, than in many of the newer estates.

On the higher end of things, you have the very rare executive maisonettes that plenty of people are hankering after. On the surface, they don’t look particularly cheap when they lie in the $600,000 region, but their 1600 – 1700 sq ft sizing means they fall within a very reasonable $350 – $400 per sq ft pricing range.

There’s actually an entire slew of these maisonettes on the resale market, which is a great buying opportunity for upgraders.

409 Choa Chu Kang Ave 3. Picture: iProperty

On the other end of the HDB spectrum, 2 and 3 room flats also rarely break the $375 per sq ft mark, meaning that the actual quantum of such units are affordably low. A 721 sq ft, 3 room flat along Teck Whye Avenue is going at $260,000, or $360 per sq ft.

484A Choa Chu Kang Ave 5. Picture: iProperty

The rental market is also very reasonable in the area. Unlike more popular heartland towns, where rental units can ask for a $2.50 – $4 per sq ft price, the rental rates here rarely touch the $2 mark. This means bargains galore for those looking for entire apartments, as the quantum is most definitely lower! A great example is an entire executive maisonette along Choa Chu Kang North Ave 5 going at $2300, or $1.46 per square foot!

Private Options Available

I’m not going to neglect the private market here, because Choa Chu Kang does have some great choices.

The Warren. Picture: iProperty

I think a great place to star would be near the MRT station, and The Warren is right next to it. Choa Chu Kang Loop has some well-positioned condominiums, but few as close to the MRT as The Warren.

Apartments in this 699 unit development run the gamut of bedroom sizes, with the largest being 4 bedrooms, 2519 sq ft units. Prices are at a premium for this neighbourhood, with an 1862 sq ft 4-bedder going at $1.55 million, or $832 per sq ft.

Northvale condominium. Picture: iProperty

A short distance away sits a slightly better priced Northvale Condominium. While the units available at this particular development are nowhere as large, I would say that the price per sq ft puts this development in a much sweeter spot. A 1670 sq ft apartment here would ask for a $718 per sq ft price, so there’s some great value to be unlocked here.

The private rental market here can throw up quite a few bargains. After all, the most expensive of the lot near the MRT station doesn’t touch $2.50 per sq ft, which is low considering the usual premiums that come attached to condominiums in Singapore.

A 3 bedroom 1324 sq ft apartment at Northvale Condominiums comes in a $2900, or $2.19 per square foot, which is quite a value for money.

Well-Supported Heartland

Lot 1 Shopping Centre. Picture: iProperty

It’s pretty great place when it comes to keeping yourself entertained and well-supplied. After all, Lot One Shopping mall holds everything a resident needs. Lot One is pretty large and well-connected to both the Bukit Panjang LRT line and the Choa Chu Kang MRT station. It’s 6 floors and 326151 square feet hold a variety of food and entertainment options, as well as an NTUC FairPrice. The mall also has a cinema on the top floor.

RelatedSecret Garden of the NorthWest: Bukit Panjang

Just a short distance away is the well-received Choa Chu Kang Park. This park is 11 hectares large, and has playgrounds for children, a small skate plaza and even an allotment garden for those who want a space to create their own garden!

Bargains Galore

Choa Chu Kang might not be as snazzy a neighbourhood as Tampines or as centrally located as Tanjong Pagar, but it’s not as remote as many people think it to be. As such, the pricing of the apartments here are basically a steal as compared to many other neighbourhoods, and are totally worth a look.

Related: Sun rises in the West for property sector