Expert Eye: Choa Chu Kang

Housing prices of District 23’s Choa Chu Kang has long been affected by its sheer distance from Central Singapore, where the business and shopping districts can be found.

(Lot 1 shopping centre represents one of the focal hubs of Choa Chu Kang. Image courtesy of mailer_diablo.)

As such, hardly anyone will find it surprising that the average price per square foot (psf) of HDBs found in this Western Region estate has remained consistently and remarkably lower than that of all the national average.

(Source: Streetsine Analytics)

The above graph shows that despite the steady rising of the Choa Chu Kang’s average psf over the past year, it hardly even manages to come close to the national average, cementing the Choa Chu Kang estate’s reputation as being one of the cheapest places to live in Singapore.

More interestingly, as HDB prices reach a plateau nearing the end of 2011, Choa Chu Kang saw a mild fluctuation in its psf prices. One possible explanation for the two dips in August and October 2011 is buyer sentiment: as prices of HDBs in other more sought after HDBs come closer to a standstill, buyers are likely to want to pay a bit more to secure the good locations, resulting in a drop in demand.

Similarly, the median resale price of 4-Room flats in Choa Chu Kang have also consistently records a significantly lower values than that of the average HDB.

Zooming in to the month of October 2011, and we can see that after a good performance in September 2011, there has been a dip in prices. This could be a sign of the effects of the smaller homes trend that an increasing number of homebuyers are embracing, which upon further understanding, would reveal that buyers are prioritising shorter travelling times over bigger houses.

Overall, the massive distance from town (and the consequent long travelling times) that plagues Choa Chu Kang, coupled by the fact that the large estate only has basic amenities (and residents would be required to travel out of the area to meet their needs), makes Choa Chu Kang a relatively unpopular area to stay as we can observe from the table below.

Probably the only two advantages the area’s has that can counter said disadvantages are the significantly lower HDB prices as well as its excellent public transport network.

However, with some parts of the estates currently undergoing upgrading works—possibly in a bid to keep up with the newer suburbs’ fanciful facilities—there is a chance that the older estate might become more popular among home seekers in the near future.