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Photo from JLL

8 suburban areas to watch for retail investment

These areas have low provision of retail space compared to resident populations.

The planning areas of Sengkang, Choa Chu Kang, Punggol, Bukit Batok, Woodlands, Bedok, Yishun and Jurong West offer strong potential for retailers to enhance their trading performance.

According to JLL, the relatively low provision of retail space compared to resident populations makes these planning areas attractive investment opportunities.

"We expect investment activity to centre around the Suburban sub-market, which is favoured for its historical stability in offering necessity retail supported by a ready residential catchment. Areas with underprovision of retail space and population growth offer particularly strong potential to enhance trading performance, and this is expected to attract capital," JLL commented.

Apart from having a sizeable population base of more than 150,000, JLL believes the eight areas will benefit from "growing resident catchment alongside the completion of built-to-order (BTO) units over the next five years.

Of the eight, JLL said Woodlands and Yishun planning areas stand out given their relatively large population bases of between 220,000 and 260,000 each and healthy population growths.

Citing examples, JLL reported that Northpoint City in Yishun has an occupancy of 99.7%, whilst Causeway Point has an occupancy rate of 99.6%. Retail space per capita in the two planning areas is 5.9 and 4.9, respectively.

"Woodlands expects to see some 7,000–7,500 BTO units over the next five years, while Yishun anticipates about 5,0005,500 coming on-stream in the same period," JLL commented.

Bukit Panjang, Paris Ris, and Sembawang

For planning areas with a population base of 100,000-150,000, JLL said  Bukit Panjang, Paris Ris, and Sembawang are standouts, given their notably low retail space provisions relative to the resident population. 

"The less competitive retail operating conditions bode well for the trading performance of malls in these areas," JLL said.

JLL reports that Sun Plaza in Sembawang, with a retail space per capita of 4.4, maintains a 100% occupancy rate.

Bukit Panjang, with a retail space per capita of 4.4, is home to Bukit Panjang Plaza, which also enjoys 100% occupancy.

Meanwhile,  White Sands, located in Pasir Ris with a retail space per capita of 4.5, boasts an occupancy rate of 99.8%.

Tengah

Commenting on Tengah, JLL said retail areas in the planning area, which is an  emerging housing estate, "offer strong upside in their trading performance due to the strong population growth potential."

 "More than 20,000 public housing units will be completed over the next five years and there are currently minimal retail amenities in the area," JLL said.

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