RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Massive flat glut looms with over 24,000 empty private condos islandwide

Overall vacancy rate spiked to 7.8% in Q4.

An immense number of non-landed condominium units are standing empty across the island. Latest data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed that 24,062 completed private condo units stood empty across Singapore in the fourth quarter, up from 21,569 empty units in the third quarter.

A total of 308,814 units are available islandwide as of the fourth quarter, up 2.1% from 302,510 units in the third quarter. With the increase in available completed units, the island-wide vacancy rate for private residential unit also increased to 7.8% in the fourth quarter.

According to JLL, this figure is higher than the 7.1% reported for the past two quarters and is significantly higher than the low of 5.2% recorded in 1Q13.

“As the bulk of new completions are in the non-landed segment, its vacancy rate rose sharply from 8.2 per cent in 3Q14 to 9.1 per cent in the fourth quarter. If it trends towards 10 per cent, it would reach the high vacancies recorded during the 2004/05 period when rents were depressed,” JLL stated in a report.

“The increased supply of completed units is exacerbating the softening in the leasing market, with the rental index falling by 1 per cent in 4Q14 and by 3 per cent for the whole year. Rents in CCR have fallen by 3.7 per cent in 2014, more than the other segments as the higher rents in CCR become less affordable to tenants with tighter housing budgets,” the report added.  

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