Last June, the Business Times put together a photo essay of how "empty" some private condos are in Singapore. Certain condos have all their units sold, but comes the night and you will see a lot of the homes without their lights on.
Today, The New Paper has an article about the "possible" reasons why this is the case. The reasons varied from HDB up-graders to foreigners owning several homes in Singapore. I have a better reason for the empty condos; people buy them not to stay but for "investments".
The problem is that the "investments" are not panning out. The buyers don't stay at the condos, but they can't get a decent price for the homes so they hold on to them. Thus the dark condos phenomenon. And it will be that way for quite awhile.
For all the talk about the softening property market, property prices has not really dropped. Now before you starting shouting that I'm saying nonsense, consider this; property prices in Singapore has dropped about 10-15% since it's height (if that), and that's after a rise in property of over 100% in the past 10 years. If you look at the property market in that context, who wouldn't hold on to their property? That's what I'll do. Hold on to them till the market turns. It's the logical thing to do right? If the "softening" of the property market is just 10%, why not hold on to your property? It's not like it's going to crash.
So guess what? Till the market turns, dark condos are here to stay.