HDB, private apartment rentals set to rise

Rentals for HDB and mass market private apartments are set to rise in the coming years, with more foreign workers heading for Singapore.

Property agents expect rents to climb by about 10 percent this year.

They say HDB flat-owners could gain from the spike in demand.

Singapore’s two integrated resorts will be ready in the next two years.

Besides attracting more tourists, they are also expected to draw thousands of foreign workers to the city state.

Resorts World at Sentosa says it will be hiring 10,000 people directly.

And 40 percent of these jobs will go to foreigners, in view of the manpower crunch in Singapore.

Property agents say some of the foreign workers, especially higher-ranking staff, will have the means to purchase private residential properties.

But they expect the bulk of the workers to tap into the rental market for their housing needs. And this will push prices up in the short-term as supply plays catch up.

On average, monthly rentals for private apartments range between $2,500 and $3,500 dollars.

This may be too much for some workers.

Mohamed Ismail, CEO of PropNex, said: “The public housing becomes next best alternative where today people are still able to rent at $1,500 to $2,000. I expect this trend to continue, as far as estates that will have a greater demand … such as those in Telok Blangah, Bukit Merah, Bishan, Toa Payoh. Anything that is not too far away from town or to the integrated resorts will definitely have greater take-up rates.”

Industry players say private residential properties currently enjoy a rental yield of some 5 percent, while that of HDB flats is between 8 and 10 percent – among the highest ever in Singapore for public housing.

All in, agents expects rentals to climb by some 10 percent in the next two years. – CNA/de

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 3 Apr 2008

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