Rental data to be released on quarterly basis

Businesses will get greater clarity on trends in Singapore’s rental market. Starting on Thursday (Jan 22), more detailed data on rents for retail, office and industrial space will be released by the Government every quarter.

The move comes on the back of calls from businesses for greater transparency in the rental market. Earlier this week, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) introduced the Fair Tenancy Framework, which includes the release of clearer rental data as an initiative.

Many businesses have complained of soaring rental rates imposed by landlords, which threaten to heighten operating costs. With the new move, the public can now view rental data at the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile by floor level and area.

For instance, if one wants to find out the monthly unit rent for retail space at the 25th percentile in District 9, which includes the Orchard area, one can now look at what trends are like for basement units that are 30 square metres and below. Previously, rental data was only released at the 50th percentile and by street name, excluding information by floor level and area.

Ms Cynthia Phua, chairman of the rental practices working group at SBF, said: ‚ÄĚHaving the 25th percentile and the 75th percentile – that part in itself will give a very good range for a tenant who is assessing the rental for that unit itself, whether they are transacting at the upper range of the rental range, or the lower range.”

The new data can be accessed on the websites of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and industrial landlord JTC Corporation.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry said the additional details covering floor level and unit size will help businesses make more informed decisions before signing a contract.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck said: “Feedback from businesses is that we have to be a little bit more specific. Then the question is: How specific we want to go?

“If we want to be too specific, say, for example by every single building, we have a few considerations. Where do you get the data? And whether in obtaining the source of data, whether you actually intrude into the privacy or even … contravene the data privacy law.”

Depending on the response to the new set of data, further adjustments or additional information may be included in the future.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 21 Jan 2015

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