Singapore condo and HDB rents stagnant in February; rental volume falls: SRX

The rental market for non-landed private properties and HDB flats in Singapore remained stagnant in February, with volume in both markets recording a double-digit drop month on month, going by flash estimates from real estate portal SRX on Wednesday.

OrangeTee & Tie head of research and consultancy Christine Sun noted that the fall in rental volume could be seasonal, as was similarly observed in 2018, when February recorded the second-lowest rental volume for the year for both the private and HDB markets.

“Many tenants could also have renewed their contracts in January,” Ms Sun said.

According to SRX, rents for non-landed private residential properties were unchanged month on month. Year on year, rents last month rose by 1 per cent from February 2018. They are still 18 per cent off their peak in January 2013.

In the smaller HDB rental market, rents too were unchanged in February, after rising 0.2 per cent in January. The HDB three-room and five-room flats recorded rent increases of 0.8 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively, whereas rents for four-room flats fell 0.3 per cent, and executive rents dropped 1.8 per cent.

Rents in mature estates also declined 0.9 per cent, while those in non-mature estates rose by 1.1 per cent from the previous month. Year on year, HDB rents last month were down 0.3 per cent from February 2018, and are 15.3 per cent off their peak in August 2013.

According to SRX, an estimated 3,597 non-landed units were rented last month, a 22.1 per cent plunge from 4,618 units in January. Year on year, rental volume last month was 6.8 per cent lower than the 3,860 units rented in February 2018.

Separately, some 1,388 units of HDB flats were leased last month, down 28.5 per cent from 1,940 units in January, and 9.6 per cent lower than the 1,536 units rented in February last year.

Added Ms Sun: “Currently, there are many housing options available for tenants and we have observed that landlords are increasingly open for rent negotiations. Landlords may prefer to lower rents and secure a tenant quickly, especially since interest rates have been rising and mortgage payments have become higher.

“Moving forward, the closing gap between public and private home rentals is likely to add further downward pressure on HDB rentals. Comparatively competition may be stiffer for the public housing market, as the number of flats reaching MOP (minimum occupation period) will be increasing, while the number of condo completions may be holding fairly constant this year.”

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