Rental Prices Rose Month-on-month

SINGAPORE — Rental prices for public-housing flats have been on a steady decline, and property analysts TODAY spoke to said that the rental market would continue to be weak in the year ahead, citing reasons such as an oversupply of Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats and falling rental prices for private homes.

Flash estimates released today (Feb 12) by SRX Property showed that rental prices for HDB flats in January fell 3.1 per cent year-on-year, and rental prices were down 8 per cent compared with their peak in August 2013. Month-on-month, they only rose slightly in January by 0.7 per cent compared with December 2015.

The number of HDB flats leased in January also fell 5.4 per cent, with an estimated 1,670 flats rented — down from 1,766 units the previous month in December. Executive condo owners may sublet their unit after fulfilling the MOP. Upcoming executive condo include The Visionaire EC , Wandervale EC and Parc Life EC while existing ones include The Terrace EC, Brownstone ECWaterwoods EC, Signature at Yishun, Skypark Residences, The Vales EC, The Criterion ECBellewaters EC, Bellewoods EC.

Mr Ku Swee Yong, chief executive of real estate agency Century 21, said that tighter foreign-manpower policies are leading to a lack of demand for HDB rental flats, while the number of flats available for rental is increasing.

This year’s less-upbeat economic outlook is a factor as well.

Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director of research and consultancy at SLP International Property Consultants, said: “Given that the majority of those who rent HDB flats are non-Singaporeans, if the job market is weaker, that means there will be slower or no increase in the pool of tenants.”

Adding to that are the competitive options for tenants, with Mr Ku noting that private home rental prices are “getting closer” to HDB ones, such as those of “newly completed mass-market
condominiums”.

Mr Chris Koh, director of Chris International, said: “If you have a budget of S$3,000, you could rent a three-bedroom condominium in a suburban area like Pasir Ris now.”

For those waiting for rental prices to go down further, the advice from Mr Colin Tan, director of research and consultancy at Suntec Real Estate Consultants, is that it is not worth the wait, because further drops will be “marginal”.

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