SINGAPORE – Rents for condominium units and Housing Board flats both increased by 1.3 per cent in April from the previous month, although the number of leasings dipped.
As at last month, condo rents have risen for four consecutive months, while HDB rents rose for 10 straight months, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX released on Wednesday (May 12).
Condo rents are up 5.2 per cent in April from a year ago, although they are still down 11.9 per cent from their peak in January 2013.
HDB rents, which are 5.6 per cent higher than a year ago, have hit their highest since July 2016, although they are still 10 per cent down from their peak in August 2013.
Rents in non-mature estates rose by 2 per cent month on month, while those in mature estates edged up by 0.6 per cent. Rents also increased across all room types.
Rental volume for condo apartments dropped by 3.1 per cent in April to an estimated 5,100 units from 5,262 units the month before.
However, rental volumes are 51 per cent higher compared with April last year, when Singapore was in its circuit breaker period. Discounting most of the Covid-19 effect, the number of condo leasings are 13.5 per cent higher than the five-year average for the month of April.
HDB rental volume in April also saw a drop from March, down 8.8 per cent to an estimated 1,847 flats from 2,026 flats the month before.
Rental volumes are 33.9 per cent higher compared with April last year although they are 6.1 per cent lower than the five-year average volume for the month of April.
Ms Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie’s senior vice-president of research and analytics, said rents have been rising as demand for rental units appear to be outstripping supply.
“Housing vacancy is low and supply of newly completed homes is limited. Many locals have been renting units in recent months, including HDB upgraders who have sold their flats recently to take advantage of the rapidly rising HDB resale prices,” said Ms Sun.
These HDB upgraders may then rent a unit in the interim while they look for their next permanent home, she said.
Although Covid-19 border restrictions are still largely in place, ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said the arrival of some foreigners, such as students, professionals and their dependents, may have caused rental prices to climb.
Huttons Asia director of research Lee Sze Teck noted that employers in some industries such as technology and manufacturing are hiring again, which has helped to boost condo rental in April – usually a quiet month.
“Early economic indicators are pointing to a stronger-than-expected gross domestic product growth for this year,” he said.
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