Condo, apartment rents 'down 0.4% in August'

Rents of private condominiums and apartments dipped by 0.4 per cent in August.
Rents of private condominiums and apartments dipped by 0.4 per cent in August.PHOTO: ST FILE

Rents of private condominiums and apartments dipped by 0.4 per cent in August, after falling 0.3 per cent in July, data released by SRX Property showed yesterday.

The decline was led by rentals in the city centre, which decreased 0.7 per cent, and those in the suburbs, which decreased by 1.3 per cent, data showed.

However, rents for homes in the city fringe rose 0.8 per cent.

Year on year, rents in August 2015 were down 5.7 per cent, as compared to August 2014. They were also down 12.9 per cent from their peak in January 2013.

Rental volume for August also weakened, with the number of non-landed private homes being rented out falling 1.6 per cent, to an estimated 4,097 units, from 4,163 units a month earlier.

But year on year, rental volume this August was 13.8 per cent higher than the 3,601 units leased in the same month last year, the estimates showed.

"This rise in volume might not have come from new demand. Rather, they are likely to have come from existing tenants moving around, looking for newer apartments or cheaper rents," real estate firm ERA said, in reaction to the estimates.

"This is mainly due to more projects being completed, hence, more choices being available to the existing limited pool of tenants," it said in a statement.

Volumes will remain resilient in future, they observed, as tenants move around, taking advantage of the falling rental situation, by opting for shorter 12-month leases, rather than the previous norm of 24 months.

On the public housing front, Housing Development Board (HDB) flat rents fell 0.6 per cent in August, after a 0.1 per cent increase in July.

The decline was led by three- and four-room flats, which posted falls of 1.1 per cent and 0.9 per cent, respectively.

Five-room and executive flats saw rents rise 0.1 per cent and 0.7 per cent instead.

Year on year, rents in August 2015 were down 3.6 per cent. They were also down 6.6 per cent from their peak in August 2013.

HDB rental volume fell 6.1 per cent in August to about 1,646 flats leased, down from 1,752 units leased in July 2015.

Year on year, August's rental volume was almost flat, compared to the 1,668 units rented a year ago.

"HDB flats, being more accessible and with lower rents, will have a strong support base, and leasing demand will be resilient in the coming months," ERA noted.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 10, 2015, with the headline 'Condo, apartment rents 'down 0.4% in August''. Print Edition | Subscribe