HDB rents fall 0.5% in October, private home rents down 0.4% : SRX Property

HDB flats in Bishan.
HDB flats in Bishan.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Rents for private apartments and condominium units fell for the ninth straight month in October, dipping another 0.4 per cent from September over the previous month, according to figures from SRX Property released on Thursday (Nov 12)

October rents for private non-landed homes were down 5.7 per cent from a year ago and were 13.75 per cent lower compared to their peak in January 2013.

There was no revision of rents in September.

Noting that private rents have declined 4 per cent so far this year, real estate firm ERA said Singapore's tight immigration and foreign manpower policies coupled with the high number of completions will continue to weigh on the rental market.

"Moving forward, we expect rents to continue decreasing, possibly even until 2017, when the number of completions normalises," ERA said.

Rents in suburban areas will also continue to be most vulnerable given the majority of supply coming up there, said ERA. More than 9,000 private residential units have been completed outside the central region (OCR) in the first nine months of this year - close to the 10-year average annual number of completions of 10,863 units in the whole of Singapore, it said.

Since the beginning of the year, rents in the suburbs have fallen by 6.6 per cent there compared to 1.9 per cent in the prime districts (core central region) and 1.1 per cent in the city fringes (rest of central region).

Reflecting the year-end seasonal slowdown, an estimated 3,448 non-landed private homes were rented in October, down 2.7 per cent from the 3,542 units for September.

But as more properties were put on the market, rental volume in October was 9.4 per cent higher than the 3,153 units rented in October last year 2014.

HDB rents decline and likely to weaken further

HDB rents, meanwhile, continued also to weaken, down 0.5 per cent in October from September, according to SRX Property. It revised its change of rents in September from the initial no change to a 0.1 per cent decline.

Year-on-year, rents in October were down 3.3 per cent from a year ago and were 7.2 per cent lower compared to their peak in August 2013.

Bigger flats fared better in October. Three-room and 4-room flats posted 0.5 per cent and 1.2 per cent decreases in rents respectively, while 5-room and executive flats saw rents increase 0.1 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively.

According to SRX Property, an estimated 1,602 HDB flats were rented in October, a 3 per cent dip from the 1,652 units a month before. Year-on-year, rental volume was down 7.8 per cent from October 2014.

Looking ahead, ERA said it expects HDB rents to come under greater pressure on spillover from depressed leasing conditions in the private residential market.