In weak market, HDB rents holding up better than those of private homes, SRX data show

Rents for HDB flats rose 0.7 per cent in January from December, according to flash estimates from SRX Property.
Rents for HDB flats rose 0.7 per cent in January from December, according to flash estimates from SRX Property. ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

SINGAPORE - Private apartments and condominiums, with so many up for let, are faring worse than HDB flats, which are generally cheaper to rent to begin with.

Rents in the private market edged up 0.2 per cent in January from December while those for HDB flats rose 0.7 per cent in the same period, flash estimates from SRX Property showed on Friday (Feb 12).

For the private market, this is the second month that rents have stabilised. They inched up 0.4 per cent month-on-month in December after declining for 10 straight months.

Private rents in January are down 5.5 per cent from a year ago and 14.6 per cent off their last peak in January 2013.

As for HDB flats, rents in January are down by a smaller 3.1 per cent from a year ago and 8 per cent off their last high in August 2013.

Looking ahead, rents for both private and HDB units will remain under siege as foreign manpower controls stay in place while supply goes up.

For the private market, there is the prospect of 21,906 units that will be completed this year, more than the 18,971 in 2015. Most of the new supply is located on the suburbs, which will face the biggest downward pressure.

ERA's key executive officer said he expects HDB rents to decline in tandem with falling rates in the private market.

He noted also that the more active HDB leasing market has been brought about by falling rents, with tenants signing shorter leases and switching to cheaper places rather than new demand.

"This situation is expected to hold for some time," he said.