SINGAPORE - Rents of private non-landed homes in Singapore dropped 0.4 per cent in August compared to July, while rental volume fell by 10.4 per cent, going by flash estimates from SRX Property on Wednesday (Sept 13).
The latest data seems to suggest that the private rental market has not yet found a bottom and rental weakness may persist till next year.
Year-on-year, rents in August were down by 2.5 per cent from August, more than reversing the 0.2 per cent gain in June.
Rents softened across all locations, dropping 3.5 per cent year-on-year in the Core Central Region (CCR), 2.3 per cent in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and 2.1 per cent in Outside Central Region (OCR).
Compared to their peak in January 2013, private rents are down 19.2 per cent in August. To date this year, they are down 0.4 per cent.
Property consultants say the mismatch between supply and demand will continue to weigh on private rentals. This year will see around 16,400 private homes being completed - almost double the number of completions each in 2018 and 2019.
Dr Lee Nai Jia, head of research at Edmund Tie & Company said overall rents are likely to be stable, although rents in some districts which saw new completions will remain weak.
He added: "Notwithstanding, it is likely that there is rental growth in certain pockets of Singapore. For instance, the rental demand in Buona Vista area should remain strong, supported by the demand for talent in the R&D and new disruptive sectors operating there."
August also saw a 10.4 per cent drop in the number of private units rented out to 4,271 from 4,766 in July.
Dr Lee said last month's fall in rental volume was likely to be seasonal and in line with international schools' academic calendar. "Most of them start their term in August, hence most expatriates will settle down in their new homes a month before school starts," he said.
Year-on-year, rental volume was 5.6 per cent lower than the 4,524 units leased in August 2016.
SRX Property data also showed overall rents for HDB flats were unchanged in August, although rental volume dropped 6.4 per cent.
This after the price decline for July was revised down from 0.1 per cent to 0.3 per cent.
Rents in mature estates dipped by 0.2 per cent, while that in newer estates edged up by the same amount.
Rents in August were down by 3.8 per cent from a year ago and by 1.3 per cent for the year to date.
Compared to their peak in August 2013, HDB rents are 13.8 per cent lower.
The number of flats rented out fell by 6.4 per cent to 1,658 from 1,772 in July. Year-on-year, rental volume was 7.5 per cent lower than in August 2016.