0.4% drop in private apartment rents in August


SRX Property data suggests market has yet to find a bottom

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 yesterday.

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 the same period last year.

Rents softened across all areas, falling 3.5 per cent in the city centre, 2.3 per cent in the city fringe and 2.1 per cent in the suburbs. Against their peak in January 2013, rents of private homes were down 19.2 per cent in August.

Consultants say the mismatch between supply and demand will continue to weigh on the rental market. This year will see around 16,400 private homes being completed - almost double the expected 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.

"Notwithstanding, it is likely that there is rental growth in certain pockets of Singapore. For instance, rental demand in the Buona Vista area should remain strong, supported by the demand for talent in the R&D and new disruptive sectors operating there," he noted.

Last month 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.

Rental volume was 5.6 per cent lower than the 4,524 units leased out in the same month last year.

SRX Property data also shows overall rents for Housing Board flats to be unchanged last month, although rental volume dropped 6.4 per cent. This comes after the price decline for July was revised down from 0.1 per cent to 0.3 per cent.

Rents in the mature estates dipped by 0.2 per cent, while those in newer estates edged up by the same amount.

Rents for HDB flats last month were down by 3.8 per cent from a year ago. Year to date, they are down by 1.3 per cent. Compared to their peak in August 2013, HDB rents are 13.8 per cent lower.

The number of HDB flats rented out fell by 6.4 per cent to 1,658 from 1,772 in July.

Year on year, their rental volume was 7.5 per cent lower.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2017, with the headline '0.4% drop in private apartment rents in August'. Print Edition | Subscribe