SINGAPORE - The leasing market for private non-landed homes remained soft while improving slightly for HDB flats, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX on Wednesday (Nov 14).
Rents for condominiums and private apartments dropped for a second straight month, slipping 0.7 per cent in October from the previous month. This came after rents dipped 0.5 per cent in September, with the figure revised by SRX from a 0.4 per cent decline.
After hardly budging in 2018, private market rents are now down 0.1 per cent from a year ago - but are a hefty 20 per cent lower than their peak in January 2013.
SRX data also showed rental activity staying sluggish. The number of condo units and private apartments leased declined 1.7 per cent to 4,207 units last month. Year on year, rental volume was 0.5 per cent lower.
In the HDB market, rents went up by 0.3 per cent month on month in October, after declining a revised 0.6 per cent in September.
Year on year, rents in October are 1.4 per cent lower than a year ago and down by 15.4 per cent from their peak in August 2013.
More HDB flats were rented out, with an estimated 1,937 units leased in October, 10.2 per cent more than the 1,757 flats in September.
ZACD Group executive director Nicholas Mak said both the HDB and private residential leasing markets are expected to stay soft, especially during the year-end lull period when some expatriate tenants return to their home countries. The transaction volume could pick up in the first quarter of next year as some expatriates return to Singapore.
Looking farther ahead, Mr Mak said the government is unlikely to relax its current foreign labour policy before the next General Election, so he sees HDB and private residential rents slipping by 1.0 to 3.5 per cent next year.
Compared to a year ago, October's HDB rental volume was 8.9 per cent higher.