Condo, HDB rents dip in September: SRX

Housing Board flats near Downtown MRT station in Bukit Panjang. HDB rents dipped 0.3 per cent last month from August, and were down 14.8 per cent from the peak in August 2013. But rents were up 1.1 per cent, compared with September last year.
Housing Board flats near Downtown MRT station in Bukit Panjang. HDB rents dipped 0.3 per cent last month from August, and were down 14.8 per cent from the peak in August 2013. But rents were up 1.1 per cent, compared with September last year.ST FILE PHOTO

Rents for non-landed private homes and Housing Board flats dipped in September, although they were up over the same month last year.

Overall condo rents declined 0.4 per cent from August but rose 3.2 per cent year on year. However, they are still 16.9 per cent below the peak in January 2013.

The core central region was the hardest hit, with a 1.1 per cent fall from August to September, while the rest of central region slipped 0.2 per cent and the suburbs or outside central region dipped 0.1 per cent.

Condo rents in all regions were up in September last year, with increases of around 3 per cent to 4 per cent.

The SRX flash data released yesterday also noted that around 4,200 condo units were leased in September, down 11.9 per cent from about 4,750 units in August and 7.3 per cent below September last year.

Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie, noted that condo rental volume has declined for the second straight month.

"While leasing demand typically slows down towards the end of the year, the lower leasing volume and rental prices could also be attributed to a possible pullback in hiring and the slower economic growth," she added.

"As hiring expectations for the last quarter of this year have dimmed amid the current global economic headwinds, leasing momentum may slow further in the coming months."

Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty, added: "Due to the softer employment market, which would lead to fewer foreigners being employed, the number of private residential properties leased dropped in September, as foreigners usually make up the majority of the residential tenants."

In the public housing market, HDB rents dipped 0.3 per cent last month from August, and were down 14.8 per cent from the peak in August 2013.

Rents were up 1.1 per cent, compared with September last year, with all room types except executive flats experiencing increases.

Ms Sun said she expects HDB rents to flatline or face some downward pressure, with the increasing supply of flats and a possible hiring contraction in the coming months.

There were around 1,800 HDB flats rented in September, a 2.6 per cent increase from the 1,750 or so units in August.

Three-room flats were the most popular last month, making up 34.9 per cent of the total rental volume, followed by four-room flats with 33.9 per cent. Five-room flats accounted for 24.8 per cent of volume and executive flats 6.3 per cent.

HDB rental volumes decreased 2.6 per cent from September last year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2019, with the headline 'Condo, HDB rents dip in September: SRX'. Print Edition | Subscribe