SINGAPORE - More condominium units and Housing Board (HDB) flats were leased in March while rents continued to rise, as landlords opened their homes for viewing after the Chinese New Year lull and tenants flocked back to the market.
Rental volume for condo apartments rose to an eight-month high last month, surging by 32.4 per cent to an estimated 5,118 units, compared with 3,865 units in February, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX released on Wednesday (April 14).
Similarly, rental volume for HDB flats hit a nine-month high, increasing by 41.2 per cent last month to an estimated 1,983 flats, compared with 1,404 units in February.
However, the HDB rental volume is still 12.5 per cent lower than the five-year average volume for the month of March. Condo leasings, meanwhile, are just 0.3 per cent lower than the five-year average volume for the month.
Rents of condo units rose 0.8 per cent from February to March, while HDB rents increased 0.5 per cent over the same period.
Condo rents are up for the third straight month and are 2.4 per cent higher than in March last year, although they are still down 13.2 per cent from their peak in January 2013.
HDB rents have risen for nine consecutive months and are 3.4 per cent higher than in March last year, but are still down 11.2 per cent from their peak in August 2013.
Ms Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie's senior vice-president of research and analytics, said the steady stream of Singapore permanent residents, long-term pass holders and students returning to Singapore may have resulted in higher rental demand in recent weeks.
"Occupancy is high since many tenants have renewed their leases. Fewer homes have also been completed due to construction delays. As a result, rental prices for condominiums and HDB flats continued to rise last month on higher demand and low supply," she said.
She added that the possible progressive restoration of cross-border travel between Singapore and Malaysia will likely drive up rental demand in the coming months.
In March, condo rents went up across the board compared with February and rose by 1.2 per cent in central Singapore, 0.4 per cent in the city fringes and 0.9 per cent in the suburban areas.
Similarly, HDB rents edged up last month compared with February by 0.2 per cent in mature estates and 0.8 per cent in non-mature estates.
Rents also edged up across all flat types, with four-room flats seeing the biggest increase of 0.7 per cent.
Rents for three-room flats went up by 0.4 per cent while five-room flats and executive flats went up by 0.3 per cent.