HDB rents rise for 13th straight month in July; condo rents unchanged: SRX

More condominium units and HDB flats were leased in July compared with the month before.
More condominium units and HDB flats were leased in July compared with the month before.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Rents for private apartments remained flat last month compared with June, while those for Housing Board flats continued to climb, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX released on Wednesday (Aug 11).

More condominium units and HDB flats were leased last month compared with June, SRX data also showed.

Condo rents were unchanged last month after rising for six consecutive months. Year on year, rents were up 7.6 per cent from July last year, although still down 10.9 per cent from their peak in January 2013.

On the other hand, rents for HDB flats rose for the 13th consecutive month in July, up by 0.6 per cent over June.

While HDB rents were 8.4 per cent higher than in July last year, they were still 7.7 per cent off the peak in August 2013.

Last month, rents for all HDB flat types went up, with units non-mature estates reporting an increase of 1.2 per cent, while those in mature estates inched up by 0.1 per cent.

Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at real estate firm OrangeTee & Tie, said the strong demand in both the private and HDB rental markets could be attributed to more locals leasing temporarily after selling their HDB resale flats or private condos in recent months.

Some Singaporeans could also be waiting for the completion of their new homes, which may be experiencing some construction delays due to Covid-19, added Ms Sun.

She said: "Another group could have sold their units before buying a new private home, since they cannot apply to extend their option to purchase and want to avoid paying the additional buyer's stamp duty by not holding more than one property."

Huttons Asia chief executive Mark Yip said tenants may have chosen to shift to non-mature estates, where rents are more affordable, to lower costs while waiting for their flats to be completed.

Last month, more people rented condo units, as volumes increased by 7.3 per cent to an estimated 5,051 units, compared with 4,707 units in June.

The biggest share of units rented was located in the outside central region, which made up 39.3 per cent of total rental volume.

Rental volume for HDB flats rose by 8 per cent to an estimated 1,859 units leased last month, compared with 1,722 units in June.

Analysts said the private and HDB rental markets are expected to grow in the coming months as Singapore gradually eases Covid-19 restrictions in line with the high vaccination coverage within the population.

ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said foreigners who are already living in Singapore may choose to remain here longer, especially if they are employed or studying here.

OrangeTee's Ms Sun said: "When the Government relaxes our border rules and allows more quarantine-free travel, rental demand is expected to strengthen further, which may push up rental prices in some locations."