Private home rents recover with 1% rise in Q1; vacancy rate dips to 6.3% : URA

Rents of landed properties increased by 0.2 per cent January to March quarter, compared with the 2.1 per cent drop in the previous quarter.
Rents of landed properties increased by 0.2 per cent January to March quarter, compared with the 2.1 per cent drop in the previous quarter. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Rents of private residential properties rose 1.0 per cent in the first quarter of this year from the previous three months, reversing a 1.0 per cent fall in the previous quarter, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released on Friday morning (April 26).

Rents of landed properties increased by 0.2 per cent in the January to March quarter, compared with the 2.1 per cent drop in the previous quarter. Rents of non-landed properties increased by 1.1 per cent, compared with the 0.8 per cent decline in the prior quarter.

The vacancy rate of completed private residential units (excluding ECs) dipped to 6.3 per cent at the end of the first quarter of this year, down a notch from 6.4 per cent in the previous quarter.

This comes as the stock of completed private residential units (excluding ECs) increased by 953 units in the first quarter of 2019, compared with the increase of 3,165 units in the previous quarter. The stock of occupied private residential units (excluding ECs) rose by 1,192 units, compared with the increase of 4,674 units in the previous quarter.

Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy for OrangeTee & Tie, pointed to rent recovery for non-landed homes in the prime areas or core central region, with a quarter-on-quarter rise of 1.6 per cent, as well as in the suburbs or outside the central region, which saw a 1.7 per cent q-on-q increase.

She noted that these were the highest increases seen since Q4 2010.

Another bright spot, she added, was a decrease in vacancy rates of completed private residential homes (excluding ECs) for six consecutive quarters, to a five-year low of 6.3 per cent.

"The expansion of the two integrated resorts here will continue to enhance Singapore's vibrancy and tourism appeal globally, and spur further rental demand in the coming months," said Ms Sun, adding that the creation of more than 5,000 jobs by the new projects will also likely spur rental demand.

Ms Christine Li, head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia, Cushman & Wakefield, called the growth in overall private home rental a silver lining amid the fall in overall private residential prices.

"A recovering rental market could help support resale volume as some buyers become more yield-driven as compared to just focusing solely on capital gains," she said.

Ms Li added that the recovery of rents is underpinned by low completion volumes until 2021, with completions expected to peak in 2022 as 20,116 units enter the market.