Rents of of private condos dip in September but resale numbers rise: SRX

SINGAPORE - Landlords continued to bear the brunt of weakening property sentiments and a glut of new completed homes last month, although transactions in the resale market picked up.

Rentals for condos continued its downward slide for the eighth straight month, registering a 0.2 per cent fall last month, flash estimates from Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) showed on Tuesday. This was a low not seen since May 2011.

Fewer units found tenants too, as the number of apartments leased out in September fell 14 per cent to 3,171 units.

"The rental market is feeling the pressure from increased new completions, especially in the suburbs. Because of a smaller inflow of foreign professionals, this is the impact on the leasing market," said Mr Ong Kah Seng, director of R'ST Research.

The weaker rental market was led by suburban projects, where prices slid 0.9 per cent from August. Condo units in the city-fringe areas fell 0.6 per cent, but rents for luxury homes in the city centre finally picked up 0.3 per cent in September after weakening for five straight months.

On the resale front, more condo units changed hands in September, but that did not prevent a 0.3 per cent slip compared to August.

In fact, prices had finally picked up in August after monthly declines since March.

Suburban condo units were sold on the secondary market for 2.1 per cent lower, leading the overall decline, said SRX.

In comparison, the resale prices of such homes in the city centre and city-fringe areas gained 0.9 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively.

In particular, September resale prices in the city centre continued to rise after a 4.2 per cent gain in Aug.

Compared to the same month a year ago, overall resale prices of private non-landed porperties are down 4.6 per cent, and 5.6 per cent since January this year.

"With signs of a stabilising market, more buyers who have stayed on the side lines may return to make purchases, as falling prices may tempt them back into the market. As such, transaction volumes may continue to improve," said Mr Mohd Ismail, chief executive of PropNex.

The number of private apartments that were resold in September rose 15.3 per cent to 468 units from August.

Year-on-year, resale volume improved 13.3 per cent compared with the 413 units that picked up in September 2013.