Private apartment rents remain flat, HDB rents slip 0.6% in April: Index

Rental rates for Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats continued their downward trend in April, while those for non-landed private properties remained flat with minor fluctuations outside of the Core Central Region.

Overall rental prices for private apartments were constant from March, although private apartment rents in the city fringes increased by 0.1 per cent and they decreased by 0.1 per cent in the Outside Central Region in April. Rents were down 5.4 per cent year-on-year, and 16.1 per cent lower than the peak in January 2013, according to flash estimates by SRX Property.

Private apartments in the city fringes saw the biggest drop in rent year-on-year at 8.2 per cent, while those in the Core Central Region and Outside Central Region saw decreases of 1.9 per cent and 6.8 per cent, respectively.

Rental volume plunged by 10.3 per cent from the previous month, with about 3,953 units rented in April compared to 4,405 in March. However, this was still 10.5 per cent higher than the 3,578 units rented in April 2015.

On the other hand, HDB rents saw a 0.6 per cent decrease from March to April. Year-on-year, rents in April were down by 4.3 per cent, and were down 9.9 per cent compared to the peak in August 2013.

Compared to the previous month, HDB three-room and five-room flats saw a 0.8 per cent and 1.1 per cent decrease in rents, respectively. Rentals for four-room flats remained the same, while executive flats posted a 0.4 per cent increase.

Furthermore, non-mature estates experienced a larger decrease of 0.9 per cent in April compared to the previous month. Rentals in mature estates fell by 0.3 per cent. Compared to the same time last year, rents in mature and non-mature estates dropped 3.9 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively.

Rental volume for HDB flats also inched down by 2.2 per cent in April. SRX Property estimated that about 2,048 HDB flats were rented, compared to 2,093 units in March. Year-on-year, this was a 5.8 per cent increase from April 2015, however.

PRIVATE RENTS LIKELY TO CONTINUE DECREASING: PROPERTY AGENT

Property agent ERA said that while there was minimal movement in private rents in April, it expected the “general downward trend” to persist given that supply exceeded demand in the market.

“Landlords will have to up their game to retain their tenants or attract new ones,” ERA key executive officer Eugene Lim said.

Mr Lim added that the agency expected the number of leasing transactions for private apartments to remain stable in the short term as “the tenant pool is limited”, noting that the year-on-year increase in volume was mostly due to tenants renewing leases or switching apartments for better deals, rather than new tenants.

For HDB flat rentals, Mr Lim said units in mature estates were “typically easier to rent out”, as they were able to hold their value better especially if located near amenities and transportation nodes.

As they are still more affordable than private developments, Mr Lim also said ERA expected leasing demand for HDB flats to “remain resilient” as more tenants renewed their leases.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 11 May 2016