More condo and HDB units leased last month as rents rise

Rebound not surprising as Covid-19 situation improves and travel curbs ease, says analyst

Condominium rentals rose 11.3 per cent last month to an estimated 4,747 units, compared with 4,266 units the month before. Rental volume for Housing Board units also rose last month, by 14.6 per cent to an estimated 1,912 flats, compared with 1,668 flats in December.ST FILE PHOTO

The climb out of the pandemic-induced rut appears to be on track, with rental volume last month for both Housing Board flats and condominium units recording another month of increases.

Condo rentals rose 11.3 per cent last month to an estimated 4,747 units, compared with 4,266 units in December, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX Property released yesterday.

This represented a 10.4 per cent increase from the same month a year ago. Leasings were also 8.5 per cent higher than the five-year average volume for the month of January.

HDB rental volume climbed 14.6 per cent to an estimated 1,912 flats last month, compared with 1,668 units in December.

Of the 1,912 flats, 36.6 per cent are four-room units, 34.5 per cent are three-room, 23.1 per cent are five-room and 5.6 per cent are executive apartments.

HDB leasings were up 8.5 per cent from January last year.

Ms Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie’s senior vice-president of research and analytics, said it is not surprising to find rental volumes rebounding, with the Covid-19 situation in Singapore improving and progressive changes being made to reopen the country for international travel.

“More Singaporeans and permanent residents have been returning to Singapore and many require short-to mid-term accommodation,” she said.

There have also been more inbound travellers such as students, work pass holders and long-term visit pass holders looking for rental units in recent months, she said.

“Many of these people are looking for accommodation near their schools and workplaces, which helps to prop up leasing demand for HDB resale flats and private homes in the city fringe and suburban areas.”

As more travel restrictions are lifted, rental demand may continue to improve in the coming months, Ms Sun noted.

Condo rents, meanwhile, resumed their recovery from a four-month slide last year when the coronavirus pandemic saw weak hiring prospects and foreigners losing their jobs. Ms Sun had previously said the pandemic seemed to have reversed a decade of rampant growth in rental demand.

Rents rose 1.6 per cent in January month on month, after dipping in December.

Year on year, condo rents are up 0.3 per cent, but still 15.1 per cent lower than their peak in January 2013.

Rents in the core central region rose 2 per cent month on month. Rents in the outside central region also increased, by 1.7 per cent, while those in the rest of central region went up by 1.1 per cent.

HDB rents rose for a seventh straight month, climbing 0.9 per cent last month from the month before.

Rents in mature estates rose 1.4 per cent, while those in non-mature estates increased by 0.4 per cent.

Year on year, overall rents increased by 1.7 per cent, though they are still 12.1 per cent off their peak in August 2013.

“Source: [More condo and HDB units leased last month as rents rise] © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction”

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