Condo rents unchanged in June while HDB rents rise 1%; rental volumes increase

SINGAPORE – Rents for private apartments were unchanged in June while those for Housing Board flats edged up by 1 per cent from the previous month, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX released on Wednesday (July 14).

Rental volumes for both condominium units and HDB flats rose for a third consecutive month in June, after tighter Covid-19 curbs were eased in the later half of the month, the SRX data also showed.

By staying flat in June, condo rents broke the streak of five consecutive months of rising rates.

Year on year, condo rents were up 8 per cent from June 2020, although still down 11.1 per cent from their peak in January 2013.

HDB rents, on the other hand, rose for the 12th consecutive month, with a 1 per cent increase in June over May.

While HDB rents were up 9.2 per cent from a year earlier, they were still 8.3 per cent off their highs in August 2013.

Month on month, rents for all HDB flat types increased in June, except for executive units which remained flat.

HDB rents in non-mature estates increased by 1.9 per cent while those in mature estates only inched up by 0.1 per cent.

Huttons Asia senior director of research Lee Sze Teck said the upward trajectory of the HDB rental market was likely supported by tenants who are waiting for the completion of their Build-To-Order (BTO) flats, many of which have been delayed for up to one year.

“There may have been some spillover demand from the condo market as some tenants look for cost competitive alternatives,” he added.

Huttons Asia chief executive Mark Yip said condo rents remained flat in June as tenants are increasingly unwilling to pay higher rents in the private market.

However, more people rented condo units in June as volumes increased by 7.6 per cent to an estimated 5,468 units rented last month as compared with the 5,083 units in May.

Most of the units rented were located in the outside central region, which made up 39.2 per cent of total rental volume.

Said Huttons’ Mr Yip: “Demand was robust probably due to tenants extending their lease while waiting for their new homes to be completed. Some owners could have cashed out of their home and are renting while waiting for an opportune time to re-enter the market.”

Rental volume for HDB flats rose by 2.9 per cent to an estimated 1,910 units leased in June compared with 1,857 units the month before.

HDB rental volume last month dropped 6.8 per cent from the year before.

Four-room flats were the most popular rental flat type, making up 36.9 per cent of the total volume. Three-room flats followed closely at 34.6 per cent of the total rental volume.

ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said the upcoming start of the new academic semester in the local universities in August had likely increased the demand for rental flats and apartments among some students, especially those from overseas.

Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at real estate firm OrangeTee & Tie, said both rental markets were propped up by strong demand from locals who were renting temporarily after selling their private homes or HDB resale flats in recent months.

“Prices for both HDB resale flats and resale condominiums have been rising and many people have sold their units quickly to capitalise on the price appreciation,” she noted.

Others may have sold off their private units before buying a new one so they can take a fresh loan for their new property and avoid paying the additional buyer’s stamp duty, Ms Sun added.

She predicted rental demand to rise further when Singapore eases border controls and more overseas Singaporeans return.

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