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Private, HDB rents fall again

SINGAPORE — The Republic’s rental market softened further last month, with prices falling and fewer new leases signed in both the private and public segments, signalling that tenants are having the upper hand in negotiations.

The supply and demand mismatch resulted in an 11 per cent fall in rental volume of private housing last month. TODAY FILE PHOTO

The supply and demand mismatch resulted in an 11 per cent fall in rental volume of private housing last month. TODAY FILE PHOTO

SINGAPORE — The Republic’s rental market softened further last month, with prices falling and fewer new leases signed in both the private and public segments, signalling that tenants are having the upper hand in negotiations.

In the non-landed private residential segment, rents fell for a 10th consecutive month with a 0.8 per cent month-on-month decline last month, similar to that in October, the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) said in a report yesterday. Compared with the same period last year, rents were 5.3 per cent lower last month.

All regions in Singapore posted lower rents, with the suburban areas or Outside Central Region (OCR) falling the most at 1.2 per cent. The city fringes or Rest of Central Region (RCR) slipped 0.7 per cent, while the city centre or Core Central Region (CCR) dipped 0.3 per cent.

Property analysts said the persistent weakness is expected as the supply growth of private homes available for rent is outpacing demand.

“We’re seeing greater supply coming on stream and at the same time, tenants don’t have as much housing budget as before so units asking for a larger (rental) quantum are having difficulties getting tenants,” said Mr Alan Cheong, senior director of research and consultancy at real estate agency Savills Singapore.

“The profile of many foreign nationals who come here recently are individuals and not families, so we have also seen demand shifting to rooms instead of a whole unit or to HDB (Housing and Development Board) flats because quantum is smaller,” he added.

The mismatch between supply and demand in the private segment has resulted in an 11 per cent on-month fall in rental volume last month to an estimated 2,892 units, SRX said.

Meanwhile, the HDB leasing market saw rents dipping 0.1 per cent last month from October, following the 0.5 per cent drop previously, to register the third consecutive month of decline. Compared with November last year, rents were down 2.2 per cent.

Three- and five-room flats saw rents falling by 0.2 and 1 per cent, respectively. Rents of four-room flats remained unchanged, while that of executive flats rose 3.5 per cent.

In terms of volume, the number of new leases signed last month was down 1.5 per cent to an estimated 1,596 new leases.

“The HDB rental market is also facing an oversupply issue because HDB owners who collected their keys to their new condominiums are putting their flats up for rent and there will be more of such cases to come as more private projects get TOP (temporary occupation permit),” said Mr Chris Koh, director of property firm Chris International.

“It’s a tenant’s market now for both private and HDB (housing) so landlords will have to be realistic in their asking prices,” he said.

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