Weakness in private condominium rents persists in September

Weak leasing conditions for private condominiums continued to weigh on rents in September but this failed to lift rental volumes from the preceding month.

According to SRX Property flash estimates, rents of private non-landed residential units declined 0.3 per cent in September from a month ago, dragged by the city fringe and suburban areas. Still, rental volume dipped 4.1 per cent. SRX Property estimated that there were 3,758 rental transactions in September, compared to 3,919 in August.

The Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) experienced rental declines of 0.6 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively, whereas the Core Central Region (CCR) saw a one per cent increase.

Buyers who have bought small suburban condos, including shoebox units of less than 500 sq ft in size, may find the units insufficient for the whole family, Mr Ong observed, adding that more of such units will be put up for resale or rented out at lower rents next year.

Compared to a year ago, rents in September were down 5.6 per cent; they were 13 per cent below the peak in January 2013, according to SRX Property. There was no revision to its rental change estimate in August.

The dismal state of the private rental market will continue to dampen the HDB rental market too, as landlords of private homes lower their rentals further in a way that competes with HDB flats.

In the public housing market, HDB rents remained unchanged in September compared to August, SRX Property’s data shows. HDB three- room, five-room and executive flats posted rental declines of 0.1 per cent, 0.5 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively, while four-room flats saw a 1.1 per cent increase in rents.

HDB rental transactions in September rose to an estimated 1,736, compared with 1,721 in August. This marked a 7 per cent increase year on year.


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