Condo rents up 3.2% in March 2020

Condominium rental prices nudged up 3.2% Year on Year (YoY) and 0.2% Month on Month (MoM) in March 2020 as all locations posted YoY climb in rates, according to SRX portal data. Rentals are however down 15% from its highest point last recorded in January 2013.

The Rest of Central Region (RCR) came in first for the YoY hike in rents at 4%, second by the Outside Central Region (OCR) at 3%, and lastly the Core Central Region at 2.4%. On a MoM comparison, OCR and RCR rents increased by 0.8% and 0.3%, respectively, while the CCR rental dipped by 0.8%. This bodes well for future new launches like One-North Eden which can take advantage of the recovery to move its homes.

“Due to the short supply of completed houses and a unexpected surge in rental demand, a few landlords hiked their asking rates. But we have also noticed that a few landlords provided some form of discounts or rebates to assist their tenants whose livelihoods have been impacted by the pandemic. This is a compassionate and caring gesture by us Singaporeans,” said Miss Christine Sun, the head of consultancy & research at OrangeTee & Tie.

A sum of 5,244 apartments were rented out in March, up 10.9% MoM and 7.6% more than the usual 5-year volumes for a March month. But the numbers reflected 5.9% YoY lower as compared to March last year. This high demand draws investors to developments like the Lentor Hills Residences Site.

Dissecting by regions, OCR formed up 40.6% of the entire volume. RCR accounted for 32.6% of the volume, and the CCR made up the rest of the 26.8%. With the One North Eden location being in the RCR, and with the lack of residential units in the One-North area, means the condo will be a big hit for investors.

“Current tenants could have selected to renew their contracts as several were resistant to hunt for new abodes, in order to reduce their chances of getting infected by the virus, whilst others who came back from overseas required somewhere to complete their stay-home notice (SHN),” added Miss Sun.

She also commented that a few Malaysian employees may have scrambled to lease a house before the imposed lockdown in their country. Some may have scrambled to commit to a unit prior to the implementation of the circuit breaker.

In the mean time, HDB flat rentals increased 1.5% YoY in spite of the 0.5% MoM dropped recorded in March 2020. SRX data showed rents have fallen 13.7% from its peak of August 2013.

“The public residential market has also experienced a similar trend where volumes have gone up in March, with likely the same reasons revealed for the private housing rental sector. The enlarging supply of HDB flats has possibly outweighed the jump in short-term demand for rental homes, which may expound on why public rental prices went down by 0.5% MoM,” commented Miss Sun. Amo Residence site which is located within a cluster of HDB flats likely benefitted from the phenomenon.

3-room HDB rents increased 1.6% YoY, 4-room HDB by 1.2%, 5-room HDB by 1.6% and executive HDB units by 0.9%. Rents in mature HDB estates and non-mature HDB estates increased 1.4% and 1.7% YoY, respectively.

HDB volumes declined 11.3% YoY in March 2020, but increased 15.4% MoM, from 1,869 homes in February to 2,157 in March 2020. When dissecting by room types, 34.5% of the entire rental volume comes from 3-room, 32.6% from 4-room, 26.5% from 5-room and 6.4% from executive.


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