SINGAPORE – Rents of condominiums in Singapore inched up in July after two straight months of decline, while those of HDB flats held largely steady from June, according to monthly flash data from real estate portal SRX Property released on Thursday (Aug 15).

The number of units leased also saw a month-on-month increase for both condos and HDBs.

For non-landed private homes, overall rents last month improved 0.8 per cent from June, and were up 2.7 per cent on a year-on-year basis. Previously, condo rents had dipped 0.2 per cent month on month in both June and May.

Compared to their peak in January 2013, condo rents this July have fallen 16.9 per cent.

By location, July’s condo rents rose across the board, with prime apartments in the core central region (CCR) posting the largest increase of 1.1 per cent from June, followed by the suburbs or outside central region (OCR) with a 1 per cent growth and the city fringes or rest of central region (RCR) up 0.3 per cent.

Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie, said: “Rents for non-landed private homes in the CCR increased the most, on both a month-on-month and year-on-year basis, compared to the other segments. This could be due to both supply and demand factors.”

“The current stock of completed luxury homes has decreased since some developments were demolished to make way for newer projects after the recent collective-sales cycle,” Ms Sun said.

“There also seems to be more professionals and corporate executives entering the market lately who prefer to rent a luxury home in the prime districts,” she added.

The current tenant mix for condos appears to be from Malaysia, Europe, Australia and East Asia including Taiwan, South Korea and China, based on OrangeTee’s observation.

“Rental demand (for non-landed private homes) is expected to remain robust, as the third quarter usually sees more expats signing or renewing contracts before the year-end holidays,” Ms Sun said.

The volume of condos leased grew by 13 per cent on a monthly basis, with about 5,408 condo units rented in July as compared to 4,785 units in June.

Year on year, condo rental volumes inched down 0.9 per cent.

Nonetheless, last month’s volumes for condos were still 18.2 per cent higher than the five-year average for the month of July. It is also above the 12-month average of 4,782 units from July 2018 to July 2019, which indicates that rental demand is “currently very healthy”, said Ms Sun.

As for the HDB market, overall rents remained flat on a monthly basis in July, slipping marginally by 0.08 per cent from June, but up 1 per cent year on year.

Ms Sun expects overall HDB rents to likely continue to hold steady or fall slightly in the coming months, on the back of the increasing supply of HDB flats reaching their five-year minimum occupation period which will make them eligible for rent.

In terms of flat sizes, three-room and executive HDB flats saw rents rising by 1 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively in July from June. Four-room and five-room flats’ rents fell by 0.9 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.

In non-mature estates, rents for HDB flats edged up by 0.4 per cent month on month, while those in mature estates dropped by 0.4 per cent.

Compared to their peak in August 2013, HDB rents this July have declined 14.5 per cent.

Volumes of HDB units leased increased by 4.9 per cent month on month, with 1,962 rented in July versus 1,870 flats in June.

Year on year, HDB rental volumes fell 2.7 per cent. But last month’s volumes for HDB flats were 6.1 per cent higher than the five-year average for the month of July.