Business

Rents sluggish in December but pickup expected later this year

Rents stayed sluggish last month but the full-year decline in 2017 was more moderate than in 2016, indicating a pickup later this year.

Rents of private non-landed homes slipped 0.3 per cent in December from November, bringing the full-year decline to 0.5 per cent.

HDB rents had a 0.6 per cent fall in December from November, bringing the full-year decline to 3.5 per cent.

These figures are flash estimates from SRX Property.

The full-year declines were more moderate than the 5.9 per cent drop in private non-landed rents and the 3.9 per cent dip in HDB rents in 2016. This continued rental slide coincided with a recovery in private home prices.

SRX Property's resale price index for private non-landed homes rose 6.2 per cent in 2017 while its resale price index for HDB flats slipped 1.8 per cent.

The seasonally slow month of December saw fewer rental transactions. An estimated 1,414 HDB flats were rented in the month, a 23.1 per cent fall from November and a 21.2 per cent drop from a year earlier.

About 3,188 private non-landed units were rented in December, 20.2 per cent down from November and 15.3 per cent lower than the same month in 2016.

Knight Frank head of consultancy and research Alice Tan expects overall private home rents to register a marginal rise of 1 per cent to 3 per cent by the fourth quarter of 2018. - THE STRAITS TIMES

Property