HDB, condo rents on upward trend due to renewed demand and low supply

More condominium units and Housing Board flats were leased last month while rents continued to rise, as landlords opened their homes for viewing after the Chinese New Year lull and tenants flocked back to the market.

Rental volume for condo apartments rose to an eight-month high, surging by 32.4 per cent to an estimated 5,118 units, compared with 3,865 in February, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX released yesterday.

Rental volume for HDB flats hit a nine-month high, increasing by 41.2 per cent last month to an estimated 1,983 units, compared with 1,404 in February.

The HDB rental volume is still 12.5 per cent lower than the five-year average for March.

But for condos, the figure is just 0.3 per cent lower than the five-year average volume for the month.

Rents of condo units rose 0.8 per cent from February to last month while those for HDB climbed 0.5 per cent over the same period.

Condo rents were up for the third straight month and 2.4 per cent higher than March last year, although still down 13.2 per cent from their peak in January 2013.

HDB rents have risen for nine consecutive months and are 3.4 per cent higher than March last year, but still down 11.2 per cent from their peak in August 2013.

Ms Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie's senior vice-president of research and analytics, said the steady stream of permanent residents, long-term pass holders and students returning to Singapore may have resulted in higher rental demand in recent weeks.

"Occupancy is high since many tenants have renewed their leases.

"Fewer homes have also been completed due to construction delays," she noted.

"As a result, rental prices for condominiums and HDB flats continued to rise last month on higher demand and low supply."

Last month, condo rents went up across the board compared with February, rising 1.2 per cent in central Singapore, 0.4 per cent in the city fringes and 0.9 per cent in the suburban areas.

HDB rents edged up by 0.2 per cent in mature estates and 0.8 per cent in non-mature ones, over their February levels.

Rents also expanded across all flat types, with four-room units seeing the biggest increase of 0.7 per cent.

Rents for three-room flats went up by 0.4 per cent while those for five-room and executive ones rose by 0.3 per cent.

This article first appeared in The Straits Times.