HDB and condo rents fell in January but volumes rose: SRX, 99.co

The rental prices of both public and private housing continued to decline in the first months of this year. Both the Housing and Development Board and condominiums posted a 0.7% decrease from December levels 2023.

SRX released a report by 99.co on Tuesday, February 20th. The data showed that the Core Central Region was the only region to see rental growth of 0.4 percent. Rents in the Rest of the Central Region declined 1.6% and rents outside the Central Region decreased 1 percent.

Overall rents rose by 0.4% on an annual basis, with the OCR seeing a 2.4% increase. The CCR saw a rental decline of 0.7 percent and the RCR a 0.6 percent.

The condo rental price has fallen 4.3% from its all-time peak since the rise in supply last summer.

Landlords are facing a difficult time when trying to rent their properties. The rising number of retrenchments has led to a softer demand from tenants. Some landlords are willing to compromise on rents rather than have their units empty for a long time.

The private rental volume grew by 6.2 percent, with 6,016 estimated units rented in January 2024 compared to 5,665 in the preceding month.

The latest figures, however, are 4.6 percent lower year-over-year and 13 percent lower than the average five-year volume for January.

By region, 38.5 percent of condo rentals were from the OCR. The RCR accounted for 32.6 percent, and the CCR accounted for 28.8 percent.

After the end-of-year holidays, the demand for private rentals has increased as tenants signed new leases or renewed existing ones at the beginning of 2024. The Chinese New Year holiday caused a drop in condo rental volume for February, according to experts. Landlords do not usually open their properties during this time.

HDB rents were also down, falling by 0.7 percent from December 2023. Rents in mature and non-matured estates fell by 1.2 and 0.3 respectively.

HDB’s January rents for four-room units remained the same month-over-month, while three-room rents fell by 1.2 percent and executive flat rentals dropped by 3 percent. Five-room rentals dipped 0.6 per cent. Overall rents rose 8.6 percent from January 2023. Mature estates saw a growth of 7.5 percent, while non-mature estates grew by 9.7 percent.

The five-room unit registered the highest rent increase, with 9.2 percent. The four-room unit (8.7%), executive units (8.2%) and three-roomers (78%) followed.

The HDB market saw a growth of 4.6 percent month-on-month, with an estimated 3,024 apartments rented in December 2023 compared to 2,892 units in January 2023. This represents a 5.3% increase over January 2023 and 1.43% above the average five-year volume for January.

HDB rental rates are based on the type of flat. The most common flats are four-roomers, which account for 38.4 percent, followed by flats with three rooms (33.6%), five-roomers (22.8%), and executive units (5.2%).

In December 2023, the proportion of flats with four rooms rented out was 36.2 percent.

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Renters may have chosen to rent a smaller apartment that was more affordable as the Singapore economy suffered more retrenchments.

Tenants may have entered the market more readily after seeing the rental prices drop significantly compared to six-months ago.

He said that they could also use this as an opportunity to negotiate lower rates on the rental market for condos.


According to him, the decline in rental rates on the HDB market may only be temporary because of the increased volumes. This indicates a strong demand. HDB rentals continue to be attractive for tenants seeking affordable housing. If the drop in condo rents continues, it may narrow the gap between HDB and condo rents. Then, some HDB tenants may be tempted into moving to a condominium. HDB rents could then start to move southwards and consolidate.

She believes that the chances of HDB rents going up are not very high. She continued: If prices did rise, they would likely affect smaller HDB apartments as couples who take up the scheme are more likely to rent smaller flats because of cost concerns. The extent of the effect on rental demand and price will depend on the number of people who qualify for vouchers, and the amount that is given.

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