Lower condo rentals may be caused by increased vacancies: What you need to know

The rental market in Singapore has been undergoing a noteworthy transformation, with a marked reduction in the price difference between private condominiums (or condos) and Housing Development Board (HDB) flats. While private condo rentals have been on the decline due to increasing vacancies, HDB rents have been on a steady rise and have reached new peaks.

This article explores the factors behind the decrease in condo rents, the current market conditions, and the implications of these trends for both renters and landlords in Singapore.

Over the past few months, the rental market in Singapore has shown contrasting developments for private condominiums and HDB flats. According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s data, the median monthly rents for condos have declined, dropping from S$4,550 in Q3 2023 to S$4,300 in early 2024.

Read more about the price decline here: HDB rental prices at new high; Condo rental lowest since Jan 2023

In contrast, HDB rents have remained steady and even reached new heights, with median rents increasing for different types of flats.

Factors leading to decreased condo rentals

condos and flats - lower condo rents 2024
Image credit: Kaja Sariwating on Unsplash.

The decline in rental prices for condominiums can be attributed to a combination of increased supply and decreased demand. With over 29,000 new residential units completed between 2022 and 2023, the housing stock has significantly expanded.

Simultaneously, demand has softened due to various factors, including domestic shifts and reduced expatriate demand. Many Singaporeans have moved into newly completed homes, resulting in fewer individuals seeking rental properties.

Additionally, economic restructuring has led to a decrease in the number of expatriates relocating to Singapore, particularly affecting demand from multinational corporations, tech firms, and financial institutions.

Regional analysis of rental price changes

The decline in condo rental prices varies significantly across different regions:

  • The Prime Core Central Region (CCR) saw the steepest decline at 5.6%.
  • Rentals in the Suburbs (Outside Central Region, OCR) and City Fringe (Rest of Central Region, RCR) decreased by 5% and 3.3%, respectively.
  • District-specific decreases were most pronounced in District 5 (Pasir Panjang, Hong Leong Garden, Clementi New Town) with a fall of 10.9%, and similar trends were observed in Districts 13, 18, and 4.

Additional reading: What’s narrowing the gap between CCR and RCR prices?

Implications for tenants and landlords

As the rental market evolves, tenants are increasingly considering condos as a more appealing option due to their added privacy and potentially lower costs compared to HDB flats.

For landlords, the current market conditions necessitate flexible rental strategies to mitigate the risk of prolonged vacancies. This might include updating rental units or adjusting rent expectations to attract tenants.

HDB market dynamics

Despite decreasing condo rents, the HDB rental market is experiencing an opposite trend. This surge in rental prices is due to a combination of steady demand and a scarcity of flats that have met the five-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP).

Notably, rental prices for HDB flats have seen significant increases:

  • Three-room flats experienced a 12% rise in rent,
  • Four-room flats saw a 10% increase,
  • Executive flats’ rents went up by 9.1%.

Predictions for the future

Moving forward, the rental market in Singapore may experience some stabilisation as the supply of new condos is consumed and the economic landscape adapts to post-pandemic norms.

Nevertheless, the government’s policies could have an impact on the market dynamics, making it essential for both tenants and landlords to stay updated and ready to adjust to any changes. Relaxing the occupancy cap for larger flats, which permits more unrelated individuals to live together, could also influence future demand dynamics.


condos - lower condo rentals 2024
Image credit: Jie Yeu Teoh on Unsplash.

The rental market in Singapore is currently experiencing noteworthy changes, with divergent patterns emerging in the private condo and HDB sectors. Being knowledgeable about these developments is essential when it comes to making sound decisions, whether you’re seeking to rent out a property or locate a place to rent.

To effectively navigate the intricacies of the Singaporean real estate landscape, it’s vital to remain abreast of the latest market information and perspectives as we monitor these trends.

This article is a product of 99.co and is based on information gathered from various sources, including The Straits Times. These sources are used in good faith to provide valuable insights. The source of the referenced content is duly credited and we recommend readers refer them for a comprehensive understanding of the topic. 99.co is not responsible for errors, omissions, or consequences from using this information.

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