HDB leasing to gain momentum, condo rentals weakening

HDB continues to grow its rental market, with a 1% increase in the overall rents. Rental prices rose by 1.2% in mature estates, and 1.0% in nonmature estates.

All room types have also seen rents increase. Three-room flats saw a 2.1% rise in rent, followed by flats with five rooms (1%) executive flats (0.9%) and flats with four rooms (0.1%).

HDB rentals increased 10.1% from year to year. Rents at mature estates went up 10.4 percent while those at non-mature estates went up 10.3 percent.

Executive flats recorded a rental increase of 14.7% on the previous year.

HDB’s volume of leasing rose 7.4 per cent in December, to an estimated 2,891 apartments from 2,693 flats in November.

The figure was 12.8% more than in December of 2022. But it was only 0.1% lower than the five year average volume.

Analysts anticipate that private rental will ease in 2024.

Rental rates could drop 10 to 15 percent over the next twelve months, as the supply-demand dynamics on the housing rental market continue to stabilize in 2024.

Leasing volume of condos has increased 14 percent in the past month to 5,644 estimated units.

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Increased demand could be due to landlords accepting lower rents or more lease renewals at the beginning of the year. Demand will continue to increase in January 2024 if tenants continue signing new leases or renewing leases at the beginning of the calendar year.

The tenants remain concerned about affordability, so despite a tighter HDB marketplace with fewer minimum-occupation period flats they do not expect to see rents go up.

HDB is expected to stabilise its rental rates in 2024. This will result in a small increase between 1 and 3%.

Rental volume decreased by 11,6 % on an annual basis. They were 12,6 % lower than December’s five-year average. The OCR accounted 38.2% of the leasing volume while the RCR and CCR each contributed 33.6%.

In December last year, condominium rental prices fell for a fifth consecutive month. The decline erased all growth from the first half in 2023. HDB, the Housing and Development Board, has continued to record growth both in rents and leasing volume.

Flash data from SRX released on January 18 indicated that rental prices for condos decreased by 0.5 percent compared to the previous month. This was due to rental drops in all regions.

Rents in the Outside of Central Region were 4.4% higher and rents in Rest of Central region (RCR) 2.6% more than they were last December. Rents were up 4.4% in Outside Central Region. Core Central Region’s rents increased by 0.9% on the same period last year.

The decline in rental prices in December is milder compared to the previous month. This was probably due to an increase in demand by new hires in the beginning of the year.

In 2024 landlords will bear the brunt for rising property values and taxes. Many landlords might opt to lower their rents in the current high interest rate environment.

Most of the leasing was done in four-room apartments, which accounted to 36.2%. Three-roomers were responsible for 34.1 percent, followed in order by five roomers (24 percent) and executive apartment (5 per cent).

Analysts are split on how the HDB rental sector will look in 2024.

Some analysts predict that HDB’s rental market which offers affordable housing will grow at an average rate of 8 to 10 percent in 2024.

HDB rents will increase by up 8 per cent after the temporary relaxation.

Analysts believe that HDB rentals will begin to drop in the second quarter of 2024. HDB rentals will be affected by the expected decline of rental properties in private residential areas.

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