Straits Times: Tue, Aug 28
PRIVATE housing rents have kept climbing to hit a fresh high last month, as a growing number of small apartments drove up prices in per sq ft (psf) terms.
A report by property consultancy Savills Singapore found median rents for non-landed homes were up 7 per cent to $3.60 psf a month while rents for landed homes rose 2 per cent to $2.81 psf a month.
Across the board, rents for last month came in at a record $3.52 psf a month. This is higher than the previous record of $3.46 psf a month in May.
Leasing volumes have also risen in both the landed and non-landed segments, with 4,717 contracts inked last month - 11 per cent more than in June.
In the first seven months of the year, contracts were up 5 per cent to 27,932, compared with the same period last year.
This led to total transactional value reaching $137 million - 8 per cent more than the $126 million recorded in the same period last year, the Savills report noted.
Savills research head Alan Cheong said that although newly arrived expatriates appear to have more constrained rental budgets, rents as measured on a psf basis have increased as these tenants lean towards smaller homes.
"Traditionally, July has been a seasonal peak for the rental market. Moving forward, we can expect the number of leasing transactions to drop over July's numbers," he said. "But nonetheless, when measured on a year-to-year basis, (volumes) would at least hold firm or even sporadically rise for a month or two."
Savills said the number of leases is expected to stay high, although overall rents are expected to fall. "At the moment, we are not yet witnessing the completion of the bulk of small-format homes sold from 2010 onwards, and this has the effect of keeping the rental indices up," the report noted.
"However, once more get completed from 2013 and if the euro zone situation does not improve, rents may see an inflexion point."
Rents inched up 0.3 per cent in the second quarter compared with the first three months of the year, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
Terraced homes lodged the biggest increase of 1.6 per cent.
All other segments also enjoyed higher rents except for detached homes, which saw a 1 per cent dip, and non-landed homes in the city centre, whose rents fell 0.1 per cent, URA data showed.
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