SINGAPORE: Unofficial estimates reveal that Singapore’s condominium and HDB rental and transaction volumes have witnessed a downward trend for the third consecutive month, with HDB rents falling for the first time in two years.

A forecast report jointly released by real estate websites 99.co and SRX disclosed that condo rents experienced a marginal decrease of 0.2% in October 2023 compared to September 2023. Notable regional disparities were observed, with RCR rents rising by 0.8%, while CCR and OCR rents faced a slight downturn of 0.3% and 0.9%, respectively.

Year-on-year data showed an overall increase of 10.8% in rents from October 2022, with distinct upticks in CCR (8.2%), RCR (12.1%), and OCR (12.2%). However, rental volumes decreased by 5.4% month-on-month, with 5,402 units rented in October 2023, down from 5,713 units in September 2023.

In the HDB rental landscape, October 2023 witnessed a 0.4% rent decline from September 2023. Mature Estates experienced a slight dip of 0.1%, while Non-Mature Estates saw a modest increase of 0.1%. Year-on-year data revealed an overall increase of 14.1% in rents from October 2022, broken down into 12.7% for Mature Estates and 15.4% for Non-Mature Estates.

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Examining room types, 3-room and 5-room rents decreased by 0.6% and 1.4%, while 4-room and Executive rents increased by 0.1% and 0.9%, respectively. HDB rental volumes experienced a 2.4% uptick month-on-month, with an estimated 2,830 units rented in October 2023 compared to 2,763 units in September 2023.

Factors contributing to this shift in the rental landscape include eased pandemic-induced demand pressures and the reopening of land borders. The absence of recent new property launches has impacted the rental market negatively, disrupting traditional patterns and contributing to a rise in vacancy rates, the highest observed in five years.

Furthermore, the completion of around 9,000 private residential units in Q3 has seen a surge in local households moving into new dwellings. Approximately 20,400 private homes are slated for completion in 2023, marking the most significant annual supply completion since 2017, including notable projects like The Woodleigh Residences, Affinity at Serangoon, and Riverfront Residences.

Forecasts predict an additional 8,959 private residential units to be completed in 2024, potentially alleviating pressure on asking rents as domestic demand subsides.