Renting a home in Singapore has never been this expensive

·2-min read
Renting a home in Singapore has never been this expensive. (PHOTO: Getty Commercial)
Renting a home in Singapore has never been this expensive. (PHOTO: Getty Commercial)

By Abhishek Vishnoi

(Bloomberg) — Rents for Singapore’s private apartments and Housing Development Board flats surged to record highs last month, according to local media, and expectations are that they will keep rising.

Condominium rents climbed 2.3% in April from a month earlier to surpass their previous peak reached in January 2013, while those for HDB flats increased 1.9% to exceed the record set in August 2013, the Business Times reported, citing data released by real estate portals 99.co and SRX Property.

Demand for more space during the pandemic coupled with tight supply of houses due to construction delays has led to a surge in rental rates. Observers said they expect the upward trend to continue as the city-state reopens and work relocations increase, including from Hong Kong.

Rental prices for private apartments have risen for 16 straight months, with a 15% year-on-year increase in April. Rents for HDB flats have climbed for 22 months, gaining 14% from a year ago in the latest month, the reports said.

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A condominium in District 1, which boasts of being closer to offices in the central business district as well as many tourist attractions, can now go for a median rent of S$5,100 (US$3,670) a month versus S$4,000 a month a year ago, according to the data by 99.co and SRX compiled by the Business Times.

The area saw one of the biggest jumps in prices over the period, though rents in District 25 near to the Causeway bridge connecting Singapore to Malaysia experienced the largest increase. In that district, which comprises the northern Kranji and Woodlands areas, median condominium rents have risen almost 44% over the year to reach S$3,450 last month, the data show.

Rent is projected to continue to increase given that leasing demand is supported by both local residents and newly arrived foreigners, said Nicholas Mak, the Singapore-based head of research at APAC Realty Ltd. unit ERA.

“As Singapore opens its border with the rest of the world, more foreign workers, students and their families will move to work, study and live in Singapore,” Mak said. “Some of these foreigners will also include Malaysians who have been waiting for the opportunity to work in Singapore to take advantage of the stronger Singapore dollar.”

—With assistance from Faris Mokhtar and Joyce Koh.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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