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Growth in rents of private homes beginning to ease up

Jan 26, 2008

EXPATRIATES and other tenants in private apartments can finally start to breathe easier. Data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority released yesterday showed a subsiding of the sharp rise in rentals for condos in key areas.

Rentals for non-landed property in the coveted core central region, which covers Tanglin and Bukit Timah, for instance, grew just 5.3 per cent, less than half the rate of 12.2 per cent achieved in the third quarter.

The drop in rental growth was not as dramatic for the rest of the central region, though, which slid from 11.9 per cent to 8.8 per cent, and outside the central region – from 11.8 per cent to 8.5 per cent. Overall rents of private homes grew 6.8 per cent from October to December, slowing from an 11.4 per cent rise in the previous period. For the whole of last year, private home rentals surged 41.2 per cent.

Mr Nicholas Mak, the head of research and consultancy at Knight Frank, expects private homes rentals to rise in a more ‘tamed manner’ of 10 per cent to 15 per cent this year.

Still, Ms Tay Huey Ying, director for research and consultancy at Colliers International, reckons rentals of luxury homes will rise by 25 per cent to 30 per cent this year.

Meanwhile, rentals for the HDB market continued to grow strongly.

The median rent for a four-room flat rose from $1,400 to $1,500 in the fourth quarter, while that for a fiveroom unit also grew $100 to hit $1,700.

From October to December, 3,300 flat owners were given approval to rent out their flats. The total number of flats being rented out rose 7 per cent to 17,400 in that period.

The chief executive of property agency PropNex, Mr Mohamed Ismail, expects rentals to rise by 15 per cent to 20 per cent for the whole of this year, as expats pushed out by high rentals for condo units look for cheaper options.

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