The rental volume for both Housing Board (HDB) flats and condominium units went up last month as more overseas Singaporeans and long-term pass holders returned to Singapore.
Condo leasings rose 5.3 per cent last month to an estimated 4,414 units, compared with 4,193 units in November, according to flash data released by real estate portal SRX Property yesterday.
The rental volume was 15.4 per cent higher than the five-year average for the month of December.
But the full-year total of 52,333 rental transactions for last year was 11.4 per cent lower than in 2019.
HDB rental volume climbed 9 per cent month on month to an estimated 1,774 flats last month, compared with 1,627 units in November.
Year on year, HDB leasings are down 4 per cent from December 2019, before the onset of Covid-19.
A total of 20,501 rental transactions were recorded for the whole of last year, which is 15.3 per cent lower than in 2019.
OrangeTee & Tie senior vice-president of research and analytics Christine Sun said the rising number of foreigners being let go, weak hiring prospects and travel restrictions last year led to lower rental transactions for both private residential and HDB markets last year, compared with 2019.
However, she noted that rental volume increased last month over November as more Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders returned to Singapore, with some likely requiring short-to mid-term accommodation as they scouted for a more permanent place.
“Some locals who have just sold their private homes or flats may also rent a unit in the interim as they wait for the completion of their new place,” she said.
Overall rents for condo units last month fell by 0.3 per cent from November, breaking a five-month streak.
Last month, rents in the core central region dropped by 0.4 per cent month on month, while rents in the outside central region slipped 0.6 per cent. Only rents in the rest of central region rose, by a slight 0.1 per cent.
Overall rents for the whole of last year dipped by 0.2 per cent.
The HDB rental market remained strong as rent increased by 0.4 per cent last month from the month before.
Rents in mature estates rose 0.9 per cent, while those in non-mature estates edged down by 0.1 per cent.
Overall HDB rents increased by 1.2 per cent last year compared with the year before, still lower than the 1.4 per cent rise in 2019.
ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said the private condominium rental market is showing signs of stability as leasing volume increased 0.5 per cent from 2019, after an eventful year battered by the pandemic and economic recession.
On the HDB residential market front, he noted that both the resale and rental segments last year did “exceptionally well” despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The private and HDB residential leasing markets are expected to continue to stabilise with limited growth until the local employment market starts to expand significantly, which could happen in the second half of 2021,” he said.