Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Singapore condo for rent: price trends 2012

How much does Singapore condo rent? If you try to find an answer to this questions among condo for rent in Singapore type of advertisements, you will see the asking prices for condominium flats, which are greatly inflated by greedy property agents and landlords. But there is a place where quarterly median rental transactions are published: Urban Redevelopment Authority's Rentals for Private Residential Developments web service. Here, you can download a PDF file for the latest quarter and see the median square feet or square meter cost of Singapore condominium and private apartment units in various projects and postal districts. This is more accurate since they are compiled based on real transaction prices not almost unreal asking prices.

The report is compiled for each non-landed residential project (condominium or apartment) with at least 10 rental contracts signed in that quarter. There are 3 figures published : median, 25th percentile and 75 percentile. You can interpret the numbers as below:

For example, recently completed luxury condominium project Caribbean At Keppel Bay at District 4 has following numbers $56.92 per sqm (25 percentile), $60.86 per sqm (median) and $66.67 per sqm (75 percentile) for Q1 2012. This means;
  • Half of the condo units rented here were priced below $60.86 per sqm and half of them were above $60.86 per sqm (so $60.86 per sqm is mean price).
  • 25 percent or 1 in every 4 rental condominium units were cheaper than $56.92 per sqm (25 percentile).
  • 75 percent or 3 in every 4  rental condominium units  were cheaper than $ 66.67  per sqm (75 percentile).
So, median rental price for a 100 sqm flat is around 6,086 Singapore Dollars per month. But actually, you should also know that as the unit size increases, the square feet price decreases so a large unit of 2,00 sqm will probably cost less than 2 x $6,086 per month while a 50 sqm unit will cost more than  $6,086 / 2 per month. Unit rental prices also greatly vary by the specifics of the units like pool facing, high floor, etc.

Rent in Singapore, especially private flat rental, has been in a non-stop increase trend for a long time and has increased  30 percent since the second quarter of 2009. Based on URAs data, currently median rent looks like 3.73 SGD per square feet. The good news is that, for the potential tenants of course, the prices have gone down first time in 2 years in the first quarter of 2012 and fell compared to Q4 2011.

Below grap shows the rent trend and the fall in the final quarter:

Singapore non-landed residential property rental prices (S$ per sqf)

In the first 3 months of 2012, the cheapest projects in terms of $ per square feet per month were Loyang Valley, Cashew heights Condominium, Seletaris, Kum Hing Court, The Dairy Farm and Ballota Park Condo. But note that, this are unit prices and tend to be lower in projects which has big units. Loyang Valley for example is composed of large units and absolute price wise may not be the cheapest.

The cheapest districts in terms of $ per square feet per month were 27, 17, 13, 23 and 21.

Cheapest projects and postal districts in terms of $ per square feet per month

In the first 3 months of 2012, the most expensive projects in terms of $ per square feet per month rent were The Clift, Vida, Per At Robertson, Visioncrest and Icon. And not surprisingly the most expensive districts in terms of $ per square feet per month rent were 1, 2, 9, 7 and 8.

Most expensive projects and postal districts in terms of $ per square feet per month
URA's web service is a good place to do reality check against the asking prices. I have checked several condominium project's asking prices in property guru against the numbers published here. One of them had more than 20 units advertised and non were cheaper than 1.5 times 75 percentile (do not forget, 75 percentile number means 75 percent of the units were cheaper than this number!). So either property guru advertisements here were all for the top 25 percent units and the rest were advertised somewhere else or there is a great room for bargaining.

In fact based on my experience, condo units for rent in popular expat districts of 1 to 10, tend to have huge difference between asking prices and real contract prices. Here are the places where property agents pray on clueless newbies most, so it is not surprising. As you get more experience here and realize that you do not  lose so much time and fun by not living in city center, you move to outer regions and in these places, asking prices and real contract price differences do match.

So the lesson is that you should not be clueless and do a reality check against asking prices. And also consider to rent outside central region right away. Many expats I know were thrown into Singapore city center by property agents as if they cannot leave somewhere else on this only 25 x 65 km island and then moved out from there for huge savings. Some even moved to HDBs. You or your company can effort a rent does not mean you should just pay it where there is really very little ROI.

1 comment:

  1. Hi -

    thanks for this analysis. I am trying to see where the rental prices ended up for Q4 2012. I have downloaded the relevant file from http://www.ura.gov.sg/realEstateWeb/realEstate/pageflow/rental/RentalController.jpf but just want to make sure that I am comparing apples-to-apples with your analysis. Could you please let me know how you arrived at the 25th, 50th and 75th numbers in the graph above from the URA report?