Saturday, October 29, 2011

HDB rents are still on the rise

If you are looking for an HDB flat for rent, you will need to prepare yourself to pay even high prices for a public housing ceiling over your head now. Housing Development Board (HDB) has just released the median rental transaction prices for Q3 2011. There are many people looking for an HDB to rent and there are very few HDB units for rent. As a result the rental prices of these units went from ultra-high to ridiculous region in Q3 2011.

There are 2 facts to highlight about these numbers:
  • These numbers here are actual transaction prices, they are not asking prices. So as an indicator, they are more reliable than asking prices you will find in Singapore property web sites which are usually higher.
  • These numbers are median numbers. Median means that half of the transactions were above those numbers and half of the transactions were below those numbers. If you are looking for an HDB unit which is in a relatively good shape, I suggest you to expect paying 10-15% above these median prices.

Below graph shows rental trends for 3-room (2 bedroom or 2+1), 4-room (3 bedroom or 3+1), 5-room (4+1 or 4 bedroom) and exec flat quarterly rental trends since Q3 2007.

Singapore HDB Rental Flat Rental Price Trends
As you can see from the graph, HDB flat rents has increased for all flat types except the executive flats in the third quarter of 2011. The pain of supply crunch in HDB flats due to low flat building rates of last decade is fully felt this year as the HDB flats are now can be rented higher than the numbers you would pay just five years ago to condominium units. Back then it was not a problem to find a decent HDB flat for 900 SGD per month.

Current market is landlord + property agent market. Still, it must also be painful for the property agents since there are significantly less units out there to rent out so significantly less transactions for them to earn money. Actually, if many people (including couples and families) did not reduce their life quality and packed into rental rooms, there would probably not enough flat to house all foreigners.

Still, the numbers tell that the asking prices of the landlords and property agents can still be negotiable. I have for example never seen a 4 room flat with an asking price less than 2,300 SGD per month in Tampines but the average transaction price for last 3 months there was 2,200 SGD per month.

Another interesting fact is that, the highest end of the HDB rental, executive flats crashed in rental compared to a quarter ago. For example in Clementi, the median exec flat rental went from 3,100 SGD per month peak of Q3-2010 to 2,550 SGD per month. 


  1. Executive flat rents are unlikely to be able to maintain at $3100 level because there are condos closing at less than that price.
    A more realistic price range for execs should be around $2400-2700.

  2. Hi Mark,

    You are right. There are hundreds of condominium units asking below 3,100 SGD even before negotiation.