RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

Find out the 10 most expensive districts to rent an HDB flat in Singapore

Glitzy Bukit Timah is off the list.

There’s just a few more days left before the year ends, but lean times seem to stick around Housing Board landlords as rentals are likely to remain depressed.

According to the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) Property Price Index for HDB Rentals, rents dipped 0.1% in November compared to October. This is the third consecutive month that rents have declined. Rents for 3- and 5-room flats also slipped 0.2% and 1% respectively. 4-room flats’ rents levelled at 0% in October, while executive flats saw a pick-up in rents by 3.5%. Year-on-year, rents in November 2014 are down 2.2% from November 2013.

Thomas Tan, Executive Director of property consulting firm RE/MAX Singapore believes that in 2015 and 2016, HDB rents may face downward pressure as more condominiums reach TOP. This, he says, is the time the HDB owners will have to decide whether to sell or rent their existing HDB flats.

To help owners on this matter, as well as guide individuals looking for a good deal, Singapore Business Review came up with a comparative table of the most expensive districts to rent an HDB flat. Using data from SRX, we compared the median rents of HDB flats in November 2014 versus 2013.

Bukit Timah, which used to be the most expensive district to rent in 2013, dropped out of the top 10. Median rents for HDB flats in Bukit Timah slipped 24% to $2,275.

Albert Lu, CEO of another property consulting firm C&H Properties explains that Bukit Timah, being one of the smallest towns in Singapore, might have been greatly affected even by a slight change in supply/ demand. "It is possible that the supply may be limited compared to demand in 2013. As for 2014, the demand may have dropped because potential tenants have more choices especially in other estates with accessibility to MRT(s)," he says.

He adds that the industry in Bukit Timah might have been affected by the slowdown in Chinese migration to the city. "Bukit Timah is near Hwa Chong, a favourite among Chinese students. The number of foreign students from China may have slowed because of anti-corruption actions in China. This could be one factor for the decrease in demand," he says.

Thomas Tong, a property expert at DWG also points to the limited supply of HDB in Bukit Timah as a cause of the decline in median rents. "Most of the properties there are either landed houses, condos or apartments. therefore the dip in Singapore’s ability to retain foreigners, together with the fact that it is increasingly becoming difficult for foreigners to come into Singapore, might be a cause for the dip in price," he notes. 

Which districts are the 10 most expensive to rent an HDB flat?

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Find out the 10 most expensive districts to rent an HDB flat in Singapore

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