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Hong Kong expats boost Singapore’s leasing volume in H2

Inquiries and some signage of leases by expats that came from Hong Kong to Singapore was reported in the second and third quarter of the year.

Arrival of Hong Kong expatriates may cause a positive stir in Singapore’s leasing volume in the coming months after a 1.9% decline in the private residential rental market was observed during the second quarter of the year.

Alan Cheong, the Executive Director for Research & Consultancy at Savills Singapore, said that there had been some inquiries and signage of leases as forecasted by a recent report suggesting the arrival of another wave of Hong Kong expats to Singapore.

According to Cheong, this influx isn’t monumental but noticeable. “It's more like a wavelet. You probably can surf on it,” Cheong remarked, “The Hong Kong market actually gave some spur in a positive direction.”

Cheong anticipates that the high-end market of luxury districts will experience the most change, saying that Hong Kong expats have a budget for C-suite levels in Singapore. 

“In Hong Kong, they are ranked slightly below the C suite levels. But when they come to Singapore, they will be holding positions in the C suite levels so they have the budget for apartments that are more than $10,000 per month in rents,” he said.

Cheong said that expats should have a budget of $10,000 to $25,000 to be able to find a comfortable space in Singapore.

“That wouldn't put them in the super, super luxury districts or the prime districts, but at least they will be in some areas of districts 9, 10 and 11 that have apartments that are going out there for between $10,000 to $17,000 per month,” he specified.

Mass and mid-tier markets might remain relatively unaffected, since new supply mainly targets these sectors.

Cheong advised landlords to avoid asking rents far beyond the market rate, emphasizing swift negotiations and settling for just above the market rent.

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