Tag Archives: expatriates

City fringe homes drive rental growth

Leasing demand in the private residential market remains healthy, according to a new Savills report today.

Rental volumes islandwide increased by 4 percent year-on-year, as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed there were 13,077 leases of private residential homes, excluding executive condominiums, in Q1 2014.
37 percent (or 4,839 leases) of these were in the city fringe areas, higher than the 30.6 percent and 32.4 percent recorded in the Outside of Central Region (OCR) and Core Central Region (CCR) respectively.

Residential properties in the city fringe areas are probably more appealing as expatriates in Singapore try to balance tighter rental budgets with accessibility factors.

“These housing options likely fit better to their current budgets, yet still remain conveniently accessible from the city area. Tenants these days are also offered a wider variety of locations in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) to pick from, as there is an increasing number of newly completed developments,” the report explained.

Rental volumes by market segment, 2004–Q1/2014

The overall rental index of private residential properties continued to ease 0.7 percent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) in Q1 2014.

The vacancy rate climbed to 6.6 percent from 6.2 percent in the previous quarter, which translated to 19,284 vacant units out of the current 293,283 private homes available throughout Singapore. The increase was mainly due to the spike in the East region, whereas vacancy rates either remained flat or declined in the other regions.

More pressure on residential rents is expected this year, especially in the high-end market, as expatriates’ housing allowances continue to be trimmed, as well as the increasing number of newly completed high-end projects.

However, the expected rise in Singapore’s economy should help to support the pace of growth in private residential leasing demand although rents could remain flat or soften due to increasing supply and the tighter rental budgets.

Alan Cheong, Senior Director of Savills Research, said, “A stalemate has developed wherein increasing new supply and tighter rental budgets face off against an improving economy.”

Source : PropertyGuru

More expats looking at Balestier for affordable homes

Homes in Balestier are becoming a preferred choice for buyers, especially among expatriates who cannot afford to buy expensive city centre properties.

While units in Balestier are usually 20 percent more affordable than nearby prime areas, they are still fairly central. In the past year, new condos such as Nova 88 have been built in the area supplying over 400 new homes.

Chia Siew Chuin, Director of Research and Advisory at Colliers International, revealed that another 1,400 new homes are expected to be ready in the vicinity by 2015.

As a sign of healthy property sales, Far East Organization’s Vista Residences at Jalan Datoh has eight units remaining – four-bedroom penthouses are going at S$4.3 million or S$1,800 psf.

Launched last year, EL Development’s Skysuites 17 has only one penthouse left.

Chia added that rents in Balestier have also inched up this year. On average, monthly rents stood at S$3.35 psf in April and May, higher than December’s S$2.98 psf.

As for freehold condos, resale prices are 15 to 20 percent lower than in Novena and seven to 10 percent less than in Toa Payoh, noted Ong Kah Seng, Director at R’ST Research.

Meanwhile, more investors and expats are looking at shoebox units, especially small to mid-sized condos such as Okio.

Over at Skysuites 17, investors accounted for about half of the buyers and around 40 percent of the units are sized below 500 sq ft, noted Lim Yew Soon, Managing Director at EL Development.

Experts attribute Balestier’s appeal to its good food, old world charm and attractions.

Source : PropertyGuru – 2012 Jul