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Pricey Singapore rents go through the roof even as population dips -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A view of Singapore’s cityscape December 31, 2020. Picture taken December 31, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su

By Aradhana Aravindan

SINGAPORE (Reuters – Singapore’s home rents are at an all-time high, reaching a 7-year-high in Singapore. The city is already one of the most costly cities in the world, despite a drop in population over the last two years.

According to data from Singapore, the rental price index for private residential properties rose to 114.2 in quarter four of 2021. This is 9.9% more than the previous year. It’s because demand exceeds supply due to COVID-19 curbs construction delays.

Aimee Yager from the USA said, “I must win the lottery.” She described how she spent weeks searching for a house in Singapore. After raising her rent budget to S$10,000 ($7400), she was able to find a home with four bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Yager stated, “We simply can’t afford to,” which is the sentiment of many frustrated tenants both domestic and international.

Due to the COVID pandemic, shortages of materials and workers have hampered the construction of condominiums private as well as apartments of public Housing Development Board (HDB). However, analysts believe that rental demand is increasing. This could be due to several factors.

While some local Singaporeans rent while waiting for their apartments to complete, high property prices have caused many landlords to list their properties, decreasing the stock of rental units.

Others returned from Singapore during the pandemic, and they repossessed properties that had been rented. Singaporeans are moving out of their families and renting their space for work.

Sebelle and Seb Ho, both Singaporeans, have signed a S$2,800 contract for a 2-bedroom HDB apartment. They will be living there while they wait for their public housing to become available.

Ho claimed that the search for the six month rental was not easy. She recalls her stress following the withdrawal of a possible landlord.

Singaporeans are not likely to rent. Instead, they stay in their families until getting married or becoming eligible for public subsidised housing.

In Singapore, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranks Singapore as second most costly to live in after Paris due to the soaring property market.

This year’s inflation has reached multi-year highs, and fuel costs and electricity prices are expected to rise further.

Lee Quane from ECA International said that “if companies are recruiting and retaining expatriates, then they’re likely be required to pay higher salaries.

Government data revealed that the private housing vacancy rate fell to 6% from 7% last year. The pandemic has seen rents rise despite the fact that expatriates have left Singapore.

As Singapore relaxes its border restrictions and allows more foreigners to enter the country, analysts expect that rents will rise between 8%-12% this year.

It is expected that the city-state will also attract employees from Hong Kong’s rival financial center. This is a move which could be accompanied by a flurry of exodus among expatriates unhappy about Hong Kong’s COVID rules.

According to Christine Sun, real estate consultant OrangeTee and Tie, the hot streak in rental is expected to last for several years before construction catch up.

Briton Arabella Lambe and her family needed to find a home because their landlord wanted to increase their S$8,000 rent on their 4,500 sq ft (418 sq m) house. A listing was posted for a house of 3,500 square feet located in central town. She quickly snapped it up.

However, the rent is slightly higher than in the past.

We are moving to a smaller home. Lambe stated that she hopes to see a decrease in our enormous electricity bills. We’ll have to cut down on our expenses.