Photographer: Darren Soh/Bloomberg

Tenants Rule as Singapore's Home, Office and Retail Rents Drop

  • Home rent index declined 1.3% in first quarter, URA data show
  • Office rents fell 2.1% and retail slumped 1.9%, data show

It’s a good time to be a tenant in Singapore.

Rentals across the city-state’s home, office and retail properties dropped in the quarter ended March as an oversupply and weak demand dragged down prices sought by landlords. Singapore’s home rental index dropped 1.3 percent in the three months ended March 31 from the previous quarter, data Friday from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed. Office rentals slid at a faster pace, falling 2.1 percent, while retail rentals declined 1.9 percent. 

Rents have been declining across market segments. For homes, they dropped as Singapore’s property market cooled after climbing to a record in 2013. Adding to the price decline, a large number of apartments are set to be completed in the next two years, and fewer expatriates are coming to live in Singapore due to controls on immigration.

Office rents may decline as much as 25 percent in a prolonged slump that may last until the end of 2018 as demand slows, Daiwa Securities Co. said last month. Daiwa joins other analysts in forecasting declines for the office sector as the outlook for global economic growth remains cloudy and a large supply outstrips demand for prime space.

The home rental index declined for a 10th straight quarter, while the office index slid for a fourth quarter, the data showed. The retail rental gauge fell for a fifth consecutive quarter.

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