Will Singapore’s Rental Market Favour Tenants in 2024? 

Just earlier in April last year, local headlines were dominated by news about soaring rents in Singapore, putting the spotlight on the declining affordability of tenants and fuelling discussions about an overheated rental market. 

However, that story has since lost much of its relevance. Due to the easing of factors which contributed to cost pressures in the past, such as construction delays and pandemic-driven demand, the rental growth of residential properties has softened. 

Source: URA, ERA Research and Market Intelligence

Since the first quarter of 2023, median rents for non-landed private properties across Singapore have grown at a pace that is more moderate. 

Private home rents in Singapore saw a significant climb in 2022, rising by 27.9% across the year after a 9.9% increase in 2021. However, for the entirety of 2023, a much slower pace of growth was recorded at 8.7%. 

This is good news for tenants as the momentum of rent increases has slowed, which likely means less pressure on their pockets down the road. 

Source: The Straits Times, 20 Dec 2023, ‘Rental occupancy cap relaxed for HDB, private properties to cool home leasing market.

Aside from the uptick in non-landed private properties achieving their TOP – estimated to be 19,000 units in 2023 and a further 9,800-odd units in 2024 – the recent relaxation of occupancy caps for HDB and private homes could also play a role in easing pressure on residential rents. 

From 22 Jan 2024 to 31 Dec 2026, up to eight unrelated persons can occupy rented 4-room or larger HDB flats, as well as private residential properties that are at least 90 sqm in size. 

By providing breathing room for Singapore’s housing supply to catch up, this temporary change will not only contribute to stabilising the rental market, but also offer hope of more affordable housing for tenants. 

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