BankBazaar Singapore – January 18, 2018
SINGAPORE: Costs of renting a residential space in Singapore continues to decline for expats as economic concerns and dullness in the business market have created an oversupply of properties.
According to a report from the human-resource consultant ECA International, the country slipped to the 8th position this year in the list of most expensive Asian cities to rent accommodation from the 7th position in 2017 and 4th in 2016.
The main problem is the weakness of the economy itself. Despite having posted remarkably solid GDP figures in 2017, the business outlook continues to remain grim in certain sectors. Reports indicate that business in the construction industry dipped as much as 50% last year as the number of contracts decreased.
Similarly, even though exports rose 7% in 2017, shipments slowed towards the end of the year dampening sentiments and hopes of sustained expansion.
Lee Quane, Regional Director for Asia at ECA International, pointed out that such economic worries along with a decrease in inbound assignments have boosted vacant accommodation that would otherwise have interested expats. Average monthly rent at expat-preferred accommodation in Singapore dropped $175 (about S$232) to $4337 (about S$5,741) this year.
The data is in line with recent concerns from analysts that the country’s rental market continues to lose steam despite an uptick in the property sales numbers. Other reports released earlier had also shown that the number of foreign workers in the country had dipped for the first time in 14 years in 2017.