Kaeden Ong

S’pore 3rd most exp in Asia for luxury apartment rentals

Posted by Kaeden Ong on 11th March 2014 in Blog

S’pore 3rd most exp in Asia for luxury apartment rentals

Singapore remains the third most expensive city in Asia and seventh most expensive in the world to rent a high-end three-bedroom apartment, human resource consulting firm ECA International said in a new report.

Rents for an unfurnished three-bedroom apartment in sought-after areas averaged US$5,630 (S$7,200) per month, the survey found.

The city was ranked eighth and ninth on the global list in 2013 and 2012.

“Ongoing demand for high-end properties saw rental prices in Singapore rise by around 4 per cent over the year,” said Lee Quane, Regional Director of ECA International, Asia. “This is up from the 3 per cent increases seen both last year and the year before that, cementing the city’s position among some of the most expensive locations for renting in the world,” he said.

However, rental prices for a high-end three-bedroom apartment in Singapore are still around just half that of renting an equivalent property in Hong Kong. Despite rents there falling for the second consecutive year, Hong Kong remains the most expensive location in the world to rent a high-end three-bedroom apartment.

Rents for an unfurnished three-bedroom apartment in a sought-after area of Hong Kong average US$11,440 per month. With a high population density and a consistently limited supply of property, average rents in the territory have long been significantly more expensive than other high-profile cities.

Across the region, the average rental price for a high-end three-bedroom property averages US$3,600.

The largest rent increases in Asia over 12 months were observed in Jakarta, which is now ranked 8th in Asia and 30th globally. The cost of renting a three-bedroom apartment went up by 15 per cent, driven by Indonesia’s continued strong economic performance and increasing demand from expatriates.

Kuala Lumpur ranks 16th in the region and 103rd globally. Rental prices there increased seven per cent over the year. In Bangkok, (12th in the region and 51st globally) rents rose just two per cent.

China has presented a mixed picture. Increases in rents were fairly muted over the year in Shanghai (ninth globally) and Beijing (17th) as the Chinese economy slowed and neither city saw rises greater than three per cent.

Demand has nevertheless remained strong in the cities of Shenzhen (110th globally) and Suzhou (122nd), where rents have risen nine per cent on average in the 12 months between surveys.

While most locations in the region have seen rent increases in home currency terms, the pattern of increases is not as consistent when rents are converted into US dollars for comparison.

For example, in Tokyo, rents increased by approximately six per cent between surveys when measured in local currency, largely as a result of confidence returning to residential markets after it had fallen following the earthquake in 2011.

However, a weaker yen has meant that the cost of renting a three-bed high-end apartment actually fell by about 15 per cent when converted into US dollars.

Depending on how companies provide housing or allowances to their expatriates, major currency movements can have a big impact on costs. Companies need to consider this carefully when designing their expatriate housing policy and packages.

This same trend was also observed in locations in Pakistan as well as the Indian cities of New Delhi (43rd globally) and Bangalore (127th). In both countries, currencies have depreciated significantly against major currencies, pushing down rents in US dollar terms.

Credit Asia One

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