SINGAPORE: In March of this year, news emerged about a remarkable occurrence: a five-room HDB flat in Ang Mo Kio, formed by combining two units, achieved an unprecedented rental rate of S$6500, creating a sensation among netizens.
Merely three months later, another breakthrough took place in Choa Chu Kang, surpassing the previous record by S$100. This achievement stands as a notable highlight of the year 2023.
This extraordinary flat is situated at Block 641 Choa Chu Kang Street 64, as confirmed by accessible records on HDB’s official website.
According to EdgeProp, the executive flats within this block offer a generous area of 2,314 square feet (sq ft), resulting in a rental rate of approximately S$2.85 per square foot (psf).
Block 641, having reached completion in 1998, currently boasts 25 years of existence and maintains a lease with 74 years remaining from its original 99-year tenure.
Within close proximity, various shopping malls including Yew Tee Square, Yew Tee Point, and Limbang Shopping Centre, alongside two FairPrice supermarkets, cater to the needs of residents. Additionally, the vicinity houses three kindergartens and three childcare centers, while Yew Tee MRT station is just a few minutes walk away.
Rising 18 levels high, the block encompasses 56 four-room units, 64 five-room units, and a scarce collection of eight executive flats, rendering the rented flat a genuinely rare find.
The lease agreement for this executive flat was initiated in May 2023 at a monthly rate of S$6,600, notably exceeding the rates for similar flats rented within the housing estate this year by approximately S$2,000 to S$4,000.
Experts interviewed by Shin Min Daily News have identified several potential factors contributing to the elevated rental price of this unit, pointing out that the particular unit is a Premium Maisonette, a rare double-storey penthouse that stands out due to its unusually spacious layout.
Typically, Premium Maisonettes boast four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a balcony, which accounts for their expanded floor area.
Furthermore, the inclusion of high-quality furnishings and electronics within the flat can significantly enhance its rental value. The unit’s favorable proximity to the MRT station adds yet another advantage, along with the prospect of aligning with a tenant’s personal preferences.
Another executive unit at Tampines Street 11 close to breaking records
The Choa Chu Kang flat’s remarkable rental value is not an isolated incident, as another executive unit at Block 110 Tampines Street 11 has come strikingly close to breaking records, achieving an impressive S$6,550 in monthly rent — a mere S$50 away from setting a new benchmark.
Starting this month, the rental agreement for this unit exceeded expectations by commanding a price that surpassed comparable units on the same street by over S$4,000.
The allure of this executive unit’s location and features has propelled it to stand out within the real estate landscape.
Despite being completed in 1984, the block maintains its allure with a remaining lease of 60 years from its original 99-year term.
Its enduring popularity is underscored by its substantial size of approximately 152 square meters (1,636 sq ft), translating to a rental rate of about S$4 per square foot (psf) — a figure that surpasses even the Choa Chu Kang unit.
Singapore Minister dismissed call to regulate market rental fees proposed by Workers’ Party MP
Over recent months, both local residents and expatriates have voiced growing concern over the mounting affordability challenges within Singapore’s rental market.
In a parliamentary session held in July, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee dismissed the proposal by Workers’ Party Member of Parliament Jamus Lim to regulate market rental fees.
Minister Lee contended that the implementation of rent controls could inadvertently diminish the availability of rentals, potentially leading to an imbalance where rental housing demand surpasses supply, thus giving rise to challenges in allocation and equity.
According to Minister Lee, the rental rates for open market HDB rental flats and private residential properties in Singapore are determined through private agreements between flat owners and tenants.
He emphasized that international experience has demonstrated that while rent controls may temporarily moderate rental increases for some tenants, they are likely to distort the housing market.
“Rent controls may inadvertently reduce rental supply, and cause rental housing demand to exceed supply, which could lead to issues of allocation and equity.”
“This may also distort property prices, and disincentivise landlords from maintaining proper upkeep of their rental units.”
Nonetheless, Desmond Lee assured that the Singapore government remains open to considering various options and will continue to monitor the situation closely and adopt such measures as may be necessary.
Highlighting recent developments, PropertyGuru Singapore issued its “Singapore Property Market Report Q3 2023” on Monday (7 Aug). The report indicates a discernible cooling trend in the rental market, with median asking rents showing a gradual decline.
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