Rents increased 30% in the last week??

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travelbug_2007
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Rents increased 30% in the last week??

Post by travelbug_2007 » Sun, 28 Jan 2007 9:48 pm

Hi All,

Newbie here and hoping to get some advise on condo rentals in Singapore. I've just moved to Singapore and have been told by some agents that rents have increased by around S$1000 in the last 1-2 weeks in the $2-3K range (i.e properties advertized for $3K/month mid January are now asking for $4K/month) which sounds outrageous to me. Is this something that any of you have come across or am I being taken for a ride?

I've read some previous posts here that there has been a significant increase in rental prices in Singapore but I was just amazed that there is such a significant shift in 1-2 weeks if its true.

Can someone please help shed some light on this.

Appreciate any feedback.




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Post by Makan24-7 » Mon, 29 Jan 2007 1:38 am

No kidding! I had the same experience. Units that were renting for S$1.8k in Oct 2006 suddenly were going for 2.5-3k in Jan 2007. The market is just overheated at the moment.

Like you, I arrived at the worst possible moment. I'm paying 2.3k for a 700sqft place near Dhoby Ghaut MRT and it was just going for 1.8k 2.5 months ago!

Prior to landing that apartment (and paying through my nose for it), I actually got outbid on 3 other places... People were either bidding above and beyond the asking price or asking for nothing while meeting the asking price.

This market is just so unreal...

travelbug_2007
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Post by travelbug_2007 » Mon, 29 Jan 2007 7:26 am

Oh No! I was half hoping it was just a scam. Would have been easily fixed then by changing agents #-o

I still find it difficult to believe that its still going up by that much even now. I would have thought that places advertized for $3500 (Jan 17th for instance) would have already factored in the rent increase.

Finger's crossed I find something

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Post by Bafana » Mon, 29 Jan 2007 8:00 am

No rent increase that I am aware of - In fact there are probably more agents on the market - Play hard ball.
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Post by Grim Reaper » Mon, 29 Jan 2007 10:55 am

2200 sqft freestanding bungalow on a 4400 sqft property for 2.1K, prime area.

What's the fuzz?

As Bafana says, play it hard and know what you're doing.
Time will come....

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Post by bunty » Mon, 29 Jan 2007 11:07 am

The newspapers said rentals increased by 24 % in the bedok/changi area....in the last one year compared to 2% increase in the CBD area...
i guess some people are taking advantage of this and asking for higher rentals..

but how does one play hard,. when all agents tell u rentals are high and u should be prepared to pay high....

i moved in jan 2006. when i was checking in oct 2005, i was told SGD 1500 was a good budget for a 2 bedder condo, but when i came here in jan 2006, i was told rentals have gone up and i should budget atleast 200-300 more!! and that is what i did ultimately....

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Post by lost_canuck » Mon, 29 Jan 2007 11:47 am

I also looked at apts in Oct and they were advertised around 1800 to 2000 for what we wanted but when we arrived in Dec we were shown apts for around 2500 and told that everything was really expensive, a hot market, and rents have jumped.

Ultimately we are paying 2300 for a three bed, but I do think the asking prices are a bit insane and again you do need to offer below the asking, if you want a better deal and you are not asian go for flats with the number 4 in them, they tend to go the slowest as it is a bad luck number.

Also don't get pressured in to places because they say everyone wants them, I started to feel pushed because our agent then said that was all there was to show, and I was like 'hmmm so there's nothing left out there to rent for the prices I want to pay? how odd... anyway after many flats about 15 or so we settled on this one, a bit further from his work, but good transport, nice and light and a dryer thrown in :) I do wonder why people are willing to pay (outbid) people on rentals, after all it is not helping them out in the long run is it?

You know I must admit I find it hard to understand how housing costs have jumped so high around the world as they have, when most countries are complaining that the population growth is too small, and many governments want people to have babies. There was the cry of who was going to support the baby boomer generation, but who are the ones buying all these properties?

So many people cannot afford to get on the housing ladder, but the markets don't seem to cool down. How can the market keep hopping when new buyers cannot afford to buy in? and governments keep giving multi-household owners tax breaks, it's a no win situation. anyway that was a small rant, because I think the rent charges here are almost akin to extortion. blah :x but them I won't even go into London england

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Post by travelbug_2007 » Mon, 29 Jan 2007 2:54 pm

Thanks for all the replies folks. I feel much more confident now that I've heard feedback that although there might be some price increses since last year, its not the sharp rises that I've been told and there are still decent places out there.

Bunty, was it a recent newspaper report on the rental increase. I must have missed it but the agent did mention something about this in passing as a reason for the price hike.

Will definitely be a bit stronger with the agent. Thx Bafana, Grim Reaper and Lost Canuck for the advise on standing firm. Was starting to feel a bit desperate after the doom and gloom "schpill" from the agent.

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Post by bunty » Mon, 29 Jan 2007 3:17 pm

travelbug_2007 wrote:Thanks for all the replies folks. I feel much more confident now that I've heard feedback that although there might be some price increses since last year, its not the sharp rises that I've been told and there are still decent places out there.

Bunty, was it a recent newspaper report on the rental increase. I must have missed it but the agent did mention something about this in passing as a reason for the price hike.

Will definitely be a bit stronger with the agent. Thx Bafana, Grim Reaper and Lost Canuck for the advise on standing firm. Was starting to feel a bit desperate after the doom and gloom "schpill" from the agent.
yep last week strait times had it in their front page..
also are u looking at furnished or unfurnished places. if it is unfurnished, you should aim to pay less...if it is furnished, ensure the furniture is good...
i wanted furnished, but when i saw the place it was unfurnished and owner said they will furnish it.. when i moved in, i noticed that the furniture was bad....

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 29 Jan 2007 6:08 pm

Grim Reaper wrote:2200 sqft freestanding bungalow on a 4400 sqft property for 2.1K, prime area.

What's the fuzz?

As Bafana says, play it hard and know what you're doing.
Yeah but does the roof leak and have mozzie breeding/hiding places? :P Sorry, couldn't resist the small nudge..... :wink:
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by huggybear » Mon, 29 Jan 2007 9:43 pm

worldwide housing prices going up and you don't know why?

well let's see...you're a japanese national and your bank is offering you 0% interest on your bank account...so you are forced to look to other areas of investment...

you're a korean national and the government severely restricts the types of securities you can invest in...thus the only outlet left is real estate investment.

you're a middle east national and you're stupid rich from oil prices either at $50 / barrel or $70 / barrel from last summer. you don't even give a $hit what you're investing in...but you know that you love london and you already bought your wife a new boeing 777 last summer.

you're a chinese politician who has made a fortune off the "communist" party and want to launder your money ... so you decide to buy every apartment on cuscaden street in singapore.

you're a russian compatriot...you get the picture.

anyways, if you look at the most expensive cities on the world ... among the top five are usually: seoul, tokyo, hong kong, shanghai. thus, singapore has a lot of catching up to do.

prices should remain hot until 2-3 years when all these buildings under construction come to market to relieve the pressure.

i just rented a 2 br ... got into a bidding war. the wiggle room depends on the owner ...more often then not, there wasn't much wiggle room at all. i agree wholeheartdly to check out the furniture before you rent a furnished apt. got lucky with a really nice landlady who put in all new great furniture. the price difference btw furnished / unfurnished was only around $200 sgd so you're not really saving much by going furnished.

also seems like there are more then a few owners who are happy to let their apts sit on the market without taking a price cut. while i was looking for apts, about 15% of the ones i was scheduled to look at were rented before i could even get to to see them. then on the flip side this one apt in robertson blue was asking $7,200 for "furnished" 2 br 1,200 sq ft which i thot was crazy. great building but not that great...bit isloated and hard to catch a cab in the a.m. someone had offered $6,500 for it (the furnishings were piss poor), but the owner passed, they want at least $6.8.

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Post by huggybear » Mon, 29 Jan 2007 9:53 pm

oh.

the older the building also the cheaper it will be. be careful to look at how nice the building has been maintained.

and there might be a stabilization after chinese new year (feb 20) but my agent told me that they're tearing down all these HDB flats to build new ones so people are all looking for new places to rent.

agents aren't compensated to make you pay more $$. their pay out rate is pretty pathetic...only $2,500 per transaction no matter what.

i had an amazing experience with my rental agent.

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Post by travelbug_2007 » Mon, 29 Jan 2007 10:47 pm

also are u looking at furnished or unfurnished places. if it is unfurnished, you should aim to pay less...if it is furnished, ensure the furniture is good...
i wanted furnished, but when i saw the place it was unfurnished and owner said they will furnish it.. when i moved in, i noticed that the furniture was bad....
I'm looking for unfurnished. Most of our furniture was shipped as part of the relocation package but I didn't bring fridge, washer/dryer. Am hoping to negotiate with landlord to include those. *Mental note to check quality beforehand*

Also, if a place is advertized a furnished, is it possible to ask for it to be unfurnished or do people usually take it as is?

agents aren't compensated to make you pay more $$. their pay out rate is pretty pathetic...only $2,500 per transaction no matter what.
Oh I didn't realize that it was a flat rate. Good info Huggybear. Thx.

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Post by MoTokyo » Tue, 30 Jan 2007 2:25 am

Look around and try finding a building that is completely owned by a single developer or landlord. If they own the entire building, they can't afford having disgruntled tenants paying twice as much as their neighbours, and more importantly the small dollars mean little to them. They just need fill the unit as quickly as possible. One dollar lost today is an extra dollar lost tomorrow, right?

But with the locals that own single units, they're the ones jacking up prices and holding out for higher bidders. Why? Because they know foreign corporations will pay the asking price whether the tenant is happy or not. The people getting screwed out of this deal are renters like myself that have to pay out of pocket for housing.

The majority of apartments I looked at were individually owned, with prices that reaked of bullshit. They were in distant locations, tiny for the asking price, or musty and rundown.

My price was set at 3200 - 3800 and I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the choices my realtor was providing. Especially given previous arrangements in Tokyo. One Singaporean who had just purchased her "first apartment" wanted 3600$ for an 800sq/ft rat's nest across from Novena. Ridiculous. The apartment was loaded with cheap fixtures and tiny rooms.

Believe it or not, apartment # 18 was just right for us. 2BR - LDK - 3Bath, 1 stop from Orchard, raised ceilings, marble and hardwood floors, beautiful outdoor maintenance and an enormous pool in the secluded patio area. It's a 4 minute walk from the mrt, and management is superb. We took it after only one viewing.

An Indian couple wanted the apartment before us but were rejected once we signed, as management didn't want Indians living in the building. Racist to be sure, apparently it has something to do with their cooking methods...

This apartment originally came furnished. The furniture they provided was horrendous and my realtor said intelligent owners furnish apartments with "rented furniture from friendly businesses" and then claim highly inflated prices on the furniture's value for tax write offs. She says rent can be listed as 60% and furniture as 40% on the lease. Cough...

They were happy to save a few bucks and remove all of their furniture after we signed the lease.

The service is also fantastic here. They cover full maintenance on all air conditioners (single apartment owners will charge you for this). My washer broke and they replaced it the next day with a brand new one. I complained about a few tiles in the bathroom and they had the floor replaced a week later (to keep the apartment in primo condition). They repainted on my request, and have corrected every minor problem immediately with onsite staff. Lightbulbs, drain covers, squeaky doors, everything is fixed within hours of asking.

And the best part? I'm paying 2700$ in an apartment surrounded by buildings charging 32-3600$ for worse accomodation (and I know because I viewed them). My wife says someone must've died in this apartment for them to charge us this low in comparison to the market. I say if someone died, I hope they went out well. The prices are still higher than Tokyo. Singapore is no Tokyo.

The only other apartment that might've suited us was one that had an elevator leading straight into the living room. 3400$ if I can remember, great for bragging rights, but damn small, with a poor layout.

So don't listen to the bullshit realtors will try and feed you. Their job, as with realtors anywhere, is to close you as fast as possible with something they think you're willing to settle for. So don't settle untill you feel in your gut that you're getting great value for the money. Always try and find out how much neighbours are paying for similar units in the same building. Ask around, you would be surprised to learn how much strangers standing outside of a building are willing to tell you. I was.

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Post by Deefa » Tue, 30 Jan 2007 6:28 am

MoTokyo wrote:

Lots of good stuff
Cheers for that, lots of good tips and information!!

have to make sure i pack my extra big negotiating stick :D

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