In December 2022, a four-room HDB flat in Block 17 Seng Poh Road was rented out for S$6,200 a month, despite being 73 years old.
The record has now been broken by a five-room HDB flat at Block 549 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, which was leased out for S$6,500 per month in February 2023, according to HDB.
There is only one five-room unit in block 549. It is believed to have been created from knocking down a wall between two three-room units, reported Shin Min Daily News.
As a result, the flat is estimated to be above 1,400 square feet, which is larger than a typical five-room unit.
Nevertheless, its rental is more than double the median for similar units in the area, which amounted to S$3,150 in Q4 of 2022.
Details of the HDB block
According to HDB, the lease for Block 549 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 started on Jan. 1, 1981.
This means that there are only 56 years and 10 months left on the lease.
Additionally, while there are bus stops nearby, it would take residents around 10 minutes to reach the nearest MRT station, according to Google Maps.
Reasons for high rent
Speaking to Shin Min, Nelson Lim, Key Executive Officer of Altitude Real Estate, explained that there is a considerable rental demand for such a unit as three industrial areas lie in close proximity to Ang Mo Kio.
Additionally, many tenants are now renting flats together to shoulder the burden of rising rentals, which means they would have a higher budget, Lim added.
Rental increase in Singapore
The flat in Ang Mo Kio seems to reflect the increasingly heated rental market in Singapore.
In December 2022, a common room without a private bathroom in Block 38 Lorong 5 Toa Payoh was rented out for S$1,200 a month, even though it came with an onerous list of restrictions, including "can only wash clothes once a month" and "no cooking".
In February 2023, a Singapore-based British Tiktok user, Sal, claimed that she was asked by her landlord to accept a 75 per cent rent hike when her lease was up for renewal.
Her landlord also reportedly said that he would put the unit onto the open market at a 100 per cent increased rate if Sal didn't take up the offer.
In his written reply to Parliamentary questions, Minister for National Development, Desmond Lee, said that the government is monitoring the property market closely, including the residential rental market, as rising rental prices may affect Singaporeans who need to rent, as well as global talent.
Top image via Google Maps