A five-bedroom HDB flat in Ang Mo Kio, which consists of two units that are linked together, was rented out at a new high of S$6,500 in the Lion City last month, and experts have identified three reasons why HDB flats can fetch such high prices.
The New Matinee reporter checked the Housing Development Board's website for rental data by district and type of housing for the past year and found that the highest rent was not for a HDB flat in the city centre, but for this HDB flat on Ang Mo Kio Road 10 with 56 years left on its lease.
It is believed that this five-bedroom flat is a combination of two three-bedroom flats and is estimated to be larger than the average five-bedroom flat at over 1,400 square feet.
Prior to this, the highest priced flat on the HDB's rental data website was a four-bedroom flat with less than 50 years left on the lease at Block 7, Seng Poh Road. The flat was rented out in December last year at a declared monthly rent of S$6,200, the highest on the island for the past year at the time.
In an interview, Sun Yanqing, director of research and consultancy at an industrial company, said that if a citizen is renting a HDB flat, the budget is usually up to S$5,000, and it is more likely that the flat will be rented by a permanent resident or other permit holder.
She said that some of them might have rented private homes before and when the private home rents spiked above their budgets, they might have moved to larger HDB flats with relatively cheaper rents, and such people usually have higher budgets.
"This flat is larger than the usual five-bedroom type and would have four rooms if it was open-plan, making it a special flat."
Another leading executive of an industrial company, Lam Kam Choi, mentioned that although this Ang Mo Kio unit is not close to the MTR station, there are three industrial areas around Ang Mo Kio, so there is some demand for rental accommodation.
"In addition, we are now seeing more tenants choosing to share a flat to share the rising rent, either two families or several singles. In such cases, they will have a higher budget to rent a home."