SINGAPORE - The number of residential leases looks likely to hit a record this year, although vacant units are piling up due to more projects being completed over the past 12 months.
The number of leases could reach 48,000, which would break the record of 45,062 transactions set last year, said property consultancy Savills on wednesday.
It pointed to the 42,139 leases signed in the 10 months to the end of October and added that November and December have historically averaged 3,000 deals a month.
The total value of all leasing transactions could exceed the record $218 million set last year, Savills said. It had reached $208 million by Oct 31.
This is partly because median monthly rentals for condo units and apartments, excluding those in executive condominiums, reached a new high of US$3.75 psf across the island in October.
This is 7 per cent higher than in the same period a year ago and 0.5 per cent higher than the level recorded in September this year.
"Constrained rental budgets have led tenants to search for smaller homes, either singularly or sharing, driving up rents on a per sq ft basis," said Savills research head Alan Cheong.
But belt-tightening has hit the market for luxury homes, with rents falling for the sixth straight quarter, Savills said.
Rents of high-end condo units tracked by Savills dipped 1.4 per cent to $4.88 psf per month on average, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter.
While leases are being signed at a furious rate, there are more and more empty flats around as more homes are completed.