Yes, that would make sense. But not necessarily for all districts. Properties in certain areas have not fared so well, in particular, Newton and Sentosa. Rents in these two areas only yielded at 2.2 per cent, compared to the 3.7 per cent everywhere else across the island.
Not to be disheartened though, as private property rentals still grew, at 2.1 per cent, albeit at a lower rate when compared to the 3.8 per cent in 2011. Flying high on the charts were Woodlands, Jurong and Choa Chu Kang, with rental yields of 4.4 per cent. Tampines, Bukit Merah and Yishun followed closely on their heels.
Competition due to the completion of the many developments in the area might be the culprit. For example, Trilight, a 30-storey, 205-unit freehold condominium in Newtown, recently received its temporary-occupation-permit (TOP) last year. Another reason could be that expatriates are no longer receiving as high a housing allowance as before, thus narrowing their options to specific type of properties and within certain areas.
Perhaps property investors and even just your normal man-on-the-road are buying up properties when they can, in order to capitalise on the eventual situation where policies support home rentals. Future immigration and housing policy changes will also play a big part.