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    Jun 05, 2014

    New tool to estimate rental value of houses

    IN RECENT years, many tenants on a tight budget in Singapore have opted to rent houses in the suburbs, instead of in the high-end city area.

    With more demand in the market and upward pressure on rentals in some regions, property experts told My Paper that one concern for tenants is that of overpaying rent.

    "For a long time, data relating to the rental market has not been that easy to access, as compared to sales data," said SLP International research head Nicholas Mak.

    This has led to some tenants paying more than the market rate by a few hundred dollars, he said.

    To provide more transparency and efficiency in the Singapore residential rental market, the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) yesterday launched a tool called Rental X-Value, a computer-generated estimate of a house's rental value based on comparable market analyses.

    It takes into account unit characteristics such as location, floor level, size and rental date.

    The pricing tool, available online for free, is the rental counterpart to the company's recently launched Sales X-Value, which calculates the estimated market value of a house.

    With more transparency in the rental market, tenants and their property agents will have "a clean accounting for the relevant rental transactions, so that they can arrive at a fair rent", said Lim Yong Hock, key executive officer of PropNex Realty.

    Eugene Lim, key executive officer of ERA Realty, said: "This will make transacting in the rental market much more efficient because both landlord and tenant will have a similar understanding of pricing as it pertains to the market environment."

    Since 2008, rentals of houses in the Rest of Central Region have gone up by 8.1 per cent, according to figures shared by SRX yesterday.

    Rentals for houses in the Outside Central Region similarly rose, by 8.7 per cent.

    Figures for houses in the Core Central Region, on the other hand, dipped by 1.9 per cent.

    Said Jeremy Lee, co-founder and chief technology officer of SRX: "The financial crisis two years ago reduced the budget for a lot of tenants.

    "The MRT system we have today also makes it possible for people to have the same kind of convenience as those living in the central region - at a lower price."