How Much Is Rental In Singapore: Considerations for Prospective Tenants

The little things that you may have missed out on before renting

The little things that you may have missed out on before renting

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Whether it’s that bestie who’s experiencing a quarter-life crisis or an expat colleague who is working far away from home, we all know at least one person who rents in Singapore.

While owning a home has long been considered a cornerstone of the Singapore dream, renting has its own set of merits.

How so? You can easily move to a new neighbourhood or a different property without the constraints and costs associated with selling a house. This flexibility can be particularly advantageous for couples waiting for their BTO to be completed or singles who simply desire to live much more independently.

But, be sure to consider the costs involved before committing to renting in Singapore.

How Much Is Rental In Singapore: Costs Across Different Neighbourhoods

One of the primary factors to evaluate when deciding whether to rent is the housing cost in your desired location.

So, how much is rental in Singapore? Prices can vary significantly from one area to another. City centres and popular neighbourhoods like Queenstown, Orchard, and Newton often command higher rents due to demand and proximity to amenities.

On the other hand, neighbourhoods further away from the city centre like Pasir Ris and Choa Chu Kang may offer more affordable rental options.

Type Of Rental Unit

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Once you’ve figured out how much you roughly need for rental in Singapore, you’ll have to determine the type of accommodation you wish to rent.

Here are the available options:

  • Shared HDB flat room: Often, but not always, this involves living with the owner of the flat. Opting for a room in an HDB flat is your most economical choice due to the absence of amenities such as swimming pools or round-the-clock security.

  • Shared room in a condominium or house: The typical setup involves sharing a condo with other occupants. Condos provide additional facilities, such as swimming pools, gymnasiums, tennis courts, barbeque pits, and 24-hour security.

  • Whole HDB flat: If you desire a full unit for yourself, an HDB flat would be your most affordable choice. The smallest units available are 2-room flexi flats (comprising a bedroom and a living room), though they are limited in number. The next least expensive option would be the 3-room flats (featuring 2 bedrooms and a living room).

  • Entire condominium or house: If you have a big family or wish to stay with friends, you might want to consider a full apartment unit or a house. The least costly and smallest housing option available for rent is studio condominium units. Do note that landed properties tend to be situated farther from MRT stations.

Before making a decision, research the rental prices and unit type in the specific neighbourhood you’re considering using these online portals:

Take into account the average cost of renting a comparable property in Singapore, including rooms or houses of similar sizes and quality. This will help you gauge how much is rental and whether the costs align with your budget and financial goals.

Additional Rental Expenses to Consider In Singapore

Besides monthly rent, it is also essential to consider other expenses which can vary based on your lifestyle, location, and the specific terms of your lease agreement.

Additional Rental Expense #1. Security Deposit

This is typically equivalent to one to two months’ rent (depending on your landlord) paid upfront to the landlord as security against damage or unpaid rent.

Assuming you’re renting a 4-bedroom HDB flat in Newton whereby the monthly rental is roughly S$5,000/month, ensure you have up to S$10,000 saved up for deposit.

Additional Rental Expense #2. Furniture & Appliances

If you’re not renting a fully serviced apartment, you’ll often find that most rental properties in Singapore are provided with bare essentials or minimal fixtures upon arrival.

Landlords may include bed frames, basic tables for dining or studying, and built-in cupboards. However, there are key furniture pieces you should definitely consider getting.

For instance, a new queen mattress can cost you from S$500 onwards, while an air fryer or compact microwave for quick meals could add another S$100 to S$200 to your expenses. And that good-quality ergonomic chair? Be prepared to pay around S$300.

We suggest you reserve a minimum of S$2,500 for the necessary furniture and appliances when you first move in. You can slowly get more affordable items from platforms like Carousell, Facebook Marketplace, or Taobao in future.

Additional Rental Expense #3. Utility & Broadband Fees

Other than buying furniture and appliances, you will also be responsible for paying for utilities like electricity, water, and gas. Some landlords in Singapore may include these costs in the rent, but it’s more common for tenants to pay them separately.

Broadband fees are usually also not included. You’ll need to arrange and pay for these services if you want them.

How much cash should you set aside each month? We recommend at least S$200 for these fees.

Additional Rental Expense #4. Cleaning, Maintenance & Moving Fees

Don’t forget to factor in the cost of hiring a moving company, renting a van, or other moving expenses. As your rental unit may be pretty dirty once you move everything in, do also take into account cleaning fees.

While staying in your rental unit in Singapore, some landlords may require tenants to take on certain maintenance responsibilities, such as minor repairs. Major repairs are usually the responsibility of the landlord, but this should be clearly stated in the lease.

And when you move out, some landlords require tenants to pay for professional cleaning services, so you might need to budget for this.

We suggest setting aside at least $1,500 for cleaning, maintenance, and moving fees.

Don’t Forget Your Emergency Funds For Your Rental In Singapore

Maintaining a healthy emergency fund when renting in Singapore is non-negotiable. As a tenant, you should strive to have funds that can cover at least three months’ worth of living expenses. It helps cover unexpected expenses like damage repairs or situations like medical bills or temporary unemployment.

If moving back home is not an option, consider increasing your emergency funds to at least six months to one year of living expenses. This safety net ensures you can meet your financial obligations and maintain your rental status during challenging times.

Renting In Singapore – A Careful Balancing Act

Renting a house in Singapore offers many benefits, including flexibility and the freedom to live independently. However, it also requires careful financial planning and budgeting. Beyond the headline rental costs, potential tenants need to factor in a variety of additional expenses.

So, before you sign your next rental agreement, ensure you have considered all these factors to make an informed and financially sound decision. Happy house hunting!