Cost of living in Singapore

What You Should Know About Renting In Singapore – Part 1

Singapore continues to top the lists for cities where people want to live. For those looking to relocate to this “garden city” here’s some invaluable knowledge for those looking into rental options.



Singapore is a small island city-state where land is scarce. Therefore, almost all new residential developments are being built bigger and taller. No matter where you go in Singapore, a high-rise condo will be in plain sight so it’s natural that condos dominate the residential real estate market.

Condos for all intents and purposes have the most glaring positive features of the different types of housing available. Here are just a few:

  • Modern and New  Condos are on the large part are very new as most are recently developed within 1-10 years.
  • Great Facilities  Each condo will vary in their quality and options, but swimming pool(s), BBQ pits, function rooms and even a small gym are pretty much standard.
  • Diverse Community  Condos tend to attract both locals as well as expats.
  • Security  Almost all condos have a security guard stationed at the entrance.


The most accurate definition of Landed housing properties is that they are properties that require ownership of land and not just a structure. However, when Landed is brought up in reference to rental options, it generally refers to owners renting out their terrace houses, shophouses, bungalows or townhouses. Landed properties are the most limited when it comes to supply and they don’t offer the amenities and facilities that condos provide.


Last, but not least are HDBs. HDBs are subsidized and regulated by the Housing and Development Boards, which is the reason for the acronym. Singapore has undergone rapid growth and development over a relatively short period of time, which led to a need to provide more affordable housing options overall. Current estimates are that more than 80% of Singaporeans live in public housing.

Although the most affordable option by far, that also means you get what you pay for. HDBs are relatively on the older side, which positively means they can at times be spacious, but negatively it means they can have poorer build quality compared to newer developments. HDBs almost never come with the facilities that are standard with condos.

Finally, it is only legally possible to rent out rooms of HDBs, and not entire units. However, some owners are known to bypass this limitation by supposedly locking up one of the rooms and claiming that the whole unit is not available to the renter(s).

To be continued…

What You Should Know About Renting in Singapore, Part 2