Scouring the Singapore property market for the best places to rent? You may have been offered an employment contract in the city with a salary starting from SGD10K. Next up: How do you decide which type of property to rent (condo or HDB), which neighbourhood to live in, or if the neighbourhood you shortlisted is safe? Depending on your budget—and after factoring in all other important external factors like distance to your workplace, transport and lifestyle—you’ll have a good reference point to start searching.
To help you refine your search, Team Expat has compiled some good property recommendations listed down according to specific budget requirements. You may also want to read up on our guide to understanding the property scene and settling down in Singapore, as well as brush up on your tenancy rights in Singapore, beforehand. Note that this list is not meant to be exhaustive, but to provide you with a few starting points in deciding where you should look at based on your budget.
SGD 2500 and below
In Singapore, it’s almost impossible to find a good one-bedroom condominium with decent facilities such as a swimming pool and a gym, for that budget, and even if you did, you might want to do some background research (there’s a reason Singapore is famous for ghost stories after all) beforehand. It is, however, possible if you limit your accommodation space to below 600 sq ft, widen your search to areas further out, or consider renting a master bedroom with an attached bathroom alone in order to maintain some privacy yet keep to your budget.
Check out properties for rent in Eunos, Geylang, and Paya Lebar—the new Guillemard Edge in Geylang is close to Dakota MRT station and Aljunied MRT station, with available facilities like BBQ pits, a gymnasium and swimming pool. It’s also near to Shop N Save Geylang East and Kallang Leisure Park. Be warned though, Geylang is considered to be the “Red Light District” in Singapore, so you may want to be careful, but according to locals, accommodation located from Lorong 30 onwards towards Paya Lebar MRT station are fairly ‘clean’.
If Geylang sounds too sketchy for you, try looking at the apartments at Bartley Residences. Development is expected to be completed in 2017, but some rooms are ready to be rented out, and you can get a partially furnished room that falls under this budget. The apartments include facilities like swimming pools, hammock pods, BBQ pavilions, tennis courts, a children’s playground, and a gymnasium; and is close to Bartley MRT station, Serangoon MRT station, a supermarket, and NEX.
This budget gives you better and more options, and with some thorough research and luck, you may be able to rent a 2-bedroom condominium. Yew Mei Green offers 3-bedroom condominiums spanning over 1k sq ft within this budget, and comes with adequate facilities, such as BBQ pits, a clubhouse, a gymnasium, a playground, and a putting green. It is also located near Yew Tee MRT station, Choa Chu Kang MRT station, and the Lot 1 Shopping Mall, with prestigious schools in the vicinity, such as Yew Tee Primary School, Regent Secondary School and Kranji Primary School.
If you don’t need a 2-bedroom unit, Soho 188 mostly offers 1-bedroom apartments ranging from 380 sq ft to 480 sq ft for rent. It is located just beside Farrer Park MRT station, and relatively close to Little India, Arab Street, and Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Aside from the MRT, there are numerous feeder bus services and food options nearby, so if you see yourself eating out a lot, your meals are pretty much covered. While Little India is one of the more crowded and congested areas in Singapore, with thousands of foreign workers, backpackers, and tourists living in the area, it remains a favourite among foreigners visiting Singapore since it feels much more locally authentic as opposed to the concrete jungle in Orchard Road.
For SGD 3k to 3.5k, you can get a pretty good room at Bedok Residences, which is due for completion. Billed as the first integrated development in the east, Bedok Residences towers over two levels of shopping space and the new Bedok bus interchange. MRT-wise, the nearest stations are Bedok MRT Station and Kembangan MRT Station. As with most condominiums Bedok Residences include facilities like BBQ pits, a covered car park, function rooms, a gymnasium, Jacuzzi, playground and sauna.
An expat favourite within this budget would be Lotus at Paya Lebar. The apartment is located 3 minutes from the Paya Lebar MRT and the architectural design is a mix of conservation shophouse and modern apartment units—which may appeal to those with more eclectic tastes. All the usual facilities are available: 24-hour security, a swimming pool, sky terrace, and gymnasium.
For this budget, you can get quite a decent unit near the Central Business District (CBD), which is as upmarket as it gets. Harbour View Towers is one such place. The condominium is equipped with full facilities, which includes a covered car park, clubhouse, gymnasium room, Jacuzzi, jogging track, multi-purpose hall, sauna, 24 hours security, squash court, swimming pool, tennis courts, and wading pool. It’s located just a short walk away from Telok Blangah MRT station and VivoCity.
If living in an expat neighbourhood is more important to you than space, then you might want to try The Loft@Holland. For a ridiculously small space (below 400 sqft), you can rent a fully furnished studio apartment/loft between SGD 2.7k and SGD 5k. You’ll be staying fairly close to Holland Village MRT station, and facilities include swimming pool, pool deck and gymnasium. If you own a car, driving from Loft@Holland to Orchard Road or CBD takes about 5 to 10 minutes, via the Central Expressway (CTE).
SGD 5000 and above
It’s probably not a good idea to spend SGD 5k and above on accommodation unless you are a bachelor, and even then you need to tighten the purse on everything else should you choose to do so. For this price, you’ll want to look at places like Thomson Grand Condominium. Although it’s quite possible to rent a room at around SGD 2.8k, Thomson Grand is considered to be one of the more luxurious places to stay. You’d most likely need to drive to the nearest MRT station, which are Yio Chu Kang MRT station and Ang Mo Kio MRT station, but it also means that you would be away from the crowds. Thomson Grand has full condominium facilities such as basement car park, clubhouse, gymnasium, Jacuzzi and swimming pool, and it located close to the elite CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School.
You could also get a place right in the heart of Orchard Road—Tiara would put you only minutes away form Orchard MRT station, close to Fort Canning Park, and the nightlife district at Clarke Quay. All manner of facilities are available, from the condominium facilities such as a swimming pool, BBQ pits, a gymnasium, a tennis court, 24-hour security, a sauna, a clubhouse, and a playground; to feeder buses; to established schools; to a variety of restaurants. If you own a vehicle, driving from Tiara to either the CBD or the Orchard Road shopping district takes less than 10 minutes.
Did this list help you to narrow down your rent options based on your budget? If you have any other rental options to add to the list, do share them with our expat readers. You can also get further property advice from any one of our resident Property Experts listed here.