The Ultimate Guide For Renting a Place In Singapore Part 3 of 9

Table of Contents

Part 1 of 9, Singapore, The Place

Part 2 of 9, Public Housing Of Singapore, HDB

Part 3 of 9, The Selection Process and Residential Localities

Part 4 of 9, The HDB Township

Part 5 of 9, Localities Preferred by Expatriates

Part 6 of 9, The Districts of Singapore

Part 7 of 9, Rental Levels and Prerequisites For Rental

Part 8 of 9, Procedures For Renting Accomodation

Part 9 of 9, The Process of Engaging a Realtor

Part 3 of 9, The Selection Process and Residential Localities

Deciding on where to stay, in which part of the city, and what type of apartment or house, is dependent on a number of factors. The fact that the selected accommodation is going to be “home” for sometime means that living there should be enjoyable, hassle-free and convenient.

While every locality offers shopping malls, markets, shops, health clinics and recreational options, the home should be easily accessible from the office. Cars are a luxury in Singapore due to the stringent rules about owning one with its steep taxes, duties and hefty parking charges, all meant to encourage the public to use public transport and reduce congestion and pollution in the city which has an abundance of everything except space to expand.

The factors on which the selection would depend include:

The Rental Budget- This is the biggest determinant of the home one is likely to have. If the house rent is paid by the company or is liberal allowance for house rent, it may help in getting a large apartment. For instance, a rental limit of $5000 may be sufficient to get a 1300-1500 sq ft apartment in a condo with a swimming pool, tennis court and gym in areas like Tanjong Rhu, Pasir Panjang etc. A $10,000 allowance could mean finding a larger, plush apartment in close proximity to Orchard road with all amenities or even a bungalow. A rent of $15000 to $20,000 could get a beautiful bungalow on Bukit Timah, Holland Road etc with a private swimming pool, dual car parks, lawn and large open spaces and multiple bedrooms in a double storied bungalow.

Proximity to the place of work- While many prefer suburban living styles in large bungalows and may opt for places 5-15 km away from their work place, many like to be close to the place of work and near the heart of the city, that is, in the Orchard Road area. The Central Business District has some of the highest rentals but offers a tremendous advantage in terms of saving commuting time, transport expenses and being in the midst of action. The choice depends on the individual.

Schools- People with school going children, always think of the distance between the school they have selected and the home they are likely to take up. While schools can be reached by school buses, which carefully pick up and drop children, there is a slight difference in preferences of Singaporeans and expatriates. The locals would prefer to live in an area where the local schools are good since residents get preferential admission. On the other hand, expatriates often prefer International Schools that could be located anywhere on the island. For instance, children going to the American School located in Woodlands, tempts many parents to look for accommodation in that area, and children studying in the United World College may prefer Clementi.

Facilities offered- This feature comes under consideration once the budget and location have been finalized. The final choice between the short listed options will depend upon the facilities offered in the respective buildings.

Amenities like banks, shops, and medical centers-Many people give weightage to such amenities so that they do not have to go far for these essential services. Of course Singapore is so well planned and each locality so well equipped that none of these places are too far. Nonetheless for old people of families with young children, this becomes a consideration.

Connectivity through public transport-By and large, Apartments and houses near MRT stations command higher prices in terms of rentals. This proves to be a time saver since much time does not have to be wasted in walking to the nearest MRT station.

Residential Localities


Singapore has clearly demarcated residential and industrial areas. The residential areas have mushroomed across the length and breadth of the country throughout the 28 districts. By far the most sought after and popular is the Prime district including districts 9,10 and 11. These three districts cover important areas like Orchard Road, Tanglin, Holland Road and River Valley Road. Known for the shopping facilities with some world-class malls, entertainment and its proximity to the heart of business activity in the Central Business District (CBD) this area also commands the highest real estate prices and rentals.

The Western area includes Bukit Timah, Clementi and the West Coast. Bukit Timah has some of the finest bungalows, many of them built on plot sizes bigger than 12000 sq ft. The Eastern Area encompasses localities like Fort Road, East Coast and Upper East Coast, all of which have a sea front enjoyed by many residents. The Eastern Area also has a large HDB township on Marine Parade Road, which comes with some of the best facilities offered by HDB. The Northern area includes Woodlands, which is well connected by many expressways and the north line of the MRT.

Other areas that have recently developed and boast of some very fine accommodation in high-rise complexes include the Tanjong Rhu area in district 15. Upper Bukit Timah and Hillview are becoming the biggest condominium belt in Singapore with some of the most stylish complexes and landed properties. For the expatriate community District 5 holds attraction for the Japanese due to the location of the Japanese school in Clementi, and district 21 is preferred because the United World College of South East Asia, Dover Court Preparatory and Hollandse School are all in that vicinity.

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