Rising property prices despite economic downturn in 2020
While COVID-19 has brought down the shutters of many businesses, ranging from big names like 162-year old departmental store Robinsons to small fish soup bee hoon shop like Swee Kee Eating House, the housing market seems to be immune from the economic recession in 2020. The resale price of House Development Board (HDB) flats – public housing in which more than 80% of the Singapore population resides – rose 5% while the number of transactions rose 4.4% in 2020. The selling price of private housing also rose by 2.2%. Besides the rise in residential property selling prices and volume, rental prices and volume rose for both public and private properties as well.
Many analysts attributed the property sales hike mainly to delays in the construction and delivery of new HDB developments (we called it Built-to-Order or BTO). For those who are eager to move and not wait for the BTO, the certainty in getting resale HDB flats and private housing rather quickly became justifiable at a premium of around 2-5%. The push factors for this eagerness vary from more space needed for newborns, private space for newlywed, and tensions that grew between parents and siblings at home as everyone has to face each other longer than before with Work from Home (WFH) arrangements and restrictions in public activities.
On the other hand, hikes in rent could be due to foreigners who are stranded in Singapore (for example, Malaysian workers who used to travel daily between two countries have to stay in Singapore), those who need temporary housing due to buying and selling of properties, and more foreign workers arriving in Singapore with the recovery of the economy from late 2020.
In summary, there’s a surge in demand in both long term and short term accommodations for a variety of reasons. Through this article, we outline a list of short term accommodation rental options between 1 month to 1 year for those who urgently need a temporary roof in Singapore.
Where to find short term accommodation and short term rental options in Singapore
- Extended stay or long stay at hotels
Minimum 30-day stay
- Serviced apartments & co-living apartments
Minimum 1-month or 3-month stay
- Residential properties like HDB flats, HDB Executive Condominiums (EC), private condominiums and landed homes
Minimum 3-month or 6-month stay
1. Extended stay or long stay hotels in Singapore
‘Extended stays’ or ‘long stays’ are terms used in the hotel industry whereby substantial discounts off the daily rates are given for longer stays. While the definition of what constitutes ‘extended’ or ‘long’ differs from hotel to hotel, the common minimum is 5 days or 7 days.
Similar to hotel guests who stay for a day or two, there is no local residency requirement to stay in the hotels. As such, this could be a good option for foreign travelers who are stranded in Singapore and do not possess a residency pass to qualify for renting residential properties.
List of monthly hotel stays in Singapore
While numerous hotels offer extended stay rates, few have a fixed published monthly rate. To offer ease of comparison and shortlisting exciting offers, we only list hotels that offer monthly extended stays for a minimum of 1 month or 30 days, and at a fixed price comparable to residential property rent below:
- Hotel Calmo Chinatown – From SGD 850 per month (contact email@example.com / +65 9452 2045)
- The Great Madras – From SGD 900 per month (contact firstname.lastname@example.org / +65 9452 2045)
- Harbour Ville Hotel – From SGD 1,000 per month
- ST Signature – From SGD 1,140 per month
- The Daulat – From 1,250 per month (contact email@example.com / +65 9452 2045)
- YMCA @ One Orchard – SGD 1,350 per month
- Hotel Nuve Urbane – From SGD 1,800 per month
- Ascott – From SGD 3,000++ per month
2.Serviced apartments & co-living apartments in Singapore
A serviced apartment or a co-living apartment offers more than just a room for you to rest in. It includes a living room for friends to gather, a kitchen for you to prepare home-cooked meals, and sometimes a balcony for loved ones to watch the sunset together.
Common facilities such as swimming pool, gym, BBQ pits, saunas, tennis courts and sports & community halls are available at these properties. Services like concierge, property maintenance, and regular housekeeping are often included as well. In short, it is an apartment that is fully managed like a hotel. For the co-living option, the difference with the serviced apartment is that you are sharing it with a few others.
Depending on the operator, the minimum staying period can be 1 month or 3 months.
List of short-term serviced apartments & co-living apartments
3. Renting residential properties in Singapore
Renting a room or renting an entire apartment off the residential property market is the most prevalent rental option for those who need accommodation for 3 months or longer.
The cost is generally lower than long stays in hotels, serviced apartments, and co-living apartments. An important note though, such rentals, especially for an entire apartment, exclude utilities (water & electricity), Internet connectivity, concierge, housekeeping, and property maintenance. This option also requires you to pay Stamp Duty for Leases.
These are the three major types of residential properties one could rent in Singapore:
- Housing Development Board (HDB) flats – public housing that more than 80% of the population lives in.
- Housing Development Board (HDB) Executive Condominiums – limited supply of housing option with features similar to that of condominiums like gated entrance, swimming pools, gyms, etc., but built and managed by the HDB for the first 10 years.
- Private condominiums – privately owned and run condominiums usually with gated entrance, swimming pools, gyms, BBQ pits, sports halls, community halls, etc.
- Landed homes – privately owned low rise building (terrace, semi-detached house, bungalows, etc.) typically less than 4 floors and without the facilities of a condominium.
The following are the estimated starting rent for the various types of properties:
- 1 room in a HDB flat – From SGD 400 a month
- Entire 2-Room HDB apartment (1 bedroom, 1 living room, 1 kitchen, 1 bomb shelter/storage room & 1 bathroom) – From SGD 1,800 a month
- 1 room in a HDB Executive Condominium (EC) – From SGD 750 a month
- Entire studio unit (1 room with bedroom, living room and kitchen without partition, and 1 bathroom) in a HDB Executive Condominium (EC) – From SGD 1,600 a month
- 1 room in a private condominium – From SGD 750 a month
- Entire studio unit (1 room with bedroom, living room and kitchen without partition, and 1 bathroom) in a private condominium – From SGD 1,600 a month
- 1 room in a landed home – From SGD 600 a month
- Studio room (1 bedroom with ensuite bathroom) in a landed home – From SGD 1,200 a month
Who is eligible to rent residential properties in Singapore?
- Singapore Citizens
- Singapore Permanent Residents
- Non-citizens legally residing in Singapore who are holders of Employment Passes (EP), S Passes, Work Permits, Student Passes, Dependant Passes (DP), or Long-Term Social Visit Passes (LTSVP). These passes must have a validity period of at least 6 months as of the date of rental application
- Work Permit holders from the construction, manufacturing, marine, and process sectors must be Malaysians
- Tourists are not allowed as tenants of HDB flats
For renting HDB flats and executive condominiums (EC), details on the eligibility of the owner to let out their rooms or apartment, the number of tenants allowed in the unit, and the foreigner quota (non-Malaysian and non-citizen) imposed on a block and neighbourhood can be found here.
For private condominiums and landed homes, the occupancy cap and other details can be found here.
What is the minimum rental period for residential properties in Singapore?
- HDB flats and HDB Executive Condominiums: 6 months
- Private condominiums and landed homes: 3 months
List of residential properties
There are many ways to rent a residential property, through introductions by friends and relatives, contacting real estate agencies, or responding to direct advertisements from owners. The most common way in Singapore though is through the major property portals below:
There are thousands of listings in these portals in which the majority are posted by property agents, while a few are directly posted by property owners.
While property agents may charge a fee of up to one month rent (they usually do not charge a tenant if you respond to a post by an agent representing the owner), most of the property seekers in Singapore feel more secure working with them as they are tested on their knowledge with Singapore property law, rules & regulations before being licensed by the authorities. Licensed agents are trusted by both owners and tenants.
All the best for your search!