Singapore is ranked among the top in the list of the world’s most expensive cities. Therefore, it is highly recommended to make yourself familiar with the various residential areas usually preferred by expatriates and their supply before agreeing to your housing allowance. In Singapore cost of accommodation accounts for 40% of cost of living expenses.You can do so by visiting the property directory which lists over 50,000 homes for sale and rent in Singapore and by directly contacting the various registered agents of the individual property listings.
Estate Agents and Home Search Services
Along a booming economy estate agents have been mushrooming in Singapore. The Singapore government has introduced laws to regulate the industry. Licensed property agents passed one of eight state-recognised industry examinations and are registered with the Council of Estate Agencies (CEA). Visit the CEA website for confirmation on a property agent's license.
Agents are paid a pro rate commission being a portion of the monthly rental by the landlords. If your monthly housing allowance is lower than either S$ 2500 for two years rental or S$ 5000 for one year rental many agents would not like to search for a house for you as their commission will be too low. You may negotiate a fee with the agent to be paid by yourself (usually two weeks rent) or go house hunting via the classified sections in the newspapers to approach landlords directly.
We strongly suggest you work with a reputable company, an agent who knows the market in and out and is used to deal with foreigners and their special demands. To make sure that you are served to the highest professional standards we run over 26,000 data of available houses and apartments for rent and sale in Singapore in the property directory which is powered by Singapore's largest property website iproperty.com.sg.
Note: in general you are not obliged to appoint the agent referred by your company to find you a home in Singapore. Agents in Singapore often cooperate with other agents and share the commission of the landlord. So it is best to note down which agent showed you the property to avoid repeated viewing.
Expatriate Home Profiles
Expatriates moving to Singapore or moving within Singapore have a vast selection of homes to choose from. Their needs vary according to their family status and their living and working conditions.
Following the relocation step-by-step guide will save you a lot of time of visiting unsuitable homes and will reduce time you need to spend in a temporary home such as a serviced apartment or hotel. You are enabled to make choices on your future home based on unbiased information provided from the point of view of expatriates. We have observed that expatriates take great advantage of their knowledge. Our members seldom fall for any unsuitable home thus guaranteeing a smooth and quick settling in process.
We have typecast expatriates coming to Singapore and have identified various possible home types for various expatriate profiles according to their needs as shown below.
Selected apartments for rent for the young and trendy expatriate
Single or couple, frequent travels, in need of part time cleaning services, want to live close to work and night life, dependant on public transport or taxis to move around in Singapore, sometimes needing a parking space for a company car.
Work is dominating his/her life and therefore home has to be close to office with easy access to shops and entertainment. Gym, tennis and pool wanted. Alternatively the new home should be close to a club offering these facilities.
As a single
1-2 bedrooms city apartment , modern fully fitted kitchen , Cable TV, wireless Broadband Connection, fully furnished with modern bathroom fittings, gym, tennis, swimming pool.
As a couple
2 - 3 bedrooms city apartment, fully fitted home office with Internet, master bedroom and guest bedroom with en-suite bathroom, modern fully fitted kitchen , Cable TV, fully or partially furnished and modern bathroom fittings and full condominium facilities.
Selected apartments for rent for the expat family in Singapore
The typical situation for couples with young children: while he is working, she has given up her job and plans to start a family or they already have a very small child. These families want to bring up their children in a safe environment and love light homes surrounded by greenery. They are keen to live close to other expatriate families with young children.
The typical situation for couples with children schooling: Father is typically in an upper management position and travels the region and the family is depending on a close knit expatriate community. Mother is mainly taking care of the children but enjoys her new freedom and more leisure time as a live-in maid takes over the household chores and baby sits. The home must be spaced and ideally have a garden. Its location must be served by the busses of international schools as children's activities are centered there. The family has a car to reach shopping, entertainment and clubs and is not depending on public transport.
Couple with young children
Apartment or house with 3+ bedrooms, guest room with en-suite bathroom for visiting family members, a maid's room, walking distance to the kindergarten or play group. Home should be child safe and close to the daily needs for shopping and a club to meet fellow expatriates. As the spouse often does not have a car, proximity to a Gym, pool and tennis courts is highly appreciated.
Couple with children schooling
4+ bedroom condominium or detached house with pool and a maid's room. Large living, dining and family room with TV/cable connection, extra office a plus. Children's rooms must be able to accommodate desk. Good storage needed, large balcony, terrace or garden. Close to a club if children are teenagers.
Selected Apartments for expat senior couples
The senior is working in a senior position and has an above average housing allowance. The lady is generally not working, children are grown up and will be visiting regularly.
The couple will entertain guests and needs spacious dining and living rooms. The ideal home must feature guest room(s) with ensuite bathrooms. Proximity to the city is not important as the senior may have a driver or a second car for the lady will be available. A detached home or large penthouse will present a suitable home for their lifestyle. A penthouse might suit them best.
Your rental budget is probably the best way for orientation when you start searching for a new home. In general housing allowances adjust to the current market situation within a few months. Naturally downward trends are greeted with a quick response from the human resource departments of multinational companies whereas upward trends need a little longer time to be recognized.
We feature some ways around problems with low rental budgets in our relocation Singapore and agents are always ready to find a solution to make your housing dreams come true.
|Info: Housing Allowances Range in Singapore|
The location of your new home is very important as cars are very expensive and not all companies are willing to buy/lease a company car. Partners and family are mainly depending on public transport and taxis or in order to be motorized drive their working partners to/from their office.
The distance to International Schools can be bridged by children being picked up by their respective school's buses that cover almost all parts of Singapore.
It is also safe for teenagers to ride public transport like buses and the MRT. Most, if not all, schools are near to either bus-stops or MRT stations. It is generally safe for children to walk from the bus-stops or MRT stations to their schools.
Rents for shared apartments vary between S$ 700 and S$ 1000 per month per person including utilities. To minimize future misunderstandings you may need to agree on:
You can find a partner to share an apartment via some expatriate chat rooms.