Struggling to WFH? For Some Young Adults, Renting Is The Answer

Eugenia Liew
Struggling to WFH? For Some Young Adults, Renting Is The Answer
Chances are high that as you are reading this, you are working exclusively from home. As we confine ourselves to our homes to avoid contracting the dreaded COVID-19, video calls have become our main mode of communication, and the home has become not just for rest, but for work as well.
Once considered a perk, the long-term work-from-home (WFH) arrangement has many of us struggling to adapt. These days, the lines between personal and professional are blurring, making it increasingly difficult to find "me" time, to unplug from work, and to avoid friction with adolescent children or parents at home.
And it seems that this, in turn, has sparked a rising trend of young adults moving out from their family homes.
young adults renting lugagge

Reasons why more Singaporeans are considering renting amidst COVID-19

Beyond the Asian culture and tradition, there are many compelling reasons why young, non-married adults typically continue bunking in with their parents. Mainly because it makes financial sense.
As a financial hub, Singapore is where most multinationals are headquartered in Asia. Singapore’s urban infrastructure, easy-to-access public transport, and safety are some key factors that attract a pool of talent from all over the world. But these reasons also drive property prices up, making Singapore the second most expensive housing market in the world after Hong Kong.
Hence, it’s unsurprising why many young adults between 24 to 35 years of age prefer to stay with their parents to save money until they are married. This group is also excluded from the most affordable housing option in Singapore, Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats. Here, it is common to find three – if not four – generations living under one roof.
In "normal" times, this is a reasonably good arrangement. However, thanks to COVID-19, there is a constant tug of war to co-exist amidst the changing expectations of family members, lack of privacy, and no face-to-face interactions are pushing many millenials to seek alternative living (and well, working) arrangements.
According to a TODAY report, more young adults, despite the additional costs involved, are moving out of their family homes and exploring rental properties instead.
Some reasons that have engendered this shift are –
young adults renting conducive

1. The need for a more conducive “workspace”

Working as a telecommuter from your couch is contrary to working from your cube. Finding a room with a door that can keep you at bay from all the distractions within your home, can be quite a challenge. In a space-starved city like Singapore, where you may be living in a small flat or apartment with your family, chances are that your “home office” is really just a coffee table. Thus, most remote workers are struggling to manage time and remain productive when they have to constantly decide when, where, and how to work.
young adults renting tv

2. The need for personal space to pursue hobbies

With the halt on leisure travel until early 2021 and no other group recreational activities to go for, a lot of people have been reviving hobbies and interests they otherwise didn’t have the time for. Whether it’s binge-watching a show of your choice on Netflix, reading a novel never explored, or just sketching; having space and time for it is vital.
Similarly, spending an excessive amount of time at home or working round-the-clock is excessive. So, too much of anything is not good! Therefore, to be able to “make room and time” for your hobbies means being a happier person in your own right, and today’s millennials recognize this and make it a priority.
young adults renting social

3. The need for social gathering space

Today’s youth inhabits spaces different from their parents and grandparents. This is a generation that has grown up with technology, social media, smart apps, and above all, space and freedom. Before the circuit breaker, everyone had a fixed routine during the week. There was a specific time and place to meet or work. Now, with everyone being able to meet-up in larger groups only at home, home is also the “hang-out” nucleus for most. You don’t want to be socializing between work calls, and under the scrutiny of your family members. This would only add to the existing commotion!
Hence, you can say that those who have managed to move out of their family’s nest are fulfilling a latent desire to live apart from their parents.

Most searched rental districts for August 2020

Thinking of exploring a rental home as well? Here is a list of rental districts based on their search popularity on PropertyGuru:
Orchard, River Valley
$999 – $1,200
$1,400 – $3,800
Tanglin, Holland, Bukit Timah
$650 – $700
$1,500 – $2,800
Newton, Novena
$950 – $1,480
$1,500 – $1,700
Eunos, Geylang, Paya Lebar
$600 – $1,000
$1,500 – $1,850
Boon Lay, Jurong, Tuas
$950 – $2,000
$1,200 – $2,100

1. Orchard & River Valley

A boisterous district that encompasses Cairnhill, River Valley, and Orchard. District 9 is considered Singapore’s largest shopping and entertainment zone. The district is surrounded by prestigious international schools, embassies, and private recreational clubs. Notably, this district offers unique and historically significant homes. This area is central to the city, yet not congested. The area has access to the great nightlife in the Prinsep area, and it is very well connected to Selegie Road, Little India, and Bugis. Besides, a lot of students from LaSalle, NAFA, or Kaplan reside in this area.
Here are some of the studio apartments and rental rooms to consider in this district:
Studio Apartments
Rental rooms
Browse more properties in District 9 for rent on PropertyGuru.

2. Tanglin, Holland & Bukit Timah

Located in District 10, just off the city core, this is a popular district among local and expatriate communities alike. From pockets of luxury residential homes to popular dine-outs, shopping malls, and prestigious schools, this is one of the most sought after and accessible locations you can live in. It is a great place for rent as well as to own because it is not only well connected by the MRT, but also via the CTE and the PIE.
Here are some of the studio apartments and rental rooms to consider in this district:
Studio Apartments
Rental rooms
Browse more properties in District 10 for rent on PropertyGuru.

3. Newton & Novena

Among the 28 districts in Singapore, District 11 stretches out to Novena, the south of Newton Circus to the north of Thomson Road, and further towards Dunearn Road. These areas comprise the Tan Tock Seng Hospital, alongside Thomson medical and Mount Elizabeth Novena. A stroll away from the prime housing and medical facilities is the Newton Hawker Centre, Pek Kio Market & Food Centre, and Kampong Glam. You can easily go out for a late-night Teh Tarik or grab a bite of that aroma infused piping hot Singaporean delight.
Additionally, the District favors some of the island’s top schools such as Singapore Chinese Girls’ School, Chinese High, and Anglo-Chinese School; while shopping malls such as Velocity @ Novena Square and United Square make it a desirable residential nucleus.
Here are some of the studio apartments and rental rooms to consider in this district:
Studio Apartments
Rental rooms
Browse more properties in District 11 for rent on PropertyGuru.

4. Eunos, Geylang & Paya Lebar

A lowly area during Singapore’s early days, this district has seen some rapid technological and industrial transformation. The name Paya Lebar has Malay roots with the words ‘swamp’ and ‘wide’ co-relating to ‘Paya’ and ‘Lebar’ respectively. District 14 is known for its historical and cultural heritage, which has been preserved via projects like the Geylang River Projects, Paya Lebar Central, and the Civic Centre of Wisma Geylang Serai.
Locations around the Paya Lebar Central are a hotbed for residents and investors alike. The district is highly accessible with Kembangan, Eunos, Paya Lebar, and Aljunied MRT stations enveloping the area. Public and private housing coupled with several shophouses can be found here. Further, Eunos and Geylang are a haven for traditional Malay and Hokkien food joints.
Here are some of the studio apartments and rental rooms to consider in this district:
Studio Apartments
Rental rooms
Browse more properties in District 14 for rent on PropertyGuru.

5. Boon Lay, Jurong & Tuas

Considered to be an unpopular district located on the outskirts of Singapore, Jurong is now well-connected via multiple expressways, MRT lines with interchanges, and multiple bus routes to the rest of Singapore. Announced as part of the Government’s masterplan, Jurong is earmarked to become ‘Singapore’s 2nd CBD’.
Jurong’s growth in population saw an increase in residential dwellings as well as retail and entertainment options. Some of the largest malls such as JEM, IMM, Westgate, and JCube are in close vicinity of the Jurong East MRT station. Chinese Garden is a heritage park in Jurong East that preserves the northern imperial practice of Chinese landscaping and architecture. Further down in the Boon lay area the Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) is an autonomous research university that is known for its eco-friendly and smart technology garden campus. Students studying at this University are always on a lookout for independent rooms or flats in this district.
Here are some of the studio apartments and rental rooms to consider in this district:
Studio apartments
Room rentals
Browse more properties in District 22 for rent on PropertyGuru.
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Manasi Hukku wrote this article. Manasi likes to cover the intersection between research and relevance to help readers find a place they’ll love. She is a UX Conversation Designer, Medium Columnist, and mother of two.
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