Ever heard of studio apartments in Singapore? A studio apartment is a compact apartment with a single room and bathroom. You cook, clean, sleep and basically do everything in a space which is typically 200 to 500 sq ft. Depending on the space, you might even have a balcony if you’re lucky!
Studio apartments are built for a single or a couple and are pretty affordable due to their small size, hitting the sweet spot between affordability and privacy.
With dwindling rental supply and increasing demand, private property rental prices have reached record highs. So if you’ve decided renting a studio in Singapore is your cup of tea, we’re here to help you find a suitable rental property.
Studio Apartment Singapore: How Do Studio Apartment Rental Prices in Singapore Differ?
Singapore may be a pint-sized nation, but your lifestyle, wallet and commute to work each morning are governed by where you live. Studio apartment rentals in Singapore depend on factors such as:
- Location and the property’s proximity and connectivity to the city centre
- The relative age of the property
- Availability of facilities available within private condominiums (e.g. swimming pool, gym, etc)
- Quality of fixtures, utilities, and
- Furnishings (i.e. furnished, semi-furnished) that come with the accommodation
So, studio apartments located in and around the CBD, the country’s prime commercial, health and entertainment zone, are the most expensive. Areas such as Raffles Place, Tanjong Pagar, Marina Bay Sands, Orchard and River Valley are popular amongst working singles/couples and expatriates.
Typically, the further you get from the city’s centre, the lower the rents get. As a result, as you walk move towards Singapore’s West, East, North, and Northeast districts, residential units get more inexpensive.
Studio apartments are a good option for singles who wants to be independent but they are also spacious enough to accommodate couples or co-sharing friends. While you’re on a tight budget, the cheap utility bills and low rental fees are definitely things you would be thankful for.
Studio Apartments for Rent in Singapore: Price Estimates
If you are keen to rent a studio in Singapore or have made up your mind to rent one, we’ve compiled a list of studio apartments for you to choose from.
Here’s a range of approximate rentals of studio apartments based on their location*:
*Prices were taken from available listings on the PropertyGuru website as of 14 June 2022; (subject to change as listings are added or removed).
Studio Apartment Singapore: Are There Studio Apartments for Rent in Singapore Under $2,000
According to the Singapore Property Market Report Q2 2022, HDB resale and rental market asking prices are at an all-time high and are on an upward trend. With rental prices continuing to surge, it can be tricky to find an affordable place to stay.
At the moment, the most affordable studio apartment starts from $1,700. The going rate of most studio apartments hovers at around $2,000 to $3,000, To save you the trouble of finding a budget-friendly studio in the area of your choice, here’s a list of condo studio apartments in Singapore that costs under $2,000.
Cheap Studio Apartment for Rent in Singapore
Don’t fancy any of these apartments? Browse all studio apartments for rent in Singapore on the PropertyGuru website.
Co-living Spaces: Alternative to Renting in Singapore
If $2,000 is out of your budget, you could consider co-living spaces, like The Assembly Place, where you have a private room but share common facilities (e.g. kitchen, laundry room).
Cheap Studio Apartment for Rent in Singapore: HDB Studio Apartments
Do you know that there are HDB studio apartments available too? However, on the downside, qualifying for one is not easy.
Studio for Rent in Singapore: What Are HDB Studio Apartments?
HDB studio apartments can only be rented to Singapore Citizens under the Public Rental Scheme as a family (with no household income), as a couple, or as single individuals.
There are extremely stringent income and financial background requirements you must meet in order to rent a studio apartment flat from HDB. This is different from renting a Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS) HDB rental flat.
HDB studios are intended for individuals in desperate need of a rental flat. It is also subsidised to cater to Singaporean households with a low monthly income of less than $1,500. The monthly rental rate charged also depends on the household’s income.
If you do qualify, HDB studio apartments are an affordable housing option for low-income Singaporeans above the age of 21. These studios come in the form of 1-room/ 2-room flats and are located islandwide, but you can only choose from the following four zones:
- Ang Mo Kio
- Bedok/ Tampines
- Bukit Merah/ Jurong
The monthly rent that the HDB collects is calculated based on your monthly income and whether you are a first- or second-time applicant.
Generally, if the eligibility is met, a 1-room HDB flat can be obtained for rent. At the time of signing the tenancy agreement, a one-month rent deposit has to be paid. Take a look at all HDB rental flats available under this scheme here.
HDB Studio Apartment for Rent in Singapore: Rental Prices in 2022
The range of monthly rent that first-time and second-time applicants pay for HDB studio apartments is as follows:
On average, renting a studio apartment with a private condo in Singapore costs anywhere between $1,600 to $2,000 a month. So, even the most expensive rental price of $205 to $275 a month is subsidised by HDB to only a fraction of that amount.
Studio Apartment Singapore: Shoebox and Studio Apartment Trends
A studio apartment is typically for investors, rental tenants, or individuals looking for cosy space. Data shows that studio apartments and shoebox units are getting increasingly popular among Singapore residents. Here are some reasons why.
1. Average Household Size has Shrunk Since the 1980s, Less Space Needed
According to a Population Trends report from 2021, there has been a significant decrease in the average household size in Singapore from 4.87 persons in 1980 to 3.22 persons in 2020.
This is due to lifestyle preferences (i.e. marrying later) and the rising cost of raising children. People need less space, so naturally, looking for a smaller unit makes sense.
2. Locals Fuelling Rental Market
Enduring BTO construction delays have pushed young families into the rental market as they wait for their homes to be completed. Additionally, due to the want for space and privacy, single millennials and unmarried couples are increasingly moving out of their parents’ houses.
These groups of people would are likely to turn to a studio apartment as it is often relatively cheaper to rent and offers the space and privacy they desire.
3. More Foreigners Returning, Renting Units As Borders Re-open
Throughout the pandemic, locals were the ones who were primarily fuelling the rental market. But as Safety Management Measures ease and borders reopen, more expatriates and foreign students have begun returning to Singapore.
These factors have resulted in a further increase in rental rates across all apartment types. Naturally, studio apartments in Singapore will be favoured as they are relatively cheaper to rent as compared to a whole unit with multiple rooms.
4. Studio Apartments Are Great for Investors
From an investor’s standpoint, shoebox apartments like studio units make for a better investment than their larger counterparts.
When sold, studio apartments have outperformed bigger condo units on the property market. A study conducted by Knight Frank found that those who have divested their shoebox apartments pocketed an average capital gain of 11.5% compared to the 10.6% average, which resale deals involving units of all sizes have gathered since their launch in 2010.
Hence, over the last 10 years, private developers have ramped up the supply of studio units in response to higher investment demand for renting smaller apartments. All these have contributed to an increasing trend of renting studio apartments in Singapore.
It doesn’t hurt that the smaller size of studio apartments means it is more affordable than larger units, which means investors have a smaller upfront cost.
Renting a Studio Apartment in Singapore
As mentioned, there are many studio apartments on the rental market and most occupants of studio units are tenants. That’s because studio apartments are a fabulous rental option for singles and are also big enough to accommodate couples, co-sharing friends or small expatriate families on a tight rental budget.
For those concerned about living in a small space, don’t fret.
There are many simple yet fashionable ways to manage space constraints. For example, changing swinging doors for sliding doors, using multi-purpose furniture, employing home storage solutions, installing jack-and-jill bathrooms and opting for a colour distinction to distinguish sections within a home are some interior design hacks you can use to create a sense of space.
For more property news, content and resources, check out PropertyGuru’s guides section.
Looking for a new home? Head to PropertyGuru to browse the top properties for sale in Singapore.
Need help financing your latest property purchase? Let the mortgage experts at PropertyGuru Finance help you find the best deals.