What’s the Best House-Facing Direction in Singapore? The Good, the Not So Good, and the Bad

What is the best house direction in Singapore?

If you've been to a showflat, you probably noticed that developers or agents sometimes emphasize unit/development's facing direction as one of the key traits.

But why is this important?

Because Singapore is a hot and humid country; it is situated a degree from the equator and experiences high uniform temperatures coupled with abundant rainfall. These factors add to its high humidity quotient almost all year round.

The 2 monsoon seasons – the humid north-east monsoon from December to March, and the relatively dry south-west monsoon from June to September – also impact the wind speeds in mitigating the tropical heat. 

Apart from that, Singapore is also heating up twice as fast as the world thanks to a combination of global warming and the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect – caused by the heat generated by human activities as well as heat trapped in urban facilities such as buildings and roads.

So, unless you want to feel like a baked potato in your own home, the orientation of your home plays a vital role in keeping your home cool and ventilated, which helps to trim your energy bills as well.

 

What you need to know about ventilation 

Most people know that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. 

However, contrary to popular belief, the sun's trajectory actually varies according to the different parts of the year.

From March to September, the afternoon sun is actually in the north-west direction, whilst the afternoon sun is mainly in the south-west direction from September to March. As such, people in Singapore generally avoid buying west-facing units because that's where the sun will be at during large parts of the day. 

 

The wind's direction matters too

But apart from the sun's trajectory, the wind's current is another important factor because it affects your home's natural ventilation and promotes better airflow.

From April to October, the wind's direction is from south to north, and north to south from November to March. 

 

Which house-facing direction is the best?

Because of the sun's orientation and wind directions, north-south facing units are the best house direction in Singapore

How the sun's path and the direction of the wind affects your home's direction (this has been taken from homebaseperth.com.au and modified slightly to explain the sun’s rays on a house facing)

 

The good:

1. North-south facing homes

Because of the directions of both the sun and wind, north-south facing homes are the most desired house facing direction in Singapore. 

A north-south facing home not only avoids the direct sun during the day, but it also benefits from the wind's current. These two factors combine to make north-south facing units well ventilated and cool all year round.

2. South-east facing homes 

Apart from north-south facing units, south-east facing units are also ideal in Singapore's weather. 

House rooms or windows facing the east enjoy some nice morning sun from the months of September till March, while the south of the house will have little or no sun. If you're the kind who likes a bit of the bright morning sun, then south-east facing units are for you. 

Best yet, windows at south-east facing units are well-protected from the harsh afternoon sun, unless however, if your rooms or windows are west-facing.  

 

The not so good:

3. North-west facing homes 

North-west facing homes are a bit of a mixed bag. From March till September, most of the windows and rooms facing the north-west will get partial afternoon sun, whereas the south-west will receive the afternoon sun from the months of September till March. 

This can make for some uncomfortable living conditions, heating floors, furniture and trapping the sun’s intense rays in the concrete walls of the home. However, higher condominiums or tall trees facing along the west side can reduce the intensity of the sun and provide some shade for your home.

Tip: While choosing a north-west facing unit, consider the wind and the sun! Remember, in Singapore, ventilation is a must!

4. South-west facing homes

From September to March, the afternoon sun is in its south-west direction in Singapore. Despite this, a southwest-facing unit could become a favourable direction for your home during the peak monsoon period from October to February.

During these months, the heat doesn’t get trapped in the house, humidity is far less and the afternoon sun can prevent things from moulding and becoming damp.

Tip: Tall ceilings and windows across the house can help in cross ventilation and keeping the home cool.

 

The bad:

5. The east-west facing homes

East-west units are much dreaded in Singapore because they face the full force of the afternoon sun, all year long.

The east-side of the house is likely to get the morning sun, whereas the west-side of the house is likely to get the afternoon sun. Either way, there is no escaping the sun in an east-west unit.

The heat makes the house feel like a sauna, and to rub salt into your wounds, the intensity of the sun can fade the colour of the furniture and leather decor can start to peel. Wind ventilation is also almost nil. This sort of unit is a buyer’s worst nightmare!

Remember that Singapore is a small and favourably urbanized island, so it is possible to end up in an east-west unit!

If you're one of the unlucky ones who have no choice but to select an east-west unit, all we can say is invest in good window treatments that are thick enough to refract sunlight, as well as black-out curtains to help prevent natural light from seeping in. Also, invest in powerful air-conditioners and coolers to keep the heat at bay.

 

Want to find north-south facing homes?

We hope these tips help you out in your home-buying/renting journey. If you're in the market for a new home, do remember that's it's not just about price psf and nearby amenities; paying attention to the unit's facing direction could make a huge difference to your home's comfort levels. 

To find north-south facing homes for sale/rent, find it here on PropertyGuru now

 

This article was written by Manasi Hukku. Manasi likes to cover the intersection between research and relevance to help readers find a place they'll love. She is a Medium columnist, mother of two and UX Conversation Designer.

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