Expat rents continue to drop in Singapore

Romesh Navaratnarajah14 Mar 2019

A new study shows that rental prices in Singapore are now on average US$500 cheaper per month than in 2016.

Despite the continuous drop in rental prices for expatriates, Singapore remains in the top 10 most expensive locations for expatriate rents in Asia as it occupies eighth place, according to international research house ECA International.

ECA’s September 2018 Accommodation Survey showed that rental prices in Singapore are now on average US$500 cheaper per month than in 2016.

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In fact, rental prices for an unfurnished, mid-market, three-bedroom apartment in areas usually inhabited by expats in Singapore costs US$4,215 per month, down 1.3 percent from the previous year.

“Reductions in the population of non-residents in Singapore, a key driver of rental demand, has led to continued drops in rental prices for expatriates,” said Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia at ECA International.

“Recent announcements in the Singapore Budget 2019 have further limited the proportion of foreign workers that companies in the services sector can employ, to 35 percent by 2021. This seems to imply that the downward trend in rents will continue, as the availability of properties increases with little anticipated rise in demand.”

Meanwhile, Hong Kong remains the world’s most expensive location for expatriate rent, with typical accommodation for expats costing US$10,929 per month on average.

The main driver for the increased rent was the limited availability of housing across Hong Kong – which has been a long-term issue for the city’s housing market.

“Rent increases are not just limited to central Hong Kong anymore either; rents are expected to rise throughout outlying neighbourhoods in 2019 too, as international firms seek more affordable office spaces and leverage options in cheaper suburbs,” noted Quane.

Tokyo emerged as Asia’s second most expensive location for expatriate rent, with typical accommodation carrying an average price of US$8,668 per month.

Shanghai came in third, while Seoul and Yokohama were tied in fourth place.

Completing the top ten list were Beijing, Mumbai, Osaka and Bangkok.

Check out PropertyGuru’s properties for rentAlternately, refer to our other handy rental guidesor read more about the hottest areas to live in with PropertyGuru’s AreaInsider


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg


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