Rising household incomes, more condo dwellers seen over past decade

Victor Kang21 Jun 2021

People walking past Singapore's financial district

The median monthly household has risen by 3.3% per year, while there were more households living in condominiums and other apartments in 2020 compared to a decade ago. 

Household incomes in Singapore have continued to increase in both real and nominal terms in the past 10 years, according to the Department of Statistics data, reported The Business Times (BT).

According to the report, households living in condominiums and other apartments have also increased over the last decade, and experts say that the trend is expected to continue.

Specifically, the median monthly household income climbed 3.3% per annum – which works out to 1.9% in real terms – from $5,600 in 2010 to $7,744 in 2020.

The hike was more evident for median monthly household income per household member, which rose 4.2% per annum – or 2.8% in real terms – from $1,638 in 2010 to $2,463 in 2020.

The share of households earning $20,000 and above more than doubled from 6.6% in 2010 to 13.9% in 2020, while households with no employed person grew from 10.5% to 13.3%

Suggested read: HDB Flat to Private Property: How Much Must You Save To Upgrade Right After MOP?

However, the hike was in tandem with the increase of households comprising persons aged 65 and older only, said BT. Such households make up 9.3% of resident households, up from 4.6% in 2010.

BT said the figures were among the key findings in the second of two releases from the Census of Population 2020, which was based on registered data as well as a survey of 150,000 resident household performed from February to end-2020. BT noted that employer Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions were included in the household income figures.

The report also noted that over 52.5% of married couples are now dual-career ones, up from 47.1% previously.

The share of married couples in which only the husband is employed declined from about a third in 2010 to about a quarter in 2020. Meanwhile, the share of married couples in which only the wife is employed grew from 5.8% to 7.4%.

The number of resident households in Singapore grew to 1.37 million in 2020 from 1.15 million in 2010. However, the average household size shrank from 3.5 persons in 2010 to 3.2 in 2020.

The 2020 Census of Population also revealed that a greater proportion of resident households are now living in condominiums and other apartments at 16%, an increase from 11.5% previously. Conversely, the share of households living in HDB flats dropped from 82.4% in 2010 to 78.7% in 2020.

Analysts believe that the trend shows that Singaporeans still aspire to live in private housing.

“The younger generation tends to be more educated and many are university graduates. More and more of them may aspire to live in condos for the lifestyle, facilities and long term investment return,” said Christine Sun, Senior Vice-President of Research and Analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, as quoted by BT.

“Apart from rising affluence, the supply of residential units could also be a contributing factor,” she explained.

Sun also noted that more condominiums have been built in recent years, while no significant rise in the number of launched BTO flats.

With earlier census data showing that more people are remaining single and not having children or having them later, could mean that “they have more disposable income to spend on housing and are able to afford private housing”, said Catherine He, Director of Research for Southeast Asia at CBRE.

The rise in singlehood could also mean more would be “looking for smaller flats or looking to rent”, said National University of Singapore (NUS) Associate Professor Yu Shi-Ming. Notably, the share of households staying in one- and two-room HDB flats increased from 4.6% in 2010 to 6.5% in 2020.

Sing Tien Foo, Director of the Institute of Real Estate and Urban Studies at NUS, said the decline in HDB dwellers comes amid strong demand for private housing in the last 10 years.

He noted that the ratio of public to private housing depends on the fiscal budget allocated for housing, long-term private housing price trends and changing housing preferences.

Professor Yu expects the proportion of households living in public housing to hover at around 70%.


Looking for a property in Singapore? Visit PropertyGuru’s ListingsProject Reviews and Guides.

Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email: victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg


You may also like these articles

Singapore’s condo resale volume hit 11-year high in April

Sales volumes for resale condominiums in Singapore grew 528.7% from last year, to hit an 11-year high of 1,993 transactions in April 2021.Singapore saw 1,993 resale condominiums sold in April, up 5

Continue Reading14 May 2021

Singapore home prices to grow by up to 7% this year

RHB adjusted its forecast for residential home prices in Singapore from 0% to 3%, to between 5% to 7% this year.RHB expects residential property prices in Singapore to increase this year, growing

Continue Reading14 Jun 2021

Resale private home transactions rose 6.5% in Q1

4,607 units were sold during the first quarter of 2021, with demand likely spurred on due to COVID-19 construction delays.Savills Singapore data showed that the number of private homes sold in the sec

Continue Reading18 Jun 2021