Expat's Guide to Housing and Rentals in Singapore


Singapore is an economic hub with exquisite cuisine and a vast array of career opportunities, so it’s not surprising that so many expats are excited to move from overseas. An international move to Singapore is incredibly exciting! However, there are many things to organise before you can begin enjoying everything that Singapore has to offer. One of these things includes arranging your housing in Singapore. We’ve created this helpful guide so you are well-equipped to rent or purchase a home once you move to Singapore.

What to know about housing in Singapore as an expat

There’s no shortage of things to know when moving to Singapore as an expat! Here are some things you need to know about housing and accommodation before you relocate from overseas to Singapore.

Cost of living

Singapore is frequently at the top of the list when it comes to the world’s most expensive cities. Because of this, the cost of renting or purchasing a home in Singapore may be more expensive than you are used to. We recommend researching the cost of living just before you relocate to get the most accurate understanding of how much housing and other living costs will be. You can follow our guide to saving money when moving to Singapore as an expat for more information on getting the most of your budget.

Types of housing

There are a few different types of housing options available for expats in Singapore, including condominiums, landed property, serviced apartments and Housing Board Development (public housing) rental properties. Condominiums are the most popular housing choice for expats in Singapore as they offer private estates with many luxury amenities. These amenities can include parking, swimming pools, playgrounds, gyms, tennis courts and indoor sports grounds.

Landed properties are detached houses with some surrounding land, and are popular with expats who want a whole house and a garden. They are a great option for expat families moving to Singapore or for people who’d like more space and privacy. As space can be at a premium in Singapore, they are the most expensive types of property to rent or purchase.

Housing Board Development properties are incredibly popular with local Singaporeans, however subsidies only apply to Singapore permanent residents and citizens so expats cannot purchase this type of housing.

Moving with a pet

Thinking of bringing your pet with you to Singapore? Relocating pets internationally can be tricky so we recommend using a pet relocation service to ensure a smooth transition. They’ll be able to advise on any quarantine and documentation requirements, and help prepare your pet for the big journey ahead. Having a pet can add a layer of complication when renting a home as you’ll need to find pet-friendly accommodation in Singapore. This is because some landlords or housing developments may have restrictions on the types of pets you can have.

Renting vs buying furniture

Did you know that you have the option of renting furniture in Singapore? This is a great option if you are unsure about how you’d like to stay in Singapore and aren’t ready to commit to bringing your existing furniture with you from overseas or do not want to invest in new furniture. There are also rental properties which come already furnished, this is highly convenient, but can make the rental more expensive. If you are wanting to stay in Singapore longer-term or have particular interior design preferences, it is better to purchase furniture. Alternatively, you may wish to bring your own furniture with you from overseas.

Purchasing a home in Singapore as an expat

You can purchase a home in Singapore if you are an expat, however there are certain restrictions. Non-Singapore permanent residents are eligible to purchase privatised executive condominiums which are older than ten years and private condominiums. To purchase a landed property, you’ll require special permission from the Singapore Land Authority. Because of these restrictions, many expats decide to wait until they are Singapore permanent residents before they purchase property.

Renting a home in Singapore as an expat

Renting in Singapore can be expensive, but is the best option for expats. An average unfurnished, three-bedroom apartment is estimated to cost around SGD$5,840 per month. To rent a property in Singapore, you’ll need a photocopy of your passport, employment pass and a letter of intent. You will also need to provide what is known as a “Good Faith” deposit which is usually equivalent to one month’s rent to secure the property and ensure that it is taken off the market.

Move into your new property with Allied Moving Services

If you are ready to make the international move to Singapore, then make sure it is a success by choosing Allied Moving Services! Our expert international moving team has the right expertise and equipment to ensure that you have the smoothest possible move to Singapore. Our impressive suite of moving services can provide you with everything you may need to relocate to your new home, including professional packing and pet relocation services. Receive a quote which is specific to your unique relocation requirements today!