Who can afford a $5000 - 6000 flat??

Discuss about where to live, renting a property, tenancy issues, property trend and property investment in Singapore.
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sprite
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Post by sprite » Tue, 11 Sep 2007 6:30 pm

No of course I won't take it out on you. :wink: I was just pointing out that aj's post sounded like he thought $6 was high, when the celing is much higher. Companies are still sending over high ranking expats who have big budgets and big salaries, less than they used to send maybe, but they are still arriving in droves. The International Schools are full and high end rentals (S$20 - S$25) are in short supply.

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eurobill
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Post by eurobill » Wed, 12 Sep 2007 4:11 pm

The discussion in this thread is very high powered and you all seems to be very smart people.

Can you please advice is there any other option for people moving to Singapore?

What is the standard of a HDB apartment, or do you call it flat? and is it easy to find one and rent one ?

Is the only option to stay in Jurong?

Can somebody try to suggest an alternative of paying SGD 5-6 k.

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Post by Makan24-7 » Wed, 12 Sep 2007 5:34 pm

In my humble opinion, the newer or recently upgraded HDB flats are very decent dwellings. The executive HDB apartments are arguably just as good as the private ones sans the clubhouse, pool, gym - amenities I hardly ever have time to use anyway. The only catch is that if you want to live in the city, there's aren't any new HDBs and even if there were, you can bet the current dwellers would be reluctant to move out of the city into the 'burbs. You can still get decent private apartments for S$3-4k outside the central or city areas.

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Post by eurobill » Wed, 12 Sep 2007 5:52 pm

Makan24-7 wrote:In my humble opinion, the newer or recently upgraded HDB flats are very decent dwellings. The executive HDB apartments are arguably just as good as the private ones sans the clubhouse, pool, gym - amenities I hardly ever have time to use anyway. The only catch is that if you want to live in the city, there's aren't any new HDBs and even if there were, you can bet the current dwellers would be reluctant to move out of the city into the 'burbs. You can still get decent private apartments for S$3-4k outside the central or city areas.
Thanks for your reply. So for example Tiong Bahru, I guess that's what you regard as outside the city. But it's only 2 stops with the MRT to Tanjung Pagar. So it's really central. How much would a HDB be over there? and is that an OK place to live.

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Post by Superglide » Wed, 12 Sep 2007 5:56 pm

Tiong Bahru will be considered central / city / downtown by the agents and LLs renting out there, so expect high prices as well.

It's a very local neighbourhood with lots of hdb and its own mall, quite a local taste as well.

Convenient for location, nothing much to offer for the rest.
If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes.
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Post by eurobill » Wed, 12 Sep 2007 6:10 pm

Tiong Bahru: Local taste... that's not bad.... a friend mentioned the words "heartland environment". I don't think I mind that. I will be working 70 hrs a week anyway. So no time for BBQ at the pool side.

I have also heard good things about Holland Village.

Anyway.... I don't want to hijack the thread. So I leave the floor to the sifus to continue the discussion.....

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Post by audiojunky » Thu, 13 Sep 2007 9:11 pm

I guess I got the answer from margt - who posted on another thread that he/she will be spending 50% of his/her salary on a flat at Costa Rhu. Thanks for this feedback.

So this means, that from spending maybe 20-25% of your salary on rent, one should think about spending 50% of their salary, maybe more, on rent!

Are the companies paying attention to this? A pay hike maybe? If Singapore is now more expensive than NYC - then maybe we should start getting US salaries - ok, maybe a little less since taxes are lower.

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Post by Makan24-7 » Thu, 13 Sep 2007 9:54 pm

I suppose every individual has unique wants and needs as well as different thresholds to what's acceptable - but spending 50% of your hard earned money on a rented property sounds so... so..... excessive.

Not all employers are adjusting their expat packages which is the reason the condos in the peripheral areas have also skyrocketed in rent. A lot of the expats who used to be able to afford rentals in town and the central areas have been displaced and forced to move into the 'burbs after their latest leases expired.

One of my friends has a 6.5k rental allowance on his package which used to be a darn big deal (I think it's a gucking food deal) - had a 5 room landed house which now is asking for 12.5k in rent. His company didn't want to adjust his package and consequently, he had to move into a smaller condo in the Cairnhill area... A poor sod? I think NOT but he thinks so!

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Post by Addadude » Fri, 14 Sep 2007 3:21 pm

eurobill wrote:Tiong Bahru: Local taste... that's not bad.... a friend mentioned the words "heartland environment". I don't think I mind that. I will be working 70 hrs a week anyway. So no time for BBQ at the pool side. .
I'm staying in a humble HDB flat in Telok Blangah (not far from Tiong Bahru). It's almost next to Vivocity and less than 10 mins to the CBD by car or 15 minutes by bus. Rentals there start at around $1100 - 1200 for a 3-room flat (2 bedrooms), $1300 - $1500 for a 4-room flat (3 bedrooms) and $1800 for a 5-room flat (3 bedrooms plus large living/dining area). Very local - heartlands - area. Very pleasant and green and doesn't feel at all built up. Telok Blangah might fit your requirements...

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Post by margt » Fri, 14 Sep 2007 6:55 pm

Makan,
you got me worried now!!!

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Post by German_Expat » Mon, 17 Sep 2007 11:36 am

There is plenty to be worried about as an expat! You have to plan on either having huge increases in rent everytime your lease expires or be prepared to move. If you have children, they will have to change school every two years or travel longer distances to school. School fees are also on the increase. The media is constantly selectively printing stories of companies increasing expats housing allowances, which is only true to some extend. The majority of expats here are getting their housing allowances cut.

The lates announcement of price increase was from SBS Buses, although only a few cents per journey, the reasoning for the increase is what is worrying.... 'the economy is doing well, people can afford it'. This falls short of saying people have too much money, let's take some off them while we can.

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Post by huggybear » Tue, 18 Sep 2007 7:20 am

Makan24-7 wrote:Apart from those on expats packages:
1. Bankers (includes those in sales, trading, private equity, asset management, hedge funds)
2. Consultants (associate level and above) with companies like McKinsey, BCG, Bain
3. Those hired into MNCs from their NA/EMEA HQs into permanent senior mgmt positions in Asia.

All the people (about 20 of them) I know in 1-3 above (and not having expat packages) make more than S$15k easily per month, most are married in their late-20s to mid-30s and have combined incomes of more than S$30k per month. That said, most are not renewing their leases and buying instead.

You also have a lot of landlords who are filthy rich and it doesn't matter to them whether they rent out their properties or not. They put it up for rent/sale and if there are people who bite, it's good, otherwise, they're in no rush to rent/sell
a lot of banks and hedge funds are moving to / setting up shop in singapore.

Lehman Tokyo is moving down here. and a few banks such as BNP, Fortis, Barclays, etc have all expanded operations. They will all be hiring people that earn more then enough $ to spend on luxury apts with budgets above 10k per month. bear in mind that they will also be hiring back office operations that will have budgets in the HDB type range.

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Post by lchk » Tue, 18 Sep 2007 11:02 am

Addadude wrote:
eurobill wrote:Tiong Bahru: Local taste... that's not bad.... a friend mentioned the words "heartland environment". I don't think I mind that. I will be working 70 hrs a week anyway. So no time for BBQ at the pool side. .
I'm staying in a humble HDB flat in Telok Blangah (not far from Tiong Bahru). It's almost next to Vivocity and less than 10 mins to the CBD by car or 15 minutes by bus. Rentals there start at around $1100 - 1200 for a 3-room flat (2 bedrooms), $1300 - $1500 for a 4-room flat (3 bedrooms) and $1800 for a 5-room flat (3 bedrooms plus large living/dining area). Very local - heartlands - area. Very pleasant and green and doesn't feel at all built up. Telok Blangah might fit your requirements...
I don't understand why so many expatriates (at least the ones in this forum) will not consider some of the more well-kept HDB flats. One can save so much from one's pay packet by renting a HDB flat instead of an expensive condominium, particularly for those who are single.

Teluk Blangah is definitely a consideration for me when I move to Singapore in December this year.

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Post by sprite » Tue, 18 Sep 2007 11:21 am

lchk wrote:
Addadude wrote:
eurobill wrote:Tiong Bahru: Local taste... that's not bad.... a friend mentioned the words "heartland environment". I don't think I mind that. I will be working 70 hrs a week anyway. So no time for BBQ at the pool side. .
I'm staying in a humble HDB flat in Telok Blangah (not far from Tiong Bahru). It's almost next to Vivocity and less than 10 mins to the CBD by car or 15 minutes by bus. Rentals there start at around $1100 - 1200 for a 3-room flat (2 bedrooms), $1300 - $1500 for a 4-room flat (3 bedrooms) and $1800 for a 5-room flat (3 bedrooms plus large living/dining area). Very local - heartlands - area. Very pleasant and green and doesn't feel at all built up. Telok Blangah might fit your requirements...
I don't understand why so many expatriates (at least the ones in this forum) will not consider some of the more well-kept HDB flats. One can save so much from one's pay packet by renting a HDB flat instead of an expensive condominium, particularly for those who are single.

Teluk Blangah is definitely a consideration for me when I move to Singapore in December this year.
Lots of companies directly lease the flat and there is no savings given to the expat. In addition, it's not always about the money, is it? Sometimes, it's worth it just to be comfortable, especially considering that for some people this is a long way from home and they may have given up a lot to move here.

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HDB v Condo

Post by German_Expat » Tue, 18 Sep 2007 11:59 am

It is indeed about the comfort level. Most of us are far from home(Europe/USA) and if it wasn't for the comfort level we would be constantly thinking about home and what we gave up. I am sure most of us miss having our relatives around or at least easily accessible. This is part of the price we pay to live an expatriate life. Having a nice environment makes it easier. Without this I am afraid most won't want to make the move. Having to pay high rental costs makes it even more difficult to buy tickets for home trips, and a lot of expats have to cover that cost themselves.

Those on high expat packages are the minority, the media won't even report on that because this will no doubt raise some eyebrows. A lot of expats are on what is called a local plus contract, the plus being a small housing allowance and some schooling allowance for the children. This plus gets reduced to zero after two or three years and employees on those packages are told that salary increases will make this up. Assuming this is true fact, there is still the fact of increase in living costs which is above the increase in salaries.

Ok, assuming more expats take up HDB accomodation..... how long will the prices stay at the level they are now? I mean, they have increased to that level sharply in the past two years. $1800 used to be the rental price for a condo appartment that I lived in for the past two years, now this is the price for a HDB... I for myself have to say the limit is reached, no more. Once my agreement runs out in April 2009 and the increases are above average salary increases I am out of here and for this I am planning now. I already stopped using taxis and use bus and mrt instead. There alone is one effect..... rental increases affect not only the person having to pay the rent, but also those who would normally benefit from the money available to spend. Everything is interconnected, and one affects everything down the chain.

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