Question on current rental prices

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swizzly
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Question on current rental prices

Post by swizzly » Wed, 21 Jan 2009 11:34 pm

Hi everyone

I am Swiss and have been offered a job in our Singapore branch on an international assignement for at least two to three years. This is still in early phase and I have been given some preliminary numbers as package. For the housing allowance they came up with a suggestion of S$ 5,500 per month. HR looked this up on a table dated 2007 which suggested this to be a fair rent for a 1bedroom apartment. As I would be moving with my wife we would at least need a 2 bedroom apartment so we have more space and can eventually host some guests. Since my workplace would be near Raffles Place and we have no kids we would ideally like to live right downtown in the CBD. Have now looked at some property rentals and also at some forum posts. It does appear that the rental prices have come under quite some pressure. Can anyone tell us if this impression is correct? What could we reasonable expect for the proposed S$5,500?

Thanks for helping us in deciding!

PS: The way the company policy works is that you cannot cash out what you don't spend so we can spend this full amount on housing :D

Singapore Property Search

 

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durain
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Post by durain » Thu, 22 Jan 2009 12:29 am

with the current rental market nose diving, your S$5.5k will easily get you something nice.

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Post by swizzly » Thu, 22 Jan 2009 4:52 pm

Thanks for the response. To be a bit more specific, do you think this would get us a 2 or 3 bedroom condo in the central business district in one of the high rise buildings which come with all the amenities (like the new Sail or the Icon)?

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Post by smayrhofer » Thu, 22 Jan 2009 5:17 pm

Yes, my colleague looked into the sail and the rental prices were about there.

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Post by durain » Thu, 22 Jan 2009 7:02 pm

have a look at http://singaporeexpats.com/housing-in-s ... t-rent.htm

search for sail or icon in the "project" field.

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Post by swizzly » Thu, 22 Jan 2009 8:59 pm

Did of course do some research including this site on the rental prices prior to my initial post. It's just difficult to judge from a distance what you really get for your money. Also got a little worried from some of the posts which mentioned teaser offers. However, appears that the prices listed seem to be somewhat realistic and reflective of the current market.

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Post by durain » Thu, 22 Jan 2009 10:30 pm

the thing with property hunting, you can never have a feel of the place without being there. ideally, you should view a few property before deciding. one man's or person's to be political correct, condo is another person's mud hut.

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Post by swizzly » Thu, 22 Jan 2009 11:00 pm

Thanks durain and do of course agree that one has to see to decide. Problem is that we may have to make a committmet without a "look and decide" trip first. So at least we have to develop a feeling for what can be achieved. Given what we have found out so far the $5.5K should at least warrant for something decent and convenient. And that was the obejctive of the thread. Thanks for the help.

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Post by durain » Fri, 23 Jan 2009 12:07 am

yeah, i know what you mean, not easy to decide. maybe you can get the company to put you up in a hotel for one week for your property hunting before you decide.

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Serviced Apt

Post by VanofVA » Thu, 29 Jan 2009 7:27 am

You could also get a serviced apt for 1 month which would cost about 5k and give you a good feel for the area. You may want to check out the area along Orchard Rd also.

2007 was the peak of the high rentals so your $5,500 should get you a lot more now then it wouldve then.

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Post by swizzly » Thu, 29 Jan 2009 6:09 pm

Hotel or Serviced Apartment are clear and we would do this anyway for the first couple of weeks. Problem is that we may have to make a committmet without a "look and decide" trip first. In other words, we may have to decide whether or not we want to go to SP at all without seeing it prior to making this decision. Don't want to go and then find out that the negotiated allowance is insufficient. Hence the original question about the current status as there is only so much intelligence one can gather from checking classifieds to get a feeling for the market.

My conclusion is, that the peak of 2007 is over and with the recession ahead prices have gone south and most likely will continue. In essence, the proposed allowance of S$5.5K should be fine for what we are looking for (2 or 3 Bdroom condo in CBD with full facilities). I would still have to haggle over other stuff and allowance then :lol:

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try this

Post by Shona » Fri, 20 Mar 2009 4:13 pm

This is a good site, you often get pictures, etc.

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Post by sierra2469alpha » Fri, 20 Mar 2009 4:21 pm

Swizz - your employer really SHOULD be using a reputable source for coming up with not only housing allowances but also COLA (Cost of Living Adjustments). Our company use Mercer - their reports aren't expensive.

I agree with durain (as usual!) and a look-first option is the best. Can you self-fund that? Of course, you'll also need an agent that you like (so best to meet them in person).

In terms of areas, if you move out a little bit (still only 10 mins on the MRT) to areas like Newton, Novena, you'll get more bang for your buck.

We moved an employee up from AUS back in DEC - we gave them 3 weeks in hotel/serviced apartment which seems the norm (although we're nice people :) They had a good look around during that period and have found themselves a lovely place within that HA limit you described.

FWIW - our apartment complex has fallen nearly $1300 per month in the almost exact 12 months we took it. That being said, it's a higher allowance than you're paying, but at least confirms some of your research.

HTH, Mr. P

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Post by swizzly » Mon, 23 Mar 2009 8:32 pm

Mr. P - Thanks but I am not opposed to them using a 2007 table with average rental rates most likely substantially higher than current ones. Assume if they were to use an up-to-date table my allowance would be much lower. So better not wake sleeping dogs! In addition to the HA I would also get an adjustment for the cost of living albeit I'd call it a throw-in rather than adjustment as Switzerland and Singapore are almost equally expensive.

Anyway, my move has been postponed for a couple of months and the position remains unfilled due to uncertainty of economic outlook. Company would rather delete an FTE position as opposed to laying off a warm body... Sad for me but makes sense. Hopefully this will change sometimes during summer or fall. Mentally had already moved to Singapore. But that's life.

If this still becomes reality I would definitely stay in a Serviced Apartment and look around first. There's only so much one can do over the inet. Seeing is more helpful and I would get a better feel for the prices. With respect to getting more bang for the buck the situation is that I HAVE to spend the full allowance (cannot get cash for unused part) and DON'T need more than two bedrooms. Wish all my problems were that complicated...

Thanks again for the feedback. Confirms my assumption that prices are coming down heavily and tenants get more for their money.

Cheers,
Swizzly

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