Astronomical prices for housing/rent?

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Astronomical prices for housing/rent?

Post by Shadou » Sun, 26 Dec 2004 6:20 pm

I have lived in Singapore now for almost two years and one thing that I can't get over, and maybe someone can explain this, is the prices that a person has to pay for housing here. Singapore is cheap in many ways, from it's transportation to it's food but when it comes to the amount of money that you have to shell out for rent, it gets to be to much! Sure, one can live either way out east or west, more than 30 minutes from town and you can get away with cheaper prices or you just live in the rundown HDB estates. Even Serviced Apartments, starting at around $5000 is a complete and total ripoff!

There are many an expat that I know that could never afford such great living in the many fancy condos or Serviced Apartments around town but even for your average, run of the mill condo, you still pay quite a lot. Is there a reason for the very high rent prices here in Singapore? Just curious. Thanks.

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Post by yoongf » Sun, 26 Dec 2004 8:36 pm

See the link.. ... i_3Q04.pdf

back in the mid 90s, there was a property speculative boom that saw property prices skyrocket. Properties kept changing hands at higher valuations, with bigger and bigger bank loans.

For properties that were transected during those periods, they would probably be in negative equity by now. The rentals commanded these days may not be able to cover interest payments and maintenance charges. If property prices drop further, many landlords may have to face foreclosure when banks request for margin calls.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 28 Dec 2004 11:00 am

Just a footnote to yoongf's reply.

The property market boom referred to was actually perpetrated by the gov't itself. It went about telling all and sundry how little land singapore had and could only support a population of 4 million (this was back in the early 80's when I first arrived on these shores).

Just like COE's when they first came about in the late 80's, the gov't prompted all to bid higher & higher due to the low numbers available which saw the COE prices skyrocket to over S$104,000 for a piece of paper saying you were allowed to buy a car.

With human nature being what it is (worldwide) if there is only a finite amount of something then everybody wants it (or the exclusivity of same) and are willing to do whatever necessary to obtain it (even if they have to sell their MiL to get it).

Now, the prices are there as per yoongf's post.


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Post by memsign » Fri, 31 Dec 2004 12:01 pm

Yes, it seems that there is not exactly a free market re housing here. In the papers they've just been saying recently how there are about 10k empty flats around, plus I think about 18k of HDB empty flats. Yet they keep building them!
Another weird theing is that the HDB were supposed to be for poorer people, the ones kicked out of the kampons. And they were supposed to reflect lower status, etc. Now we see them building new condos beside the MRTs. So if you're rich enough to offord a condo, why do you need to live beside an MRT? They should be rich enough also to afford a car?
And why would the gov. allow condos to be built beside MRTs, why not reserve for poorer people.
I've also heard the weird story that many of those empty flats have inauspicious numbers, or other superstious factors involved with them. Then when I asked some sg people why the prices have descreased drastically because of that, they say that they're reserved for one group or other. In effect then, they sit empty. No free housing market here.

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Post by memsign » Fri, 31 Dec 2004 12:02 pm

I meant NOT deacreased.

happy here

rent not expensive here

Post by happy here » Sat, 08 Jan 2005 12:58 pm

coming from HK, i think Singapore rentals are incredibly good value.

Tips :

1. do not pose "the big expatriate" act when apartment hunting - do not go to the big agents who are interested in only handing out the posh places for top dollar and making you feel a pauper if you can't afford the district 9. 10 and 11 prices.

2. go to a smaller local agent, be very honest of your needs and budget and frankly, if you look like the sort who'll take good care of the apartment, you can go very far with $2,000.00 which gets me a comfy 3 bedroom apartment in Clementi Park - 20 year old large condo - partially furnished, 3rd storey walk-up - beautifully and matured landscaped grounds - not the most convenient place without a car - but close enough to Holland Village and from there, a hop to town.

3. Singapore is very safe - you can live wel and safely in any district - so take advantage of this - and stay out of those pricey districts.

you can live in a comfy 2 bedroom fully furnished apartment for under $2K a month - but this is out of town and definitely out of the Orchard Road, Bukit Timah and East Coast area. there are many many apartments for the taking for under 2 K if you are willing to take a two year lease and don't look like you are likely to wreack the place !

suggest you look into a"heartland" areas like Hougang, Pasir Ris, Serangoon Gardens, Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Jurong ,Yishun and Woodlands. Try to stay within a 20 minute walking distance of the mrt station - this isnt too difficult - a lot of the private condominiums nestled in HDB (public housing) estates are located quite close to the MRT stations. and they are not grotty - have you been to the Oleander Towers in Toa Payoh - 2K gets you a high rise 2 bedroom apartment - and my word - the luxury matches anything in Orchard Road.

i am told that the spanking new Golden hill villas near Serangoon Gardens are worth a look and a whole slew of condominium developments in Bishan as well - all with available apartments for under 2.5K - but mind you, you need to take a 2 year lease and look respectable. a lot of these homes are investment properties purchased by the affluent locals - they are realistic about rentals - there is a glut - BUT they aren't desperate so they'd rather leave their apartments empty than lease them to people who are apt to cause damage.

4. think "cheap cabs" - hey - this has gotta be one of the cheapest and safest and most available places to cab about - even if you are out in orchard road 3 times a night - hey, getting home to Serangoon Gardens costs $20.00 with change to spare. 12 times a month and that doesn't burn a hole in your pocket at $240.00

Look hard, think local, use a local agent and you don't need good luck - the glut is with you...


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