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What is the cost of living in Singapore

What is the cost of living in Singapore | Research has shown that the living cost in Singapore is high. However, it is actually considered moderate and affordable for Singaporeans or even expatriates working in Singapore. With proper financial planning, people can still afford to buy a HDB flat. Furthermore, there are many HDB flats for sale, such as Toa Payoh HDB for people or young working adults who are planning to buy their first property. This article will guide you through the cost of living in Singapore.

What is the cost of living in Singapore


  1. Accommodation
The cost of housing depends on various factors such as the location of property, age of property and proximity to the city. Therefore, it is advised to think thoroughly before deciding where you prefer to stay in Singapore. In addition, the rental cost varies across the type of property you prefer, such as:

  1. Condominiums
Most expats working in Singapore would prefer staying in condominiums due to the facilities available such as, swimming pools, playgrounds, tennis courts, security and so on. Moreover, rental for staying in a condominium unit is relatively cheaper than the rental for staying in a landed property.

The rental for private condominiums varies depending on various factors such as the location and age of property. A 3 bedroom condominium in a prime area such as Orchard, Tanglin, Bukit Timah and River Valley would cost approximately $7,000 a month and can even go up to $15,000 depending on the type of condominium. As for high end luxury condominium with a Sentosa or Keppel Bay view, it would cost approximately %8,000 to $13,000 a month. However, condominiums located further from the city such as Bedok, Pasir Ris, Ang Mo Kio, Tampines, Woodlands, Clementi, Jurong, Yi Shun and Punggol will have lower rental at approximate $3,300 to $5,000 a month.

  1. Private apartments
Private apartments are similar to condominiums in Singapore, but with lesser facilities provided. A 3 bedrooms private apartment in the prime area will have a rental of approximately $5,000 to $7,000 a month whereas those located further from the CBD will cost approximately $4,000 a month.

  1. Serviced apartments
Some expats prefer staying in a serviced apartment because they prefer a hotel style facility, or they will only be in Singapore for a short period therefore, need a flexible lease. Serviced apartments are usually fully furnished and come with facilities such as swimming pool and gymnasium. As mentioned, the lease is flexible and renter can choose to pay the rental on a daily basis, weekly basis or monthly basis. That being said, rental for a one bedroom will be on a slightly more expensive side, ranging from $7,000 to $14,000, depending on the location and type of apartment.

  1. HDB flats
HDB flats will have a more affordable rental as compared to staying in a condominium or private apartment as they do not come with facilities such as swimming pool or gymnasium. A 3 bedroom HDB flat that is close to the CBD will cost approximately $3,000 a month whereas HDB flats that are further from the CBD area will cost approximately $2,200 to $2,700 a month.

  1. Landed property
Landed property refers to terraced house, bungalows, detached house and semi detached house. As Singapore has limited land, the rental for a landed property will naturally be expensive. The rental for a detached bungalow that is located in a prime location is approximately $18,000 a month and can go up to as high as $35,000 a month for a luxurious bungalow that comes with 4 bedrooms and a garden. As for terraced house or semi detached house, the rental is slightly cheaper at approximately $8,000 to $13,000 per month.

  1. Paying guest
If you only want a room and not the whole unit to your own, it would definitely be cheaper. The room rental for an HDB flat will cost approximately %500 to $800 per month, depending on the location and the size for the room. As for a room from a private apartment located in a prime district such as Chinatown, it will then cost approximately $800 to $1,800.


  1. Food
Food is considered cheap in Singapore. However, this is greatly depending on where and what you eat. Eating in a food court or hawker centre is definitely going to be so much cheaper than eating in a high end restaurant. In addition, it is also much cheaper if you cook your own as compared to eating out on a daily basis.


  1. Transportation
Singapore is well known for having one of the best transportation systems in the world. If you are a frequent user of public transportation in Singapore, it will cost approximately $300 per month as your transportation cost.

Taxi service will be slightly more expensive than using bus or MRT services. The taxi fare is calculated based on a meter and the starting fare is $3 to $3.40 for the first mile. After that, you will pay $0.22 for every 400m you travel.

However, it is considered expensive to own a car in Singapore. Not only you have to bear the heavy government tax, you will also need to pay for the down payment of the vehicle and the Certificate of Entitlement (COE). It is compulsory for all vehicle owners to pay for the COE that lasts 10 years. Moreover, you will need to pay a 7% Goods and Services tax , insurance, petrol, road tax, parking fees and so on.


  1. Healthcare
Singapore has one of best healthcare systems in Asia. A consultation fee will cost approximately $40 where as blood test and X-ray will cost approximately $50 to $80. As for specialists who work in private institution, it will cost approximately $75 to $125 as consultation fees. Hospitalization fees will vary accordingly to the type of ward, ranging from $30 to $3,000. Not forgetting buying a health insurance will cost around $2,000 to $3,000 a year.


  1. Utilities
Utilities fee such as electricity, water and gas will typically range from $200 to $600, depending on your usage. As for mobile phone, it will cost approximately $35 to $100, depending on the mobile plan you engage. An Internet plan at home will cost approximately $50 a month and a TV connection will cost around $28 a month.


  1. Education
An international school fees in Singapore cost around $1,000 to $3,000 a month whereas school fees for local government school cost around $246 to $356 for primary level, $341 to $486 for secondary level and $552 to $772 for junior college.


  1. Taxes
Singapore has one of the lowest income tax in the world. The income tax rates for Singapore citizens, permanent residents and foreigners who worked in Singapore more than 183 days will start at 0% and the rates are capped at 20%. As for non residents such as foreigners who worked for lesser than 183 days, the rate is capped at 15%.


  1. Miscellaneous
Miscellaneous fees are fees that include entertainment expenses and electronic appliances or devices such as computer, laptop or television. A laptop will cost around $800 to $1,200 and a computer will cost around $800. Movie ticket will cost you approximately $10 and newspaper will cost only $1.

In conclusion, the cost of living in Singapore is actually manageable if you manage your finance. Do plan your finances accordingly to prevent yourself from overspending.


1 comment:

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