Where Should a Single Expat Rent in Singapore?

Singapore may be known as the perfect employment destination for families, but it’s also a dream location for someone relocating on their own. This article will help out any single expat who is considering the move to Singapore, including neighbourhoods well-suited to the single life, plus things to consider when picking the right condo/apartment to rent.

Popular Rental Locations

Later on we’ll discuss what to look for in an apartment or condo building, but for now let’s jump right in and discuss the prime areas for singles.

If you’re a single expat thinking about making the move to Singapore, the following suburbs may be suitable for your needs:

Orchard Road

Orchard Road Enough shopping malls to keep you busy for years, plus a huge choice of restaurants, cinemas and health clubs. It’s in close proximity to both the American and Tanglin Clubs, and has awesome public transportation links being so close to the Central Island Expressway (CTE) and the Orchard MRT. Orchard Road is one of the more expensive areas of Singapore to live in, particularly for rent. Along with expats, the area is also popular with tourists, with many 5- hotels too.

Pros:

  • Has pretty much everything at your doorstep
  • Great transportation links
  • It’s not the CBD, but even still many consider it to be the true centre of Singapore

Cons:

  • Expensive area to rent and live

Tip: When using our Wizard to find condos, enter “Orchard” at the Neighbourhoods step.

Holland Village

Holland Village

Another area that appeals to all types of expats and younger Singaporeans. Food ranges from local hawker stalls to western restaurants, with a large choice of bars in the surrounding area. Holland Village is quite close to Jalan Merah Saga, were you’ll be able to find even more restaurants, and a broad selection of shops and chic art galleries. The area has good public transportation links and has a its own MRT station.

Pros:

  • Good restaurants and hawker stalls
  • Close to MRT
  • Bars nearby

Cons:

  • Expensive rentals
  • A bit far from dance clubs and the city’s mega bars

Tip: When using our Wizard to find condos, enter “Leedon Park” and “Holland Drive” as preferred neighbourhoods.

Robertson Quay and Mohammed Sultan Road

Robertson Quay These areas are popular with single expats due to their relative distance to good restaurants, bars, clubs and the CBD. The area is near the Singapore River where you’ll find newly-built high-rises offering great views of the city skyline.

Pros:

  • Close to the CBD and nightlife
  • Plenty of restaurants and hawker stalls

Cons:

  • Expensive rentals

Tip: When using our Wizard to find condos, enter “Robertson Quay” as a preferred neighbourhood.

Katong

Katong Another area of Singapore that has been very popular with expats, this time thanks to its more reasonably-priced rental fees. If you prefer to see a traditional side of Singaporean living as an expat, Katong is one of the best places to see it. The area offers superb hawker stalls, a host of karaoke bars and is nearby to East Point Shopping Mall and Parkway Parade.

Pros:

  • Cheaper rental
  • Local shopping malls
  • Plenty of hawker stalls

Cons:

  • Not as modern as other areas
  • No MRT lines

Tip: When using our Wizard to find condos, enter “Katong” as a preferred neighbourhood.

East Coast

East Coast Similar to Katong as it too offers more reasonable priced condos, and for that reason alone the area is quite popular with young expats. East Coast has its own park which spans a massive 185 hectares and includes a man made beach. As it’s so close to the sea you’re never too far away from delicious seafood restaurants. Both the ECP and PIE expressways are close by and can make morning commutes to work a lot easier.

If you’re a person who spends more time out of their apartment than in, some areas of East Coast may not be the best area for you as there can be sparse entertainment nearby. Although cheap and popular with expats, there’s not as much nearby many condo units as you’d find in other locations.

Pros:

  • Reasonable priced apartments
  • Has a beach
  • Close to major express ways
  • Close to the airport

Cons:

  • Sparse MRT lines
  • Far from major bars and clubs
  • Not too many local sights to see

Tip: When using our Wizard to find condos, enter "Marine Parade", “Siglap” and “Bayshore” as preferred neighbourhoods.

Apartment Rental Questions

Once you have narrowed down areas well-suited for your needs, you now need to find the right apartment, which is easier said than done. Here are some important questions to ask yourself before you sign your first rental lease.

Will you be hosting friends and family regularly?

If the answer it no, it may be wiser to find a studio apartment or a small 1-bedroom. Singapore is not a big country and space costs a premium, so don’t expect spacious apartments that can fit several people inside. By opting for something smaller you can save on rent, or reinvest that money to get a smaller apartment in a better location.

Singapore is a major tourist destination with many hotels, and hostels to host your friends and family when they visit, for perhaps much less than you’d pay to keep a spare room all year. You could always buy a cheap air mattress that can be used to host guests, and stored away taking no space whatsoever. Be sure to ask yourself is you really need that extra space, because it won’t be cheap.

What are the condo demographics?

Condos that have mostly large apartments, children pools, and playgrounds will likely be filled by families rather than single expats. Look the condo up on our condos page or use the search function at the top right to check the ratio of 1 bedroom apartments to larger ones. The more studios/1-bedrooms on offer, the more likely you will be to find people to a similar demographic to yourself. Look for the bedrooms donut chart on every condo page we have.

What is the commuting time to your work?

The last thing you would want is to sign a lease only to find out it takes you more than an hour to get to work. The closer you are to work usually means a higher rental fee but a reduced commute time. Find out what works best for your budget, and always research the best way to get to work from your apartment to see if the location suitable. Use our site’s Condo Wizard feature to get a shortlist of all condos which satisfy your commute time requirements (it will be calculated automatically for you - say goodbye to typing in addresses to Google Maps for every condo you’re interested in). A key feature is the ability to sort matching condos by commute time to your office.

Don’t make a rushed decision

Most of all, be sure to check out condos in person. Don’t make up too much of your mind before you see anything, and don’t rush into moving into the first apartment you find. Take your time to identity your needs and find something that gives you the most bang for your Singaporean Dollar.

Conclusion

Moving to Singapore as a single expat can be a both a career as well as social dream, and finding an apartment to rent is just part of the fun. Check out the above locations and be sure to evaluate each condo and apartment against the criteria we gave to make sure they meet your requirements.

Did this article help? Did we miss anything? Please let us know in the comments below or drop an email!

photo credits: Singapore (license) Modern Village (license) Singapore River Sunrise, Robertson Quay (license) shophouse (license) East Coast Park (license)

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