COMMENTARY: What can $2,500 monthly rent get you?

By Elizabeth Choong / EdgeProp Singapore | May 4, 2022 12:54 PM SGT
RV Edge (Picture: The Edge Singapore)
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Affordable rental homes still available
Residential rents are rising and are expected to continue on an upward trajectory this year. As such, many think that it is not possible to find affordable rental homes in Singapore.
Based on data from URA, there are 20,913 rental transactions for condominiums to date this year. The average rent based on all transactions is $3,994 per month. 4,380 of the transactions are for monthly rents of $2,500 and below. The bulk of the transactions (48.0%) are for monthly rents of $2,500 to $4,000.
Surprising number of affordable rentals in prime districts
Many do not expect condominium units in districts 9, 10 and 11 to be available for rent at an affordable level. However, 274 such units were leased for monthly rents of $2,500 or less this year; debunking the myth that there are no affordable rental units in the prime districts.
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Espada is in District 9 and located a short walk away from Somerset MRT station. Most will expect units in Espada to fetch high rents due to its excellent location. However, 12 one-bedroom units (300 to 400 sq ft) were rented this year for $2,250 to $2,500 per month.
Espada (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua)
Loft @ Nathan and RV Edge in District 10 also had a number of units that were leased for monthly rents of $2,500 or less this year. 11 one-bedders (300 to 600 sq ft) in Loft @ Nathan fetched monthly rents of $2,200 to $2,500. 14 one-bedroom units (300 to 500 sq ft) in RV Edge fetched rents in the same range. A two-bedroom unit in RV Edge was also rented for $2,500 per month.
Comparing the rents achieved for the three projects over the last 36 months clearly indicates that rents at Espada are highest which could be due to its superior location.
As work-from-home stops being the default, some tenants prefer to live near the CBD to cut down on commute time. Single tenants might want to consider Spottiswoode 18 which is located just outside Tanjong Pagar. In 2022, 16 one-bedroom units (300 to 600 sq ft) fetched monthly rents ranging from $2,150 to $2,450.
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Alexis is another development that is popular with tenants. The development is within walking distance of Queenstown MRT station and has several shops on the ground level. In 2022, 18 one-bedroom units (300 to 600 sq ft) in Alexis were leased at $2,100 to $2,500 per month.
Alexis (Picture: The Edge Singapore)
Centrally located condominium units that fetched monthly rents of $2,500 or less are generally small one-bedders that are more suitable for singles or young couples who are willing to sacrifice space for a convenient location. Tenants with a larger family and a modest budget should look outside the central region to meet their need for more spacious units.
Look to the east for more options
There are 33 rental transactions for Guillemard Edge this year. Of which, 27 transactions are for one-bedroom units (400 to 800 sq ft) and the remaining six transactions are for two-bedroom units (400 to 600 sq ft). The one and two-bedroom units fetched monthly rents of $1,800 to $2,500 and $2,000 to $2,500 respectively. The popularity of the development could be due to its proximity to Dakota MRT station and numerous food outlets. The development is relatively new; having obtained TOP in 2014.
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Guillemard Edge
The studio and one-bedroom (500 to 700 sq ft) units of Euhabitat proved popular with tenants. 47 of them were snapped up at monthly rents of $1,700 to $2,500 this year. The condominium along Jalan Eunos is in the same district as Guillemard Edge and enjoys excellent connectivity via the Pan Island Expressway (PIE).
Sims Urban Oasis is another condominium in the east that is popular with tenants. The development received TOP in 2017 and is walking distance to Aljunied MRT station. In 2022, 41 one-bedroom units (400 to 600 sq ft) were rented for $2,000 to $2,500 per month while five two-bedroom units (600 to 800 sq ft) fetched monthly rents of $2,250 to $2,500.
Condominiums in the east are offering more value for money compared to condominiums in the central region. Tenants with a tight budget will be able to rent only a one-bedder in the central region but they can potentially snag a larger one-bedder or even a two-bedder in the east.
Up-and coming Fernvale in the north-east
The Fernvale area has three condominiums that have a significant number of units that were leased at an affordable level. The three developments are located within a 1km radius of each other and are within walking distance of at least one LRT station. All three developments were completed less than 10 years ago.
H2O Residences, which obtained TOP in 2015, has three one-bedders (500 to 600 sq ft) that was rented for $1,850 to $2,500 per month. 16 two-bedroom units (700 to 900 sq ft) were snapped up for $2,050 to $2,500 per month.
Two-bedroom units were also popular in Rivertrees Residences which received TOP in 2017. Nine of them (500 to 900 sq ft) were leased out for $2,000 to $2,500 per month. A one-bedroom unit and a three-bedroom unit fetched monthly rent of $1,900 and $2,000 respectively.
Rivertrees Residences
High Park Residences is the youngest of the trio; having received TOP in 2019. Like its older counterparts, its two-bedroom units (500 to 800 sq ft) attracted many tenants with 19 of them fetching monthly rents of $2,000 to $2,500 this year. 13 studio or one-bedroom units (300 to 500 sq ft) were leased out for $1,600 to $2,400 per month.
Based on rental transactions over the past 36 months, H2O Residences can boast of having the lowest overall average rent while High Park Residences has the highest average rent and rental volume. The wide disparity in rent between the two developments could be due to their difference in age and facilities.
Spacious options in the north
Housing prices tend to be lower in the north region of Singapore so it is hardly surprising that the north region also has more affordable rental options.
Orchid Park Condominium obtained TOP in 1994 but is still popular with tenants. Twelve two-bedroom units (800 to 1,100 sq ft) were snapped up for $1,900 to $2,400 per month. Six three-bedroom units (1,100 to 1,300 sq ft) fetched monthly rents of $2,300 to $2,500 and a lucky tenant managed to snag a four-bedroom unit for a bargain $2,100 per month.
Tenants who prefer newer developments in the same neighbourhood can consider The Estuary which received TOP in 2013. Five one-bedroom units (500 to 700 sq ft) were leased for monthly rents of $2,100 to $2,400 and a two-bedroom unit was leased for $2,200.
The Estuary
The Wisteria is another development in the neighbourhood that tenants could consider. The project obtained TOP in 2018 and sits on top of Wisteria Mall. Five one-bedroom units (400 to 600 sq ft) leased for $2,000 to $2,250 per month. Four two-bedroom units (600 to 800 sq ft) fetched monthly rents of $2,100 to $2,300.
Based on rental data over the last 36 months, average rent at Orchid Park Condominium is the lowest among the three projects which could be attributed to its age while the higher average rent for The Wisteria clearly reflects the perks from being part of a mixed development.
To conclude
  • Contrary to popular belief, having a budget of $2,500 or less per month does not preclude one from renting a condominium unit even in the prime districts.
  • Tenants in search of more space should consider the north region especially if proximity to the CBD is unnecessary because of permanent flexible work arrangements or the tenant is working in Woodlands regional hub.
  • The north-east region is a good option for tenants who prefer newer developments, need at least two bedrooms and do not mind a longer commute to the CBD.
  • The east offers a good compromise between space and commute time.

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