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2021 HDB Rental Guide: Where Are The Most Expensive And Cheapest Estates In Singapore To Rent A HDB Flat?

Whether you are a potential tenant or landlord, watch out for the rental prices in these estates.


For the households affected by BTO project delays as well as everyone who is chafing at the lack of space at home, renting could be an option worth considering. While homeownership is one of the desired goals of most Singaporeans, renting can be a housing solution that makes sense.

For all the potential renters, HDB rent prices have been on a rise, mirroring the rise in overall property prices. Before you start planning to move out of your parent’s house which is centrally located next to the MRT and all the town centre amenities, you may wish to look closely at whether we need to compromise between location and price.

For those of us who own an HDB flat and are thinking about renting it out, you should also have a look at the HDB rental prices before contemplating being a landlord.

Here’s a look at where the most expensive and cheapest estates in Singapore to rent an HDB flat.

Read Also: Complete Cost Guide To Renting An HDB Flat In Singapore

HDB Rental Prices

Town 3-Room 4-Room 5-Room Executive
Ang Mo Kio $1,800 $2,200 $2,450 *
Bedok $1,800 $2,100 $2,350 $2,400
Bishan $1,900 $2,400 $2,650 *
Bukit Batok $1,700 $2,000 $2,300 $2,400
Bukit Merah $2,000 $2,650 $2,900
Bukit Panjang $1,600 $1,900 $2,100 $2,200
Bukit Timah * * * *
Central $2,200 $2,800 *
Choa Chu Kang * $1,900 $2,000 $2,200
Clementi $2,000 $2,500 $2,600 *
Geylang $1,800 $2,300 $2,530 *
Hougang $1,700 $2,000 $2,200 $2,300
Jurong East $1,800 $2,150 $2,400 *
Jurong West $1,700 $2,050 $2,300 $2,300
Kallang/ Whampoa $2,000 $2,500 $2,750 *
Marine Parade $1,850 $2,200 *
Pasir Ris * $2,000 $2,100 $2,300
Punggol $1,800 $2,000 $2,050 *
Queenstown $2,000 $2,700 $2,900 *
Sembawang $1,900 $2,000 $2,100
Sengkang * $2,000 $2,050 $2,230
Serangoon $1,850 $2,200 $2,350 *
Tampines $1,800 $2,100 $2,300 $2,400
Toa Payoh $1,900 $2,300 $2,650 *
Woodlands $1,530 $1,880 $2,000 $2,200
Yishun $1,650 $2,000 $2,150 $2,300

Median HDB Rent based on HDB rental approvals in 2Q2021. Source: HDB.

“-” indicates there were no transactions recorded in the quarter, while “*” indicates there were less than 20 transactions recorded in the quarter.

Note: this guide is based on the median HDB rent prices for the final quarter of 2020 which we can expect to form the basis of prices for 2021. These rent prices are for the entire HDB flat. Individual room rents will differ from entire flat rates. 1-room and 2-room HDB flats are excluded due to the lack of transaction data from HDB.

Most Expensive Estates To Rent A HDB Flat

Let us compare the rent prices of 3-room, 4-room, 5-room and Executive HDB flats to find the most expensive towns. Here are the most expensive towns to rent these flat types:

3-Room Flat Rentals

Town Median Rent
Central $2,200
Bukit Merah $2,000
Queenstown $2,000

 

If you have read the most expensive estates to buy a HDB flat article, this should not come as a surprise to you. Central, Bukit Merah and Queenstown are the most expensive estates to rent a 3-room flat. These estates are centrally located in or near the CBD and they command a high rent premium. With work-from-home no longer the default work arrangement from 5 April 2021, we may expect these estates to be even more sought-after by renters looking for a short commute to work.

These 3 estates command rent prices of $2,000 and above. After which those who want to rent in Kallang/ Whampoa, Bishan and Marine Parade can expect rent prices of $1,880 to $1,900. In general, renting in most other estates will cost you about $1,800 for a 3-room flat.

Note: Bukit Timah, Pasir Ris, Sembawang, Sengkang, Choa Chu Kang rent prices were excluded due to lack of transaction records.

4-Room Flat Rental

Town Median Rent
Central $2,800
Queenstown $2,700
Bukit Merah $2,650

 

Again, Central, Queenstown and Bukit Merah form the most expensive estates to rent a 4-room flat.

4-room flats have a large variability in rent prices across the different estates; rent prices range from $2,800 for Central to $1,880 for Woodlands. On one hand, this can be a good thing because there’s an estate for every budget. On the other hand, it means that you get what you pay for in terms of location.

Note: Bukit Timah rent prices were excluded due to lack of transaction records.

5-Room Flat Rentals

Town Median Rent
Queenstown $2,850
Bukit Merah $2,800
Geylang $2,680

 

Queenstown, Bukit Merah and Geylang form the most expensive estates to rent a 5-room flat.

Similar to 4-room flats, 5-room flats have large variability in rent prices across the different estates; rent prices range from $2,850 for Queenstown to $1,900 for Woodlands. However, compared to the size of 4-room flats, you are likely to get more room for just a $100 to $150 increase in rent.

Note: Bukit Timah, Marine Parade and Central rent prices were excluded due to lack of transaction records.

Executive Flat Rentals

Town Median Rent
Bedok $2,400
Tampines $2,400
Bukit Batok $2,400

 

Bedok, Tampines and Bukit Batok are the most expensive estates to rent an Executive flat. 

Despite their larger floor area, Executive flat rentals are cheaper than 5-room flats. However, as seen by the number of estates excluded, it may not be easy to find an Executive flat in your desired estate.

Note: Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Bukit Timah, Central, Clementi, Geylang, Jurong East, Kallang/ Whampoa, Marine Parade, Punggol, Queenstown, Serangoon and Toa Payoh rent prices were excluded due to lack of transaction records.

Cheapest Estates To Rent A HDB Flat

On the other end of the spectrum, let us compare the rent prices of 3-room, 4-room, 5-room and Executive HDB flats to find the most affordable towns. Here are the cheapest towns to rent these flat types:

3-Room Flat Rentals

Town Median Rent
Woodlands $1,530
Bukit Panjang $1,600
Yishun $1,650

 

Woodlands, Bukit Panjang and Yishun are the cheapest estates to rent a 3-room flat. Again, this corresponds to the Woodlands being one of the cheapest estates to buy an HDB flat.

Note: Bukit Timah, Pasir Ris, Sembawang, Sengkang, Choa Chu Kang rent prices were excluded due to lack of transaction records.

4-Room Flat Rentals

Town Median Rent
Bukit Panjang $1,880
Choa Chu Kang $1,900
Woodlands $2,000
Yishun $2,000
Sembawang $2,000

 

Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang, Woodlands, Yishun and Sembawang are the cheapest estates to rent a 4-room flat. Outside of these areas, you can expect to pay $2,000 and above for a 4-room flat rental.

Note: Bukit Timah rent prices were excluded due to lack of transaction records.

5-Room Flat Rentals

Town Median Rent
Woodlands $2,000
Sembawang $2,000
Choa Chu Kang $2,000

 

Woodlands, Sembawang and Choa Chu Kang are the three estates where you can rent a 5-room flat for $2,000 while other estates have rents that are above $2,000.

Note: Bukit Timah, Marine Parade and Central rent prices were excluded due to lack of transaction records.

Executive Flat Rentals

Town Median Rent
Sembawang $2,100
Woodlands $2,200
Choa Chu Kang $2,200
Bukit Panjang $2,200

 

Sembawang, Choa Chu Kang, Bukit Panjang and Woodlands are the cheapest estates to rent an Executive flat with rents from $2,100.

Note: Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Bukit Timah, Central, Clementi, Geylang, Jurong East, Kallang/ Whampoa, Marine Parade, Punggol, Queenstown, Serangoon and Toa Payoh rent prices were excluded due to lack of transaction records.

Location And Size Matters For Rentals

It’s quite clear that centrally located estates go for much higher rental prices than estates that are in the outer regions. Notably, Woodlands, Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Panjang stand out as the more affordable estates. If you only have a budget of $2,000, these should be the estates to look out for, even if you need a large flat.

However, if you must stay somewhere in the expensive estates of Central, Queenstown and Bukit Merah, be prepared to pay for that location premium. It may be worth it if you value the convenience of being so centrally located.

It is also more value for money to rent a larger flat; you get more floor area for just a slight increase in rent. So consider renting a 5-room flat instead of a 4-room flat, especially if you are sharing the flat with future housemates.

Remember that rent isn’t the only cost that you have to pay when you start renting. You can easily incur an additional $8,000 in rent-related costs per year, just for basic things like utilities, maintenance and furnishings.

This article was originally published on 12 April 2021 and updated with new information.

Cover image credit: Raymond Quek

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