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

Angela Koo
·8-min read

For the 43,000 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 a 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

$2,100

$2,400

*

Bedok

$1,800

$2,100

$2,200

*

Bishan

$1,880

$2,300

$2,600

*

Bukit Batok

$1,700

$2,000

$2,200

$2,300

Bukit Merah

$2,000

$2,600

$2,800

Bukit Panjang

$1,550

$1,800

$2,000

$2,000

Bukit Timah

*

*

*

*

Central

$2,200

$2,700

*

Choa Chu Kang

*

$1,890

$1,950

$2,000

Clementi

$1,910

$2,500

$2,600

*

Geylang

$1,800

$2,350

$2,680

*

Hougang

$1,750

$2,000

$2,130

$2,300

Jurong East

$1,800

$2,100

$2,300

*

Jurong West

$1,700

$2,000

$2,250

$2,400

Kallang/ Whampoa

$1,900

$2,500

$2,630

*

Marine Parade

$1,880

*

*

Pasir Ris

*

$2,000

$2,200

$2,300

Punggol

*

$2,000

$2,000

*

Queenstown

$2,000

$2,700

$2,850

*

Sembawang

*

$1,900

$2,000

$2,150

Sengkang

*

$2,000

$2,000

$2,100

Serangoon

$1,800

$2,230

$2,300

*

Tampines

$1,800

$2,100

$2,300

$2,400

Toa Payoh

$1,800

$2,350

$2,500

*

Woodlands

$1,550

$1,900

$1,900

$2,030

Yishun

$1,650

$1,900

$2,000

*

Median HDB Rent based on HDB rental approvals in 4Q2020. 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, Punggol, 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

$2,700

Queenstown

$2,700

Bukit Merah

$2,600

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 $2,700 for Central to $1,800 for Bukit Panjang. 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 and Marine Parade 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

Tampines

$2,400

Jurong West

$2,400

Pasir Ris

$2,300

Bukit Batok

$2,300

Hougang

$2,300

Tampines, Jurong West, Pasir Ris, Bukit Batok and Hougang 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, Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Bukit Timah, Central, Clementi, Geylang, Jurong East, Kallang/ Whampoa, Marine Parade, Punggol, Queenstown, Serangoon, Toa Payoh and Yishun 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

$1,550

Bukit Panjang

$1,550

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, Punggol, 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

$1,800

Choa Chu Kang

$1,890

Woodlands

$1,900

Yishun

$1,900

Sembawang

$1,900

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 and Marine Parade rent prices were excluded due to lack of transaction records.

5-Room Flat Rentals

Town

Median Rent

Woodlands

$1,900

Choa Chu Kang

$1,950

Bukit Panjang

$2,000

Yishun

$2,000

Sembawang

$2,000

Punggol

$2,000

Woodlands and Choa Chu Kang are the two estates where you can rent a 5-room flat for below $2,000 while Bukit Panjang, Yishun, Sembawang and Punggol also have affordable median rents of $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

Choa Chu Kang

$2,000

Bukit Panjang

$2,000

Woodlands

$2,030

Choa Chu Kang, Bukit Panjang and Woodlands are the cheapest estates to rent an Executive flat with rents around $2,000.

Note: Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Bukit Timah, Central, Clementi, Geylang, Jurong East, Kallang/ Whampoa, Marine Parade, Punggol, Queenstown, Serangoon, Toa Payoh and Yishun 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 most 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.

Cover image credit: Raymond Quek

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