Average monthly rent for Singapore expats swells 1.4%

Overseas relocation mainly from Hong Kong caused the increase.

The average monthly rent for expatriates in Singapore rose 1.4% to $6,069/month (US$4,233) from last year, according to a study by ECA International. This increase is said to be the first one posted in the last five years.

An influx of overseas relocation to the Lion City triggered the uptick particularly by expats moving in from Hong Kong, said regional director for Asia Lee Quane. However, recent tightening of work permits for overseas workers might somewhat curb the demand.

Singapore remains the ninth most expensive Asian location for overall rental costs, with Hong Kong coming in at number one for a third consecutive year with an average monthly rental cost of $16,220 (US$11,318). The city has the most expensive rent considering its high population density and limited land as well as last year’s anti-government protests and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Quane said.

Tokyo came in at third place with average rental costs of $13,194 (US$9,207) per month, with Yokohama at seventh and Osaka at eighth.

Cities in China saw varying rental trends over the past year with Shanghai as the third costliest Asian city with rent up to $7,684 (US$5,363) monthly. Although expatriate accommodation costs in Beijing were fairly static, with the capital city staying in 19th place globally, other cities saw big increases in the average rent, with Shenzhen seeing the biggest increase of 7.22%.

Taipei, whilst it didn’t make the top 10, was another city that saw steep increases in rent from last year with a rise of 5.29%, moving the city into the top 50 most expensive locations. Government contracts for a major offshore wind project and increase in demand by locals spurred the rise, Quane said.

Seoul, Mumbai and Bangkok also made the top 10 at fifth, seventh, and tenth places respectively. 

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