Rental accommodation rate for expat workers in Singapore falls: ECA report

After dropping out of the top 20 most expensive locations for the first time since 2014, Singapore has further dropped down the rankings of most expensive accommodation in Asia. It is down one place from last year and fourth in 2016. Hong Kong remains the most expensive location in Asia.

The graph is showing Asia’s top ten list of cities with rentals costs of high-end three-bedroom apartments.
The graph is showing Asia’s top ten list of cities with rentals costs of high-end three-bedroom apartments. Photo courtesy: Rice Communications

The recent findings were published by ECA International, a software and human resources management provider based in UK, in a report.

Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia, ECA International.
Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia, ECA International. Photo courtesy: ECA International

“Singapore is now the eighth most expensive location in Asia for rental accommodation, down one place from last year, and down from fourth in 2016,” said Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia, ECA International. “This is due to a slowing of economic growth and a net reduction in inbound assignments, exacerbating the surplus of higher-end properties on the market that would normally attract expatriates. This oversupply has reduced average rent levels in Singapore for the past three years.”

Rental prices for an unfurnished, mid-market, three-bedroom apartment in areas commonly inhabited by international executives in Singapore average USD4337 per month – over USD175 cheaper per month than a year previously. Whereas rental prices for an unfurnished, mid-market, three-bedroom apartment in areas commonly inhabited by international executives in Hong Kong average USD10,461 per month.

The most populated city of India, Mumbai, continues to climb up the rankings by being the fifth most expensive location in Asia for expats to rent.

Quane explained, “Expatriates living in Mumbai are typically competing for properties in a relatively small number of districts relative to the size of the city as a whole. This high level of demand forces rents upwards, while developers are continuing to lift property standards in Mumbai which also raises the average rent level.”

A screen grab of the top 10 most expensive locations for expat rental accommodation in Asia for 2018 and 2017.
A screen grab of the top 10 most expensive locations for expat rental accommodation in Asia for 2018 and 2017. Chart courtesy: Rice Communications

Accommodation costs in many locations in China have increased in the past 12 months. Shanghai is the most expensive location in mainland China and the third most expensive location in the Asia region.

“Rents in Shanghai have risen owing to an increase in the number of inbound relocations to the city. This elevated demand in an already tight market has caused the rent rises we have seen in 2018,” said Quane.  

Rents in Tokyo have continued to go up, rising by four per cent on average.

Author
Garima Kapil
Garima Kapil – Senior Writer

Garima Kapil has around five years of experience in the field of writing and editing. Specialised in writing, performing proof-reading and text editing functions along with content ideation; she has worked with leading e-commerce and as a freelancer. She writes on lifestyle, news, telecom, travel, education, healthcare, immigration, along with other subjects required as a full-time writer and freelancer. 

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