Recently shifted or planning to move to Singapore? Don’t fret. House hunting is easy and fun in Singapore. Real estate agents are well organised, traffic is smooth and there are a wide variety of housing options. The big question is where in Singapore should you live?
This is where we come in before your big move, and you can start your desk research with this article. If you can’t decide on the location and don’t know what’s best, we have listed out an easy way for you. Here are the points you need to keep in mind before you initiate the house hunting process. Singapore is just the place with something for everyone with a ton of amenities available depending on proximity to work, school and so on. It offers great accessibility to locations, excellent shopping and plentiful of eating options. Don’t worry your head over the house hunt, and view it as an adventure instead!
Pointers to consider when you start the house hunt
Budget: First you need to have a budget for the house. Budgeting will help you evaluate which areas and apartments are best for you. If you have a budget of $5,000 a month for rental, you can get an apartment of about 1,000 sq. ft. to 1,500 sq. ft. Rental will depend on the district you choose. If you have $15,000 as monthly budget, you can rent a spacious luxurious apartment with facilities like a swimming pool, tennis courts and gyms, or even a landed home with a private swimming pool. If you have a budget of $18,000 - $30,000, you can rent a first-class bungalow with many rooms, a lush garden, and even a private swimming pool- situated in a prime district like Holland Road, Bukit Timah or even the Orchard area.
Location: Location is an important factor as this determines the convenience for you and family. Keep your work areas in mind, how far it would take in terms of the transportation. If you have children, do also check for school buses before deciding on a house.
Facilities: Not everyone would have the same set of requirements about the facilities. Therefore, you need to evaluate the facilities you are looking for and prioritize them. Is it a gym or a tennis court you want, or a basketball court or a jacuzzi? You can decide what you need before you decide an apartment for yourself.
Amenities: Do research about the amenities nearby such as accessibility to the MRT or bus services, if it’s required. Supermarkets, parks, schools, etc. are the factors to think about in your search list.
Let’s start the house hunt for you.
The East Coast runs from Kallang to Loyang and Changi Airport. This area has been popular with expats for its breezy, spacious and reasonably priced houses and condominiums. With its sandy beaches, park areas and flat cycle paths, East Coast Park draws attention with its easy access to the city, the north and the airport. Good ranges of seafood restaurants are an additional attraction.
Katong and Joo Chiat are favourites among expats who are keen to experience the Peranakan Culture, its streets lined with colourful conservation shophouses that are hard to miss This area is close to international schools including Chatsworth and the Canadian International School and is widely considered as a food haven among locals.
Siglap, Bedok, Tampines and Pasir Ris
Occupying a large area, these popular neighborhoods in the East can provide a sense of living in communities with strong local identity. The housing options differ from apartments and town houses to spacious, detached bungalows.
Many condominiums have been developed recently in the Bedok Reservoir area, such as Arc @ Tampines and Waterview.
With the new purpose-built campus of United World College of South East Asia close by, as well as the addition of integrated community and lifestyle centre Our Tampines Hub - it’s no wonder that the residences here are increasingly sought-after.
Upper Bukit Timah
This area has a good range of value condominiums and semi-detached houses. Just beyond Central Bukit Timah, the location comprises several good shopping centres. The Pan Island Expressway (PIE) and Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) are easily accessible for those with cars. It’s conveniently close to the Singapore American School with easy access to Malaysia.
Sentosa Island has an exclusive collection of homes which are also expensive. Some of these homes are directly facing the sea. Residents of Sentosa Cove also have access to a golf course, excellent restaurants at Quayside and recreational opportunities. Singapore’s largest shopping mall, VivoCity is also here.
Faber Park has a spacious and suburban feel with many friendly expat communities around. The area’s benefits include easy access to the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE)/Central Island Expressway (CTE) motorways, VivoCity and HarbourFront malls for shopping. Mount Faber is one of the oldest parks in Singapore, with spectacular views and the cable car to Sentosa.
Woodlands is a favorite among expats because of its big, reasonably priced family houses, with the Singapore American School being located here as well. Not surprisingly, there is a large American expat community in Woodlands. The area has a leafy, suburban feel, large malls with restaurants and cinemas. Woodlands is one of the two access points to Malaysia (the other is Tuas), with Johor Bahru, the city across the causeway, accessible from here.
Residents tend to hang on to their properties tightly here, though you can still find good deals on black-and-white houses and gardens. The area comprises part of Upper Thomson and includes the Lower Seletar Reservoir. Seletar is convenient for children attending the American and Australian Schools.
Central Bukit Timah
This established residential area stretches from just beyond Newton Circus to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. It’s close to Orchard Road, international schools, the Japanese Association, Hollandse Club and British Club.
Not far from Orchard, and home to a good mix of houses, high-rise condos, are Novena and Newton Circus. The latter is famous for its hawker centre; it has some excellent barbecued seafood stalls, but do be aware of the price of everything before you order.
Popular with families for the nearby French School and Australian International School, this relaxed residential area offers condominiums and spacious family houses, many with gardens. Chomp Chomp Food Centre at Serangoon Gardens is well-regarded for food and Nex Mall has excellent shopping and cinemas. MRT stations at Serangoon and Lorong Chuan connect to all parts of the island and the CTE is the closest expressway.
Thomson Road runs past the horsey action at the Singapore Polo Club, leafy MacRitchie Reservoir, and some of the best garden centres in Singapore, right up to Yishun and Sembawang. The further north you go, the less you pay for a spacious home or condo.
Not far from Thomson and Bishan is Braddell, another established residential area with some excellent family houses with gardens. Braddell is ideal for anyone thinking of enrolling their children at the Australian International School or the French School.
The Orchard area offers easy access to the retail hustle and bustle of Orchard Road’s shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, cinemas, and health and beauty services. Despite the activity and density, many of the surrounding neighbourhoods are quiet and leafy. Naturally, rents here are higher, but they are offset by the prime location and access to public transport, the CTE and Central Business District (CBD). The American Club and Tanglin Club are in the neighbourhood.
Tanglin is home to many embassies and is considered a prestigious area. Properties vary from large houses with leafy gardens to established low-rise condominiums and new, higher condos. Advantages include quick access to the AYE (Ayer Rajah Expressway), Orchard Road and the Botanic Gardens. The popular Dempsey Hill area offers a mix of furniture shops, art galleries, cafés and restaurants in a pretty jungle setting.
River Valley is a popular area between Orchard Road to the north, and the river to the south, with a large concentration of modern high-rise condominiums and some conservation houses.
This area is also a favorite among expats because of good selection of restaurants and a multitude of cafés, health and beauty outlets, bars, and numerous local and Western restaurants. The Holland Village Shopping Centre is nearby. There’s easy access to the Botanic Gardens and Orchard Road with the MRT station (Circle Line).
Robertson Quay and Mohammed Sultan Road
Robertson Quay and Mohammed Sultan Road are popular with singles and young couples who want to be close to the CBD and enjoy the nightlife, restaurants and bars along the Singapore River.
Robertson Quay boasts swanky new condominiums with river views. It’s serviced by buses, and boat taxis can be an interesting mode of transport for getting to the CBD.
These are the major areas mentioned for your house hunt. It totally depends on your wants and priorities according to which area is suitable for your needs. Most of these areas offer many amenities and facilities required in daily routine.