5 Studio Apartments in Singapore That You Can Rent For 1.5K or Less

·9-min read
5 Studio Apartments in Singapore That You Can Rent For 1.5K or Less
5 Studio Apartments in Singapore That You Can Rent For 1.5K or Less

When it comes to renting a private apartment in Singapore, studio apartments are often the sweet spot between convenience and affordability. They offer singles the chance to live closer to the city centre, as well as the privacy of living alone without roommates or family members.

Given their smaller size, studio apartments boast some of the lowest rental fees in the market, making them a game changer when it comes to affordability.

Studio Apartments in Singapore: An Overview

What are studio apartments?

They are typically 500 sq ft or less, comprising of a single room and a bathroom.

Who are they for?

Investors, and rental tenants, or individuals looking for cosy space.

How do studio rental prices differ?

The property’s proximity and connectivity (local transport) to the city centre, the relative age of the property, availability of recreational facilities, and the quality of fixtures, and furnishings

Shoebox and Studio Apartment Trends in Singapore

Data shows that studio apartments and shoebox units are getting increasingly popular among Singapore residents. Why?

The Average Household Size has Shrunk Since the 1980s

According to a Population Trends report from 2019, there has been a significant decrease in the average household size in Singapore from 4.87 persons in 1980 to 3.30 persons in 2017. This is due to lifestyle preferences (like marrying later) and the rising cost of raising children.

Studio Apartments are Also Great for Investors

On the investor front, shoebox apartments (defined as 50 sq m or smaller) have also outperformed larger condominium units on the property market.

A study conducted by Knight Frank found that those who have divested their shoebox apartments pocketed an average capital gain of 11.5% compared to the 10.6% average, which resale deals involving units of all sizes have gathered since their launch in 2010. Hence, over the last 10 years, private developers have ramped up the supply of studio units in response to higher investment demand for renting smaller apartments.

All these have contributed to an increasing trend of renting studio apartments in Singapore. These one-bedders are commonly rented as fancy bachelorette pads for singles, and affordable homes for couples or expatriates who prefer to live with relatively good access to the city’s central business district (CBD).

Don’t Fret the Space Constraint, There are Many Creative Ways to Maximise Room in Studio Apartments

Although the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) revised its guidelines in Oct 2018 to reduce the number of shoebox units in the new private condominiums, it is believed that small apartment sizes will only gain traction in the future.

After all, there are many simple yet fashionable ways to manage the space constraint, which is the main downside of shoebox apartments. Changing swinging doors for sliding doors, using multi-purpose furniture, using a suspended or overhead bunk bedding, jack-n-jill bathrooms and opting for a colour distinction to distinguish sections within a home - these are but some hacks to create a sense of space and fresh-looking interiors in Singapore.

Interested to find out more about studio apartments? Then keep reading.

What Are Studio Apartments and Who Are They For?

A studio apartment is a shoebox condo unit of 500 sq ft or less. It usually houses everything in a single room with a separate bathroom.

It’s typically investors who buy studio apartments

Those who buy studio apartments are generally investors who lease them to tenants for a steady rental income. The purchase price may vary depending on the size of the unit, the location, the age of the development and amenities available within private condominiums.

If we go from East to West, the purchase price of some popular studio residences like Parc Rosewood, Treasures @G6, Studios @ Marne, Lumiere, and The Scotts Tower are between $500,000 to $2,000,000.

Hence, Studio Apartment Occupants are Usually Tenants

As mentioned, there are many studio apartments on the rental market. Studio apartments are a fabulous rental option for singles, but they may also be big enough to accommodate couples, co-sharing friends or small expatriate families on a tight rental budget. Cheaper utilities, low rent and proximity to commercial hubs, MRTs and bus terminals are their forte.

How Do Studio Apartment Rental Prices in Singapore Differ?

Singapore may be a pint-sized nation, but your lifestyle, wallet and commute to work each morning are governed by where you live.

Studio apartment rentals in Singapore depend on factors such as

  • the property’s proximity and connectivity (local transport) to the city centre,

  • the relative age of the property,

  • availability of recreational facilities (such as pool, gym, etc),

  • the quality of fixtures (utilities), and

  • furnishings (furnished, semi-furnished) that come with the accommodation.

So, studio apartments located in and around the Central Business District (CBD), the country’s prime commercial, health and entertainment zone, are the most expensive. These areas are popular amongst working singles/couples and expatriates on lofty salary packages. They include Raffles Place, Tanjong Pagar, Marina Bay Sands, Serangoon Road, Orchard and River Valley.

The CBD is bordered by the city fringe, which offers access to the city centre in under 20 minutes via any mode of transport. The city fringe falls within the realm of high rents and includes Alexandra, Newton, Novena, Balestier, Beach Road and Braddell Road. Rents tend to drop the farther you go from the city’s centre. Hence, as you move further to the West, East, North and Southeast districts of Singapore, residential apartments become relatively bigger and more affordable.

Here’s a range of approximate rentals of studio apartments based on their location:

Location

Studio Apartment

Approximate Rent

Orchard (city core)

The Scotts Tower / Devonshire 12

$3,000 to $4,000

Tanjong Pagar (city core)

Lumiere / Icon

$2,800 to $3,800

Raffles Place / Marina Bay (city core)

V on Shenton / The Sail @ Marina Bay

$2,800 to $3,200

Newton, Novena (city fringe)

Lincoln Suites / Soleil @ Sinaran

$3,000 to $3,300

Tiong Bahru (city fringe)

Highline Residences / Regency Suites

$2,000 to $3,700

Farrer Park / Little India (city fringe)

Uptown @ Farrer / Cavan Suites

$2,280 to $2,800

Clementi (West)

One-North Residences / Seahill

$2,600 to $2,850

Paya Lebar / Eunos (East)

Lotus @ Paya Lebar

$2,580 to $2,800

Woodlands (North)

Forestville

$1,800

Pasir Ris (Southeast)

Watercolours / Coco Palms

$1,600 to $2,500

Are There Studio Apartments under $1,500 for Rent?

The adventure of moving into your own place can fade fast if the rent drains your wallet. Rents have risen in 2021, and it can be tricky to find an affordable place to stay.

To save you the trouble of finding a budget-friendly studio in the area of your choice, here’s a list of studio apartments in Singapore that cost under $1,500.

Studio apartment

Location

Estimated monthly rental

414C Race Course Road

Farrer Park / Little India (city fringe)

$1,200

Laguna Park

East Coast, Marina Parade (East)

$1,500

Sims 450 Centre

Eunos, Geylang (East)

$1,500

The Santorini

Tampines, Pasir Ris (Southeast)

$1,500

Coliwoo (co-living space)

Boon Lay / Jurong/ Tuas (West)

$1,400

At the moment, most of the studio apartments going for $1,500 and below are located in the east. Check PropertyGuru’s listings often for updates on apartment listings.

What About HDB Studio Apartments?

Not many people know this, but HDB studio apartments also exist. However, unlike condo shoebox units, most people do not qualify to rent them.

HDB studio apartments can only be rented to Singapore citizens under the Public Rental Scheme as a family (with no household income), as a couple, or as single individuals. There are extremely stringent income and financial background requirements you must meet in order to rent a studio apartment flat from HDB.

This is because these are rental flats that are reserved for those in dire need with no other option. HDB studios are subsidised to cater to Singaporean households with a low monthly income not exceeding $1,500. The monthly rental rate charged also depends on the household’s income. A district-wise map of studio rental accommodations under this scheme can be found here.

If you do qualify, HDB studio apartments are an affordable housing option for low-income Singaporeans above the age of 21. However, getting hold of one is not easy! These studios come in the form of 1-room/ 2-room flats and are located islandwide, but you can only choose from the following 4 zones -

  • Ang Mo Kio

  • Bedok/ Tampines

  • Bukit Merah/ Jurong

  • Woodlands

The monthly rent that the HDB collects is calculated based on your monthly income and whether you are a first- or second-time applicant. You are a first-time applicant if you have neither bought an HDB flat (including resale flats bought using your CPF) nor received any other form of housing subsidy, such as SERS benefits. Otherwise, you are a second-time applicant.

Generally, if the eligibility is met, a 1-room HDB flat can be obtained on rent. At the time of signing the tenancy agreement, a 1-month rent deposit has to be paid.

HDB Studio Apartment Rental Prices

The range of monthly rent that 1st-time and 2nd-time applicants pay for an HDB studio apartments are as follows:

Monthly household income

Applicant type

Monthly rent for 1-room HDB studio

Monthly rent for 2-room HDB studio

$800 or less

First-timer

$26 to $33

$44 to $75

$800 or less

Second-timer

$90 to $123

$123 to $165

Between $801 and $1,500

First-timer

$90 to $123

$123 to $165

Between $801 and $1,500

Second-timer

$150 to $205

$205 to $275

Renting a studio apartment with a private condo in Singapore costs anywhere between $1,500 to $1,800 a month. So, even the most expensive rental price of $205 to $275 a month is subsidised by HDB to only a fraction of that amount.

FAQs on Studio Apartments in Singapore

What Is the Shortest Lease for Rental Property in Singapore?

The shortest possible lease is three months for private property like condos, and six months for HDB flats.

Can Foreigners Rent Apartments in Singapore?

Yes, foreigners are free to rent apartments in Singapore.

Where to Find Apartments for Rent in Singapore?

PropertyGuru.com has one of Singapore’s largest databases of rental property listings.

For more property news, content and resources, check out PropertyGuru’s guides section.

Looking for a new rental home? Head to PropertyGuru to browse the top properties for rent in Singapore.

Need help financing your latest property purchase? Let the Home Finance Advisors at PropertyGuru Finance help you find the best deals.

This article was was originally written by Manasi Hukku and was updated by the PropertyGuru team. Manasi likes to cover the intersection between research and relevance to help readers find a place they'll love. She is a UX Conversation Designer, Medium Columnist and mother of two.

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