Average Cost of Renting a HDB Flat in Singapore

Given the volatile rental market in the past few years, what’s the average cost of HDB rental in Singapore these days?

ValueChampion Editorial Team

by ValueChampion Editorial Team on Mar 18, 2024

pink HDB flat

Rental rates for HDB flats in Singapore have been on a steady upward march for the past few years, but there might be some reprieve in sight for renters. HDB rents slipped 0.7% in January 2024, reversing the 1% increase in December 2023.

While landlords are undoubtedly not too pleased with the trend, renters should not start celebrating just yet. While rent prices may be softening, HDB rents are still 8.5% higher in January 2024 than they were in January 2023 across all flat types. Five-room flats saw the highest growth in rents of about 9.2%. With the current rental market, can renters continue to find affordably priced HDB flats? Or should those in search of a place to stay take the plunge and buy a flat instead of renting from the open market?

Here’s a look at how much HDB flat rents are going for, according to the latest report on HDB median rents by town and flat type for Q3 2023.

Find the Cheapest Home Loans in Singapore

HDB rooftop garden
Source: Unsplash

Average Cost Renting a HDB Flat – 3-Room, 4-Room and 5-Room

RangeS$2,300 – S$3,080S$3,000 – S$4,300S$3,200 – S$4,500
* Prices accurate as of March 2024

The table above displays the range of median rents for 3-room, 4-room and 5-room HDB flats. We’ve also included a simple average for each category.

Rent for a 3-room flat will cost anywhere from S$2,300 to S$3,080 each month, with an average rent of S$2,751.

Meanwhile, 4-room flats cost a good bit more than 3-room flats; rents range from S$3,000 to as high as S$4,300, at an average of S$3,378.

In comparison, 5-room flats are not very much more costly than 4-room flats. Rents range from S$3,200 to S$4,500, but the average rate is slightly higher at S$3,633.

Note that given the large variance in location, amenities, age of the unit, whether it is newly renovated, and other factors, the actual rent you end up paying will likely differ quite a bit from the averages presented above.

Perhaps a better gauge would be to take a look at the HDB towns with the highest and lowest median rental rates.

Related: Cost Comparison — Rental Homes vs Co-Living Spaces vs Serviced Apartments

HDB Median Rental Rates – Q3 2023

HDB Towns with the Highest Median Rents

Bukit MerahS$3,000CentralS$4,300Bukit MerahS$4,400
Marine ParadeS$3,000Bukit MerahS$4,300ClementiS$4,000
Clementi & SengkangS$2,900BishanS$4,300Toa PayohS$4,000
* Prices accurate as of March 2024

The majority of the most expensive locations to rent a HDB in Singapore from consist of mature estates, with the exception of Sengkang, a non-mature estate, tying with Clementi for fifth most expensive location to rent a 3-room HDB flat.

The most expensive median monthly rent for 3-room HDB flats rents came in at around the S$3,000 mark, with locations such as Central, Bukit Merah, Marine Parade and Queenstown fetching rents of S$3,000 to S$3,080. Clementi and Sengkang had an ever so slightly more modest monthly rent of S$2,900.

When it came to 4-room flats and 5-room flats, there was a lot of overlap of the most expensive locations to rent.

For 4-room flats, the top five most expensive locations where Queenstown, Central, Bukit Merah, Clementi and Bishan, and all locations had a median monthly rent of S$4,300. For 5-room flats, the top five most expensive locations to rent where Queenstown, Bukit Merah Clementi, Bishan and Toa Payoh, with rents ranging from S$4,000 to S$4,500.

Related: 5 Ways to Save on Rent in Singapore

HDB Towns with the Lowest Median Rents

Choa Chu KangS$2,300WoodlandsS$3,000SembawangS$3,200
WoodlandsS$2,500Bukit PanjangS$3,000WoodlandsS$3,230
HougangS$2,580Marine ParadeS$3,080Choa Chu KangS$3,300
Bukit BatokS$2,600Choa Chu KangS$3,100Pasir RisS$3,300
Bukit PanjangS$2,600YishunS$3,100Bukit PanjangS$3,400
* Prices accurate as of March 2024

On the opposite end of the scale, we see far-flung estates having the lowest median rental rates.

Chua Chu Kang, Woodlands and Bukit Panjang remained the most affordable options for renters across the 3 flat types, although the increased distance from town may give pause to some. However, with median rents ranging from S$2,300 to S$3,400 each month, these estates make for a compelling option for the budget-conscious.

Those who want a more central location can get a 4-room flat in Marine Parade for S$3,080. Funnily enough, Marine Parade was one of the most expensive locations to rent a 3-room HDB flat yet also one of the cheapest locations to rent a 4-room HDB flat. The difference in median rent between a 3-room and 4-room flat in Marine parade in Q3 2023 was only S$80.

Related: What’s the Average Cost of Housing in Singapore? (2024)

neighbourhood playground
Source: Unsplash

Is It Worth Renting An HDB flat?

This question echoes a long-standing debate in personal finance: should you rent or should you own your accommodations?

Here’s the gist: Those who are in favour of renting refer to the lack of a long-term financial commitment as the main advantage, whereas those who believe in home ownership point to the long-term investment potential of real estate.

There are merits to both sides of the argument, and it ultimately boils down to what your individual needs, financial status and plans are.

For those seeking to move out on their own, but are not quite ready to purchase a flat, renting will be the only real option. You can keep your accommodation costs low by choosing to rent a single room, or sharing a flat with some housemates.

On the other hand, those that are planning to remain in Singapore for the long term should consider purchasing a flat earlier rather than later.

This is because with the various government grants available, your monthly mortgage is likely to be lower than the rental on an entire flat. As such, the longer you spend renting, the less advantageous your financial position becomes.

Besides, you can always consider renting out your property for passive income should you decide you want to relocate to another country somewhere down the line (mind the rules and regulations for renting out your HDB flat!).

Work Out Your Budget

Whether you decide to rent or purchase your HDB flat, the most important thing is to make sure you aren’t overspending on accommodation.

As a general rule, you should strive to keep accommodation costs to under 30% of your gross income — adjusted downwards as your income increases, so as not to fall victim to lifestyle creep.

Work out your budget using our handy home loan calculator, or browse all the best home mortgages in Singapore for a detailed look at accommodation costs in Singapore.

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Cover image source: Unsplash


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