An Overview of Housing in Singapore

Housing in Singapore is varied and comprises of apartments, flats, condos and houses. Top condominium can be found in the East Coast.The government of Singapore has facilitated its citizens to own homes through home ownership schemes. This has led to the overall financial, communal and political stability of the country. The government subsidized houses are cheap and comfortable. They can also be found countrywide and are normally sold on a lease, mostly 99 years. The type of property that one can acquire is tied to their income. Once purchased from HDB, property can be resold in the market without restrictions from this authority.


The HDB flats are maintained by the Town Councils and the authority itself. It also manages facelifts to ensure that they do not cause damage to the property. The concentration of the public housing is highly dense and comprises of high rise buildings. There are eight categories of public housing: one-room flats, two-room flats, three-room flats, four-room flats, five-room flats, executive flats and studio apartments (which are set aside for Singaporeans who are at least 55 years old). The size and layout of new flats follow the standard design plans but may have some distinction.The flats are normally 95 square metres on average. The designs have changed with time to accommodate the preference of the customer but the cost is still managed to enable reasonably priced houses.


Over 80% (about 3.9 million) live in public housing which are flats managed by the national housing authority. Public housing in Singapore is managed by Housing and Development Board (HDB). Roughly 90% of those in public housing own the flats. These houses are normally in housing estates with amenities such as hospitals, schools and supermarkets. This type of housing is a celebrated accomplishment in Singapore. Popular neighborhood estates include Ang Mo Kio Town, Toa Payoh, Clementi, Yishun, Bishan, Hougang, Simei, Woodlands, Punggol, Bukit Batok and Tampines. The remaining population of about 20%live in private housing, such as apartments, condominiums and landed properties.


The housing market is booming due to demand. The sales of new private homes scaledup more than 80% during April 2015 from March 2015, and also rose 47% compared with the same month in 2014, according to official data from Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority.There are no restrictions for non-citizens to rent and own property. However, non-citizens need to have legal residency by holding a blue identity card, employment pass, work permit or a student pass.The housing market also has agents who can help one get a house in the country. There has also been development of high-end housing due to the changing demands of the people.


HDB flats were constructed to be an affordable housing alternative for the less privileged. The financing of the same can be obtained from the Central Provident Fund. Consequently, the rental rates for HDB flats are about $ 300 a month for a room upwards to about $2,272 for a double-storey maisonette. A three to five room goes for approximately $760 to $1,135.


There are hostels or boarding houses for students. They are inexpensive and offer single to four-bedded rooms, with basic amenities such as meals, laundry services, TV and internet services. The added bonus is that a student will be able to socialise with students of similar ages and interests. Short term accommodation options are also available in Singapore to suit all budgets and personal preferences. These range from budget hostels, serviced apartments to world-class five-star hotels. There is a list of places where one can stay which can be obtained from the Singapore Tourism Board website.


The owner of a flat can sublet after meeting the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP). This allows the owner to earn an additional income and allows for those who are not ready to buy their own to get space to let. Subletting to non-citizens can be done for a year and a half, except for foreigners from Malaysia.


The housing authority seeks to establish community centric towns with better designs and towns that are sustainable. It also aims to have a clean, environmentally friendly and socially conscious housing.


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