HDB rental prices in Singapore have been rising steadily over the last three years, marking a long continuous growth in the already robust rental market.
According to HDB’s Q1 2023 resale and rental reports, the number of approved applications to rent out HDB flats rose by 13.9% (1,181), from 8,476 cases in 4th Quarter 2022 to 9,657 cases in 1st Quarter 2023.
When we zoom in to 3-, 4- and 5-room flats, the difference was around 3.28%, falling from 9,781 cases to 9,460 cases.
HDB rental prices in 2023
If you’re looking at renting an HDB flat, you’ll need to know the median prices across all HDB estates in Singapore.
The median means that half of the flats had rental rates above the stated number, while the other half were below that (which means that the rental rate can be higher or lower, depending on various factors such as the flat’s existing condition and the amenities in the vicinity).
HDB Median Rental Statistics Q1 2022
|Towns||Type of estate||3-room||4-room||5-room|
|Ang Mo Kio||Mature||S$1,900||S$2,350||S$2,600|
|Choa Chu Kang||Non-mature||S$1,780||S$2,050||S$2,200|
*Less than 20 rental transactions in the quarter
What causes the HDB flat rental prices to be higher or lower?
Let’s look at which towns command the highest and lowest HDB rental rates.
HDB towns with the highest median rental rates
|Punggol & Queenstown |
|Bukit Merah |
|Bukit Merah |
|Toa Payoh & Clementi |
HDB towns with the lowest median rental rates
|Choa Chu Kang|
|Choa Chu Kang |
|Choa Chu Kang |
|Bukit Batok, Bukit Panjang, Sembawang, Woodlands, Yishun |
|Sembawang & Sengkang |
|Jurong West |
|Bedok, Hougang, Jurong West, Pasir Ris, Sengkang |
|Pasir Ris & Punggol |
It’s no surprise that mature estates command the highest rental rates across all flat types (with Punggol being an exception).
Their proximity to the Central Business District and the plethora of amenities within short walking distance give mature estates the ability to command a hefty premium.
Non-mature estates round out the bottom of the list. There’s a considerable price difference of between S$650 to S$950 between mature and non-mature estates, suggesting that people are willing to shell out more money to live in a well-established neighbourhood.
Flats located near an MRT station also generally tend to be priced higher, due to the added convenience.
HDB rental price: 3-room flats
- Mature estates: S$1,900 – S$2,300
- Non-mature estates: S$1,650 – S$2,200
3-room flats are an excellent option for couples who might want to live near their workplaces, or who want a taste of living on their own and away from the family home.
The highest median price for 3-room HDB rentals between mature and non-mature estates is only S$100, so if you can spring that extra cash, you can snag a nice HDB unit in the Central area.
HDB rental price: 4-room flats
- Mature estates: S$2,200 – S$3,000
- Non-mature estates: S$2,050 – S$2,300
However, the difference is noticeably more significant when it comes to larger flats, coming in at S$700. Over the course of a year, it adds up to S$8,400, which is no small sum.
HDB rental price: 5-room flats
- Mature estates: S$2,300 – S$3,010
- Non-mature estates: S$2,250 – S$2,600
5-room flats usually cater to larger families with children who want more space to spread out. Neighbourhoods that are in close proximity to schools and amenities are ideal for added convenience.
Some parents may decide to rent an HDB to increase the odds of getting their children into their desired primary school. However, do note the 30-month stay requirement before signing the lease.
Why do some choose renting over buying?
When it comes to the topic of buying versus renting, many point out that buying an HDB flat is the superior option as you’re not helping someone else pay off their mortgage. Plus, you get to call yourself a homeowner at the end of the day.
However, there are many reasons people opt for renting instead of buying a flat.
Single and young
Individuals under the age of 35 cannot purchase an HDB flat, which means they have no choice but to turn to the rental market if they want to fly the nest and live by themselves.
Renting an HDB flat is a great option as it’s much cheaper than renting a condo.
Instead of sinking tens of thousands of dollars into buying an HDB flat and renovations, you can look through the various listings on 99.co and pick a place that best suits your budget and design taste.
Renting also affords the flexibility to uproot every two years to explore various estates around Singapore to see which one you might want to settle down in.
Working from home
With work-from-home arrangements being the new normal, there’s no need to be located near the workplace.
Furthermore, with Singapore aiming to decentralise employment areas and relocate them outside the CBD to shorten daily commute and boost work efficiency, there’s an uptick in people willing to live in ulu estates.
That way, they can stretch their dollar and get more living space.
Other reasons include considering future plans such as working or migrating overseas.
Couples or families waiting for their BTO flats to finish completion may also decide to rent an HDB to have more privacy and living space.
Before entering a rental contract, HDB’s rental portal lets you check the market rates for all estates and flat types across Singapore to ensure you’re getting a fair price.
The portal lists the HDB market rental rates of whole flats for the past 12 months.
Will HDB rental prices increase further?
With HDB resale prices notching new highs for the eighth consecutive quarter, more might be adopting a wait-and-see approach in hopes that the buoyant market will come back down from its peak.
Renting an HDB flat in the meantime might be a way to buy time and sort out their finances before deciding to commit to a forever home.
(All Annual Value tiers)
|12%-36% (from 10%-20%)|
(For portion of Annual Value > S$30k)
|6%-32% (from 4%-16%)|
Landlords would likely price this additional tax hike into their rental rates, which means tenants can expect rent prices to go up in the near future.
In Q1 2023, the rental market in Singapore experienced a significant increase in approved applications to rent out HDB flats, rising by 13.9% compared to the previous quarter. The number of approved cases reached 9,657, with a slight decrease in 3-, 4-, and 5-room flats. Rental prices varied across different HDB estates, with mature estates commanding higher rates due to their proximity to amenities and the Central Business District. Non-mature estates offered more affordable options.
Looking ahead to Q2 2023, it is hoped that SP Services will continue to streamline processes and improve convenience for customers, while potential increases in property tax rates may lead to higher rental prices in the future.
What is the average HDB rental price in Singapore?
Looking at HDB rental transactions in Q1 2022, the current HDB rental rate for the various flat types (depending on location) are:
- 3-room flat: S$1,650 to S$2,300 per month
- 4-room flat: S$2,200 to S$3,000 per month
- 5-room flat: S$2,300 to S$3,010 per month
Can Singaporeans rent HDBs?
Yes. Any Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident can rent a HDB flat or room as a tenant.
Can foreigners rent HDBs?
Yes. Any non-citizen legally residing in Singapore who holds an Employment Pass, S Pass, Work Permit, Student Pass, Dependant Pass, or Long-Term Social Visit Pass can rent a HDB flat or room.
The pass must have a validity period of at least 6 months as at the date of application by the flat owners.
Can tourists rent HDBs?
Nope. Tourists are not allowed to rent any HDB flats or bedrooms. Sorry.
Are you intending to rent a HDB flat? Let us know in the comments section below.
If you found this article helpful, 99.co recommends Rent vs buy a property: here’s what Singaporean millennials prefer and Renting vs buying property in Singapore: Which is better for you?
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