How do you find the most expensive area in the worlds tenth most expensive city? Add to this the fact that the city was just 707.1 sq km in area. Well, that is Singapore for you. From a British Colony, Singapore has come a long way to becoming the fifth largest country in terms of GDP, with the busiest port in the world, boasting a high standard of living and a hotspot for tourists from all over the world. Bearing all of this in mind, just how expensive is it to live in Singapore?
Residential property in Singapore is quite affordable to Singapore citizens, who prefer living in the HDB flats built by the government. These flats are comfortable, almost as good as luxury apartments in most other countries. Private housing in Singapore is available for non citizens and comprises of luxury executive condos and bungalows. The rent for a 4-5 room condo could be between SGD 3000-6000, or even more depending on the area or locality.
Singapores commercial and central business district is the most expensive real estate you can find. This happens to be the Central Region, a region comprising of 11 urban planning areas: Marina East, Marina South, Downtown Core, Newton, Museum, Outram, Orchard, Rochor, River Valley, Straits View and Singapore River. Most of these are commercial, entertainment areas filled with shopping malls, restaurants, hawking zones and entertainment areas. They are places that locals and tourists flock to with great enthusiasm and thus are some of the most expensive areas in Singapore. The Central Region comes in Districts 9, 10 and 11.
However, the prices of private property in Singapore are dropping, in no small part to the global economic meltdown. At the end of 2008, prices of private property were down by 6.1%. This is obviously bad news for Singapore, but good news if you are in the market to buy. But even with the decrease in prices Singapore is the ninth most expensive property market in the world in 2009, according to the Global Property Guide. The price of one sq. m. in Singapore is a whopping $ 9,701 and it is only a little behind Tokyo and Hong Kong.
So how expensive is Singapore? Well, that is relative. To those living in much more expensive cities, especially in the Europe, Singapore may sound quite cheap for temporary accommodation. In fact many European citizens may actually use the current fall in property prices to begin investing in Singapore real estate. However, to most Asians, Singapore does become quite expensive when compared to Thailand or Malaysia.