August 2012
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What kinds of accommodation options are available in Singapore?

• Finding accommodation in Singapore is relatively non-problematic for foreign nationals.
• There are many choices and one can opt for a single house, an apartment, a condo or a flat to share.
• Prices are quite reasonable and sometimes negotiable.

Types of Accommodation

• In Singapore, you can rent an H.D.B. apartment or a “condominium” in a building often equipped with tennis, swimming pools or fitness and gym facilities.
• There are also individual houses for rent but prices are definitely higher with a more limited supply.
• Studio apartments are also available but in very short supply.
• Furnished apartments are very popular among foreign workers and students.
• Flat-sharing is also very popular in Singapore.

Different Types of Private Housing in Singapore are:
• Condominiums
• Apartments
• Townhouses
• Semi-detached & Terrace Houses
• Bungalows
• Shophouse

1. Apartments
• These accommodations are similar in size to condominiums.
• They lack in facilities like tennis, squash courts and barbeque pits.
• Some apartments may have a small swimming pool and an averagely-equipped gym.
• Security for such forms of accommodation may not be as efficient.
• Apartments come in various sizes and designs.
• They may provide you with the same comfort level as a condominium.
• Keep in mind that these units are relatively more affordable than other private residential.

2. Bungalows
• Most bungalows in Singapore were built before World War II.
• They are a significant part of Singapore’s heritage.
• Bungalows are defined as independent dwelling units.
• They can be one, two or three storey’s high.
• They tend to be located in serene wooded environments away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
• One can expect to pay a higher price for the privacy and luxury that a bungalow will offer.
• Space is valued and scarce in Singapore.
• Hence private housing estates on average cost between S$800,000 to more than S$3 million.

Different types of bungalows in Singapore
1. Early Bungalow (1860’s)
• These bungalows are simple.
• They are in elegant style of early British architecture but adapted to suit the local climate.
2. Victorian Bungalow (1870 to 1890s)
• These bungalows are characterized by the heavy decorative ornamentation on the facade.
3. Black & White Bungalow (1900 to 1920’s)
• These ‘black-and-white’ houses, named after their colour scheme of white walls and black wood exteriors.
• They are Tudor in style and are remnants of Singapore’s colonial era.
• These houses vary in size from single-storey to double-storey buildings.
• They often come with a generous plot of grassy land that is perfect for kids and pets.
• They are very popular with the expatriate community.
4. Art deco Bungalow (1920’s to 1930’s)
• Early Modern Bungalow (1950 to 1960’s)

3. Condominiums
• Condominiums are mainly mid to high-rise buildings.
• Its stylish exterior and attractive facilities make it a popular choice for expatriates.
• Condominium living caters to all from cozy studio units (1-bedroom or 500sq feet) to spacious penthouses (8000 sq feet).
• Condominium living is fast becoming a favorite form of accommodation even among locals.
• They are more luxurious with their full facilities. The facilities covered are:
– Parking
– 24-hr security
– Clubhouse facilities
– Swimming pools
– Tennis/squash court
– Gym
• More modern condos may cost more.
• They are generally easier to maintain.
• Older condo’s (above 7 yrs old) tend to be bigger in size with larger pools and gardens.

4. Housing Development Board (HDB) Public Housing Flats
• The Housing Development Board is the organization that plans and develops affordable and comfortable residential estates.
• These flats cater to people from all walks of life and earning power.
• They cost from $110,000 to $550,000.
• These units are the most common form of accommodation for locals in Singapore.

5. Semi-detached houses
• These houses are a pair of houses that share one common wall.
• There are no facilities provided here except for a personal carport and garden area.

6. Terrace units
• Terrace units are a row of houses that have common walls.
• Those in the middle known as intermediate terraces.
• Those at the end are known as corner terraces.
• Corner terraces have larger garden areas.
• They are suitable for more those in need of more open space.

7. Shop houses
• Shop houses are the pre-industrial form of urban units.
• These houses are characterized by 19th and early 20th century Southeast Asian towns, cities and commercial centers.
• Shophouses are one of the most significant building types in Singapore.
• They are part of architectural heritage, reflecting much of the island’s history and development.
• Shophouses are mainly narrow, small-scaled terrace structures that were built to accommodate both work and dwelling back in the early 19th century.
• They were constructed between 1840 and 1960.
• They consist of two or three storey buildings typically built on contiguous blocks with individual unit sharing party walls.
• It is common to find businesses established on the first and second levels of a shophouse.
• The top floors provide cosy residential living.
• Shophouses incorporate many elements designed to minimise the discomfort of the tropical climate. These include:
– Internal walls which allow light and natural ventilation into the interior without the full heat of the sun.
– High ceilings for good air circulation.
– Overlapping roof tiles that cools the heated roof and reduces radiation.

The different types of shophouses in Singapore can be found at the following places:
First Generation Shophouse
• Built between 1840 to 1900
• Mainly Tuscan and Doric adoptions
• Ornamentation is minimal
• Most of the shophouses have two windows on the upper story.
• It is found at:
– 780 North Bridge Road
– 7 to 13 Erskine Road

1st Transitional Shophouse Style Built in the early 1900s
• Use of modified Corinthian or Composite Order is common here.
• Most of the shophouses have two windows on the upper story.
• It is found at:
– 695 to 709 North Bridge Road
– 118, Telok Ayer Street
– 120, Telok Ayer Street
– 122, Telok Ayer Street
– 171, Telok Ayer Street
– 173, Telok Ayer Street

Late Shophouse Style Built from 1900 to 1940
• Best known for the use of spectacular ornamentation.
• Most of the houses have three windows on the upper story.
• You can get maximum ventilation when all windows are open.
• It is found at:
– 44 Kandahar Street
– 21 Bukit Pasoh Road
– 37 Kerbau Road

Art Deco Style
• Built between 1930 to 1960
• Inspired by classical motifs such as column orders, arches, keystones, pediments with geometric designs
• It is found at:
– 18 Kandahar Street
– 37 Ann Siang Road
– 22 to 34 Bukit Pasoh Road
– 3 to 33 Kerbau Road
– 48 Serangoon Road

8. Townhouses
• For those who prefer more privacy, townhouses’ is an ideal form of living in Singapore.
• They either form entire estates, or are part of a larger condominium establishment.
• They are combined with facilities such as swimming pools, gyms and other recreational facilities.
• These landed terrace houses provide occupants with convenience and spacious living.
It is important to know certain points:
– Lease agreements in Singapore.
– A tax equivalent to 10% of your monthly rent (“Duty Stamp”) applies to your lease agreement.

Ways to find accommodation in Singapore

• Browse the Internet
• Visit real-estate agencies
• Read classified ads in the press
Useful links:
– Easy roomate Singapour? – flat-sharing
– Share accommodation – flat-sharing
– Century? ?21? ?Singapore
– Singapore Free Classified?

Best time to visit/climate

– Singapore is located a mere 1.5 degrees north of the Equator.
– Weather is usually sunny with no distinct seasons.
– Rain falls almost daily throughout the year.
– Most rainfall occurs during the northeast monsoon (November to January).
– Between May and October, forest fires in neighboring Sumatra can also cause dense haze.
The temperature averages around:
– 30°C (84°F) daytime, 24°C (76°F) at night in December and January.
– 32°C (90°F) daytime, 26°C (81°F) at night for the rest of the year.

Location on Google Maps

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How to reach Singapore?

1. By Plane
• Singapore is one of Southeast Asia’s largest aviation hubs.
• The easiest way to enter Singapore is by air in addition to flag-carrier Singapore Airlines.
• Its regional subsidiary is SilkAir.
• Singapore is also home to low-cost carriers Tiger Airways, Jetstar Asia and Scoot.
• Changi airport: The country’s main airport and major regional hub status.
• Seletar Airport: Seletar Airport is Singapore’s first airport.

2. By Road
• Singapore is linked by two land crossings to Peninsular Malaysia.
• The Causeway is very popular.

3. By Bus
There are buses to/from Kuala Lumpur (KL) and many other destinations in Malaysia through the Woodlands Checkpoint and the Second Link at Tuas.
Major operators include:
– Aeroline
– First Coach
– NiCE
– Transnasional
– Transtar

4. By Train
• Singapore is the southern terminus of Malaysia’s Keretapi Tanah Melayu network.
• There are two day trains (the Ekspres Sinaran Pagi and Ekspres Rakyat) and a sleeper service (Ekspres Senandung Malam) daily from Kuala Lumpur.
• A day train (the Lambaian Timur departing Singapore at 4:45AM).
• Sleeper (Ekspres Timuran departing at 6PM) daily along the “Jungle Railway” between Singapore and Gua Musang.

5. By Boat
Getting to/away from the ferry terminals:
• HarbourFront FT: Located next to HarbourFront MRT station.
• Tanah Merah FT: Get off at Bedok MRT station and catch bus No. 35 to ferry terminal.
• Changi FT: No bus stop nearby, take a taxi from Changi Village or Tanah Merah MRT.
• Changi Point FT: Take bus No. 2, 29 or 59 to Changi Village Bus Terminal and walk to the ferry terminal.

6. Cruises
• Star Cruises offers multi-day cruises from Singapore to points throughout Southeast Asia, departing from HarbourFront FT.
• Common destinations include: Malacca, Klang (Kuala Lumpur), Penang, Langkawi, Redang and Tioman in Malaysia, as well as Phuket,Krabi, Ko Samui and Bangkok in Thailand.
• There are also several cruises every year to Borneo (Malaysia),Sihanoukville (Cambodia), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) and even some 10 night long hauls to Hong Kong.

Some travel books from Amazon about Singapore

Lonely Planet Singapore Frommer’s Singapore Day by Day Malaysia and Singapore

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

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Blogs / Sites about Singapore – Kinds of accommodation options are available in Singapore

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Blogs and reviews at

Images and photos of Singapore – Kinds of accommodation options are available in Singapore

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Videos of Singapore – Kinds of accommodation options are available in Singapore

Accommodation Choices in Singapore, Cheapest… by overlandertv

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