There are plenty of Housing and Development Board (HDB) and condominiums on the rental market for expats to live in. On the surface, HDBs and condominiums might not seem to be very different other than the price. However, there are significant differences between HDBs and condominium rentals in Singapore.
We took a deep dive into the differences between HDB and condominium rentals in Singapore to put this quick and easy reference table to help smoothen your decision-making process as you move in!
1. Rental Cost
In general, HDBs cost less to rent as compared to private condominiums. Rental costs tend to be based on size and centrality of the apartment, with apartments located closer to town centers costing more.
Condo rentals tend to be higher than HDB rentals. Condo apartments have quite a large asking range. Depending on the location, size and condition, landlords can ask for different prices. On the higher end, 4 room, 3 baths, fully furnished condo on Marina Boulevard can cost approximately $15000.
However, condominiums in non-mature estates and older condos can command rents that are closer to HDBs in developed locations.
For example, a 3-bedroom condo in Yishun can ask for approximately $2500 per month, comparable to a 3-bedroom HDB unit on Cantonment Road.
Most HDB neighbourhoods are planned to be self-sufficient and have easy access to all heartland amenities. That’s why HDBs tend to be built in close proximity to amenities such as heartland shopping centres, wet markets, schools, swimming pools, stadiums, parks, and coffee shops.
HDB flats, however, do not have their own amenities such as function room, BBQ pits, swimming pools gym, garden and for some, running tracks. With a few exceptions that are integrated into malls, most heartland condos are built slightly further from commercial areas.
With a few exceptions that are integrated into malls, most heartland condos are built slightly further from commercial areas.
Condos usually have built-in amenities such as function room, BBQ pits, swimming pools gym, garden and for some, running tracks.
Unlike HDB flats, the amenities are housed within a secure area and are only shared amongst condo residents. Residences do not need to travel out to enjoy these amenities.
Also, most residential developments found in Districts 1 – 11 are landed properties or condominiums. These condos are close to offices and high-end boutique malls. There are a few HDB blocks found in central Singapore, but most of them are either slated for demolition or in line for en-bloc purchases.
3. Accessibility to public transport
The Land Transport Authority (LTA)’s policy mandates at least one bus service has to run within 400m of any developed site. Additionally, a direct bus service must run between a HDB neighbourhood to a bus interchange or MRT station.
Also, the policy requires at least one bus service running directly from all HDB towns to the CBD and Jurong Industrial Estate.
Some condominiums are located further from the heartland and will require either a car or taxi to get to public transport.
There are exceptions where condominiums are located in proximity or built on top of MRT stations but these are far and between.
There are strict restrictions on the type of pets living in HDB. As a general rule, there should be no more than 1 HDB approved dog in each HDB flat. If it’s a cross-breed, the dog should be 50 cm or less at the shoulders and weigh 15 kg or less.
While plenty of people have cats in their HDB apartments, cats are actually not allowed in all HDB apartments.
HDB Pets restrictions are not applicable to condominiums. However, you must first check with property management or condominium owners on what type of pets are allowed.
As a general guide, the following are usually allowed:
- 3 dogs maximum
- 1 scheduled dog + 2 non scheduled dogs
- 3 non-scheduled dogs
The only “security” you might have are your neighbours. There are also CCTV cameras being installed at stair landings, in lifts and at void decks. For your own safety, you can consider setting up a security camera as a deterrent.
Condos usually have 24/7 security guards at the entrance, ensuring any guests that gain entry are invited guests only. Occasionally, there will be guards patrolling the compound.
There are also surveillance cameras installed at strategic areas (walkways, corridors, lifts, lift lobbies, etc) in the condominium compound. Key card access also extends to lifts and doors to ensure only key cardholders can enter.
Singapore is generally crime-free, but as a further deterrent, friendly neighbourhood police teams conduct regular patrols.
6. Guest Friendly
If you love company, living in an HDB flat will be more convenient for your guests as they:
- Are usually near public transport
- Do not require security clearance
Other than clearance at the entrance with the security guard, there are other security features such as resident-only access lifts. Your guest would probably be loitering awkwardly at the lift lobby if you are busy and unable to send the lift down.
7. Car Parks
Though the conservancy fees are usually covered by the owner, seasonal car park fees are borne by the tenant. If you choose not to pay for the seasonal car park, you will have to either display a coupon or pay through cash card at these prevailing rates.
Maintenance fees are payable by the owner, and that includes car park fees.
These rates are determined by condo management and are not regulated by government authorities.
This brings us to the end of the key differences between renting a HDB and a Condo. Whichever you end up choosing, you can connect to homeowners and agents for a vast array of rental options on our site quickly and easily.
Spotted any more differences between HDB and Condo rentals? Drop us an email and let us know!