In a follow-up on my earlier article about my little red dot, as many wealthy families decide to move to Singapore, this event have unfortunately driven the demand for the rents in Singapore. Of course, there are also other factors like increasing interest rates and inflation in the city. As such, some expats who have been living in Singapore for more than a decade may have decided to go to other cities that are cheaper, as per the article written in Al Jazeera on 20 April 2023.

Is this phenomenon special to Singapore or long term? I would agree that Singapore’s food and transport expenses have increased over the years. Nonetheless, there are still cheaper options available. However, as expats including locals have been accustomed to a certain lifestyle, it might be difficult to adjust.

I recalled that one of my New York friends was sharing with me that utility costs skyrocketed in 2021 where she was almost paying monthly USD2,000 during winter. Food at restaurants was also hugely expensive, for instance, a working breakfast for 2 could cost USD90 then. If I compare that to Singapore, I would say that Singapore is still relatively cheaper for U.S. expats versus if they had worked in New York. So these expats would save more money. I’m not sure if such costs has fallen slightly since. Nonetheless, if I were to still compare between New York and Singapore, Singapore’s utility costs would not reach a monthly of USD2,000, likely at 10% at most.

According to PropertyGuru, the market anticipates that rents will likely stabilize in 2023 and thus the Phenomenon is temporary as a result of more property developments will be completed in 2023. Read here for their Q1 2023 report.

In addition, although the U.S. Feds have been hiking rates, Singapore is seeing a slight fall in mortgage rates especially where local banks are offering about 3.8% fixed rate recently.

In a YouTube interview with an American expat, an interesting topic of retirement came up. Even as a local Singaporean, I would agree with him that it might be costly to retire in Singapore in the future. There has already been some chatter about Singaporeans considering retiring in Malaysia or other parts of Southeast Asia.

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