Cost of living in Singapore

The quality of life of the people staying in this small island nation is as good as that of other developed Western cities. Due to the availability of world class infrastructure, first world environment and excellent health care facilities, this country is one of the preferred choices of the settlers. The quality of life index in Singapore is almost similar to that of England. People from all over the world are expected to flock to this country in large numbers because of fat salaries and superb services & benefits and of course low cost of commodities.

Experts are of the opinion that general price levels in the country will continue to grow as increasing number of investors and workers will flock to this nation. The mad rush of people will add to the general price level prevailing in the country. The economy of this small country is growing at a fast clip. Because of the highly competitive business, commerce, tourism and terms of trade, prices in the country are likely to soar. But, the cost of living in Singapore is still affordable. The high-paying jobs and the benefits are still abundant in the country. So, still it pays to begin residing in the country.



Before starting to live in this city, it is essentially needed to know about the living standard and the live style of this country. Cost of living in singapore is the money value of the some stipulated quantity of goods and services required for an individual to live. The goods and services include food, accommodation, fuel, clothing and many other important things. Instead of being worried about rising prices in the country, be more informed about the expenses to stay in the country and then decide your future course of action. Below here we provide you important information about the different types of costs that you have to incur while you stay at Singapore.

From the survey of Mercer's cost of living in 2011, Singapore has been declared the 8th most expensive city in the World. Also Singapore is at 3rd position, after Tokyo and Osaka in the same category leaving behind Hong Kong.It is indeed a pleasurable experience to reside in the cosmopolitan city of Singapore. The government of Singapore is responsible for offering benefits to the citizens and the immigrants so as to make their stay in the city as smooth and comfortable as possible. A huge amount of foreign money has also been invested in this regard. All these have made the country a wonderful place to reside. The costs to stay in this city however also escalated. According to a report by Economic Intelligence Unit, Singapore is the 10th most expensive city in the world to reside in and among the Asian cities it is the third expensive city.


Countrywise list for Cost of Living

Country City March 2011 Rank March 2010 Rank
Angola Luanda 1 1
Japan Tokyo 2 2
Chad N'Djamena 3 3
Russia Moscow 4 4
Switzerland Geneva 5 5
Japan Osaka 6 6
Switzerland Zurich 7 8
Singapore Singapore 8 11
Hong Kong Hong Kong 9 8
Brazil Sao Paulo 10 21


Cost of living in Singapore: Comparison with other nations


The following table contains figures, which represent a weighted average of the prices of more than 160 items found across the major cities in the world starting from household goods to luxury items.

Rank City Name Cost of living Index
1 Tokyo 152
2 Osaka Kobe 145
3 Paris 132
4 Copenhagen 124
5 Oslo 123
6 Zurich 122
7 Frankfurt 118
8 Helsinki 118
9 Geneva 115
10 Singapore 112
11 Hong Kong 110
12 Vienna 109
13 Dublin 108
23 New York 100
27 London 99


Factors Effecting Cost of Living in Singapore


Accommodation


The sky-rocketing real estate has been the cause of worry for both the natives and the migrants in Singapore, nonetheless, post-recessive situation has become more buyer friendly.

Imbalance of supply and demand has reduced to a good extent giving much relief to the people.

  • If you wish to rent an apartment in the middle of the city, expect to shell out anywhere between S$550 and S$700 depending on facilities and location you choose.
  • While a three-bedroom condo comes for S$2000 – S$4000, the monthly rent of a four-bedroom house with swimming pool can be anywhere between S$10,000 and S$25,000.
  • If you do not wish to spend much on accommodation then rented rooms close to the city center, which may cost you around S$600, is a fair idea.
  • One can rent a 1 bedroom flat along with the facilities of swimming pool and gymnasium in a good area for less than 2000 SGD/month.


Cost of Food


  • The island state of Singapore is very well known for its rich sea foods.
  • Some of the popular sea foods in the country are crabs, lobsters, clams and squids.
  • The popular meat products in the country are pork and beef.
  • A variety of poultry products such as goose, duck and chicken along with eggs are also eaten by the people in the country. Food in the country is very cheap.
  • Local cuisines are available at cheap rates at various vendors and several places downtown.
  • If one can purchase fish from the ports and raw goods from the local markets, it saves a lot of money.

  • Different types of vegetables and fruits are also available in the country in different seasons.
  • The common fruit items produced in the nearby places of the capital city are durian, rambutan and pineapple. Vegetables grown in the country include ginger, horseradish, carrots and cabbage.
  • Other important food items produced in the country are red beans, nuts, coffee and tea.
  • All these food items in raw form are affordable by the people. On an average, 100 euros are spent by a Singaporean on food per month.
  • The supermarkets in the country are however are very expensive.
  • In the downtown hotels and restaurants, however, local cuisines are available at an affordable rate.
  • The average cost of an individual for food for a day varies from $10 to $15.
  • Some of the places that delivers food for parties are Cuisine Xpress, Mc Donald's (6777 3777), Pizza Hut (62 35 35 35), KFC (6222 6111) etc.

Clothes and Accessories


  • Clothes are accessories are costly in the country. These are responsible in augmenting the cost of living in the country.
  • The China made products are however rampant in the country.
  • These China-made products are comparatively less costly.
  • Apart from these there are vendors who sell clothes and accessories at cheap rate but at bulk.
  • Discount is offered at the night markets.
  • Even the locally made items are very costly. A wide variety of branded, imported clothes and accessories are available in the country.
  • The prices of these items in the department stores and the malls are very high. The Singaporeans however can afford to purchase these products because of high-paying jobs.
  • On an average costs of shopping of clothes and accessories in the country per person in a month is around $300.
  • Small items and jewelries are also very expensive.
  • If one can purchase jewelries directly from the manufacturers, it saves a lot of money.

Housing


  • Housing in the country is comparatively cheap especially in the aftermath of the global financial turmoil.
  • The government plays a vital role in keeping the prices of real estate relatively low in the country.
  • Lots of sops and benefits are offered by the government to the expatriates and the immigrants, taking in to account the fact that they have invested in the local economy.
  • Many foreigners easily get allured by the low real estate price in Singapore in comparison to other progressive cities in Asia.
  • More affordable land and houses are available for the settlers in the nearby district of the city of Singapore. Various agents and agencies are there to help in the buying and selling of real estate in the country.

Housing Expense in Singapore

Location Space Price per month
downtown Orchard Road 1,300 sq ft or 3-bedroom apartment $5,000.
downtown Orchard Road 2,000 to 3,000 sq ft $8,000 to $15,000.
Bukit Timah & River Valley 3-bedroom condo $5,000 to $9,000.
East Coast 3-bedroom condo i.e.1,100 sq ft $3,500
West Coast places in Clementi, Buona Vista and Queenstown. 3-bedroom condo $1,800
Holland Village 3-bedroom condo $4,000 for a new condo, 2,500 for a 10-yr-old condo
Ang Mo Kio, Toa Payoh, and Yishun, 3-bedroom condo $1,500 and up
Housing and Development Board (HDB) 5-room flat $1,100
Housing and Development Board (HDB) 3-room flat or 4-room flat $700
Landed Houses 2,500 sq ft 15-yr-old terrace house $4,000

Transportation


  • Singapore has a very well developed public transport system. The public transport system in the country chiefly includes bus, rail and taxi.
  • More than 50% of the people in the country use public transport on a regular basis.
  • Depending upon the distance, bus fare in the country varies from S$0.71 to S$1.80 per trip or the average fare for one way is S$1.20.
  • Also on an average,the use of bus and MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) can charge you S$100 approximately per month.
  • Prices of train ticket vary from S$1 to S$1.79.
  • The ez-link card holder can avail a rebate of 40 cents per trip.The taxi services can also be availed as it will cost S$12 (apart from peak hours) for approximately 20 minutes.
  • The peak hours are 6.30am-9.30am and 5pm-8pm and will charge more S$3-4 than non peak hours.
  • Owning a private vehicle in the country is however not a great idea.
  • If you are not hundred percent sure about your financial status, it is advisable not to own a private vehicle.
  • The average monthly cost that one has to bear to own a low-range or middle–range vehicle is around S$1000 to S$1300.
  • Also owning a private transport in Singapore can cost extra S$35,000 to your car budget due to the auctions of the Compulsory Certificate of Entitlement (COE) by the government.

Healthcare


  • Singapore boasts of an efficient and widely entrenched healthcare system.
  • Health centers and polyclinics are spread across the entire length and breadth of the country and are in large numbers.
  • The universal healthcare system in the country with government at the helm ensures affordable and high quality health care for the people in the country.
  • One can keep S$100-S$200 as a monthly budget for healthcare.T
  • he participation of the private sector also can not be ignored in this regard.
  • One can find the clinics almost everywhere in the country.
  • The consultation charges vary from S$30 to S$40.
  • The average weekly medical bill per person in the country is S$10.

Education


  • The education system in the country is indeed top class and at par with international standards.
  • The literacy rate in the country is more than ninety five percent.
  • Importantly, costs of availing education in the country are not exorbitantly high.
  • A variety of loans, benefits, scholarship programs and benefits are offered to the meritorious students.
  • Foreigners are increasingly opting the courses offered by the colleges and universities in the country, especially higher education.
  • The colleges and the universities which are backed by the government are relatively less costly.

Employment


  • Plenty of jobs are available in the country for the deserving candidates.

  • The sectors where employment is available in large numbers are health care, architecture, engineering, computer technology, business and trade.
  • A variety of agencies are there in the country so that a candidate gets the best job available which suits his or her skill and experience.

Most importantly, salaries in the country are very high. In addition to salary, people in the country are entitled to enjoy several other benefits such as medical insurances, special grant for the education of their children and bonuses. All these make Singapore a very much sought after destination in the world among the foreign settlers despite the relatively high cost of living in Singapore.


Recreation


  • You get the liberty of indulging in recreational activities in this upward country without straining your budget.
  • Dancing your time away in the nightclubs will cost you around S$25, while a jug of larger beer will come for S$30 - S$40 in most pubs.
  • Watching movies in the mutiplexes is a pretty affordable bargain as tickets are priced at S$8 and S$10 on weekdays and weekends, respectively.
  • You get your favorite hot dogs, nachos and other snacks in the theater for as low as S$6.

Sundry expenses


  • Apart from the above mentioned expenses, there are still some sundries which you need to take care of every month.
  • Monthly gas, water and electricity bills can collectively come to around S$200 while cell phone bill for an average local user may touch as high as S$150.
  • Charges for wireless Internet ADSL subscription are affordable and hardly exceeding S$70 per month.
  • Other essentials like toiletries, magazines, CDs and cable TV may cost you around S$200 a month.


The healthcare expenses, groceries and accommodation costs are lesser in Singapore than its Asian counterpart Tokyo. If you shift to Singapore from Tokyo, you can assure yourself of shedding lesser bucks for many other sectors apart from the above mentioned segments. Americans will find it hard to cope with the Singaporean costs as New York, the most expensive city of the US ranks lower than Singapore in standard of living with a cost of living index being 100. This Asian city will prove pricier for them.

The expatriates from the European cities like Paris, Copenhagen, Oslo, Zurich and Frankfurt, will find Singapore a better bargain with the cost of living showing a southward trend. The steady decline in pound’s value has made London a cheaper place to live as compared to Singapore. London does not feature even in the list of top 25 expensive cities. Londoners, better prepare to experience a real surge of expenses in Singapore. The Dubliners will also have to bear the higher living expenses in this city.

Having said all these, cost of living in Singapore really depends on how you really live and how you employ your money in various things over a period of time.
There are banks in Singapore that can help your money to grow.

Last updated on June 21, 2013

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  • Disclaimer: The data provided here is based on the facts and research using available sources. As the data is made available on "as is" basis and subject to change anytime. This website shall not be liable for any discrepancy found in the data on our site and actual figures.