Singapore: Sales of new private homes rises in July
A view of private residential apartments and public housing estates in Singapore Reuters

The latest accommodation survey published by human resources firm ECA International ranked Singapore as the 7th most expensive location in Asia for high-end rental homes in 2017 – three notches lower than last year when the country secured the 4th position.

The company, which conducts surveys throughout the year, compared rental accommodation in at least 230 locations across the world, reported the Straits Times. While Hong Kong retained its top position for being the most expensive place in Asia, Japan's capital city Tokyo, which saw the largest rent increases in the region over the last one year, came second. South Korea's Seoul, Japan's Yokohama and China's Shanghai and Beijing secured the third, fourth, fifth and sixth positions respectively.

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When asked about the factors which led to the fall of Singapore, ECA International regional director of Asia, Lee Quane, said stabilisation of expatriate numbers in the Lion city is the major reason.

"Firstly, expatriate numbers in Singapore have stabilised recently, which has curbed demand for rental property in popular expatriate neighbourhoods...Furthermore, improved transport links in Singapore have led to movement away from historically popular districts such as 9-11 to cheaper locations," said Lee, according to the news website.

"Singapore has also received more assignees from places such as China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand whose housing budgets are likely to be lower. These factors, combined with an increased supply of property in the market, have caused landlords to respond by reducing rental prices," he added.

According to the survey, in Singapore, rent for an unfurnished three-bedroom apartment across neighbourhoods which are popular among immigrants is US$4,535 (S$6,426) per month (average). People who settle in the country generally prefer neighbourhoods close to international schools, embassies or social focal points, the survey suggested.