Singapore is the 7th most expensive city in Asia for high-end rental accommodation in 2017, down three spots from 4th place last year in the regional rankings, according to the latest Accommodation Survey by ECA International.

They survey compared rental accommodation commonly leased by expatriate staff in over 230 locations worldwide. Singapore rental rates for an unfurnished three-bedroom apartment across popular expatriate neighbourhoods averaged US$4,535 per month. Since 2012, average rents in Singapore have significantly decreased.

This trend is attribued to several factors, the main one being the fact that expatriate numbers in Singapore have stabilised recently, which has curbed demand for rental property in such neighbourhoods. Improved transportation and connectivity in Singapore have also led to movement away from popular, more expensive districts to cheaper outlying locations. In addition, Singapore has 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.

Hong Kong remains Asia’s most expensive location for high-end rental accommodation, where an unfurnished three-bedroom apartment located in popular expat areas demand an average US$10,189 per month. This is 14% higher than rental rates in Tokyo, Asia’s second-most expensive location. Round up the top five are Seoul, Yokohama and Shanghai in third, fourth and fifth place respectively.

ECA Accomodation Survey Rankings 2017

In fact, Hong Kong has been described as “severely unaffordable” in Demographia’s 2017 Housing Affordability Survey. Cited as the least affordable market in 2016, it has held that distinction for seven consecutive years. The same study describes Singapore as “seriously unaffordable”.