Fresh off the plane and setting up a new home in the Lion City? These are some of your options in the central, east and west regions
For newbies to Singapore, house hunting can be an intense process – trust us, we know! But it doesn’t always have to be that way, especially if you’ve got the lowdown on the best neighbourhoods for families, couples and singletons. From the hip heartlands of Tiong Bahru to the quaint heritage precinct of Joo Chiat, we’ve curated a roundup of places to consider.
Want the ease of commuting to the CBD via public transport? The central regions of Bukit Timah, Orchard Road, River Valley, Novena and Tanjong Pagar are most ideal (and most popular with expats here), as they are largely accessible by bus and train, and feature the largest concentration of shopping malls and restaurants – all within walking distance.
Best for: The wide selection of small loft apartments in these areas are a great choice for young professionals, while a two- to three bedroom condominium unit may be a better fit for couples without kids. Check out options such as The Scotts Tower (Orchard Road), Altez (Tanjong Pagar), Leonie Condotel (River Valley) and Pastoral View (Novena).
You might also want to consider … Located on the fringes of the city, Tiong Bahru is another fantastic option for the hip set, as there are heaps of cool cafes alongside traditional kopitiams (coffee shops) within the vicinity.
“Tiong Bahru is a nice little neighbourhood where everyone pretty much knows each other. There’s a good mix of locals and foreigners, which is evident in the shops and restaurants that range from hawker food to French, Japanese and Peranakan. There’s a nice trend happening where local shops transform into trendy dining spots after hours – most notably, Hua Bee/Bincho and Day & Night. This means the neighbourhood is bustling from morning to night. I definitely don’t see myself moving away anytime soon!” – Clayton Woltz, transaction manager
Popular with expat families who prefer the great outdoors, our favourite Eastern precincts include East Coast and Katong. Lush highlights range from East Coast Park and Kallang Riverside, where you’ll find plenty of recreational activities available. It’s also close to Changi Business Park (a buzzing financial hub near Changi Airport) and international schools such as the Canadian International School.
Best for: Families, of course! Those who are based at Changi Business Park for work may want to ease the pain of commute by choosing a home within these neighbourhoods as well.
You might also want to consider… Simei, a stone’s throw away from bustling Tampines, is a public housing neighbourhood surrounded by Bedok Reservoir Park, Singapore Expo and Tanah Merah Country Club – perfect for those who prefer to live in the local heartlands, or want a spacious house with a yard.
“We picked the East Coast for the extra space, the easy access to East Coast Park for my wild children… and the laksa (spicy noodle soup). After four laksa-deprived years in London, living near Katong is a dream (I still can’t choose between my favourite stalls, 328 Katong Laksa and Marine Parade Laksa at Roxy Square), and the neighbourhood just keeps getting better with great cafes and restaurants popping up on East Coast Road. I can’t get enough of the candy-coloured shop houses around Katong Road and Joo Chiat Road, and I’m lucky I can pick up my kueh and kaya (Peranakan delicacies) at Kim Choo shop, which is a local icon. I love the amazing combination of great eats, culture and being so close to East Coast Park, where we can take the kids for a scoot and a play in the sand – this ‘hood has it all.” – Selina Altomonte, Honeycombers editor
This second most populous precinct (after the Central region) is an up-and-coming one. Formerly an industrial town, the Jurong Lake district is slated to be the city’s next CBD with a car-lite infrastructure, green pockets, integrated parks and 20,000 new homes. A high-speed rail connecting Singapore to Kuala Lumpur is also in the works – and it’s said to completed by 2026.
Best for: Those looking for a good property investment should look no further. The West’s proximity to some of Singapore’s top universities (National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University), and its promising developments mean that it’ll soon be one of Singapore’s most sought-after regions.
You might also want to consider… Sure, Woodlands isn’t exactly close to the city, but this charming precinct makes up for it with plenty of nature hotspots. For example, the Woodlands Waterfront Park features views of the Straits of Johor, while the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Singapore Zoo are a quick 20- and 10 minute drive. The neighbourhood’s Woodgrove Estate is also popular with the American expat community, with the Singapore American School located nearby.
“You can get anywhere in Singapore easily (and in great time) which makes Woodlands the perfect spot to settle down. We love the peace, space, and community feel – and if we ever feel the need to jump into the city we can make it down in 15-20 minutes. Sungei Buloh and the Singapore Zoo are great places to take the kids to enjoy wildlife and a nice walk. And if your family is connected to Singapore American School in any way, it is the perfect place to live to maximize time with family by cutting out any commuting or bus rides.” – Kyle Aldous, communications director
Looking for a place to rent? DBS has a great tie-up with Far East Organization, and it’s exclusive to the DBS Expat Programme. This one-stop platform offers access to the DBS Multiplier Account, overseas funds transfer services and perks such as health care packages, housing and invitation to investment seminar. Sign up, and enjoy cash rewards of up to 50% of the first month’s net rental for selected properties leased directly from Far East Organization.* More details here.
*Terms and conditions apply.
This article is sponsored by DBS Bank