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Housing and Lifestyle

Singapore - Housing and Lifestyle

 

 

What is living in Singapore really like? Here is a brief summary of what to expect from life in the region, from housing options to the more general daily routine. 
 
Housing

The three main accommodation options in Singapore are apartments, condominiums and bungalows – and all of these are of a very high standard, often with living quarters for your maid. 

As just over one third of the population are expats, there are no real restrictions on where you can live in Singapore, but as a small island nation, housing is limited and therefore costly. 

Very few expats buy their accommodation as there are restrictions in place for non-permanent residents on most properties. There’s no barrier to buying a condominium, but this is an uncommon option owing to the sizeable stamp duty. 

Most people will rent their property, with monthly prices for an apartment ranging between about £1,500 and £3,500 depending on the proximity to the main city centre. A condominium, often with shared facilities such as a tennis court or swimming pool, will cost on average closer to £7,000 each month. There is government-sponsored accommodation that is of an impressive standard, yet this is almost never an option as waiting lists are long, and native Singaporean residents are favoured. 

Lifestyle

Singapore is a melting pot of cultures, and the government actively promotes religious tolerance, so no one faith influences daily life here. With that said, there are some things you should consider before deciding to make the move:

  • The working week is very similar to that in the UK, namely 09:00 to 17:00 from Mondays to Fridays. Many businesses are also open on Saturdays between 09:00 and 13:00. 
  • The public holidays are based around a few different religions’ events. Easter and Christmas Day are both recognised national days off. 
  • With the exception of in religious buildings, women are free to dress as they choose, and men are permitted to wear shorts.  
  • It’s not illegal for unmarried couples to live together, though in practice it is frowned upon. Same sex relationships are not permitted either. 
  • Smoking is actively discouraged. You can be heavily fined for smoking indoors, and a law has been passed making buying tobacco products permanently illegal for anyone born in 2000 or later. The most severe punishments still exist for those that bring narcotics into the country. 
  • The rumours are partially true; Singapore can enforce some strict punishments to those who spray graffiti or drop litter. But in truth, these are very rarely carried out as almost nobody does them – and Singapore remains one of the safest countries in the world. 


Entertainment

With alcohol an acceptable (if expensive – a pint of beer in a bar tends to cost about £6.50) pastime, there are many bars and clubs in Singapore – with a number of these themed to the sizeable expat communities that live here.

There are also many more family-orientated activities, including cinemas, ice-rinks and bowling alleys, in addition to the plentiful parks and beaches in and around the island. The shopping facilities on offer are the envy of much of the world.

And what’s more, Singapore’s location makes it quite easy to either sail or jet away at short notice to quite a few places. You could easily take the opportunity for a weekend in Malaysia, Thailand or Vietnam!

Weather

Situated just one degree above the equator, Singapore has a pretty constant rainforest climate. It’s been said that there are just two seasons here, ‘hot’ and ‘rainy’. 

Temperatures average at around 27°C every month, with April and May being the hottest times, when the thermometer can reach 35°C. The humidity might make it feel even hotter at times, but everywhere in Singapore is generously equipped with strong air conditioning. 

Rainfall in brief, refreshing showers is more or less a daily occurrence, and is quite consistent each month. Between October and February (but mainly from November to January) is the monsoon season, which sees quite intense rainfall every morning, and an increased number of rainstorms. But it is generally not hazardous, and there is little to no risk of earthquakes or typhoons. 

Only you can decide whether relocating to Singapore is the right move for you. But it can give you a marvellous insight into several different cultures, all on one small island. It can also offer a wonderful opportunity to experience a different way of life, with the security of knowing that English is widely spoken here. If you are of Singaporean or Asian descent, forging a career in Singapore could allow you and your family to return to your roots, or be closer to your relatives. 

 
 

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