Singaporean youth moving back with parents due to skyrocketing rents

Image courtesy of Channel News Asia

Singapore sees rising rents amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing some young tenants to return to their parent’s homes or face soaring rental fees. Since the onset of the pandemic, the number of Singaporeans and permanent citizens under 35 years old living alone increased from 15,900 in 2019 to 25,000 in 2020. However, data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority and 99. co and SRX reveal a near 30% increase in renting costs for private residential properties, enabling a 26.8% rise in Housing Board (HDB) flat prices.

Some young tenants, like consultant Yeon Jun Lin, a 30-year-old man, have opted to relocate back to their parent’s homes as rental prices climbed. With costs occasionally doubling, many are choosing “logical decisions” over-emotional independence. Rising rental costs primarily impact singles who now face a stiff financial challenge in maintaining an independent living space.

Alan Cheong, head of research and consultancy at Savills Singapore, acknowledges affordability issues, with some singles forced to move back home due to skyrocketing rents, while others turn to co-living spaces or shared renting arrangements. Christine Sun, senior vice president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, says that while the numbers are not substantial, more local singles are moving back in with their families. These decisions are driven by changing rental prices, increasing work travel, and an eventual lift to COVID-19 restrictions.

Digital marketing specialist Alicia Kho pays US$1,100 a month for a room she calls her own, an expense that has not deterred her from renting. She comments: “I can confidently say that it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.” Co-living spaces are still appealing to young adults who appreciate the benefits of independent living.

New cooling measures took effect last week, marking the third round since December 2021. National Development Minister Desmond Lee predicts that the rental market will be unaffected by the increase in additional buyer’s stamp duty and expects rental prices to moderate later in the year. Despite the challenges, the pandemic has changed the landscape of renting and living arrangements, with many seeking independent living spaces or returning home to benefit from more privacy and financial security, reports Channel News Asia.

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