The home ownership rate in Singapore stands at 90.7% as of 2017, making it one of the highest in the world. However, with the large number of Permanent Residents and foreign workers living in the city (about 64% of the population as of 2017), as well as strict controls on who can buy HDB properties, the question of whether to buy or rent is increasingly salient.

Buying vs renting: financial costs

The choice between buying and renting depends on your financial situation and other life circumstances. But first, let’s compare the financial costs of each:

The cost of buying (in the first 5 years)

Let’s say you’re buying your first property in Singapore – it’s a small, 517-square-feet private condo located at Bukit Merah, valued at S$767,000. You take a 30-year loan at an interest rate of 2.5%. Here’s how much you may have to pay in upfront …