SINGAPORE: With rents soaring, some young tenants in Singapore have been forced to make a choice – keep their independence and pay higher prices, or move back to their parents’ home.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, some young adults moved out of their family homes and rented places of their own.
According to the Department of Statistics, the number of Singaporeans and permanent citizens under 35 years old who lived alone jumped from 15,900 in 2019 to 25,000 in 2020 – the first year of the pandemic.
Rents have increased quickly in the last year. The cost of renting a private residential property rose nearly 30 per cent in 2022, data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed.
Rental prices of Housing Board (HDB) flats increased by 26.8 per cent year-on-year in March, a flash report from 99.co and SRX showed.
Mr Yeon Jun Lin, 30, was one of those who moved back to their parents’ home.
He lived with his mother and two siblings. During the pandemic, trying to work from the living room of a crowded home was frustrating, he said.
“Working from home just gave the illusion that I’m always there and I’m always available to be disrupted, but my workload was (asking) a lot out of me,” said Mr Yeon, who works as a consultant.
He moved out of his mother’s home and rented his own place. Last year, his landlord increased the rent and wanted him and his housemate to rent the entire flat, instead of two bedrooms.
If he had signed the new lease, he would have paid about 30 to 40 per cent more.
Moving out of his family home might have been an emotional decision, but moving back was “more of a logical decision”.
“It’s the move that makes the most sense,” said Mr Yeon, who moved back in October last year.
A young woman who wanted to be known only as Ms A told CNA that her landlord doubled her rent after a year.
Like many other young adults, she moved out of her family home during the pandemic and was paying S$700 (US$524) for a room in a three-room flat. Her housemates who stayed in the master bedroom paid S$1,500, adding up to S$2,200 in all.
The landlord asked for S$4,200 for the flat, and she would have to pay S$1,400 for the room.
“When the rent doubled I knew it didn’t make financial sense to continue with the lease, it was way over budget,” she said.