SINGAPORE: Despite the high cost of living, Singapore has been ranked the third-best city for expatriates, based on Preply’s updated global cities index. In Asia, it’s number one.

However, the index not only tracks the best cities for expats worldwide and in Asia but has now developed The Singapore Expat Index 2024, listing the top five cheapest and most expensive places to rent in the city.

Preply, an online language learning marketplace, ranked 50 cities based on 10 relevant relocation metrics, including average monthly salary, safety, the average length of time to learn the language fluently, cleanliness, and more.

Tallinn, Estonia, ranked first, scoring 7.35, followed by Bern, Switzerland, 7.32. In third place, Singapore and Basel, Switzerland, tied with a score of 7.08, followed by Rotterdam, Netherlands, 7.06, and Munich, Germany, 7.02.

Preply’s index notes that in Singapore, the average expat salary is US$4,980 (S$6,784), while monthly living costs are US$4,355 (S$5,932), which gives expats the “benefit from a comfortable amount of disposable income.”

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Singapore got high marks for safety and cleanliness.

“An impressive 14 per cent of visitors to the city return to Singapore at some point, and for good reason. Singapore has around 200 iconic attractions, including the famous Marina Bay Sands building and the beautiful Gardens by the Bay.

Singapore is a melting pot of different cultures, and this is reflected in the many languages spoken across the country,” the index notes.

Perhaps more interesting to Singaporeans is how their towns rank in terms of livability for expats.

Ang Mo Kio topped the list of cheapest places to rent, followed by Sembawang, Yishun, Punggol, and Chia Chu Kang. These locations are ranked according to the percentage of income that goes toward rent.

At Ang Mo Kio, the average monthly income is US$5,499 (S$7,492), and the average monthly price of a one-bedroom condominium is US$1,268 (S$1,728). This means that an AMK renter spends only 23 per cent of his or her salary on rent.

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On the other end of the rental price scale is Toa Payoh, where the average monthly income is also US$5,499 (S$7,492).

However, the average monthly price of a one-bedroom condominium is US$5,007 (S$6,822), which means that at Toa Payoh, a renter spends a whopping 91 per cent of his or her salary on rent.

Bukit Merah, Outram, Kallang, and Geylang round out the top five most expensive locations for expats in Singapore.


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