Waiting For Your HDB BTO? Here’s Where To Stay In The Meantime

Coliving May 22, 2023

If you're waiting to get keys to your HDB Built-To-Order (BTO), and living with parents or in-laws is not the best alternative, is short-term apartment rental the solution?

Purchasing a HDB BTO flat in Singapore is a milestone many look forward to in adulthood — almost a rite of passage.

Today Online reported that the median wait time for a HDB BTO flat now stands at 4.3 years, and when you include renovation, you are easily looking at 5 to 5.5 years. Having said that, the median 4.3 year wait doesn't take into account unexpected road bumps like failed ballots, rejected applications or construction delays.

Due to this, many couples or even singles have looked into other housing alternatives to tide them through. This is evident as online searches for short-term apartment rental, fully-furnished flats and even renting condominium units have been on the rise.

So, what rental options does a Singaporean really have? To cut through the noise and save you valuable time, we've narrowed them down to three options.

1. Serviced apartments

One of the reasons most choose serviced apartments is the flexibility they offer in terms of the length of stay and housekeeping that's included in the rental rate.

Serviced apartments usually have a minimum stay of six nights and many are located near the central business district or central regions of Singapore. They offer a suite of services such as a functioning kitchen, housekeeping (daily, alternate days or weekly) and laundry facilities.

On top of that, they come fully-furnished (bed, bed frame, tables, chairs, dining tables, lights, etc.), giving you more time to focus on the things that matter instead of spending time and extra money on necessities. In Singapore, you can find serviced apartments offered by Citadines, Frasers Hospitality, Oakwood, and our very own Hmlet Cantonment or Owen House By Hmlet.

The Extra Large Room at Hmlet Cantonment
Outdoor area with plunge pool at Hmlet Cantonment

2. Co-Living

Many might confuse shared housing or flatshare with co-living. Co-living differs because it offers a community, fully-furnished homes and a support team to ensure that all your needs are met.

At Hmlet, we offer community through curated events that range from networking events to yacht trips and even casual drinks at the nearby bar. When we say fully-furnished homes, we really mean it. You won’t have to worry about purchasing furniture because each home has everything you’ll need, this includes proper bedding to fully-equipped kitchens and a welcoming living room.

Other things you can look forward to would be the dedicated mobile app, where you can access exclusive lifestyle deals, manage your bills with zero fuss and raise a ticket (should you require assistance during your stay).

So whether you’re choosing to stay close at One-North (minutes away from Buona Vista MRT Station) or within the Central Business District (near Lau Pa Sat and Raffles MRT Station) itself, explore your next home with Hmlet here.

Christmas event at Hmlet Portofino

3. Traditional shared housing

Traditional shared housing or to flatshare is another viable option. The minimum rental period for these properties is slightly longer than that of co-living or serviced apartments. HDB flats require a minimum stay of 6 months while private properties such as condominiums and landed properties require a minimum stay of 3 months.

The rent varies depending on the type of accommodation, level of furnishing, location, transport connections within the vicinity, distance from entertainment hubs and maturity of the estate just to name a few. Ranked from the least to most expensive are HDB flats, condominiums, and landed property.

Some platforms to get you started on your search includes 99.co, Property Guru and Oh My Home. It is worth mentioning, going down this route also means dealing directly with agents or landlords who may be strict with their rules and requirements.

Even though your stay at these short-term rental solutions may be short-lived, you still get to make the best out of it. Whether you're open to meeting new flatmates during your stay, or much prefer a private apartment with the option to join community events whenever you feel like it, Hmlet has something that's going to work for you.

Did we mention that your pets are also welcomed at Hmlet? Read more about our pet-friendly stays here.


Yeon Chow

Marketing Intern at Hmlet with a passion for all things beautiful.