The skyrocketing dormitory rental rates in Singapore: What’s up with that?

Singapore, land of opportunity, delicious food, and… skyrocketing dormitory rental rates? Yep, you read that right. If you thought your HDB flat’s rent was high, wait till you hear about the recent surge in dormitory rental rates. Let’s dive deep into this pressing issue.

The shocking rise in rental rates

The dormitory rental rates have seen a significant increase in recent times. According to the video from Channel News Asia, construction firms in Singapore have reported that dormitory rental rates have more than doubled since the previous lease tenure. This surge in rental rates can be attributed to various factors, including increased demand for dormitory beds, especially with the reopening of the economy and the influx of foreign workers. The exact figures for the increase in rental rates vary, but the trend is clear: the costs are going up, and they’re going up fast.

Read more: Renting in 2023? Here’s how to save on rental rates

Implications of the dormitory rent surge

The construction sector, the backbone of our city’s ever-evolving skyline, has been hit hard. With construction work back in full swing, firms have had to hire more workers, leading to an increased demand for dormitory beds. However, the high rental rates have made some firms rethink their strategies. They’re now investing more in machinery and methods like pre-casting to reduce manpower needs. But it’s not all rosy for everyone. Smaller construction companies, which rely heavily on physical manpower, are feeling the pinch.

The surge in dormitory rental rates has wide-reaching implications, especially for the construction industry. With the construction sector back in full swing post-pandemic, there’s been an increased demand for workers, leading to a higher demand for dormitory beds. The video from Channel News Asia highlights the challenges faced by construction firms due to these rising costs. High rental rates mean increased overhead costs for these firms, which can impact their profitability. Moreover, the increased costs are also felt by the foreign workers, who often have to bear the brunt of these hikes, leading to a higher cost of living for them. The government and related agencies are aware of these challenges and are looking into measures to address them.

On the brighter side, the government’s stepping in. Since February 2023, employers operating factory-converted dorms (FCDs) can rent out spare beds to other companies. Plus, dorms with extra space can retrofit their premises to add more beds, provided they stick to the rules. But even dorm operators aren’t having a ball. Rising rates reflect not just the current shortage but also the increased costs for dorm operators. Johnathan Cheah of Dormitory Association Singapore Limited (DASL) mentioned the challenges of adopting easing measures, like converting communal spaces into beds for rent.

The human side of the story

dormitory rental rates in singapore
(Image credit: Jon Tyson on Unsplash)

Behind these rising numbers are real people with dreams, aspirations, and families to support. Imagine being thousands of miles away from home, working hard, and then having to allocate a significant chunk of your salary to rent. It’s a tough pill to swallow.

The silver lining

dormitory rental rates in singapore
(Image credit: Faris Mohammed on Unsplash)

While the situation seems grim, it’s not all doom and gloom. With increased awareness and government interventions, there’s hope for a more balanced dormitory rental landscape in Singapore.

Read more: Foreign workers in Singapore need more space, but how much?


Rising dormitory rental rates in Singapore are more than just numbers. They impact real lives, the construction industry, and the economy. But with awareness, understanding, and collective effort, we can navigate these choppy waters. After all, as they say in the Lion City, “Majulah Singapura!” (Onward Singapore!)

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