If you’re an expat who’s relocating to Singapore together with your family, you’re probably looking to stay in a neighbourhood or district that gives you an easy commute to your workplace and chosen international school for your children. In this article, we introduce five housing estates in Singapore which have a plethora of international schools. Like many expats who already do, you might just call one of these neighbourhoods home in the near future!
#1: Bukit Timah
Distance to city: Approx 10 km (6.2 miles)
Neighbourhood pros: Quiet and leafy; prestigious district; many expats in the area
Neighbourhood cons: Expensive housing; Lack of cheap food options and big-town amenities; Some locations can be inaccessible by public transport
Commonly referred to as District 10 in property terms, Bukit Timah is one of the most upscale residential districts in Singapore, and the area is dotted with private housing options (both landed properties and condominiums). MRT stations on the Downtown Line also serve the neighbourhood, and it takes just 20 minutes to get to the CBD via car or train.
Amenities include Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, The Grandstand, Sixth Avenue and Cluny Court — think cosy lifestyle clusters instead of huge shopping malls. Not too far away, the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve offers some of the best walks and trails for nature lovers on the island. There’s no shortage of international schools here, such as the following:
German European School Singapore
Invictus International School
International School Singapore
Avondale Grammar School Singapore
Hwa Chong International School
Singapore Korean International School
- Melbourne Specialist International School
Condos in Bukit Timah include:
(average $1,649 psf to buy and $2.90 psf to rent)
The Sixth Avenue Residences
(average $1,443 psf to buy and $3.30 psf to rent)
(average $1,768 to buy and $3.60 psf to rent)
**[Browse all condo units for rent in Bukit Timah.]
Distance to city: Approx 12.5 km (7.8 miles)
Neighbourhood pros: Accessible not just to schools, but also to the National University of Singapore, as well as the Jurong and Buona Vista business hubs
Neighbourhood cons: Housing prices are on the rise in this area; the increasing number of high-rise buildings can feel stifling
Located in the West of Singapore, Clementi is a down-to-earth middle-class neighbourhood that has a good mix of private and HDB public housing. The area has plenty of schools — both international and highly reputable local schools. Such is Clementi’s rising appeal, we even wrote an article about it recently. It has all the amenities a mature estate has, such as a shopping mall and MRT station.
Driving to the CBD takes roughly 20 minutes. International schools in or around Clementi include the following:
Canadian International School Singapore
Dover Court International School
Nexus International School Singapore
International Community School Singapore
Singapore Japanese School
Tanglin Trust School
United World College of Southeast Asia
Waseda Shibuya Senior High School
Condos in Clementi include:
(average $1,009 psf to buy and $2.60 psf to rent)
The Parc Condominium
(average $1,218 psf to buy and $3 psf to rent)
(average $1,260 psf to buy and $3.70 psf to rent)
**[Browse all condo units for rent in Clementi.]
Distance to city: Approx 22 km (13.7 miles)
Neighbourhood pros: Affordable; close to nature
Neighbourhood cons: Far from CBD
Yishun is a “heartland” town that’s mostly populated by HDB flats, although a few newer condominium developments have taken place in recent years. The town is served by Yishun and Khatib MRT stations, and it takes 30 minutes to get to the CBD if you’re driving.
Amenities include the newly-refurbished megamall Northpoint City, the new Junction Nine Shopping Mall and the popular Chong Pang Food Centre. Nature lovers flock to the picturesque Lower and Upper Seletar Reservoirs.
For international schools, GEMS World Academy Singapore and 5 Steps Academy are located in Yishun. International schools in neighbouring towns include the Sir Manasseh Meyer International School in Sembawang and the Singapore American School in Woodlands.
(average $1,114 psf to buy and $2.90 psf to rent)
- Orchid Park Condominium (average $725 psf to buy and $2.10 psf to rent)
- Skies Miltonia (average $1,084 psf to buy and $2.70 psf to rent)
**[Browse all condo units for rent in Yishun.]
Distance to city: Approx 11 km (6.8 miles)
Neighbourhood pros: Relatively close to the city; some quiet precincts such as Serangoon Garden, Kovan and Lorong Chuan; strong expat presence
Neighbourhood cons: Rising housing prices in the area; the town centre can get crowded, as with the MRT trains during peak hours
Serangoon is a residential town located in the North-East of Singapore, with a wide variety of amenities that include a shopping mall (NEX), and a quaint lifestyle and F&B cluster in the form of Serangoon Gardens. It’s well connected to the CBD and other parts of Singapore via the North-East Line and the Circle Line (Serangoon MRT is the interchange station for the two lines). For those who drive, the CBD is just 15 minutes away by car via the Central Expressway.
International schools in the area include the following:
French School of Singapore
DPS International School
Australian International School Singapore
Stamford American International School
- Early Learning Village (the world’s largest preschool)
Condos in Serangoon include:
(average $1,316 psf to buy and $3.40 psf to rent)
Presto @ Upper Serangoon
(average $1,477 psf to buy and $3.70 psf to rent)
The Yardley Condo
(average $1,217 psf to buy and $2.50 psf to rent)
**[Browse all condo units for rent in Serangoon.]
Distance to city: Approx 8.5 km (5.3 miles)
Neighbourhood pros: Close to the city; close to heritage districts of Katong and Joo Chiat; ample sports and recreation facilities; not crowded and good sense of space because of high concentration of landed properties and building height restrictions; some condos offer sea views; the airport is just 15 minutes away by taxi
Neighbourhood cons: Some areas far from MRT stations; traffic jams and packed buses leading to and out the city during rush hours
Mountbatten is one of the five subzones under the larger Marine Parade district, and has a laid-back, family-friendly vibe that’s characteristic of its proximity to the sea. The area consists of a good mix of HDB flats and private bungalows, and is a sports and fitness lover’s paradise as the Singapore Sports Hub and East Coast Park is in the vicinity. The neighborhood is served by two MRT stations, Mountbatten and Dakota. Old Airport Road Food Centre, which is well-known as a haven for local Singaporean cuisine, is a favourite haunt for Mountbatten residents.
It takes approximately 15 minutes to get to the CBD by car and just slightly longer by public transport. International schools in the vicinity include campuses for the Global Indian International School and Canadian International School Singapore. The area is also notable for having reputable local schools that have an emphasis on Chinese language and culture, such as Tao Nan School (Primary) and Dunman High School.
Condos in and around Mountbatten include:
(average $1,335 psf to buy and $3.50 psf to rent)
Waterbank at Dakota
(average $1,470 psf to buy and $4.20 psf to rent)
(average $1,336 psf to buy and $3.50 psf to rent)
**[Browse all condo units for rent in Mountbatten.]
If you found this article helpful, 99.co recommends East Region of Singapore: the best neighbourhoods for you and The coolest neighbourhoods in Singapore to rent [2018 update]
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