S’pore Influencer Could No Longer Handle Local Rent & Rented a Semi-Detached House in JB Instead


As with everything in Singapore, rent is soaring too. Million-dollar HDB flats are barely even newsworthy now, with these units popping up in so many neighbourhoods.

It’s no wonder, then, that people in Singapore have turned to the Malaysian housing market to rent a property, especially when prices are far lower for a bigger space.

This Malaysian mom and influencer based in Singapore did just that—when the rent on her condo in Singapore soared, she decided to move to Johor with her family instead.

Rent On Her Condo Doubled

Malaysian influencer Michelle Hon, who owns a business based in Singapore, decided to leave the country and live in Malaysia instead after the rent on her condo nearly doubled.

Originally, Ms Hon lived in a four-bedroom unit in a condominium at River Valley with her husband and three kids. The 2,200 square-feet space cost her $4,500 a month, but her landlord intended to raise it to $8,000 monthly.

As of now, the unit is being rented out for a hefty $8,400, close to double the original rent.

Although her family could afford it, they decided that the smaller space was not worth the price, and searched for an alternative home. In the end, they found a semi-detached house in Iskandar, Johor, and decided on that.


Their current home costs them RM5,500 (S$1,608) for 6,000 square feet of space. Their rent now costs a whole 80% less than the rent on their Singapore unit, and they get nearly three times the space.

Better Quality Of Life

According to her, their new home features a garden, a picturesque view and of course, more space. Her family also enjoys a better overall quality of life, since they’re immersed in nature. 

Their new abode offers her children the opportunity to spend more time outdoors as well, and they attend an international school nearby. 

Their commute to Singapore takes around an hour, but they do not head down here every day—Ms Hon travels here fortnightly, while her husband, also a business owner, makes the commute twice a week.


Even with the commute, Ms Hon is able to return home by 5pm on most days.

Before this, they’d been living in Singapore for 14 years, so both their businesses are based in the country.

In moving to Malaysia, though, they’ve had to compromise on things like convenience, since the public transport there is not as good as in Singapore, and amenities are further away.

She advised others to think outside the box and consider long-term goals for their families in coping with rising rental costs.

Is It Really Possible?

Moving to Malaysia to cope with high rental prices in Singapore sounds great in theory—you get so much more space, for an exponentially lower fee.

However, though, for the less privileged majority, a move like this isn’t really possible. In a post-pandemic era, most of us have largely returned to the office to work daily.

Taking into account the time it takes to cross the border by car in the morning during peak hours, you’d have to get up extra early on weekdays to get to work. The border will be jammed when people return home from work too, so don’t expect to get home by five in the afternoon—that’s typically the time people get off work, anyway.

Additionally, you’ll have to factor in fuel prices as well—the cost of driving to and fro daily will, unfortunately, add up.

So, I’m sorry for crushing your dreams, but it’s probably still better to nod wistfully at her story, and go back to working so you can afford that BTO.

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