Comparison

6 Best HDB Estates To Look At And Rent If You’re Returning Airline Staff

17 September 2022 | BY

These 6 HDB estates for cabin crew and airline staff like Tampines and Bedok are located near Changi Airport.

estates for cabin crew

Being part of an aircrew is hard work. And following a long day up in the air, the first thing you’d want to do after touching down is to head home for a refreshing shower and a nap. But with Changi Airport being on the far East of Singapore, the journey home might feel very leychey if you’re living all the way in Jurong or Woodlands.

Thankfully, there are plenty of HDB estates for cabin crew neighbouring Changi that you can rent a room or an entire flat in so you can have peace of mind while you’re on call. Here’s what you can expect if you’re looking to rent a place in estates like Tampines, Bedok, Eunos, and Pasir Ris.

1. Tampines

Speaking to a few friends who were former cabin crew, Tampines was always brought up as the neighbourhood of choice to live in.

tampines
Image credit: TheSmartLocal

Amenities & accessibility

Tampines is huge, which means it has 2 train lines – East West and Downtown – and 6 stations covering public transport in the estate. Getting around shouldn’t be an issue, especially to work since the EW line takes you to Changi Airport in less than 30 minutes.

There are also plenty of shopping malls around the main hub of Tampines. Think Century Square, Tampines One, and Tampines Mall to name a few. Not to mention Eastpoint Mall for those in Simei to satisfy their cravings since you can’t get LiHo’s milk tea while you’re on duty.

tampines green diversity trail
Tampines Green’s Diversity Trail does not look like a Singaporean sight.
Image credit: TheSmartLocal

For recreation, there’s Our Tampines Hub which has a plethora of amenities at your disposal. From a library to a pool to a bowling alley, it’s the perfect venue to destress when your fellow Tampines-living colleagues during your days off from flying.

Estimated cost of rent

tampines rent

We took a look at some of the available rental listings and here’s what we found:

If you’re on a tight budget, renting a single room in a shared HDB might be your best bet at living near the airport. While the average rent is roughly around $1,000 per month, there are some listings of shared rooms with other air crew that are around $400-$600 per month.

Another option would be to rally a few of your colleagues and rent out an entire HDB flat or a condo. This way, you’ll already know who the tenants are and won’t have trouble mingling with your housemates.

Distance to airport

With Tampines being one of the closest estates to the airport, you won’t take long to arrive at the boarding gate. Taking Tampines Mall as a reference, here’s how long you’ll take to get to Terminal 3:

On public transport:

Bus: 18 mins on Bus 27
Train: ~27 mins via East West Line
Bus + Train: 26 mins via Downtown Line and Bus 24

By car

Driving: ~11 minutes

Grab prices:
Peak period: $20-$28
Off-peak period: $9-$12

Analysis

Looking at the price of rent, the distance to your “office,” and the amenities offered in the mature estate, Tampines is definitely one of the best neighbourhoods to set up your home base in. There are plenty of rental listings available currently, and many of them are accessible with public transport options around.

If you can find a friend or two, renting an entire flat would make living a lot more comfortable too, as you’re with people you know 

2. Pasir Ris

map of pasir ris
Image credit: Google Maps

Another neighbourhood that air crew can consider renting a place in is Pasir Ris. Located just to the West of Changi Airport, residents here have direct access to their “office’ via the TPE and PIE. 

Amenities & accessibility

pasir ris beach
Image credit: TheSmartLocal

Being one of the few coastal towns in Singapore, Pasir Ris has all the offerings of beachside life in the suburbs. The iconic White Sands Shopping Mall has everything you might need from bubble tea to fast food and even Saizeriya. On your days off, you can even stop by the new Waterbike SG attraction or any of the other lesser-known things to do in Pasir Ris if you’ve been to Wild Wild Wet one too many times. 

However, the far-flung location of Pasir Ris also means that accessibility isn’t its strongest suit. Currently, only Pasir Ris MRT on the East West line serves as the main public transport thoroughfare, although there will be the Cross Island Line with 3 more stops coming by 2030.

Estimated cost of rent

cost of rent in pasir ris estates for cabin crew

Rent in Pasir Ris is more affordable than in Tampines, with plenty of single rooms available on sites like PropertyGuru for below $900/month. This might be due to the fact that it’s slightly further away from the CBD and the heart of Singapore. However, Pasir Ris’ians aren’t lacking in anything to do either.

One thing we’ve heard through the grapevine is that plenty of the condos on Flora Drive are popular amongst the air crew. If you see the names Ferraria Park Condo, Dahlia Park Condo, Carissa Park Condo, and Palm Isles, you might just meet a couple of neighbours who are also your colleagues.

Distance to airport

Taking Pasir Ris MRT as a reference, here’s how long you’ll take to get to Terminal 3:

On public transport:

Bus: 24 mins on Bus 53
Train: ~33 mins via East West Line
Bus + Train: 25 mins via East West Line and Bus 27

By car

Driving: ~10 minutes

Grab prices:
Peak period: $25-$34
Off-peak period: $12-$16

Analysis

If you don’t mind less accessibility, fewer amenities, and a slightly longer travel time to the airport, Pasir Ris might be worth considering especially since rents here are pretty affordable. With plenty of cabin crew choosing to reside here, you might find yourself in good company too.

3. Bedok

bedok map
Image credit: Google Maps

Another estate that can call Changi Airport its neighbour is Bedok. Being one of the other coastal towns on Singapore’s Eastern seaboard and a mature estate to boot, it has found itself as a sought-after location for young adults to set up their home base. After all, it is one of Singapore’s largest residential estates.

Estimated cost of rent

cost of rent in bedok estates for cabin crew

Being a mature estate with more developed amenities and closer proximity to a town, it’s no surprise that rent in Bedok is slightly higher than in Tampines or Pasir Ris. Most of the single-room listings available on sites like PropertyGuru point towards HDBs around $900 and below, although you could also find some condo room listings on other sites like 99.co.

There are also a couple of rental listings available near Bedok MRT below $1,000, which is an excellent steal in our eyes.

Amenities & accessibility

bedok mall

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Bedok is a mature estate, meaning that its amenities and accessibility are pretty highly-developed. Right by Bedok MRT there is Bedok Mall with over 200 shops to fulfil every shopaholic’s need. 

But the star of Bedok is the number of food haunts at your beck and call. If you’re ever craving any local delicacies after a stint up in the air, this food guide to Bedok by Eatbook is your key to satisfying your hunger pangs.

Distance to airport

Taking Bedok MRT as a reference, here’s how long you’ll take to get to Terminal 3:

On public transport:

Bus: ~30 mins on Bus 24
Train: ~25 mins via East West Line
Bus + Train: ~30 mins via East West Line and Bus 27

By car

Driving: ~15 minutes

Grab prices:
Peak period: $28-$39
Off-peak period: $11-$15

Analysis

If you love a good work-life balance and your time isn’t fully dedicated to your flying schedule, staying at Bedok might be better in the long term. Considering its proximity to the heart of Orchard and the airport, you’ll be able to shuttle between these two places often without worrying about a long travel time.

Plus, the many foodie spots around every corner of Bedok make living here worth it.

4. Kembangan

If Bedok is too big of an area to wrap your head around, perhaps focusing on Kembangan might ease your anxiety. The sub-zone is located within the Easternmost part of Bedok, so residents get all that Bedok has to offer while still being in their own little bubble.

Estimated cost of rent

cost of rent in kembangan estates for cabin crew

Kembangan is a unique area where only one street – Lengkong Tiga – has public housing, so rental options in HDBs are pretty limited. On the other hand, there are plenty of condos and landed homes available on the rental market. They’re not extremely pricey, but you might want to look elsewhere if your budget is below $1,000/month.

Amenities & accessibility

Being part of Bedok means that Kembangan residents can still pop by Bedok Mall and all the related eateries around the estate in their flip-flops. There is also a dedicated Kembangan Station on the East West Line that services the neighbourhood. Next to it is Kembangan Plaza, but it’s no Plaza Singapura, so don’t expect shops like your Hai Di Lao or Gong Cha there.

However, you can easily get your mala fix with a quick detour to Bedok Point. Then, you can cap off your hotpot session with bubble tea, although whether you still have an appetite for dessert is another story.

There is also the Kembangan MRT station which can take you directly to the airport. However, the bus stops here are few and far between, with most of them on major roads like Jalan Eunos and Sims Avenue. The “Lorongs” North of Sims Avenue don’t have any buses so you’ll have to walk quite a fair distance to public transport if you’re living there. 

Distance to airport

Taking Kembangan MRT as a reference, here’s how long you’ll take to get to Terminal 3:

On public transport:

Bus: ~38 mins on Bus 24
Train: ~28 mins via East West Line
Bus + Train: 34 mins via East West Line and Bus 27

By car

Driving: ~15 minutes

Grab prices:
Peak period: $18-$25
Off-peak period: $11-$15

Analysis

Kembangan might not be the first choice for many cabin crew to rent a place in. However, if you prefer living in a condo instead of an HDB, you might find more options within Kembangan instead of anywhere else. Its location is also pretty similar to the main part of Bedok, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting around.

5. Marine Parade

shophouses in marine parade

Moving further Eastward, we turn our eyes to Marine Parade. With idyllic beaches on one side and the eclectic Katong on the other, this neighbourhood is one of the best places to live for any young adult in Singapore. However, it is a little bit further from the airport compared to the rest of the other estates on this list. Here’s why you should still consider living in Marine Parade if you’re a cabin crew.

Estimated cost of rent

average cost of rent in marine parade estates for cabin crew

While there were around 25 HDB units and rooms available for rent in Marine Parade at the time of writing, the estate has more condo units and rooms listed on sites like PropertyGuru. For an area that’s nearer to town than Bedok or Tampines, the few HDB rental listings are affordable, especially for the single rooms in a shared home.

Condos in the district, on the other hand, are definitely a lot pricier than the other estates. Most landlords are only renting out entire units, with only 3 single condo rooms up for grabs.

Amenities & accessibility

east coast park

Marine Parade has no lack of amenities. While East Coast Park and the picturesque Joo Chiat shophouses are eye candy material, there’s also Parkway Parade plus the newly-revamped i12 Katong shopping mall with hotspots like P.S. Cafe, Crystal Jade, and Ippudo Ramen, just to name a few.

There are also 2 Circle Line stations – Mountbatten and Dakota – that can take you either towards Dhoby Ghaut to get into town, or Paya Lebar for the heartlands. However, getting to the airport from these 2 stops might take a long time as you’d have to change MRT lines.

Driving, however, is quite convenient thanks to the ECP that runs all the way along the coast up to Changi Airport with barely any stops.

Distance to airport

Taking Parkway Parade as a reference, here’s how long you’ll take to get to Terminal 3:

On public transport:

Bus: ~27 mins on Bus 36

By car

Driving: ~13 minutes

Grab prices:
Peak period: $16-$22
Off-peak period: $11-$15

Analysis

Those who have allocated a higher budget to their housing needs and want to live closer to the heart of Singapore instead of the airport should definitely have Marine Parade in their sights. 

6. Eunos

Last, but not least, Eunos. Nestled in between the bustling Paya Lebar and the quaint Kembangan, the town is also known as “Geylang East” but not many people associate it as a haven for cabin crew. Hopefully, those preconceptions are about to be changed.

map of eunos
Image credit: Google Maps

Estimated cost of rent

cost of rent in eunos estates for cabin crew

Eunos isn’t an estate with HDB flats for days, so rental listings of that type are few and far between. However, you can still rent a master bedroom with an attached bathroom for only $1,200 per month on PropertyGuru. You might find more luck with 2- and 3-room HDB flats, most of which are located right by Eunos MRT, so getting around town is an easy affair. 

Condo hunters, however, are in for a treat. Right opposite Eunos MRT is Parc Esta, an 18-storey development with over 315 rental listings on PropertyGuru at the time of publication. With over 100 2-room rental listings on the market that average around $4,600, it’s still hovering on the costlier side, especially since most of these condos come unfurnished. However, you’ll be moving into a brand new condo.

Amenities & accessibility

There are a smattering of amenities available on the fringes of Eunos even though it’s a mostly-industrial estate. Paya Lebar MRT and Kembangan MRT both flank the edges of Eunos, so residents aren’t limited to just one train station.

PLQ mall in eunos
Image credit: TheSmartLocal

Towards the Paya Lebar side, there is also PLQ Mall, Paya Lebar Square, and SingPost Centre with plenty of shops to sustain your entertainment and sustenance.

Distance to airport

Taking Eunos MRT as a reference, here’s how long you’ll take to get to Terminal 3:

On public transport:

Bus: ~45 mins on Bus 24
Train: ~33 mins on the East West Line
Bus + Train: ~39 mins on the East West Line and Bus 27

By car

Driving: ~14 minutes via the Pan-Island Expressway

Grab prices:
Peak period: $25-$35
Off-peak period: $13-$18

Analysis

Eunos may not be on the top of your list when it comes to renting a spot, especially if you’re constantly jetting in and out of Singapore. However, the area offers plenty when it comes to shopping and food. Those who love living in a swanky condo will also find themselves right at home at Parc Esta.

Best neighbourhoods & estates for cabin crew to rent in Singapore

While the skies might be your home more often than not, you’ll still have to find somewhere on the ground for a break once your cabin crew duties are done. These 6 estates are worthy of your consideration if you’re contemplating being nearer to your “office.”

At rank one on our list, Tampines is one of the best estates to live in for those who work up in the air. But it might not be the best for your social life, especially if your friends outside of a plane live in the East or Central parts of Singapore. You might perhaps consider estates like Marine Parade or even Eunos. It all depends on your budget.

P.S. Grab prices will fluctuate depending on the time of day, driver supply, and rider demand.

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Cover image credit: TheSmartLocal

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