The Art of Downsizing: Embracing Minimalism in Singapore’s Property Market


March 27, 2024

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As part of the population in Singapore ages and lifestyle preferences evolve, the demand for downsizing in the property market undergoes cycles of significant increase. Driven by various contributing factors, many homeowners are opting to downsize their living spaces. With minimalism increasingly becoming a rising trend as a result of lifestyle changes, embracing the concept in the property market not only offers financial benefits but also promotes a simpler, clutter-free way of living. 

In this article, we will explore the concept of downsizing in Singapore’s property market. We’ll delve into the factors that drive this trend, examine the principles of minimalism, and go over a few different types of properties to consider when making the decision to move to a smaller home. 

The Need To Downsize: Contributing Factors 

There are several factors that may contribute to the need to downsize your home to a smaller living space. Let’s go over them.


As individuals or couples approach the age of retirement, they may find that their current living space is too large, costly, or difficult to manage. As such, downsizing to a smaller property can enable retirees to find a more manageable living space, lower expenses, and free up equity by selling their larger property.  

Mobility Issues

For individuals with mobility limitations due to health issues or age, navigating and maintaining a larger home can be challenging. Downsizing to a property that is either smaller or more accessible for an individual with specific needs can enhance their convenience, safety, and overall quality of life. 

Financial Considerations

Another factor that can lead to downsizing one’s home is financial considerations. Downsizing can offer several financial benefits to homeowners, including but not limited to lower utility costs, lower mortgage payments, and potential savings on maintenance expenses and property taxes. Moreover, the freed up equity from selling the larger property can be used for retirement savings or other lucrative investment opportunities.  

Maintenance and Upkeep

Whether it is due to the lack of time spent at home, or due to a larger property for fewer family members, maintaining a bigger house can be tiring and time consuming for many. Tasks such as cleaning, repairs, landscaping and other upkeep require a lot of effort and time. As such, downsizing to a more suitable and manageable house can help homeowners improve their overall living experience by reducing the maintenance responsibilities, time and costs associated with larger properties. 

Change in Lifestyle and Preferences

Overtime, homeowners and residents may experience a shift in their lifestyles and personal preferences and needs. This can result from being in a different stage in life such as children moving out, changes in income or job status, economic downturns or windfalls. Conversely, homeowners may simply want to adopt a more minimalist lifestyle, urging them to downsize. Moving to a smaller place can enable individuals to reorganise their living environment, remove clutter, and promote a more simplistic life. 


The need to rightsize one’s living space can also contribute to downsizing a home. The concept of rightsizing puts an emphasis on matching the size and features of a home to an individual’s or family’s needs and preferences rather than simply downsizing for the sake of it. This takes into account financial considerations, family size, preferences and other lifestyle factors to ensure that the property can enhance their overall quality of life. This allows for the optimisation of the living space, reducing square footage, and creating a functional yet comfortable environment that aligns with an individual’s or family’s current circumstances. 

Taking into consideration the reason behind needing to downsize can further help homeowners choose a smaller home. 

The Concept of Minimalism in Downsizing

Incorporating the concept and principles of minimalism into the process of downsizing, people can create a more intentional, organised and functional living space that reflects their personal values, promotes simplicity and well-being, and enhances the overall quality of life. 

What is Minimalism?

Minimalism is a concept, or rather, a lifestyle philosophy that focuses on simplicity, mindfulness and intentionality in every aspect of one’s life. This includes an individual’s personal belongings, living spaces, habits and lifestyle preferences.

When incorporating minimalism into downsizing, the practice involves decluttering and streamlining an individual’s belongings and living environment to focus on the essentials–especially things that bring joy, serve a purpose, and improve overall health and well-being.  The concept is also an amalgamation of principles such as quality over quantity, simplicity, functionality and space optimisation. 

Benefits of Embracing Minimalism

A few benefits of adopting a minimalist lifestyle include:

Reduced Clutter: Individuals can reduce clutter in their living spaces by removing unnecessary possessions that contribute to stress, disorganisation and take up a significant amount of space.

Financial Savings: Minimalism encourages individuals to become more mindful of their consumption on all fronts. This can lead to lowered expenses in several areas of their life, along with better financial management and savings. 

Environmental Impact: the concept of minimalism aligns with various sustainable living practices such as conscious consumption, waste reduction, and a smaller carbon footprint.   

Tips for Downsizing: Minimalist Principles

A Vision

When downsizing, it is essential to start with a vision. Having a plan that helps you visualise your ideal living space ensures that you take into consideration factors such as what items, decor, and furniture align with the design of your new and smaller property. 

Mindful Decluttering

Sort through your personal belongings thoughtfully, considering which items serve a purpose, bring joy and can be of use or hold sentimental value. Invest in high-quality, versatile and durable items that can add value to your home and life. 

Storage Solutions

Another minimalist principle that is important to factor in when downsizing your home is the use of storage solutions. Maximising functionality and space by using smart storage solutions like built-in storage, multifunctional furniture, and organisational systems can minimise visual clutter and optimise space in a smaller property. 


With a minimalist concept, the aesthetics of your living space can include furnishings and designs that are simple, clean and aesthetically pleasing to create an environment that is decluttered and promotes relaxation and peace of mind. 

Property Types To Consider When Downsizing

Downsizers have a range of property types to choose from when transitioning to a smaller home. Each option offers homeowners a different set of benefits and caters to various preferences, lifestyles and budget considerations. This enables downsizers to find the ideal housing solution that can meet their specific requirements and enhance their quality of life. 

Condos & Apartments

Condos and apartments are a popular housing option for families or couples looking to downsize as these properties offer a wide range of amenities and features such as security, parking space, gyms, pools, communal areas and maintenance services for a small fee that is proportionate to the size of their unit. With this option, downsizers can choose smaller units that are easier to maintain than large properties. Moreover, they have the advantage of having access to amenities within and outside the development with public transportation in close proximity. Condos and apartments are an ideal option for individuals seeking a lock-and-leave lifestyle. 

HDB Flats

HDB flats are a common and affordable public housing option in Singapore, and offer a variety of unit types for downsizers. These flats come in various sizes and configurations and give individuals or families looking to downsize many choices of smaller properties. Downsizing to an HDB flat can enable individuals to enjoy community living with easy access to amenities, along with the convenience of being located in established residential neighbourhoods and connectivity to transportation and essential services in Singapore. 

Studio Apartments

Studio apartments are a good choice for individuals or couples who do not require much space, and look for functionality and space optimization with a minimalistic lifestyle. These apartments typically consist of a single room that combines a living, dining and sleeping space, with a kitchenette and bathroom. Those looking to downsize to a studio apartment have the benefit of living in a smaller home that is manageable without compromising on comfort, convenience and aesthetics.   

Retirement Villages

Retirement villages are specialised communities for retirees in Singapore. These spaces enable retirees to live within communities, and offer them benefits of amenities and services on-site that are tailored to the needs of the elderly. These may include social activities, healthcare services, and assistance with day-to-day tasks. 

This option is specifically catered to ageing individuals who plan on retiring soon. Moreover, downsizing to a retirement village can provide seniors with a supportive and age-appropriate environment, helping them foster a sense of community, stay active in their later years, and a living space that is safe and secure. 

Closing Thoughts

We hope you found this article insightful.

As Singapore’s property market evolves in response to homebuyers and their changing preferences and lifestyles, the concept of downsizing and embracing minimalism throughout the process of moving into a smaller home has presented itself as a transformational and practical solution. 

By recognising the diverse factors that drive the need to downsize, appreciating the benefits of a minimalistic lifestyle and applying these principles to the downsizing process, individuals can create a purposeful and harmonious living environment that reflects their values and aligns with their preferences and needs.

If you’re considering downsizing and need expert guidance on your property journey, our team of experienced consultants is here to assist you every step of the way. Feel free to contact us here to begin your property journey.

In the meantime, if you are interested in staying up-to-date on news and trends in Singapore’s property market, check out more of our work on Insights by PLB

See you in the next one.

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