Cost of living in Jakarta



Although Jakarta is among Indonesia’s most expensive cities when it comes to housing and food, the general cost of living is low.


Living close to the business district will of course mean paying a higher rent. And although reasonable rates are available in Menteng for small apartments, rents are relatively high compared to other areas. Affluent residential areas are located in South Jakarta.

According to the survey of the Global Property Guide in the districts of Central (Menteng and Bundaran) and South Jakarta (Jakarta Selatan, Sudirman, Kebayoran, Kemang, Pondok Indah, Cilandak/Cipete, Pesar Minggu, Golden Triangle, and Kuningan), the average monthly rent for a 50 square meter apartments costs USD$707; for a 85 square meter apartment costs USD$1,066; for a 120 square meter apartment costs USD$1,588 and a 175 square meter apartment costs USD$2,620.

If your budget is tight, subletting is an option that can cost USD$451 for renting a single bedroom excluding cost of utilities. 

Buying a Property 

Indonesia's restriction on foreign ownership dampens the demand of the real estate market. By Indonesian law, foreigners cannot own land in Indonesia or buy a house. However, new laws are being enacted to allow foreign nationals to own condominiums or strata-title residential property.

The price for buying an apartment in Jakarta is at Rp11.5 million or USD$1,191.00 per square meter. According to international real estate company, Colliers, the asking price has remained unchanged since 2008. 


Power outages and blackouts or brownouts have become a common scenario even in the capital of Jakarta. Perusahan Listrik Negara (PLN), the sole distributor of electricity in Indonesia, has an average electricity tariff of Rp654.00 (USD$0.06) per kilowatt hour.

Expats should be happy to know that there are a lot of internet providers in Jakarta. Monthly internet costs in Jakarta are approximately USD$22.00 for a 2 Mbps connection. 

When subletting, the charges for electricity gas and water cost about USD$100 monthly per person. 


Typical monthly spending for food costs USD$300 monthly for groceries. 

Dining in fast food restaurants like McDonalds can cost USD$3.00-$5.00 per meal. For Meals for two in a middle range restaurant the cost would be approximately USD$18.00. For expats who are on a culinary adventure, try the food available in stalls that are quite cheap for USD$1.00-$2.00.  

A kilogram of white sugar in the market costs Rp11,500.00 (USD$1.22) to Rp12,000.00 (USD$$1.27). Buying a litre of regular milk costs USD$1.07 and a kilogram of fresh cheese costs USD$8.10. 

Current value-added-tax of Indonesia is at a standard rate of 10%.


Unlike neighbouring countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, transportation remains a problem in Jakarta. Getting around the city is not easy; expats will experience the infamous Jakarta macet (traffic jam). 

As alternative transportation to using a personal car, expats can take taxis. As of February 2009, the standard rate for a taxi is at Rp6,000.00. Tipping is not required but it is expected to pay in the nearest Rp1,000.00. Blue Bird and Silverbird are reputable taxi companies.

If one is renting a car, get one with a driver. It is not recommended for expats to rent a car and drive, especially with risks of massive traffic jams.

As of January 2009, the fixed price for gasoline and diesel costs Rp4,500.00 per litre.

Due to the narrow roads in Jakarta, finding a parking spot is a challenge. However, shopping malls and offices have paid parking services at Rp1,000.00 to Rp3,000.00 per hour.



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Cost of Living in Indonesia

Expat Services in Jakarta