Jakarta - Post Report Question and Answers

What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Apartments near embassy, apartments in central Jakarta, and houses in South Jakarta (stand alone and in compounds). Stand alone houses can seem to be isolating so be very specific in the housing survey. Most houses are old and small (don't bring a lot of stuff). - Oct 2021

Housing varies drastically from apartments, to small houses, to larger houses. If you work in the middle of the city the commute even from the outskirts of city center can be 1-2 hours in the evenings. There was a lot of construction on major thoroughfares while I was there which made the traffic worse. Traffic would be even worse if you are subject to the odd-even license plate scheme (does not apply to diplomats or taxis). - Sep 2020

We have a stand-alone home in Kemang. While smaller than housing in some other cities, it is large enough for our family of six. Jakarta has a good mix of apartments and homes. The most important factor for housing is commute time to work and school. For example, those with high school kids attending JIS-PIE will not want to live in Menteng. Kebayoran Baru is a good middle area for most expats. Pondok Indah has larger homes and is near JIS-PIE. - Feb 2018

There are many places to live. Menteng is the closest to the Embassy but is a built up area where the only thing to do really is to go to the mall. So not ideal for kids. Plus you really don't want to try to go anywhere in the afternoon. Really it's only an option for single people in my opinion. Galuh is right across the street from JIS where most kids go to school in Pattimura. The housing is nice and large with communal play areas, but there is no pool. But it is not far from the American club which you can join and use for the pool and tennis courts. The American club- I think this can be hard to get into, but this housing is attached to the American club so people can use the restaurant, pool, playground, child facilities etc, all the time. The houses are large and American. They were using a place called Taman Purih Oasis which despite the bug challenges was terrific. Pool was sometimes not maintained but overall a great place for families and kids could ride their bikes around. Further south in Kemang was large housing, but the commute was awful. On a normal day to Menteng, it takes maybe 20 minutes, to Galuh, maybe 30 and to the American club area, 40 or so, and to Kemang about 55 to an hour. But when it's rainy season- 2 -3 hours to the American club area- keeping in mind that it is a distance of about 6 miles or so...Kemang would be way too far for the commuting spouse I think and Menteng not good for the families- so Galuh or around the American club is better for playdates, volunteering at school... - Jan 2015

Jakarta has many gorgeous homes with small yards. We lived in a complex with a shared play area for kids that resulted in a wonderful sense of community. As neighbours, we were quite social. However, we were an anomaly of a community in that sense. Living in Jakarta means a commute to work and school and dealing with horrible worsening traffic. Getting on the road early to avoid the worst of the traffic jams. Being able to accomplish a limited amount of errands daily because of the traffic. - Jan 2013

U.S. Embassy housing is split mostly between apartments in the heart of the city and houses for families closer to the school. For people living in houses in South Jakarta, the commute can be well over an hour each way (I've heard). I live in an apartment close to the embassy and my own commute averages about 15 minutes in the morning and about 30 minutes going home. - Jun 2012

best is apartment tower, houses difficult and expensive to maintain for expats on 3-5 year terms. - Jan 2012

It is a combination of apartments, houses, and townhouses. It is mostly apartments in central Jakarta, which had commutes of 15-30 minutes the embassy. Since the schools are in South Jakarta, people with children usually live in houses and townhouses in that area to minimize the time their kids spend in the horrible traffic. As a result, the parent(s) have 45-75 minute commutes to the embassy. All these commutes can be longer during the rainy season. - Jul 2011

Houses are big and apartments are grand--unless you are with the embassy, then apartments are grand and houses can be small but in communities. If you live in a giant house in the South part of Jakarta you can expect to commute to the north taking 1 to 1.5 hours each way. From Central Jakarta to the Embassy might take 30-55 minutes each way. Traffic is dense here but it moves. - Jul 2011

Most ex-pats live in very nice housing, but commutes from the south, near to the schools can be horrid, as much as 1.5-2 hours each way, worse during the rainy season. Centrally located housing makes for easier commutes, but only if you don't have children in the international schools. - Dec 2010

Housing is generally very good for expats. Massive highrise apartment blocks with all modern amenities and/or large villas with pools & servants' quarters. All expats are well cocooned from the poverty,filth & squalor which abounds beyond these smart dwellings. - Nov 2010

Most expats live in upscale apartments in Central Jakarta or houses in South Jakarta. Commute time from Central Jakarta was only 15 minutes. Traffic is not too bad before 8am. - Jul 2010

Usually townhomes for families with children in the south; apartments closer in for singles/couples. - Mar 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More