A Complete Guide to Buy A Property in Singapore in 2021 – Darren Ong

A Complete Guide to Buy A Property in Singapore in 2021 - Darren Ong

When buying a property in Singapore, there are tons of questions that might be at the back of your mind. These questions usually include property type to buy, rules and regulation, affordability, financial aids, location, and procedure, to name a few.

In Singapore, with extensive government property market policy, regulation, and financial aids such as the CPF housing grant, most Singaporeans are still able to afford a home; the 2019 homeownership rate at 90.4%.

Here are some fundamentals of what property seeker or home seeker needs to know about homeownership in Singapore 2021.

1. Types of Singapore residential properties and which you can buy (local, PR or foreigners)

In Singapore, like many other countries around the world. There are public residential housing and private residential properties.

For public residential housing by the Housing Development Board ( HDB ), only Singapore Citizen (SC) or Permanent Resident (PR) is eligible to purchase if they fulfill one of the purchasing schemes, which I will share more about in point 4.

As public housing (HDB) is heavily subsidies by the government, the foreigners are not eligible to purchase.

Who is eligible to purchase HDB:

Types of Property BTO / Resale Flat
Public Housing (HDB) SC + SC
SC _ Non SC Spouse

On the other hand, the private residential properties , there are various types from executive condominium (EC), private apartment/condominium (condo), and landed housing.

For executive condominium (EC) , it is not so straightforward as other private property. Although a private developer builds it, purchasing an EC has the following rules to follow:

  • For brand new EC, only SC+SC or SC+PR is eligible to buy, but you still need to follow the public housing (HDB) purchase scheme.
  • For resale EC after the minimum occupation period (MOP), from the 6th year onward to before the 10th years privatization, you do not need to follow the HDB purchasing scheme. SC or PR are eligible to buy even you are Single. But foreigners are not allowed to purchase.
  • For fully privatized EC, typically after the 10th-year mark, SC, PR, or foreigners are allowed to purchase.

Who is eligible to purchase Executive Condominium (EC):

Type of Property Brand New EC Resale EC
(6-10 Years)
Fully Privatized EC
(after 10 Years)
Executive Condominium (EC) SC+ SC
SC Alone
SPR Alone
SC Alone
SPR Alone

For a private apartment/condominium , SC, PR, or foreigners are free to purchase.

For landed property , SC and PR are free to purchase. Foreigners need government approval to buy purchases.

Who is eligible to purchase Private Property:

Types of Property Brand New / Resale
Private Apartment / Condominium SC
Landed Property SC
Foreigners need approval

2. Age Matters

For public housing (HDB) , you must be at least 21 years old to purchase with a family nucleus. For single who are unmarried or divorced, you need to be 35 years old except for windowed, or an orphan can be 21 years old.

For private property , you must be at least 21 years old to purchase a property. The purchaser age can be below 21 years if its purchased under a trust

3. CPF Usage on Property

You can use your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) saving to purchase property in Singapore. The amount that you can utilize is subject to the valuation limit (VL) and withdrawal limit (WL).

VL refers to the market value or the purchase price of the property at the time that you are buying, whichever is lower.

WL refers to the maximum amount of CPF that you can use for your property, currently capped at 120% of the valuation limit.

4. Purchasing Scheme Available

For public housing (HDB) , there are several schemes that you can use to buy HDB flat. In general, there must be at least one SC when purchasing an HDB flat.

For private property , you are free to either buy as single or with someone else. There is no restriction on the family nucleus.

5. Types of CPF Housing Grant Available

Sad to say, the CPF housing grant is only available for public housing and EC. There is no grant for purchasing a private property in Singapore.

The available CPF housing grants that you are eligible to apply for will depends on the type of scheme you purchase the flat stated in point 4.

Lets take a look at the possible CPF housing grants for each scheme:

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