Complete Guidance to buying property in Singapore
Buying property in Singapore is well known because of its great political stability, transparency, efficiency, good governance, and a great destination for doing business.
In short, Singapore is one of the greatest destinations for foreign investment with a good return on investment. So now the most asked question among the foreign investor is, can foreigners buy property in Singapore? Yes, foreigners are granted to buy property in Singapore.
In this article, we will discuss who can be considered a foreigner in Singapore, eligibility criteria to buy property in Singapore, etc.
Apart from buying property in Singapore, if you plan to set up a company in Singapore, you can check our Complete Guide to Singapore Company Registration.
What type of properties foreign can and can’t buy?
Granted to buy private condos
According to the residential property Act, a foreigner in Singapore can purchase both public housing and private properties. However, there are also some of restrictions for foreigners to purchase the property.
1.Public/Public-Private Hybrid Homes
The public housing market comes under the Housing and Development Board (HDB) category with several restrictions on buying the property for PR. Remember that no matter whether you hold a Singapore permanent resident or visit Singapore as a visitor, you are restricted from buying housing and development flats, including Build-to-Order (BTO) and Sale of Balance Flats (SBFs).
There are some additional conditions are given below:
Here are some of the conditions under which foreigners get eligible to buy the property in Singapore:
A.If you are a non-Singapore permanent resident willing to buy property in Singapore alone:
- Then you only have the option to buy a private executed condominium that is older than ten years.
B.If you are Singapore permanent resident willing to buy property in Singapore alone
Other than new HDB flats, Singapore permanent residents are not granted to buy any resale HDB flat alone, but they have only the option to buy a resale Executed Condominium whose Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) is more than five years.
C.In case you are Singapore permanent resident buying the property with another Singapore permanent resident:
- In such a situation, you will be eligible only to purchase a resale HDB flat for three years only after acquiring permanent residence in Singapore.
- A resale Executed Condominium which is older than five years
- A privatized Executed Condominium which is more than 10 years old
D.If you are a permanent resident looking to purchase a property with a non-Singapore permanent resident:
In such a situation you will get eligible only for buying:
- A resale Executed Condominium which is more than five years old
- A privatized Executive Condominium which is older than 10 years
E.If you are jointly purchasing as a non-Singapore permanent resident couple:
- You only have the option to buy privatize executed condominium which is older than 10 years.
Unlike public housing, private property does not have more restrictions, and hence it will be more preferable for you to buy in Singapore. The private properties in Singapore also offer you great fittings, amazing design, and closer to the Central business district (CBD). In case you are looking to purchase a private condominium, In such a property, you will enjoy amazing facilities like light gyms, swimming pools, saunas, and many more. The only limitation for buying private property is that these are quite more expensive than public housing.
Here are some of the common types of property in Singapore that foreigners are eligible to purchase:
- Strata landed house in an approved condominium development
- A landed property on Sentosa Cove
- An apartment or condominium unit
- A foreigner is eligible to buy a leasehold estate in the landed residential property provided that their term should not be more than seven years, including any further term will be allowed only in the form of renewal.
Procedures for buying property in Singapore
Where are the few steps by following which you can buy property in Singapore:
Step 1: Use the PropertyGuru’s affordability calculator tool for calculating the estimated price
After you have decided which kind of property you are willing to purchase in Singapore, the other step is to calculate its estimated cost and see if you can afford it.
You can take the help of this PropertyGuru Affordability Calculator to calculate the estimated cost of the property based on the current government provisions and property measures. This tool will not take much time in determining the estimated cost of the property.
Step 2: See if you require to pay any tax.
In the next step, every foreigner needs to see whether you require to pay any Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) while buying property in Singapore.
Singapore permanent residents willing to purchase their first residential property will be required to pay an ABSD rate of 5% and 15% on buying a second and further residential property.
At the same time, foreigners who are non-Singapore permanent residents will be required to pay the ABSD at the rate of 20% irrespective of how many residential properties are purchased.
You will also need to calculate the estimated stamp duty required to pay for your purchased Singapore property.
Moreover, US national or national and permanent residents of Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland do not require any ABSD.
Besides this, you will also be required to pay a Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) and Mortgage Duty if you buy property from the private or public housing market.
Also, note that you will also require to keep the legal fees and other administrative fees in mind.
Step 3: Go through PropertyGuru’s listings.
You can also go through PropertyGuru’s listing in order to check resale HDB flats, private condos, executed condominiums, and new private property that suit your budget and location.
Step 4: Hire an agent.
You can also take the help of the agent to get the best property deals in Singapore. In addition, hiring a reliable agent can help you settle all the property-related paperwork, do all the financials calculations and other related formalities.
Step 5: Request for a bank loan.
Foreigners are eligible to apply for bank loans in Singapore. You can receive the 75% of the financing on the property’s price when buying property for the first time, and for a second and further purchase, you will get financing up to 55% of the purchase price.
The interest rate of the bank loan keeps on fluctuating from time to time which means it might go higher or lower.
Also, the Singapore banks are very strict about receiving the repayment of the issued loan, and the bank agents will not think twice before visiting your house to receive the outdated payments.
Yes, it is suggested to keep aside the savings of at least 12 months for repaying the loan issued.
Step 6: Make an offer and seal the deal.
After you have decided to purchase your dream property in Singapore, now it’s time accept and close the deal.
For sealing the deal for HDB flats, you will require to sign in to the HDB resale portal using your SingPass account.
You can also check the resale process by visiting HDB’s official website.
In order to close the deal for condominiums, you will require paying the 1% option fee of the purchase price, securing the financing, and paying the remaining option fee of 4% percent within a month.
After that, you will be required to pay the down payment of 15% either in cash or the central Provident fund for Singapore permanent residents.
Foreigners who are willing to buy property in Singapore are required to pay the amount in cash.
Restrictions on foreigners for buying property in Singapore
There are several restrictions on foreigners when looking to purchase a landed property on the main island of Singapore.
However, a foreigner will require writing to the land dealings approval unit when deciding to buy any of the following properties in Singapore:
- Vacant residential land
- Terrace house
- Semi-detached house
- Bungalow/detached house
- Strata landed house which is not under an approved condominium development as per the Planning Act (e.g. townhouse or cluster house)
- Shophouse (for non-commercial use)
The approval is done on a case-by-case basis.
The chance of buying property in Singapore increases if applicants prove that they have made an exceptional economic contribution to Singapore.
More FAQs Related to Can Foreigners Buy Property in Singapore
Can Foreigners purchase Resale HDB flat in Singapore?
No, generally, a Singapore permanent resident only has the facility to buy a resale HDB flat with another Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident as per the two schemes, i.e. the Public Scheme, which is for family (spouse, children, siblings, and parents) or the Fiance/Fiancee Scheme, for couples. Even Singapore permanent residents cannot buy HDB flats alone.
Can Foreigners get eligible for Home Loan in Singapore?
Yes, foreigners are granted to receive a home loan in Singapore. You can receive a loan up to 80% of the purchase price or value, whichever is less.
Can Foreigners get eligible to buy Freehold Properties?
Yes, foreigners are granted to purchase both freehold and leasehold private condos in Singapore, but they are required to pay the 20% Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD).
Can a foreigner buy cluster houses in Singapore?
The Singapore permanent resident and foreigners are granted to buy the cluster house in Singapore that is situated within the approved consolidation development as per the Singapore planning act. Additionally, there are certain restrictions related to purchasing the landed property. In that situation, you will only obtain approval from the land dealings (approval) unit if the house is not situated within the condo development. Obtaining approval will take up to 6 weeks.
Can foreigners buy freehold property in Singapore?
Obviously, all the foreigners are eligible to purchase both freehold and leasehold private properties in Singapore, provided they need to pay the additional buyers to stamp duty of 20%.
Can foreigners purchase the landed property in Singapore?
Singapore citizens or permanent residents are only granted to purchase the landed property in Singapore. Therefore, no foreigners are allowed to purchase a landed property like semi-detached houses, bungalows, and terrace houses. But, the foreigners are granted to buy the condominium. This means if you are not the local, you will need to first apply for permanent resident for a minimum of five years to get eligible to buy property in Singapore.
Can foreigners get a mortgage in Singapore?
Yes, foreigners are entitled to receive a mortgage in Singapore, but there are several things that they need to keep in mind.
The foreign is granted to get the 75% of the financing on the cost of the particular property when buying the first property and 55% for the second and following property.
Bank loans rates are kept on fluctuating means their rates suddenly rise or get low down.
In Singapore, banking authorities are very strict about accepting repayment from the customer, and they do not hesitate to visit your house for receiving the payment.
Additionally, you can refer to our Guide on Stamp Duty on Buying Property in Singapore to get familiar with all the details related to Stamp duty.
Can foreigners rent a condo in Singapore?
As a foreigner, there are no restrictions for you to rent a condo in Singapore. However, you do not require to pay any additional buyer stamp duty if you decide to rent out your condo unit.
Is rental income taxable in Singapore?
The rent you obtain from providing the land on rent will be subjected to income tax. In addition, any income that you earn in Singapore will be taxable under the Singapore income tax act. This includes the investment’s payment or profit unless the particular investment scheme is specifically exempted under the income tax.
How is the tax on rental income calculated in Singapore?
You will be taxed rental income, calculated by determining the profit you have made, i.e., by adding all the rental income you have received in a particular year from several properties and then reducing all the rental income tax allowance, allowable expenses and relief.
Can a foreigner rent a property in Singapore?
The foreigner has been granted to rent property in Singapore as long as they fulfil the certain criteria to do so. One of the criteria that each foreigner needs to fulfil to rent a property in Singapore is to hold a long-term stay past that Ministry of manpower issues. Some of the certain passes are mentioned below:
- A valid employment pass
- Work permit such as an S-Pass
- A Student Pass
- A Dependent Pass
- A long-term social visit pass
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Now that you have read the above article, hope you get the complete details, that covered restrictions, eligibility, and the procedure to purchase property in Singapore. However, don’t miss any point as it’s a matter of purchasing property, even a single mistake and cost a big amount of money.
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