The aim of this article is to explain the process of buying a residential property in Singapore. Everyone’s situation is different and there are many factors to take into consideration such as timing, budget, and location preferences but we hope that by keeping things simple we will give you enough information to get started on your property purchase journey.
How to buy a property in Singapore?
There are two ways of buying a property in Singapore. You can either buy from the developer or from the open market, through a private treaty.
Buying directly from a developer means that you will be restricted to whatever they have on offer and your choice is likely to be limited. When you buy from the open market, there are no limitations to what you can choose; however, it is not without its risks.
The key difference with buying directly from a developer like parc clematis is that they will be able to provide guidance on pricing strategy and most developers offer an allocated sales consultant who will liaise between the customers and the sales team. As most developers have a standard sales package, it means that there will be two to three options from which you can make your choice.
It is worth noting that the payment process for purchasing a house from a developer varies from project to project and some developers may ask for the initial payment before the Sales of Agreement is signed. If you buy directly from a developer, you will also have to pay other charges such as Stamp duty and legal fees, which are typically around 2% of the property value.
However, let’s have a look at the things you should consider before buying a property.
Determine the type of property you are looking for.
There are lots of different types of properties to choose from in Singapore and it is best to do your research before you start looking around. For example, if you want something older with character then you might not find what you’re looking for in a new development.
It is always better to set yourself a budget and be realistic about the size that you need. It is common for people to buy something that is too small and then realize they have missed out on some important features or given themselves very few options when it comes to furniture.
You should also consider the location, if you work in an office tower in Raffles Place then you might not want to live off Bukit Timah Road. On the other hand, if you have a car then living further away from the city center means that you will have more greenery and less noise.
Find out about common charges in Singapore
There are a number of additional costs to take into account before buying a property in Singapore. This includes service and conservancy charges which can be up to $300 per month and also Stamp duty which will be between 1% and 3%. You can expect to pay around 2% of the purchase price. If you are paying stamp duty on an additional property then this will need to be paid again.
What should I look for when viewing a property?
When you go to see a potential property, you should look at it in detail and see if anything needs to be repaired or replaced. You will also need to ask yourself what you don’t like about the property. Even if your favorite feature is a pool, this might not suit the lifestyle you want after owning a home for some time; however, an aircon unit that isn’t working properly could be more of an issue.
Make sure you take time to speak with the developer or agent and find out any restrictions that will apply. For example, if you like to keep pets then some developments might restrict your furry friends from residing there. You should also ask about parking as this can sometimes come at a price. How much does it cost to buy a house in Singapore?
There are many different factors that can affect the price of a property here. A studio apartment might sell for less because it won’t have the same potential to increase in value or generate rental income. The location will also be one of the main causes, if you buy an old building then your investment may not rise in value like a modern development.
There are several different agencies that provide residential property statistics in Singapore and they can be used to determine how much you should expect to pay for your perfect home. These include the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) which provides information on resale properties, HDB which supplies data on its developments, and the Business Times who publish a quarterly review of the property market.
You might have missed the opportunity to buy a property at a bargain price as Singapore’s housing market is now on the up, but you can still find something that fits your lifestyle and budget. The key is to do your homework and make sure you know what you need before going out to find a home.