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Ultimate Guide For Foreigners Buying Property in Singapore [2024]

Foreigner Buying Property Singapore

Best Foreigner Buying Property Singapore
Best Foreigner Buying Property Singapore

Welcome to our comprehensive guide designed to assist foreigners in navigating the complex yet rewarding journey of buying property in Singapore. The city-state’s robust housing market offers a wide spectrum of opportunities, including residential properties, approved condominium developments, and, under certain conditions, even landed residential property. Singapore’s real estate market is intricately regulated, and there are specific guidelines and requirements that foreigners must adhere to.

The best property agents for foreigners buying properties in Singapore are S.K.Yeo ERA, Savills Singapore, Coventry & Seah, PROPERTY LIM BROTHERS, and Ohmyhome.

One such requirement is obtaining permission from the Land Dealings Approval Unit (LDAU) when purchasing certain types of properties. This guide aims not only to provide an overview of the process but also to de-mystify the regulations, making the path to owning properties in Singapore a little less daunting. So, let’s embark on this property journey together!

Quick Summary

  • Best property agents for foreigners buying properties in Singapore are S.K.Yeo ERA, Savills Singapore, Coventry & Seah, PROPERTY LIM BROTHERS, and Ohmyhome.
  • When a foreigner is buying property in Singapore, it’s crucial to factor in the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), restrictions on the type of properties that can be purchased, and the necessity for approval from the Land Dealings Approval Unit (LDAU) in some cases.
  • The process of a foreigner buying property in Singapore, although complex due to regulatory measures, can be greatly facilitated by engaging reputable property agents, understanding the various costs involved such as the ABSD, and adhering to all guidelines for property types and necessary approvals.

Who’s Considered a Foreigner?

When it comes to buying properties in Singapore…, a foreigner refers to anyone who is not a Singaporean citizen or a Permanent Resident (PR). This includes individuals holding employment pass, dependent pass, or any other kind of long-term visit pass. But don’t worry, being a foreigner doesn’t prevent you from being able to own properties in Singapore, though there are some regulations you need to be aware of.

Key Considerations

  • Residential Property Act (RPA): This act closely regulates the purchase of land and properties in Singapore by foreigners. Familiarize yourself with its provisions to avoid any legal hassles.
  • Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD): Foreign buyers are required to pay an ABSD of 20% on top of the standard buyer’s stamp duty, which is calculated based on the property’s market value.
  • Loan Restrictions: As a foreigner, you may face stringent loan restrictions. Typically, you can only borrow up to 75% of the property price.
  • Property Type: Foreigners are only allowed to purchase certain types of properties, like condominium units and strata landed houses within approved condominium developments.
  • Legal Assistance: Engage a legal professional to help you navigate the intricacies of Singapore property laws and ensure a smooth transaction.
  • Maintenance Costs: Owning properties in Singapore also means dealing with costs like property taxes, maintenance fees, and insurance. Make sure you plan for these expenses.
  • Property Agents: It can be helpful to engage a reliable property agent who is familiar with the process and can guide you through your property purchase journey in Singapore.

Foreigner Restrictions for Buying Private Property in Singapore

  • Type of Properties: As a foreigner, you are only allowed to buy condominium units, flats in buildings with six levels or more, and strata landed houses in approved condominium developments. Buying landed properties, HDB flats, and Executive Condominiums (ECs) are usually off-limits to foreigners.
  • Leasehold vs Freehold: Foreigners can only buy leasehold properties, not freehold. This means you can only own the property for a certain number of years (99, 999, or as specified in the lease agreement).
  • Approval from Government: All foreign buyers must receive approval from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) before purchasing restricted properties like landed houses. The process may take up to three months, and approval is not guaranteed.
  • Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD): Foreigners have to pay an ABSD of 20% on the purchase price or market value of the property, whichever is higher. This is in addition to the standard Buyer’s Stamp Duty.
  • Financing: Foreigners are typically allowed to borrow a maximum of 75% of the purchase price or valuation (whichever is lower) from a financial institution in Singapore. The rest must be financed through personal funds.
  • Maintenance Costs: Be aware that owning properties in Singapore comes with various costs such as property taxes, monthly maintenance fees, and insurance. These costs can add up and should be factored into your budget.

Best Property Agent for Foreigners Buying Properties in Singapore

1. S.K.Yeo ERA

S.K.Yeo ERA - Foreigner Buying Property Singapore (Credit: S.K.Yeo ERA)
(Credit: S.K.Yeo ERA)
Key ServicesReal Estate / Property Agents
Address142 Rivervale Cres, #08-02, Singapore 540142
Websitehttps://sengkangtopunggol.sg/
Phone+65 93667373
+65 93639538
Operating HoursMonday to Sunday: 7:30 am to 10:30 pm

S.K.Yeo ERA is a renowned property agency in Singapore with a dedicated team that specializes in assisting foreigners navigate the local real estate market. They’re known for their personalized services, deep understanding of foreign buyer regulations, and extensive portfolio of properties suitable for foreigners, making them an ideal choice for your property buying journey in Singapore.

Key Differentiators

  • Personalized Services
  • Regulation Expertise
  • Extensive Property Portfolio
  • Long-standing Reputation
  • Well-connected

2. Savills Singapore

Savills Singapore - Foreigner Buying Property Singapore (Credit: Savills Singapore)
(Credit: Savills Singapore)
Key ServicesResidential, Retail, Commercial and Industrial Leasings
Address30 Cecil Street #20-03 Prudential Tower Singapore, Singapore 049712
Websitehttps://www.savills.com.sg/
Phone+65 6836 6888
Operating HoursMonday to Friday, 8:30 am – 6:00 pm

Savills Singapore is a leading global property agency with a strong presence in Singapore, offering a wide range of real estate services including sales, leasing, and consultancy. Their experienced team is well-versed in the intricacies of the Singapore property market, providing invaluable assistance to foreigners looking to purchase property, and ensuring a seamless and successful transaction.

Key Differentiators

  • Global Presence
  • Variety of Services
  • Expert Team
  • Personalized Assistance
  • Successful Track Record

3. Coventry & Seah

Coventry & Seah - Foreigner Buying Property Singapore (Credit: Coventry & Seah)
(Credit: Coventry & Seah)
Key ServicesHouses, Condominiums, and Commercial Spaces
Address4 Pandan Valley, Singapore 597628
Websitehttp://csproperty.com.sg/
Phone+65 6465 0426 info@csproperty.com.sg
Operating HoursMonday to Friday, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Coventry & Seah is an esteemed real estate consultancy in Singapore, renowned for its exceptional customer service and a comprehensive understanding of property regulations for foreigners. With its extensive array of real estate services, including property purchase guidance, legal advice, and after-sale services, it provides an all-encompassing solution for foreigners seeking to buy properties in Singapore.

Key Differentiators

  • Exceptional Customer Service
  • Comprehensive Understanding of Regulations
  • Wide Array of Real Estate Services
  • Expert Guidance on Property Purchase
  • In-depth Legal Advice
  • Outstanding After-sale Services

4. PROPERTY LIM BROTHERS

PROPERTY LIM BROTHERS - Foreigner Buying Property Singapore (Credit: PROPERTY LIM BROTHERS)
(Credit: PROPERTY LIM BROTHERS)
Key ServicesVideo Home Tours Presentation, Social Media Marketing, Home Styling, Visualization, Digital Campaigns
AddressOxley Bizhub 2, 62 Ubi Rd 1 , Singapore 408734
Websitehttps://www.propertylimbrothers.com/
Phone+ 659067 6710
Operating Hours Open 24 hours

PROPERTY LIM BROTHERS is a distinguished real estate agency in Singapore, recognized for its innovative and customer-centric approach to property transactions. They offer personalized services and expert guidance on property regulations for foreigners, ensuring a stress-free and successful property buying experience in Singapore.

Key Differentiators

  • Innovative Approach
  • Customer-Centric Services
  • Personalized Guidance
  • Expertise in Foreign Property Regulations
  • Stress-Free Transaction
  • Successful Buying Experience

5. Ohmyhome

Ohmyhome - Foreigner Buying Property Singapore (Credit: Ohmyhome)
(Credit: Ohmyhome)
Key ServicesAgent and DIY Services for HDB and Private Properties, Home Renovation, Advisory, Relocation, and many more.
Address11 Lorong 3 Toa Payoh, Jackson Square Proptech Innovation Centre Block B, #04-17, Singapore 319579
Websitehttps://ohmyhome.com/
Phone+65 6886 9009
Emailhelp@ohmyhome.com
Operating HoursMonday to Sunday, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm

Ohmyhome is a revolutionary real estate platform based in Singapore that simplifies the property transaction process, making it seamless and efficient for foreigners looking to buy property. With its user-friendly interface, dedicated team of professionals, and comprehensive suite of services, it provides an all-in-one solution for every real estate need, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free property buying journey.

Key Differentiators

  • User-Friendly Platform
  • Dedicated Professional Team
  • Comprehensive Real Estate Services
  • All-in-One Solution for Real Estate Needs
  • Seamless and Efficient Transaction Process
  • Hassle-Free Property Buying Experience

Procedures for Buying Property in Singapore

  • Engaging a Property Agent: While not compulsory, having a reliable property agent can greatly simplify the process of buying properties in Singapore. They know the market, understand the laws, and can assist with negotiations.
  • Pre-Approval of Bank Loan: Before starting your property hunt, it’s wise to get a bank loan pre-approval. This gives you a clear idea of your budget and strengthens your bargaining power.
  • Searching for Property: Once you have your budget, you can start hunting for properties that match your criteria. Websites, property portals, and your agent are useful resources for this.
  • Option to Purchase (OTP): Once you choose a property, the seller will grant an Option to Purchase. You’ll need to pay an option fee (usually 1% of the purchase price) to secure this.
  • Exercise the OTP: You have 14 days to exercise the OTP by signing it and paying the remaining down payment (usually 4% of the purchase price).
  • Sales and Purchase Agreement: This contract details the terms and conditions of the property sale. It must be signed within three weeks of exercising the OTP.
  • Paying the Stamp Duty: After signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement, you have 14 days to pay the Buyer’s Stamp Duty and Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty.
  • Apply for Bank Loan: If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to apply for a bank loan. Be prepared to pay at least 25% of the purchase price upfront, as banks usually only loan 75%.
  • Completion: Once your bank loan is approved, you’ll sign the mortgage documents, and the bank will disburse the loan to the seller. The property is officially yours!
  • Post-Completion: After you’ve bought the property, remember to budget for annual property tax, monthly maintenance fees, fire insurance, and other regular costs.

Eligibility for Foreigners Buying Property in Singapore

  • Age: The buyer must be at least 21 years old.
  • Bankruptcy: The buyer should not be bankrupt.
  • Residential Status: No specific residential status is required. Foreigners, regardless of their type of pass or permit, can purchase properties in Singapore.
  • Financial Capacity: The buyer must prove that they have sufficient funds to cover the down payment and ongoing costs, including the additional stamp duties.
  • Approval from the Government: If the property falls under the restricted category, the buyer must obtain approval from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).
  • No Property Ownership Limit: Foreigners are not limited to owning just one property in Singapore. They can purchase more than one, as long as they comply with all the regulations.
  • No Outstanding Taxes: The buyer should not have any outstanding property taxes in Singapore.

Buying Private Property as a Singaporean-Foreigner Couple

  • Eligibility: As a Singaporean-foreigner couple, you can purchase any type of private property, including landed properties and condominiums.
  • Financing: You may be eligible for a higher loan-to-value ratio (up to 80%) if either partner is a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident. This could potentially mean a lower down payment.
  • Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD): As a mixed couple, the ABSD rate will depend on the higher rate between the two. If the Singaporean partner is a first-time buyer, the couple may be exempted from paying ABSD. However, if the Singaporean partner owns other properties, the applicable ABSD rate (12% or 15%) will apply.
  • Joint Tenancy vs Tenancy-in-Common: The property can be held either as a Joint Tenancy, where the property is owned equally, or as Tenancy-in-Common, where each partner can hold different shares of the property. This choice could have significant implications for property rights and inheritance.
  • Property Agent: Engaging a property agent who is experienced in assisting Singaporean-foreigner couples can be beneficial. They can provide guidance tailored to your unique situation.

Remember, property purchase is a significant commitment. It’s crucial to thoroughly understand the regulations, costs, and potential pitfalls before proceeding.

Foreigner Buying Property Singapore

Buying properties in Singapore as a foreigner is a plausible venture, albeit with some conditions and additional costs to consider. You can opt for an approved condominium development, which offers a straightforward route for foreigners to buy properties in Singapore. The intricate process, however, necessitates a comprehensive understanding of the local real estate market and Singapore’s property laws.

Partnering with a Singapore limited liability partnership can provide access to expert advice and make the process easier. Keep in mind that while the path may be filled with legal complexities and financial commitments, the outcome can be a valuable addition to your investment portfolio. Always remember to do thorough research, seek professional advice, and consider all financial aspects before making a purchase.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions about Foreigner Buying Property Singapore, you can refer to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) below:

What are the best property agents for foreigners buying properties in Singapore?

The best property agents for foreigners buying properties in Singapore are S.K.Yeo ERA, Savills Singapore, Coventry & Seah, PROPERTY LIM BROTHERS, and Ohmyhome.

What is the tax on foreigners buying property in Singapore?

In new measures that took effect April 27, foreigners will pay 60% tax on any residential purchase, while the rate for using an entity or a trust was raised to 65%, preventing any circumvention of the rules. The timing of the announcement comes ahead of a general election due by 2025.

Do you need to be a citizen to buy a house in Singapore?

Foreigners can purchase private properties such as private apartments and condominiums, but will need government approval to buy landed properties like bungalows. Foreigners can only buy Executive Condominiums (ECs) that are at least 10 years old. Foreigners cannot purchase HDB flats in Singapore.

Can foreigners own a condo in Singapore?

Can a foreigner buy a condo in Singapore? Under the Residential Property Act (Chapter 274) of the Singapore Law, foreigners are eligible to buy a condo in Singapore.

What are the regulations when foreigners buy property in Singapore?

Foreigners are eligible to buy certain types of property in Singapore, such as private apartments and condominiums. However, there are restrictions on the purchase of landed properties, such as bungalows and terrace houses, and HDB flats. For landed properties, foreigners need to get approval from the Singapore Land Authority. They cannot buy HDB flats.

Can Singapore Permanent Residents buy a strata landed house in Singapore?

Yes, Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) are allowed to buy a strata landed house in Singapore. However, they must first get approval from the Land Dealings (Approval) Unit. The application considers factors like economic contribution and the buyer’s profile, so it’s not a guaranteed approval.

What is a leasehold estate and can Singapore Permanent Residents buy one?

A leasehold estate is a type of property where the owner has the right to use the land for a set period, typically 99 years in Singapore. Once the lease period ends, ownership of the land reverts back to the state. Yes, Singapore Permanent Residents can buy leasehold estates, including both condominiums and landed properties (subject to approval).

What is the role of owning properties in Singapore society for foreigners and Singapore Permanent Residents?

Owning properties in Singapore is often seen as a sign of success and stability. For foreigners and Singapore Permanent Residents, buying property can be a way to establish a more permanent footing in the country. It can also be a good investment, as Singapore’s property market is known for its resilience and long-term growth potential. However, it’s important to understand the regulations and financial commitments involved.

Can a foreigners and a Singapore Permanent Resident buy strata landed properties in Singapore?

Foreigners and Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) can indeed buy strata landed properties in Singapore, but certain conditions apply. For foreigners, purchasing such properties requires specific approval from the Land Dealings (Approval) Unit. Singapore Permanent Residents, on the other hand, are generally allowed to buy strata landed houses but under some circumstances, they may also need to seek approval from the same authority. This is to ensure compliance with Singapore’s property ownership laws aimed at regulating foreign property ownership and maintaining the local character of residential neighborhoods.

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