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Buying a Property in Singapore

Buying a Property in Singapore

For those planning to move to Singapore, buying a property is a better choice than renting one. However, before purchasing real estate in Singapore it is best to verify the current legislation in order to make sure there are no restrictions. According to the Residential Property Act of 1973, there are certain restrictions for foreign individuals looking to purchase a property in Singapore.

These rules apply to both temporary and permanent residents in Singapore. Vacant land for residential purposes, landed properties and property in housing developments cannot be purchased by foreign individuals residing in Singapore.

Our specialists can offer information on the requirements imposed to foreign citizens buying properties in the city-state and can also help them open a company in Singapore, in case they are interested in starting a business in this city-state.

The video below shows the main steps to buy a property in Singapore:

Types of properties which can be purchased in Singapore

Singapore is a unique country from the point of view of the real estate market. This is because, both local and foreign residents are allowed choose among the types of properties acknowledged by the Housing Development Board (HDB). Real estate properties in Singapore are categorized as:

  • –       public properties – houses and apartments – developed by the HDB;
  • –       public-private hybrid real estate;
  • –       private residential real estate;
  • –       landed real estate properties.

Foreigners are allowed to purchase condominiums and apartments on the private real estate market in Singapore, but public housing purchases are subject to the Housing Development Board regulations. For example, public-private hybrid houses and apartments can be bought by foreign citizens living in Singapore after 10 years from the construction of the property.

Also, before buying a property in Singapore, foreign individuals may be required to apply for permission with the Land Dealings Approval Unit.

What are the steps for purchasing a property in Singapore?

Provided that all the legal requirements are met, the first step when purchasing a property in Singapore will be to choose the appropriate property and then contact the seller or the real estate agent and agree on the price. In order to buy a property in Singapore you will be required to appeal to the services of a lawyer. Corporate entities may request the services of company formation experts in Singapore who will draft the Option to Purchase agreement. Based on this agreement, one has exclusive rights to buy the property, but 10% of the property price must be paid when signing de agreement. The following step will be the transfer of the property and the payment of the remaining amount of money. Following the transfer of property, the new owner should file for property tax.

Purchasing a property under the Global Investor Program in Singapore

Foreign investors interested in moving to Singapore can buy a property under the Global Investor Program which comes with certain benefits. One of these benefits is the possibility of acquiring the permanent residence permit in Singapore.

In order to be considered for the program, a foreign citizen must invest at least 2 million SGD by opening a company in Singapore, by injecting the amount in an investment fund. However, the program is also destined to those buying a property in Singapore worth at least 1 million SGD. However, foreign investors must comply with the provisions of the Residential Property Law.

Our Singapore company formation advisors can offer full information on how to buy a property through the Global Investor Program. Our team can also help businessmen in other corporate matters, from assistance in opening branch offices to even company liquidation services in Singapore.

What are the taxes when buying a property in Singapore?

When purchasing real estate, one must also take into account the taxes they are subject to in Singapore. The first taxes will be levied when first buying the property and these include the VAT tax, which is 18%, the stamp duty that can rise up to 3% depending on the value of the Singapore property and the registration fees for ownership transfer.

After the registration for property taxes, the new owner must calculate the annual property tax that is established taking into account the estimated annual rental value. The property tax rate is progressive and ranges between 10%-20%.

For real estate due diligence procedures, you can contact our consultants in company registration in Singapore.