Guide to Buying Singapore Property as a Foreigner

· Buying A Property

Buying A Property

A Guide For Foreigners

A foreign person means any person who is not a:

Singapore citizen

Singapore company

Singapore limited liability partnership

Singapore society

Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) are also considered foreign persons.

What can properties can foreigners buy?

In general, foreigners can buy commercial and industrial properties, and residential properties except landed residences.

A foreign person can purchase the following types of properties without special approval from the Land Dealings Approval Unit of Singapore Land Authority:

Condominium unit

Flat unit

Strata landed house in an approved condominium development

A leasehold estate in a landed residential property for a term not exceeding 7 years, including any further term which may be granted by way of an option for renewal

Shophouse (for commercial use)

Industrial and commercial properties

Hotel (registered under the provisions of the Hotels Act)

Executive condominium unit, HDB flat and HDB shophouse

A foreign person will require approval from the Land Dealings Approval Unit of Singapore Land Authority before they can purchase the following types of properties:

Vacant residential land

Terrace house

Semi-detached house

Bungalow/detached house

Strata landed house which is not within an approved condominium development under the Planning Act (eg. townhouse or cluster house)

Shophouse (for non-commercial use)

Association premises

Place of worship

Worker’s dormitory/service apartments/boarding house (not registered under the provisions of the Hotels Act)

Permanent Residents buying resale HDB flats

SPRs are eligible to buy HDB flats on the resale market, subject to the HDB Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) and SPR quota.

The Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) helps to maintain a good ethnic mix in HDB estates, thereby helping to promote racial integration and harmony. It applies to all HDB flats.

The Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) quota was implemented to better integrate SPR families into the local community. Malaysians are excluded from this quota because of their close cultural and historical similarities with Singaporeans.

Buyers need to ensure that they are within the EIP proportion for the block/ neighbourhood, and if applicable, the SPR quota as well.

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SPRs are also eligible to buy Executive Condominiums (EC) from the resale market.

Procedure for purchase of resale HDB flat and resale EC

HDB resale guide

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is payable on the purchase of all properties, within 14 days from the date of exercise of the Option to Purchase (OTP) for completed properties and within 14 days from the date of the Sale and Purchase agreement (S&P).

Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) is computed based on the purchase price or market value of the property, whichever is higher

Buyer needs to pay BSD of 1% on the first $180,000, 2% on the next $180,000 and 3% on the remaining amount of the purchase price

The Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) depends on the buyer’s residency status and number of residential properties owned

ABSD only applies to residential properties

Singapore Permanent Residents need to pay 5% ABSD for the purchase of a first residential property and 10% ABSD for the second and subsequent residential property

Foreigners need to pay a 15% ABSD for any residential property purchased

Nationals and Permanent Residents of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland; and Nationals of the USA are accorded the same ABSD rates as Singapore citizens

Singapore citizens need to pay 7% ABSD for the purchase of a second residential property and 10% ABSD for the third and subsequent residential property


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Should you be thinking of selling, or would simply like an update of where your property sits in today's market, book a non-obligatory discussion with one of our TemasekClass consultants.