The process of buying property for foreigners in Singapore is a complex one, and so it is important to prepare yourself and understand what you are getting into. Since there are so many considerations for foreigners to make when purchasing a property, it can be difficult to know where to begin. For those who are unfamiliar with how the process works, here is a brief overview of the types of properties, taxes payable, and the steps to take for foreigner home-buying decisions in Singapore.
What Type of Properties can Foreigners Buy in Singapore?
Foreigners can purchase condominiums, leasehold apartments, cluster houses and town houses in Singapore. Condominiums are similar to apartments, but they come with more facilities and security. They are usually freehold or leasehold, but there are also some condos that are freehold-conditional on a 99-year lease.
Cluster Houses are a relatively new housing type in Singapore that provide more space and privacy than a typical HDB flat. Cluster Houses are typically built on the site of a previous HDB block and offer 3 to 5 storeys with car parks at the ground level or basement. The first cluster house in Singapore was built in 2015 by Sim Lian Group at Serangoon North Avenue 1. Townhouses, on the other hand, are usually a combination of two or more storeys and sometimes one or two basement storeys, with private backyards. They are usually found within a condominium compound.
Taxes Payable by Foreigner when Purchasing a Property in Singapore
There are different taxes imposed on foreigners when they purchase property in Singapore. One tax is the Property Tax, which is usually about 0% to 20%, depending on the annual value (AV) of the property. Other common taxes include the Buyer Stamp Duty, Seller Stamp Duty and the Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD). The ABSD is a whopping 20% for foreigners looking to purchase a property in Singapore.
How to Search for the Right Property in Singapore
Finding a suitable property listing in Singapore as a foreigner can be difficult. As such, it is recommended that you take sufficient time when looking for properties so that you get the best deal possible. There are many ways to search for a property in Singapore. You can use online databases such as Housing.com and 99.co, check out an agent’s website, or even download an app on their phone like PropertyGuru Singapore or 99Homes SG Propspectus App. The best way to search is through an app because it allows you to find properties within your price range and gives you information about what amenities are nearby and what kind of environment is in the area from other users who have interacted with that listing before.
Steps to Buy a Property in Singapore as a Foreigner
1) After you have searched for suitable properties that foreigners can buy, view the available property listings, select the properties that suit your needs and budget, and request for a viewing appointment on the selected properties with the developer or agent.
2) Visit the selected property with your spouse or a family member to take a closer look and decide if you like it before making an offer to buy it.
3) Once you have determined the property to buy, make an offer to purchase the property by providing information about yourself, such as your financial capacity, occupation, income level, so that you can get pre-approved for a mortgage loan from banks or other financial institutions, before submitting your final offer of purchase.
And there you have it, the process for a foreigner to buy a property in Singapore – from determining the type of properties foreigners are eligible to purchase and the taxes payable, to searching for your dream property and finally buying it. But if you would like more comprehensive details, complete with video, text and infographics, then check out this post, Buying Property in Singapore as a Foreigner – What You Need To Know.