Tips on Buying Real estate in Singapore


One of the wisest decisions you could make is to buy real estate. It’s one of the most vital and valuable assets one could own. You can live in it, or, rent it out for income. And, if the market is doing well, you could reap really impressive returns on your investment.

But, as you know, each environment has its peculiarities. What works in country A, may be illegal in country B, and there are certain intricacies, which could lead to substantial gains or loss, one ought to pay attention to, too. So, below we’d explore a few of the most vital information about buying real estate in Singapore.

1. Until 2005 the Residential Property Act restricted foreigners from buying property in Singapore. It was amended in this year. Now, you can buy apartments in condominiums of less than six levels. And, the good news is that you don’t need prior approval.

2. Some properties such as bungalows, land, terraced and semi-detached houses are restricted. You would need prior approval from the Singapore Land Authority before you can buy.

3. To get approval, you’d need to submit pertinent documents such as entry and re-entry permits, and an application to:

Land Dealings (Approval) Unit
No. 8 Shenton Way,
#27-02 Temasek Tower,
Singapore 068811

And, the application form can be downloaded at the link below:

4. More than eighty percent of Singaporeans live in apartments built by the Housing Development Board (HDB). Housing Development Estates are usually composed of self-contained units and are filled with the requisite amenities such as sports centers, school, clinics, food centers and supermarkets. The living room in such apartments is regarded as a room. They also tend to live in executive condos such as the Rivercove Residences at Sengkang.

5. There is a Global Investor Programme through which foreigners can be considered as permanent residents if they have invested about $2 million in the country’s economy. Up to 50% of this investment can be in private residential properties, subject to certain restrictions under the Residential Property Act.

6. Ideally, you should engage a Realtor. They know the terrain and all the legal requirements. You only need one agent, because most of them leverage a single database, and would most probably be showing you the same property. Choosing a realtor from a reputable firm is one of the most important factors. Naturally, the realtor gets a commission.

7. Be mindful of the location, as it relates to your purpose for the property: do you want to live in it, or do you want to use it as an investment. If it is intended as an investment, the prime districts are your best bet, and, to live in, go for the suburbs.

8. You can secure a loan of 80% to finance the purchase of the property. Ensure that you have documents relating to the valuation of the property.

9. Stamp Duty would be paid on the property. Your realtor would guide you on the appropriate rate for the type of property you intend to buy.

10. Arrange to inspect the property. For HDB flats, the staff of the organization can help you with the inspection.

The points above are some of the most vital you need to keep in mind. Make sure you study the contract and engage a lawyer before you sign the dotted lines.