Singapore is well known for its low crime rate, political stability, good corporate governance, efficiency in government departments, ease of starting a business, and low barrier to language communication. Another attractive part of Singapore is a stable and strong currency. Therefore, can foreigners buy properties in such a safe country like Singapore?
Singapore allows foreign investments here as well. So yes, foreigners can buy a house in Singapore but with restrictions. There are generally 2 types of subsidized housing in Singapore, namely HDB and EC (Executive condo which is privatized after 10 years). Foreigners can purchase EC only after 10 years.
For HDB, only Singaporeans or SPR can purchase them. If you are married and this is your first house, SPR has to pay ABSD for the first property. Likewise for foreigners, if foreigners married an SC and purchased their first property here, they will be subjected to ABSD. However, because its the first home, matrimonial home, the couples can apply for ABSD remission.
For EC, SPR can purchase them after 5years or more. For foreigners, they have to wait for the EC to fully privatized before they are allowed to purchase it. EC will fully privatize after 10 years.
When it comes to private properties, foreigners can own as many properties as they want. There is no limit to the purchases. There are 2 types of private properties, strata, and non-strata. Strata titled properties usually refer to condos, apartments, and cluster housing with condo facilities. Non strata-titled properties will usually be landed properties.
As of right now, foreigners can purchase condos on any part of Singapore. As for landed properties without approval, they can purchase them on Sentosa island. Condo comes with communal facilities such as gym, tennis courts, bbq pits, function rooms, and wading pools. If you require such facilities, you can consider a condo. However, if you require such facilities and need a large housing area, you might just want to look at cluster houses. Cluster Houses are landed houses in a condominium, coupled with facilities.
For foreigners who insist on purchasing landed properties in the mainland of Singapore, there will be some restrictions. You will need to write to LDAU (land dealings approval unit) with regards to the following type of property:
- Terrace House
- Semi-Detached House
- Bungalow / Detached house
- Strata house that is not under the Planning act
- Shophouses (non-commercial use – you can check land use on URA master plan)
- Vacant land
Application is on a case by case basis and usually stands a higher chance if you can prove that you have made a significant contribution to Singapore’s economy.
Knowing the estimated property prices in Singapore will be essential for planning your financials.
There is no restrictions for foreigners to purchase commercial properties in Singapore. Commercial properties will include shops, hotels, offices, shopping malls, etc.
conclusion – can foreigners buy properties?
Foreigners can purchase properties in Singapore but with restrictions. Depending on the type of properties, there might be ABSD incurred as well. Therefore, it is wise to have your property agent to do some homework for you before committing to any properties in Singapore.