If you’re a foreigner to Singapore, there are a few things you need to know about the housing market in the country. The Residential Property Act governs much of the purchasing abilities of buyers. There are restrictions regulated by this law to impose thresholds on buyers who don’t live in Singapore as a permanent resident.
The government of Singapore favours its citizens when it comes to buying and renting property. Since the area is tiny, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for landed buildings, which is why there are so many condo buildings. It increases the amount of residents that can live in a block of housing units. While there are plenty of restrictions, there is still a chance for non-residents to buy Singapore property.
Residential and Non-Residential
These two types of properties will influence whether you can buy house for sale in Singapore as a foreigner. If you’re looking to buy a property that is categorized with the tag of non-residential, you wouldn’t have to worry about being a foreigner to purchase it.
If the property is restricted residential property, you’ll need approval from the government. This is typically true of landed property in Singapore, which includes bungalows, terrace houses and semi-detached dwellings.
Your dream of buying a landed property in Singapore doesn’t have to end because you need approval. Those foreigners with permanent resident status can be allowed to purchase landed property. The government also looks at the person’s economic contribution and history with the country. Education and profession has a lot of influence with the government.
When you’re not considered a citizen, you’ll need to get approval for the purchase of landed property from the Controller of Residential Property as well as the Singapore Land Authority.
Before searching for the home you want, you’ll need to get an Approval-in-Principle from your bank. This AIP lasts for six months, but you can renew it when you need to show it to the sellers. Without an AIP, many sellers won’t accept the next step in the process, which is the Option to Purchase.
Duties and Fees
Aside from the cost of the home, there will be other costs like the stamp duty that has to be paid. There is the buyer’s stamp duty as well as the additional buyer’s stamp duty. The buyer’s stamp duty is 3 percent of the cost of the home. Foreigners are taxed the additional buyer’s stamp duty for any residential property that they purchase. There’s also property tax to be paid. Along with the stamp duties, there are fees to be paid to the government for your application too.
Buying landed property can be a long process, but it’s entirely possible for non-residents to be approved for housing in Singapore. It helps when you know the process and what to expect from the fees to the approval time, which can take up to three months.