Are Foreigners Allowed To Buy Property in Singapore?

Investing in property is considered the most popular way to grow your money in Singapore. Singapore is a tiny island with a growing population. Since the early ’70s, the Singapore government has had a hand in the property market, progressively imposing a series of restrictions on foreigners to buy property in Singapore. As a result, Singapore has limited property. That’s why such restrictions exist to keep property affordable.

When you live in Singapore with a permanent resident or are not a Singapore citizen, you are considered a foreigner. However, if you live in Singapore and want to have land owned by you, you can buy property. This article is for those who are thinking of buying a second home in Singapore. This article will help you to buy a house quickly.

Buy land in Singapore.

To buy property in Singapore, you need to get approval from the government as some restrictions are there for foreigners. You can apply for buying a house on Singapore Land Authority (SLA) website. According to the SLA website, you need to meet the following two requirements:

  • You should be a permanent resident for up to 5 years.
  • It would help if you made ‘significant contributions based on your income computable for tax in Singapore.

If you don’t follow this criterion, you can buy a non-landed property instead of buying a house or an apartment.

Types of property

If you are going to buy a property of your own, you should first think of which type of property you will buy, residential or non-residential property.

Residential property can be of two types, i.e., restricted or non-restricted. If you are a foreigner, then you may face some restrictions and taxes to own residential property. In comparison, non-residential property includes commercial property that can be owned by foreigners quickly.

Here are some types of non-restricted residential property that foreigners can own, followed by some additional taxes:

  • Condo unit
  • Flat unit
  • Strata landed home (approved by condominium department)
  • Shophouse for commercial use
  • Executive condo unit

Here are some types of restricted residential property types that foreigners can buy by taking permission from the government of Singapore:

  • Vacant residential land
  • Terrace house
  • Semi-detached house
  • Bungalow
  • Strata landed house (not approved by condo development under the planning act)
  • Shophouse for non-commercial use
  • Association premises
  • Place of worship
  • Serviced apartment

How to get approval?

Despite having a permanent resident in Singapore, you need to have an adequate economic contribution to the state and society to get approval from the Singapore government quickly.

The factors that are viewed as an economic contribution:

  • Academic background
  • Technical or professional qualifications
  • Career scope
  • History of investments in Singapore

Instead of these, some more taxes are applied on foreigners for buying property. They need to pay Additional Buyers Stamp Duty (ABSD) as an added stamp duty. ABSD is another tax applied on the property; this tax is 25% of your property price. This could be paid within two weeks of completing the process as per the Sale and Purchase Agreement on the property.