Foreigner Guide to Buying Singapore Property

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Anyone who is not a Singaporean citizen or a permanent resident of Singapore, or a non-Singaporean individual, is classified as foreigner. Residential land may be limited or non-restricted. For residential land possession, foreigners usually face further limitations and taxation.

Non-residential land, which encompasses certain forms of commercial property, may be purchased almost as easily by foreigners as residents. The Additional Buyers Stamp Duty (ABSD) is for example, not imposed on foreigners who acquire, claim, a factory or office building.


Property Type that can be owned by Foreigners

The following forms of residential property are non-restricted and may be purchased by foreigners (although international owners are also paid extra taxes):

  • Private condominium
  • Private apartment
  • Shophouse (for Commercial usage)
  • Strata Landed (within a condo)
  • Executive Condo after privatisation (after 10 years)


Property Type that need Approval prior Purchase by Foreigners

  • Empty Residential Land
  • Semi Detached
  • Bungalow
  • Terrace House
  • Shophouse (for non-commercial usage)
  • Place of workship
  • Association premises
  • Dormitory
  • Strata Landed not within a condo compound

There is however, exception tot this. Notice that Sentosa Cove is an exception, as the acquisition of landed property in the region is meant for foreigners. In just 48 hours, most foreigners get permission to buy the landed property of Sentosa Cove.


How to Get Approval for Buying Restricted Property?

In addition to being a Permanent Citizen, by providing “an acceptable economic contribution” to the Singaporean state and community, you will be able to gain permission.

Factors seen as contributions to the economy include:

  • History of Academic
  • Career Scope
  • Extend of investments in Singapore
  • Professional qualifications

You can apply and check the status of your application here.

Foreigner Property Tax

In addition to the regular duties, most foreigners incur, in the context of the Additional Buyers Stamp Duty (ABSD), an extra stamp duty. There is an extra tax of 25 percent of the price of your property. It is payable within two weeks of execution of the property’s Selling and Purchasing Agreement.

For US foreigners, or citizens and permanent citizens of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland, an exemption remains. You can pay the same tax rate as a resident of Singapore if you come into this group.

Notice that foreigners pay the same taxes as Singaporeans in addition to the ABSD, such as the Buyers Stamp Duty (BSD) or daily property taxes.


Inheritance and Capital Gain Tax

Great stuff! If you are international or local, there are none. Remember, though, that there is a Sellers Stamp Duty (SSD) directed at house-flipping avoidance. It applies only for three years, which concerns all foreigners and locals:

If you sell during the first year of purchase, the SSD is 12 percent of the property price, eight percent in the second year and four percent in the third year. As of the fourth year, there is no SSD.


What Next for You?

If you still looking to search for your dream home, you can start your search here.


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