If you are an expat currently living in Singapore, or hoping to relocate to the island nation and make a fresh start for yourself, you may want to buy property – either as an investment or to reside in yourself. .
Foreigners have the ability to purchase a number of property types in Singapore, including the majority of condominiums, executive condos that are at least ten years old, and landed houses on the popular tourist island of Sentosa.
However, there are a number of aspects of local property that you need to familiarize yourself with before you start looking for the perfect property in Singapore. Read on to find out what they are and find out how to get started in the world of Singaporean real estate.
But first, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why Singapore is such a popular option for foreigners looking to buy overseas property.
Why buy in Singapore?
One of the main reasons why so many foreigners buy property in Singapore is the low tax rate and no capital gains tax.
Additionally, Singapore is known for its stable economy and government, not to mention a positive and encouraging business environment that rewards effort and innovation. This makes buying property in the country a less risky investment than in other regions that are more susceptible to economic peaks and troughs or political discord.
Things to consider
Now that we’ve established why you might be keen on investing in real estate in Singapore, let’s dive deeper into the important things you need to know before you start house hunting.
Certain types of property are prohibited
Although you have a whole range of property investments to consider – particularly if you want to buy a condo – some properties are off-limits to anyone who is not a Singaporean citizen.
These include younger executive condos and HDB apartments. In addition, permanent residents are permitted to apply to the Singapore Land Authority for the right to purchase a landed house, although they will need to meet certain conditions to do so, including being able to prove that they are making financial contributions. in the country.
You can get a mortgage to pay for your property
If you have the initial capital to buy a property in its entirety, you are in a privileged position. However, if you do not have a large sum, but still want to buy real estate in Singapore, you can apply for a home loan.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options available to suit different budgets and circumstances, so it shouldn’t be difficult for you to find the best Singapore home loan for your unique situation.
Before committing to any particular loan, however, it’s important to do your homework and consult with local financial experts to find a package that’s right for you. For example, you need to think carefully about whether you prefer to opt for a variable interest rate or a fixed rate loan. You can also take into account any free conversions and whether a redemption waiver will need to be paid if the property is sold during the lock-up period.
Find the perfect place
When you buy a property in Singapore, you will have to pay a number of additional fees and taxes on top of your home loan.
These are in addition to the normal stamp duty of the permanent Singapore resident buyer and increase to 5% on all subsequent properties. If you are not an SPR, however, this stamp duty will be 15%, so you must ensure that you have the funds to pay this amount. There may also be additional payments including legal fees you may have incurred as part of the purchase process.
Find the perfect place
As for what type of property to buy – and where – it will depend on your particular situation, your budget and how you intend to use the property. If you are residing at the property as an expat, with your family, you will likely be concerned about access to the best local schools and services.
On the other hand, if you’re buying as an investment, you may be more concerned about location. For example, properties in China Square will be priced much higher and therefore considered more valuable than properties in Jelebu, which is further from the heart of the city.
As a foreigner who may be vulnerable to potential scams, it is a good idea to hire the services of a qualified local lawyer, as well as a trustworthy real estate agent who can guide you through the process. Not only will they protect you against accidentally buying the wrong type of property, but they will also have a thorough understanding of the local market and the laws regarding buying property. As such, their advice will certainly be invaluable when looking for the perfect place for you.