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How much will it Cost to Buy Real Estate in Singapore?

A first home will definitely be the most important purchase most of us will make. So how much it costs to buy a property in Singapore and what would be the total cost to complete a real estate deal? Let’s give you a brief idea about this.

Real Estate in Singapore

Average Prices:

Many believe the real estate market in Singapore is one of the most expensive ones in the world. That’s why initially it would look very difficult to find a good property at a reasonable price in this Southeast Asian city. But the good news is, despite the real estate prices in Singapore are falling they are enjoying a pick time since 2013. So, if you want to buy a property here, it’s the perfect time to strike the deal.

But you have to keep in mind several hidden costs are there behind every successful real estate deal. The most important three are the following:

  1. The purchase price
  2. The cost of a bank loan
  3. Homeowners insurance

The purchase price will be the paying one when buying, but the cost of bank loan and homeowners insurance will follow significantly after the purchase. Here we have tried to break down each of the three costs.

The Purchase Price:

  • Most of the properties in Singapore are sold for between S$400 per square foot and S$2,000 per square foot. In case of landed property (real estate with land ownership), the price will be the most while apartments, without any land ownership, can be bought for around S$400 per square foot.
  • An HDB apartment of 462 square foot including one bedroom and one bathroom will cost around S$200,000. But if you have a family of four members this is too small, a larger house with more bedrooms will be the best option for you. In case of landed properties with 3 bedrooms, the starting price will be S$300,000.

The Cost Of A Bank Loan:

  • Most of us don’t have S$300,000 in the bank account ready to be used anytime. So, people looking to buy real estate properties prefer a bank loan. What are the best home loans in Singapore? Recent market research states that most people pay between 0.72% and 1.59% per year for a 30-year mortgage.
  • For a 30-year home loan at 1.59% will cost you S$12,576 in principle along with interest each year. Over the entire time span of your loan, the cost would climb up to S$377,412. Keep in mind the property in this example costs S$300,000. You have to pay an extra S$77,412 in interest payments if you go for a bank loan.

Homeowners Insurance:

  • If the property you have bought is financed through the bank, there is a strong possibility that the bank will need you to have homeowners insurance. There have been many previous cases where the bank held this insurance and charged the consumer a monthly fee. The bank demands this insurance as technically they own the property you have bought. In case of a house fire or even a flood, you would lose the entire value of the home; it leaves the bank without any collateral to support the home loan.
  • Even if you decide to self-finance while purchasing a property in Singapore, homeowner’s insurance could become a wise decision in the future. You have to remember that a homeowner’s insurance most of the time will cover items within the house apart from the fixtures, walls, and windows.

How to Buy Real Estate in Singapore

Since the early 90’s, Singapore has developed itself as one of the most famous destination, if you are looking for property investment. Stats say most of the people who have invested their money in Singapore property in the past have actually tripled their wealth. One of the most significant questions an investor can ask is, are the foreigners allowed to buy property in this hottest Southeast Asian city? The answer is yes, a foreigner can purchase a property in Singapore, but there are some restrictions.

Real Estate in Singapore

Non-restricted residential properties:

Foreigners are allowed to buy:

  1. Constructions that are approved as a condominium development under the Planning Act
  2. A flat in a 6 level- building or even more with the ground level and level below the ground level that host HUDC Phase I, Phase II flats and private HUDC Phase III and IV flats.
  3. Leasehold estate in a residential property that is restricted for a term which doesn’t exceed 7 years and if it is granted a renewal option.
  4. Restricted residential properties

Foreigners are not allowed to purchase:

  1. A vacant land.
  2. Residential properties with land like bungalows, terrace homes, houses that are semi-detached.
  3. A residential property of a building that has less than 6 levels.

Some other restricted properties:

  1. HDB (Housing & Development Board) Shophouse
  2. HDB flat if it is purchased directly from HDB
  3. Resale of an HDB flat although HDB has consented to the sale
  4. Executive Condominium purchased under the Executive Condominium Housing Scheme Act, 1996

If you are a foreigner looking to buy restricted residential properties, you have to download a proper application form at http://www.sla.gov.sg/. Then the filled up form must be submitted along with relevant supporting documents like the entry and re-entry permits and qualifications to the address below:

Land Dealings (Approval) Unit

No. 8 Shenton Way,

#27-02 Temasek Tower,

Singapore 068811

Buying HDB property:

If you wish to buy a flat directly from HDB, you have to be a Singapore citizen; you also need to include one more Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident to represent a family nucleus. In case of buying flat from the resale market, the process is almost same. You should be a Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident.

Property investments for Permanent Resident application:

As per the Global Investor Programme (GIP), constructed by the Economic Development Board (EDB), foreigners can apply for Permanent Resident (PR) status if they agree to invest a certain amount of money in Singapore business set-ups or other investment schemes like venture capital funds, foundations or trusts that constantly work on economic development. Application for Permanent Resident status will be considered in case of private residential properties investment. A foreigner can apply for a PR status if he agrees to invest minimum S$2 million in business set-ups.

Singapore property tax:

  • Buyer stamp duty has a normal stamp duty (3% – SGD 5400) for a property that is above S$360,000 along with additional buyer stamp duty of 15%.
  • You have to pay for the seller stamp duty only if you wish to sell the property within 4 years from the day of purchase. The first year, the rate is 16%, but it decreases each year.
  • For residential property, yearly property tax ranges from 0 – 12% of the annual value.
  • For foreigners, rental income tax rate is 20%, but it will increase up to 22% beginning from the Year of assessment.
  • In Singapore goods and service tax is fixed at 7%.