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Purchasing a Property in Singapore

Purchasing a Property in Singapore

Updated on Tuesday 01st November 2016

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Purchasing-a-Property-in-Singapore.jpgPersons interested in purchasing a property in Singapore should know the legislation available here before starting the buying process. The Singaporean legislation restricts, to a certain degree, the purchase of property here by foreign individuals under the 1973 Residential Property Act. Still, foreigners are allowed to buy a property in Singapore, but in some cases it is required to receive approval from local authorities; our law firm in Singapore can offer you more information on the properties that are available for purchase for foreign individuals or foreign companies. 

Types of properties in Singapore 

Singaporean housing legislation divides property in the following classes:
public housing, which is not available for purchase for foreign individuals;
private residential housing, which allows foreign ownership in certain conditions;
executive condominiums, available to foreigners 10 years after the condominiums have been completed. 
The Residential Property Act, signed in 1973, was enforced with the purpose of giving Singaporean citizens the possibility of buying their own property; the Act states that foreign companies and persons who have received a permanent residency are also allowed to buy property here. In 2005, the Act has been amended, allowing foreigners to buy property in non-condominium buildings with less than 6 levels, without receiving further approval.
As a general rule, foreigners are allowed to buy property in Singapore as long as the certain property is non-landed; our lawyers in Singapore can offer you further information on the subject. 

The process of buying property in Singapore 

When you have found a certain apartment you’d like to purchase, you should contact the seller or the real estate agency which represents the seller. It is required to be represented by a lawyer throughout this process; the lawyer will prepare the “Option to Purchase” document, which obliges the buyer to pay 1% of the property’s selling price. The document states that the buyer will pay up to 10% of the selling price at a certain deadline which both parties have agreed upon. 
The following taxes apply at the selling of a property
18% value added tax – for properties which, at the selling time, were built within the last year;
stamp duty, in the value of maximum 3%;
legal taxes, in the value of 0.3% of the selling price of the property;
the real estate agent will be paid with 1% of the selling price;
at the transfer of ownership, it is required to pay registration fees.
If you need further information on the purchase of a property in Singapore,  please contact our Singaporean law firm  for legal assistance. Furthemore, in case you need professional plumbing services for your new property, we can recommend you our partner plumbing company.