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Eligibility to Buy Private Property
In the year 1973, the Singapore Government has imposed restrictions on foreign ownership of all private residential property in Singapore. Such ownership is governed by the Residential Property Act.
The Act aims to give Singaporeans a stake in the country by being able to buy and possess their own residential property at an affordable price and also encourage foreign talent by allowing permanent residents and foreign companies who make an economic contribution to Singapore to purchase such properties for their own occupation.
The Residential Property Act (RPA) is then amended on 19 July 2005 to allow foreigners to purchase apartments in non-condominium developments of less than 6 levels without the need to obtain prior approval.
For restricted property such as vacant land, landed properties such as bungalows, semi-detached and terrace houses, prior approval is still needed if foreigners wish to buy. Landed properties is a special class of residential property that Singaporeans aspire to own, and should remain restricted. Foreigners need to apply for approval from Singapore Land Authority before buying.
If you are a foreigner (or expatriate) and you wish to purchase a restricted residential property, you need to download the application form at http://www.sla.gov.sg/htm/ser/ser0307.htm#d You can submit the form together with the relevant supporting documents such as your entry and re-entry permits and qualifications to:
Land Dealings (Approval) Unit
No. 8 Shenton Way,
#27-02 Temasek Tower,
What are the non-restricted residential properties?
Foreigners are not restricted from acquiring:
Developments approved as a condominium development under the Planning Act
A flat in a building of 6 levels or more including the ground level and any level below the ground level including HUDC Phase I, Phase II flats and privatised HUDC Phase III and IV flats
A leasehold estate in restricted residential property (refer to A) for a term not exceeding 7 years including any further term which may be granted by way of an option for renewal
What are the restricted residential properties?
Foreign persons (including natural persons, foreign companies and societies) are restricted from purchasing:
Landed residential property, such as bungalows, terrace houses, semi-detached houses
Residential property in a building of less than 6 levels
Other restricted properties
A HDB Shophouse
A HDB flat purchased directly from HDB
A resale HDB flat where HDB has consented to the sale
Executive Condominium bought under the Executive Condominium Housing Scheme Act, 1996
Eligibility to Buy HDB Property and Executive Condominiums
HDB Flats are apartments built and maintained by the Housing Development Board (HDB). More than 80% of Singaporeans live in HDB housing estates. HDB housing estates are usually self-contained towns with clinics, schools, supermarkets, food centres, as well as sports and recreational facilities. For the classification of HDB flats, the living room is counted as one room.
To buy a flat directly from HDB, you must be a Singapore citizen, must include another Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident to form a family nucleus. To buy a flat from the resale market, you must be a Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident. Include at least one listed occupier who is a Singapore permanent resident or Singapore citizen. Please visit the HDB website for more details.
Executive Condominiums (EC) were introduced to cater to Singaporeans, especially young graduates and professionals who can afford more than an HDB flat but find private property out of their reach. ECs are comparable in design and facilities to private condominiums as they are developed and sold by private developers.
The first owner of a Executive Condominium are not allowed to re-sell their unit in the secondary market within the first 5 years. After the initial 5 years, owners are allowed to sell their units to Singaporeans. Foreigners can be only buy a Executive Condominium after 10 years, in which all restrictions will be lifted.
For HDB flats, HDB shophouse and Executive Condominiums, eligibility is subjected to the Housing And Development Board. Interested purchasers can approach HDB directly to enquire on their eligibility to purchase a HDB unit or Executive Condominium unit.
For more information/queries, please contact:
Housing and Development Board
480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh,
Tel : (65) 6490 1111
Tel : (65) 6397 2477
Last updated by Geoffery Ho Aug 18, 2014.