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House Buying Procedures

Relocating to Singapore
Relocating to Singapore? We have everything you need to know here!

Through our years of experience with expats, we have collected all the essential information an expat would need in Singapore. Ranging from all your relocating needs, finding the right accommodations, rental housing, cost of living in Singapore, career, travel and much more. Please drop us a mail should you need more assistance.

 

Eligibility to Buy Private Property

A Foreigner can purchase:Singapore Apartment

  • A flat in a building of 6 or more levels (including an HUDC Phase I or Phase II flat and a privatised Phase III or IV flat).
  • A leasehold estate in a property specified in the above item 1 for a term not exceeding 7 years including any further term which may be granted by way of an option for renewal.
  • An unit in an approved condominium development.

For restricted property such as vacant land, landed properties such as bungalows, semi-detached and terrace houses and flats in buildings of less than 6 levels, etc. foreigners need to apply for approval from Singapore Land Authority before buying. For more details on application, visit the SLA website.
 

Eligibility to Buy HDB Property and EC
 

For HDB flats, HDB shophouse and executive condominiums, eligibility is subjected to the Housing And Development Board (HDB) .

  • You must be a Singapore citizen to be eligible to purchase a flat directly from HDB, the other alternative will be to include another Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident to form family nucleus.

  • You must be a Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident in order to purchase a flat from the resale market. You have to include a minimum of one listed occupier whom is a Singapore citizen or Singapore citizen. Please kindly visit the Housing And Development Board (HDB) for more information.

The following restrictions apply for expatriates whom wish to purchase residential premises in Singapore:

  • All Permanent residents and non-citizens making an economic contribution to Singapore or holding professional qualifications or experience useful to Singapore may purchase residential property.

  • In addition, residential units in approved condominiums may also be purchased, regardless of the number of storey.

  • Residential premises in buildings of six storey or more may be purchased.

  • For other types of residential property not mentioned above, government approval is required from:

Controller of Residential Property Land Dealings (Approval Unit)
Shenton Way, #27-02 Temasek Tower
Singapore 068811
Tel: 323-9853

Several ways could be used to search for a property of your choice. Spend some time doing the search on the newspapers classifieds section (property), tele-text listing or even on the World Wide Web. My sincere opinion will be to contact a realtor to get the job done for you.

- Engage a Property Agent

In Singapore, a professional property associate whom has a better knowledge of Singapore is in a better position to provide advices and recommendation to your choice of properties. He/She will protect and govern your interest and will assist you throughout the process of purchasing and will clinch a deal for you at the best possible rate. He/She will ensure that all documents are organised and the person that you are dealing with is the rightful owner of the property.

- Engage One Agent

Most property companies share the same database of property listings in Singapore. Therefore use only ONE agent at a time. If you approach many agents at the same time, very likely that they will show you the same property. Much confusion and embarrassment will arise if you engage many agents. Using 1 agent, you will save valuable time for yourself and the agent. He will then understand your needs and requirements better after a few viewings. Only if they are incompetence, unresponsive or not showing the correct property you wanted, then start to look for another agent.

- Budget Allocation

How much cash upfront you willing to pay for the property? How much CPF in your ordinary account that you can use for the purchase? The latest MAS ruling allows purchaser to loan up to 80% of the valuation or purchase price, whichever is lower. 10% must be paid in cash and the other 10% can be paid using CPF or cash.

- Location

Deciding on the right location is very important and it will determine the convenience for you family and yourself.

- Option to Purchase

You have decided to purchase a property. 1% of the purchase price is needed in exchange for the Option to Purchase.The seller's (House Owner) solicitor or property agent will prepared the Option to Purchase and usually you are given 14 days to decide if to proceed with the purchase. Upon decision to proceed with the purchase, exercise the option by signing and forward it to the seller's solicitor together with another 9% of the purchase price.

- Valuation

Kindly review the indicative valuation for the property you are interested or intended to buy. The amount of loan you are able to receive for the property is affected by the indicative valuation. Consider the number of years are intending to loan the property, the monthly installments etc. There is a need to check if your credit status will enable you to loan 80% of the property price. If you have any doubts or a property in mind, please kindly give our agent a call, Contact Us. We will be most willing to help you check for indicative valuation, and to apply for a loan to get an Approval-In-Principle before the purchase.

For HDB flats, you will have to check the eligibility to get a concession loan from Housing Development Board (HDB). If you are unable to get the loan from the Housing Development Board (HDB), the other alternative will be to get it financed by a commercial bank.

- Offer to Purchase

You may request your property agent to prepare the Offer to Purchase and attention to the seller (House Owner). Please check that the price, sales completion date and other essential information are clearly stated. Terms and conditions can be drafted by your solicitor.

- Sales and Purchase Agreement

Your solicitor will process the Sales and Purchase Agreement, and the sales will be commence and it will take approximately 10 weeks to the completion of the sales.

For HDB flats, there is also an option period of 14 days for the buyer to think over the intended purchase, to check his eligibility, financing aspects and other issues such as whether the flat is affected by redevelopment/upgrading, the liability to pay upgrading cost/levy etc. If the buyer does not wish to buy the resale flat, he can let the Option expire and loses only the option fee. To ensure a standardised practice, HDB has the following guidelines for the Option Fee, Deposit and Option Period:

Option Fee - An amount not exceeding $1,000
Deposit - An amount not exceeding $5,000 (including the Option Fee)
Option Period - 14 calendar days

Please visit the Home Development Board (HDB) website for more information.

- Inspection Of Property Before Taking Over

A date will be needed to be arranged in order for the buyer to inspect the property before the completion of the sale. Do remember to check the furniture, fixtures and fittings and all the items that both the seller and buyer had agreed upon to buy or sell with the property.

For HDB flats, inspection will be done the Housing Development Board (HDB) on your behalf. They will check for any unauthorised renovation. Seller will need to reinstate the flat into the criteria allowed before the Housing Development Board (HDB) will permit the sale.

- Commission

For private property, agency commission is paid by the seller, which varies from 0.5% to 2% of the selling price. For HDB, seller will pay around 0.5% to 2% of the selling price, whereas the buyer will usually pay 0.5% to 1%.

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