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Can PR Buy Landed Property In Singapore?

A highly popular question by many immigrants to Singapore is whether a permanent resident, or a PR can buy landed property in Singapore. Well, for the exact answer, it depends largely on each individual person’s profile, and definition of landed houses. If you want more details on buying property as a permanent resident, you can look for an immigration consultant in Singapore or also read the following for more information.

Many new permanent residents in Singapore may come from countries where land is abundant, and therefore, are used to staying in a landed property, rather than a shoebox studio unit. Many feel those are absolutely claustrophobia inducing and want a landed property in Singapore with  back yard and front yard and more.

Quick answer to whether PR can buy landed property in Singapore

The answer is generally speaking – yes. However, there is more than meets the eye, and you need to know the terms regarding different types of landed residential homes in Singapore, and the requirements to purchase them. While all houses may look similar to the eye, it can be classified differently locally.

Landed homes that permanent residents cannot purchase – good class bungalows

For instance, there are designated areas in Singapore, where the houses are all at least 15,070 square feet in land size and called Good Class Bungalows (GCB). Not only are these strictly for purchase for Singapore citizens only, they have way more building regulations regarding how you can design the house. For example, the height of the building cannot exceed that of 2 stories, among many other regulations.

However, what if you are a wealthy businessman or investor permanent resident who wants to live the luxury life in Singapore?

No worries. Keep in mind that not all homes larger than 15,070 square feet in land size in Singapore are actually classified under GCB. In fact, so many of them are not!

In fact, you will be surprised to find out that many of the large and modern mansions in Singapore are actually not classified under Good Class Bungalows at all. Most of these GCBs are extremely old looking, and literally looks like a house in a Kampong. What you usually see as being modern mansions in Singapore are actually just large residential plots of land combined in areas outside of these designated GCB spots.

Landed property that a permanent resident can purchase – subject to approval by Singapore Land Authority

I am very sure you know people, or know of people who are just permanent residents, and not Singaporean citizens who have bought landed properties in SG. That is because it is allowed for purchase by permanent residents.

However, the main caveat is that you will need manual approval through the Singapore Land Authority. If you have been a permanent resident for several years now, living in Singapore for the long term as well as showing financial contribution in the form of steady taxes or building incredible local companies, then chances of approval are high so long as you have a strong financial position to prove too.

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Becoming A Singapore Permanent Resident To Save On Stamp Duties

If you are already intending to immigrate to and live in Singapore, then you are probably going to want to look at some long term residential decisions – namely, buying a property. If you are only going to be here for the short term for a few years, then rental is definitely the smarter option on the whole. But if you somehow decided to spend the rest of your life in Singapore, then purchasing a property is definitely the better decision.

Singapore has hefty stamp duties for foreigners

However, Singapore can have rather hefty stamp duties, especially for foreigners. For instance, as a foreigner, you are to pay 20% Additional Buyer Stamp Duty, also known as ABSD locally in Singapore, on the price of the property you purchase. To add onto that, Singapore’s properties are among the most expensive in the world, even compared to places like New York and Hong Kong.

A one bedroom condominium in the Central location can cost you around S$1.5 million. 20% stamp duties on that would mean an atrocious S$300,000! Even if you have the cash to burn, the issue is that this purchase price goes to absolutely nothing – the government. If you ever intend to sell your property, this extra amount you pay in the form of ABSD as a foreigner today will not be factored into the decision factor made by the buyer, as it is none of their business. So why waste that extra money?

There is a way for foreigners to avoid this – by becoming a permanent resident in Singapore

Now, the truth is that if there is no easy way around it, then yes, maybe you should just go ahead with the process. But, there is for those who are eligible to become a permanent resident in Singapore, and actually become one. And if you are even considering living in Singapore, and buying a private condominium at least, you are likely eligible to be a Singapore permanent resident. If you are not sure how to apply for a Singapore permanent residence, you can make use of a immigration consultant like Dream Immigration SG which specializes in Singapore PR application. Saves time and hassle for you.

For permanent residents’ first residential real estate purchase, the ABSD is just 5%. Compared to buying one as a foreigner, you save 15% on your first purchase. In the example we used above of a unit or house worth S$1.5million, your savings would be S$225,000! You could do a lot of things with that money! Even if you spent a whopping $25,000 to acquire your permanent residency, which you would not since most agencies only charge around S$3,000 to S$8,000 for most PR applicants, you would still have saved S$200,000.

singapore city photo

Additional benefit of simply being a PR – you can easily reverse this PR status in future if required

Additionally, the benefit is that as a permanent resident of Singapore, you are not even changing your citizenship. You can easily renounce your Singapore PR if you ever wish to do so in future, and everything will be back to normal. Reversal is extremely easy, as compared to a full Singaporean citizenship. That is why most foreigners apply for permanent residence instead of citizenship in SG.

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Can A Singapore PR Buy Condo?

Singapore condos

Many E pass and S pass holders in Singapore fall in love with the country after living here for a few years. And usually at that point in time, they may want something more concrete beyond renting a property forever, and want to purchase one instead. Most Singapore PR prefer buying a condo, but as there are restrictions on the types of local Singapore properties that citizens, permanent residents and foreigners are allowed to buy, some ask if a Singapore PR can buy a condo.

If you want the short answer, if you become a Singapore PR, that will enable you to purchase almost any type of condo property, except for one. Read below for more details. If you are not sure about how you can become a permanent resident in Singapore, you can PM this immigration consultant here.

First and foremost, there are various different types of condo in Singapore. There are executive condominiums, which are condos sold at a subsidized price by the government, and there are also private condominiums. There are also condos with differing types of leases with the purchase – 99 years, 999 years or freehold. We will discuss them all here.

When it comes to executive condo, a Singapore PR can only purchase one after it has TOP (complete construction and residents can move in) for at least 5 years. There will be no subsidized rates and a Singapore PR will be required to negotiate with the seller themselves.

When it comes to private condo, there are no restrictions on purchases for any one at all, permanent residents, foreigners, citizens. Anyone who has the cash to pay in full or qualify for a housing loan will be able to purchase a private condo.

All executive condo only come in 99 year leasehold purchases, similar to that of HDB flats, as they are essentially still considered half government related.

When it comes to private condo in Singapore, there are 99 years, 999 years and freehold condos. However, this status is not tied to any kind of citizenship status, and regardless of your PR status, you will be able to purchase private condo with any type of these kind of leases.

As you can tell from the above, a Singapore PR can buy condo in SG, and there are virtually no limitations on what you can buy. The only one you are restricted from buying as a non Singaporean citizen is an executive condo within 5 years of its TOP date. Unless you insist on looking for that, I am happy to share that you are free to buy!

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Guide To Finding Rental Properties In Singapore For Migrants

Singapore property

If you are a foreigner already looking to immigrate to Singapore, and are currently looking for a good piece of rental property, here are some guidelines for you so that you can find the best, and exclusive rental properties in Singapore!

Difference between leasehold and freehold properties in Singapore

Firstly, if you are an immigrant from a Western country, you may want to know that Singapore has two kinds of properties – public and private housing. Within private housing, there are also two kinds of real estate – 99 years leasehold and freehold.

Public housing refers to the 99 years leasehold flats developed by Housing and Development Board, known in short as HDB, which is owned by the government. There is no such thing as a freehold HDB flat. Even though HDBs are only available for purchase by citizens at a cheaper price, and open market value for Singapore permanent residents, foreigners can rent them. Rentals are not affected by the purchase clause.

Private housing refers to any other type of residential property in Singapore. Within private properties, there are 99 years leasehold, 999 years leasehold and freehold ones. Everyone is allowed to purchase non landed private properties in SG as long as you can afford it. Landed property purchases are subject to approvals for foreigners.

For the purpose of our discussion, if you are looking to rent a unit in SG, the leasehold should not be a concern at all. However, keep in mind that some unethical house owners may try to jack up the prices for rental rates, and even citing because it is a more prestigious freehold property. Do not buy into that lie, because you are here to rent, not purchase it. When it comes to SG rentals, a different set of rules apply compared to purchasing.

Convenience can be a huge factor in determining your decision and rental rates as well

Unless you get to have a company car, which most companies no longer provide, you will either need to get your own car while you are in Singapore, take the cab, or take the bus and MRT train to travel to your work place while you are in the city.

However, not many foreigners opt for getting a car, as even a second hand Toyota can cost around $30000 to $60000, which is ridiculously expensive. Much more for a European brand.

If you intend to take the cab everywhere, then this probably matters less, but since many foreigners prefer taking the cab for urgent matters, but use the public transportation in Singapore for all other intra city travel, finding a suitable rental property near the MRT station, or with easy access to it is ideal. For instance, one popular such condo which is next to an MRT which is reasonably priced is Urban Vista which is located right next to Tanah Merah MRT. It is a popular condo at Tanah Merah next to an MRT station which makes it especially convenient among expats and migrants to Singapore.

While buses are found everywhere in Singapore as well and is efficient in that it reaches every part of the country, it is actually pretty inconvenient, as they take big loops around the city with congested traffic, and you will also usually need to change buses multiple times before being able to reach most destinations. That is a turn off for most people, so permanent residents in Singapore usually prefer the easier way out – taking the MRT train, which is usually a much faster form of public transportation in Singapore.

Therefore, be prepared to pay more for units nearer to MRT stations. Condos, HDB or landed real estate rentals far from any kind of MRT stations should be rented at much cheaper rates, or you are overpaying severely.