Can Expat Buy Property in Singapore

Owning property in a foreign land can be very challenging. This is because many governments come up with legal restrictions aimed at helping the hold prime positions at the estates of the country. Ideally, the largest proportion of the country’s property must be in the hands of the natives. But does this mean expat do not have options? Not at all! Expats investments in the country can play a significant role when it comes to economic development. However, the ownership of property by the expats should never be to the detriment of citizens.

Singapore is one of the countries that have attracted a lot of expats. The country has a very stable economy with a lot of opportunities. The financial system of the country is well developed, and this is one of the main reasons why the country has a lot of immigrants. Singapore is an economic hub of the region, and the country’s economy will continue to develop even more over time. With the ease in the flow of capital, more and more foreigners are going to be attracted to the country.

The question is – can expat buy property in Singapore?  An interesting question this is. Let us discuss it and see.

Expats can buy property in Singapore. However, there are restrictions just as we mentioned earlier. In many cases, the natives and the permanent residents are allowed to own property in the country. If you are an expatriate living in Singapore, you must have been shocked by the high rental prices. Sometimes the prices of rentals are even more than what others pay in popular cities such as New York and San Francisco. For this reason, many expats often consider buying a property. But then the shock becomes, even more, when it comes to the price of a property in the country. The point is, real estate in Singapore is not as cheap as you may think. In fact, it requires concerted efforts to be successful.

The good thing with Singapore is that there are no significant barriers for entries. The long-term evaluation of capital continues to attract more and more foreigners in the country. It is vital to have a survey carried out before you agree to buy a property, though this is a mot a requirement by law. A lawyer will help you get a competent surveyor who clearly understands the area.

The Legal Requirements

In 1973, the Singaporean government imposed some limitation on private ownership of the residential asset. As we stated earlier, the cat regulating ownership of property was meant to give locals prime stake by being in a position to acquire and own residential property and reasonable costs but at the same time attracting foreign talent by allowing permanent residents to have economic contributions by buying such properties and occupy them.

Since there are both restricted and non-restricted property in Singapore, it is vital to have a lawyer who can help you through the process. The law requires that you enter into a contract when buying a property. You need a lawyer to help draft the agreement and to carry out searches to ascertain there no issues relating to ownership. Additionally, you need a lawyer to help carry out due diligence and confirm that all the details regarding the property are accurate. This will ensure you are not scammed.

So far, we have seen it is possible to buy property in Singapore. You can purchase residential property but not land. There are restrictions on ownership of property by foreigners. If you indeed need to acquire a property in Singapore, ask yourself the following questions before making decisions.

What to buy or rent

There are various classes of property in the country, including public housing and HDB flats not available for acquisition by foreigners, private residential which are often more expensive but do not have many limitations on ownership by expats, and finally executive condominiums where expats are only allowed to buy a decade after the completion of the construction.

Private property is often the best option for expats in Singapore. Non-landed private assets such as condominium projects do not have much limitations on foreign ownership. However, the landed property contains several restrictions and may not be the right choice for foreigners. In general, all property is made available for rental to foreigners.

The time-frame

If you are an expat who intends to buy a property in the country, you must keep in mind the period you want to hold the property. The government always impose Sellers Stamp Duty for anyone disposing of a house not more than four years ago. If you feel your period in the country will be less than four years and that you will be required to sell the house, it will be a wiser decision to rent. Also, there is capital appreciation in Singapore over time, though there are other important factors for consideration.

The amount you are willing to pay for a property

As we stated in the preceding section, private property is quite expensive in Singapore. Even though the banks can be willing to offer loans to expats who demonstrate proof of income, the law requires that you only be given 80% of the overall cost of the property. There are also other charges that the government imposes whenever a foreigner acquires a property. This is meant to regulate foreign speculation. It is important to consider all the cost associated with buying a property before making a decision.

Consider the opportunity cost

When you decide to buy a property, no doubt there are4 several trade-offs. You need to consider what you are foregoing. For instance, you will not enjoy the comfort and freedom that comes with living in different areas of the country. You need to consider the opportunity cost before making a decision to buy a property in Singapore to avoid being remorseful later.

The Bottom Line

While foreigners are allowed to own property in Singapore, there are several restrictions on what they can buy. Before making this decision, there are several factors that expats should always keep mind. In this blog, we have considered at least four of such factors. In case you need funds, you can borrow money and check at better terms.

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