Singapore is one of the most beautiful places to live and a great place for savvy real estate investors. It has a good mix of properties and offers great opportunities for resale or rentals. One thing, however, is that there are strict regulations on property investment in the country, and you need to be aware of those as a foreigner, so you don’t end up having to face roadblocks. Here’s a simple guide for buying property in Singapore for foreigners.
What Types of Properties Can Foreigners Own in Singapore?
As a foreigner, you have to be ready for the many limitations of buying property in Singapore. For instance, non-Singaporeans can buy condos without government permission, but it has to be in a building of 6 stories or less. Not only that, but you won’t be able to buy an executive condominium that is under 10 years old.
Know that HDB flats are out of the question as well. Only Singaporeans 21 and older can buy those. We would also advise that you consult with an expert on the ground, as there are other restrictions in place, such as limitations on foreign exchange, for instance.
Get Ready for the Sticker Shock
Singapore is not only one of the world’s most beautiful places, but one of the most expensive as well. The price of properties reflects that, and you’ll have to be ready to pay if you want to buy prime property in the area. Just for reference, a 1200 sq ft condo in the city center will cost you about $1,649,760. That also doesn’t account for the differences between different neighborhoods, streets, or even developments, so that’s something you’ll need to prepare for.
For instance, you could end up paying nearly double for a lot in an area like China Square or Tanglin Halt than farther out areas such as Jelebu and Yunnan. If you want to get an idea of how much you can expect to pay in the area of your choice, we suggest that you take a look at a few closed listings there, so you can make an informed decision.
Finding Properties in Singapore
If you want to know how you can find top properties in Singapore, there are many ways that you can go about it. One would be to go on listing sites as we mentioned earlier. Another way is to work with a local agent.
There are many reasons why working with an agent makes sense. First of all, they will be able to guide you through the regulations and make sure that you avoid mistakes. Property scams are also pretty common in Singapore, so having a reputable agent by your side who understands the full procedure will make things much easier.
Property sites are a great place to get a headstart; however, so we would suggest that you take a look at those first before you contact an agent.
Getting financing is possible for foreigners in Singapore, but you have to be ready for some of the hurdles you might have to jump over. The first step is finding lenders who are friendly to foreign real estate investors and able to offer the best rate possible.
In this case, agents like Property Guru finance can help you find the best mortgage deals for foreign investors They are partnered with many banks in the country and will be able to find the best rates possible for you while taking away a lot of the hassle of applying as a foreigner. They will also allow you to pre-evaluate your eligibility and find how much you could realistically get approved for with different banks.
Choosing the Right Property
You should also know what you should be looking for when searching for properties in Singapore. There’s a lot of pressure in the city center and good properties are hard to come by. You might get a better chance as an investor if you look at more recent developments in the surrounding suburbs. One of the things we would suggest is that you have a survey performed before you buy any property. This should be done before making any agreement.
Hire a Lawyer
You should also know that working with a property lawyer is essential if you’re buying property in Singapore. They will be able to help you find a surveyor, but also make sure that all the paperwork is in order. This will help you avoid things such as title fraud, for instance. They will also be able to tell if the property you had your eyes on could be affected by future major urban or municipal developments.
This is all you need to know to get started with real estate investing in Singapore. The most important is having a solid team around you that understands the real estate climate in the country.
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