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Singapore is well-known for its political stability, exceptional governance, efficiency, and transparency when it comes to starting a business. These factors make it a popular location for foreign investments, and one of the most common questions is how can foreigners purchase property in Singapore.

Purchasing property in Singapore can be daunting. Given the plethora of options and convoluted procedures, one may have countless questions when moving forward. This article serves as a comprehensive guide for any prospective property seekers out there.

Who is a Foreigner?

If you are not a Singaporean citizen, Singapore company, Singapore limited liability partnership, or Singapore association, you are considered a foreigner. Permanent residents (PR) are also considered foreigners.

Types of Singapore Residential Properties

In Singapore, residential properties can be split into two categories: public residential housing and private residential properties.

Public Residential Housing

Only Singapore citizens or permanent residents (PR) are eligible to purchase public residential housing. This is managed by the Singapore Housing Development Board (HDB) and is heavily subsidized by the local government. Hence, foreigners are prohibited from purchasing.

Private Residential Properties

There are different kinds of private residential properties, ranging from executive condominiums, private apartments or condominiums, and landed housing.

  • Executive Condominiums: Different rules ensue when purchasing an executive condominium. This is dependent on whether or not the property is brand new, or has been around for 5 years or 10 years.

  • Private Apartment: Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and foreigners are all free to purchase.

  • Landed Property: Singapore citizens and permanent residents are free to purchase, but foreigners require special government approval to purchase landed property.

Eligibility for Foreigners Purchasing Property in Singapore

Different types of scenarios

  • A foreigner purchasing property alone can only buy a privatized executive condominium that is more than 10 years old.

  • A Singaporean permanent resident purchasing property alone cannot buy a new HDB flat or resale HDB flats. However, he/she can buy resale executive condominiums that have reached their 5-year MOP.

  • A Singapore permanent resident purchasing property with another Singapore permanent resident can purchase a resale HDB flat, a resale executive condominium that is more than 5 years old, and a privatized executive condominium that is more than 10 years old.

  • A Singapore permanent resident purchasing with a foreigner can buy a resale executive condominium that is more than 5 years old and a privatized executive condominium that is more than 10 years old.

  • A couple made up of two foreigners can purchase a privatized executive condominium that is more than 10 years old.

The following is a list of the common types of property that foreigners are eligible to purchase:

  • A strata-landed house in an approved condominium development.

  • An apartment or condominium unit.

  • A leasehold estate in a landed residential property for a term not exceeding seven years (including any further term that may be granted by way of an option for renewal.

  • A landed property on Sentosa Cove.

Foreigner Restrictions when Purchasing Property in Singapore

Certain restrictions have been imposed for foreigners looking to buy landed property in Singapore. A person will need to write to the Singapore Land Dealings Approval Unit when looking to buy the following listed below:

  • Vacant residential land

  • Terrace house

  • Semi-detached house

  • Bungalow/detached house

  • Shophouse (for non-commercial use)

  • Strata landed house which is not within an approved condominium development under the Planning Act

Applicants tend to have a better chance of attaining the desired property if they are able to demonstrate proof of making exceptional economic contributions to Singapore.

Age Requirements when Purchasing Property in Singapore

For public housing (HDB), a person must attain the minimum age of 21 years old to purchase with a family nucleus. Single, unmarried, or divorced individuals will need to be a minimum of 35 years old, and widowed or orphaned individuals need to be a minimum of 21 years old.

CPF Usage when Purchasing Property in Singapore

The Central Provident Fund (CPF) Ordinary Account (OA) can be used when purchasing property in Singapore. The amount approved for usage is dependent on the two factors listed below:

1. Valuation Limit (VL)

This refers to the market value or the purchase price of the property at the time that an individual is making the purchase (depending on whichever is lower).

2. Withdrawal Limit (WL)

This refers to the maximum amount of CPF value a person can use for his or her property, capped at 120% of the valuation limit.


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