Employment Pass (EP) holders can buy property in Singapore but only limited to certain type of housing properties.
Type of Housing Property in Singapore
There are few different property classes in Singapore:
- public housing or HDB flats – majority of the populace live in and is not available for foreigners to purchase.
- private residential property – costlier, but is available for foreigners to purchase under certain criteria
- executive condominiums – a public-private hybrid, foreigners can only purchase 10 years after completion of construction.
As an Employment Pass holder, if you are looking to purchase a property, your only primary option is the private properties which include non-landed private properties such as condominium projects and apartment buildings. These two are the common choices of expatriates and foreigners.
Although it is possible for an Employment Pass holder to buy a private condominium or apartment, it will be costlier to do so, compared to a local citizen or PR as the difference kicks in at the stamp duty where the rate is higher.
As for landed properties such as terrace houses, semi-detached housed and bungalows, Employment Pass holder will need prior approval from the government before they can purchase.
If you are an Employment Pass holder, you will not be eligible for public housing. Only citizens and Singapore Permanent Resident can buy the HDB Flats.
All property types, including the public housing/HB flats are available for rental to expatriates and foreigners. But for public housing, only Singaporean citizens can rent out their flats and will need to fulfil a minimum of 5-year occupancy period before they can lease out to foreigners. So, if you are seeking for public housing flat to rent, make sure the owner meets this criterion because you might be evicted if the government finds out that the flat has been illegally rented out.