Brocker.Org: Singapore’s Residential Property Regulations For Foreigners

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Expats posted to Singapore for work or other reasons may find themselves having to choose the most ideal type of accommodation for the long-term. While a hotel may suffice for short trips, many rent a space to save on costs. There is a third solution – purchasing property.

There are no prevailing laws in Singapore which prevents foreign nationals from purchasing or acquiring residential properties in the country. The Residential Property Act of Singapore primarily assists Singapore nationals in their acquisition of their own home by providing reasonable prices. Also, the Act encourages foreigners who have made a significant contribution to Singapore’s economic prosperity to acquire residential properties in the city-state.

Further, an expat may purchase non-restricted residential properties without any permits or approval from Singapore government officials.

A foreign national may desire to buy all units in a property development; however, before he or she can accomplish this, Singapore’s Minister of Law must issue an approval. In the same vein, a foreigner without any prior official sanction from Singapore’s Minister of Law cannot own residential properties that are classified as restricted.

Property classified as restricted under the Residential Property Act of Singapore means: a vacant residential land – town houses, separate or semi-linked homes, or terraced houses standing on residential lands – lands not authorized for condominium development under the Planning Act.

The expatriate who plans to buy a restricted residential property must fill out a form and then submit this, along with the necessary supporting papers, to the Singapore Land Authority. The bureau is responsible for evaluating the foreigner’s eligibility to buy a restricted residential property and for issuing the approval if it finds the expat’s qualifications in order.

Residential properties that belong to the non-restricted category: any apartment flat or condo unit included in the Planning Act and leasehold estates zoned under restricted residential properties for terms not exceeding 7 years.

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