Singapore Property Buying Guide for Foreigners

Singapore Real Estate for Foreigners Buying Guide

A short Buying guide on what are pit falls are and some of the advantages that Foreigners would need to consider when looking at buying-for-stay or for investing in the vibrant Singapore Real Estate market.

Singapore is a multi racial, multi cultural and one of the safest city in the world that makes it very desirable for any expatriates to live in.  It has some of the best tax incentives and conditions that attract foreigner companies to invest.  

English is the primary language used for commerce and business transactions.  So for many, it  is very easy to assimilate into the culture.   

Infrastructure in Singapore is constantly changing for the better.  The government is constantly upgrading and investing in new roads, highways and subway system.  Despite its infamous reputation for banning the sale of chewing gum, it is one of the cleanest cities.  The streets also beautified with some of the most astounding foliage imported from around the world.  Totally deserving its name a garden city nation.

Also known for its safety, you can pretty much walk the streets at any time of the day.  It has one of the lowest crime rates in the world because of its harsh stance against drugs and crime being a major deterrent.  

Singles enjoy the metropolitan life where the night live is vibrant. And there is many activities for them to enjoy.  

Families enjoy some of the world’s best rank schools on the island and boast of some of the highest levels of math and science standards in the world.  Many foreigners have particularly enjoyed the regulations on foreign domestic help where families can get foreign in-home help at very affordable prices.  

The Government has also made it easy and attractive for foreigners to lay down roots by making conditions appealing to invest in real estate.  

The variety of Real Estate Foreigners can buy include:

 Most condominium and apartment projects 

Commercial properties


Retailing Stores


Landed housing with LDAU Singapore Land Authority Approval

Sentosa Cove


Housing and Development Board Flats

Landed Properties

Shophouses in Residential zone

Worker’s Domitories

Places of worship

Something to note, the colloquial words used by local agents and Singaporeans would be


Government housing.  These apartments are generally speaking not available for foreigners unless they have a Singaporean spouse   


Private condominium apartments.  Generally, these are private developers.   And there’s ample inventory to buy.  Over 200,000 apartments on the island nation. 


Houses with land.  These are not available for foreigners except under special circumstances and will need approval from Singapore Land Authority



Anyone buying a property in Singapore is subjected to a Buyers Stamp Duty(BSD).  Whether you are Singaporean or not.



BSD Rate


First Residential Property 

1% On First $180,000

2% On Next $180,000

3% On Next $640,000

4% On Remaining Amount

Second Residential Property 

Third Residential Property 

Permanent Resident/foreginers

First Residential Property 

Second Residential Property 

Third Residential Property 

However, if a foreigner buys, he/she is subjected to an ADDITIONAL Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD) above the regular BSD.  The table is a guide for both Singapore, Permanent residents and Foreigners

ABSD Rates on the higher of the purchase price or market value

Profile of Buyer

ABSD Rates from 8 Dec 2011 to 11 Jan 2013

ABSD Rates from 12 Jan 2013 to 5 Jul 2018

ABSD Rates on/ after 6 Jul 2018

Singapore Citizens (SC) buying first residential property1

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

SC buying second residential property1

Not applicable



SC buying third and subsequent residential property1




Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) buying first residential property1

Not applicable



SPR buying second and subsequent residential property1




Foreigners (FR) buying any residential property




Entities2 buying any residential property




plus Additional 5% for Housing Developers4 (non-remittable)5

There are however exceptions to foreigners paying ABSD.  If you are from these Free Trade Agreement treaty country, you will not need to pay ABSD.  In short, you pay as much duties as a Singaporean.

United States of America





Singapore’s real estate is Divided into 3 main regions.  Core Central Region (CCR), Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Regions (OCR).  

Singapore Regions


Core Central Region (CCR)

9, 10 and 11, and parts of 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7

Rest of Central Region (RCR)

3, 8 and 12, and parts of 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 15 and 20

Outside Central Region (OCR)

16 to 19, 21 to 28, and parts of 5, 14, 15 and 20

Overall, foreigners can live, work, play and invest in the booming real estate in Singapore.   It is a very attractive proposition and will probably continue grow.  

Let us know if we can help!  We’d love to help you find your Singapore Property Investment!

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