Foreigner Buying Landed Property In Singapore

Landed Residential Property definition – Properties used solely for the purpose of residence, including vacant land, terrace houses, semi-detached houses, detached houses, bungalows and buildings less than 6-storeys or any other land zoned for residential usage.

Landed residential properties are one of the most highly coveted property types in Singapore. These properties are virtually exclusive to Singapore citizens and are generally owned by individuals who have reached the upper echelons of society.

However in certain cases, permanent residents (PR) and foreigners may be able to purchase a landed property in Singapore.

According to the Residential Property Act, a “foreign person” is defined as any person who is not a Singapore citizen or permanent resident and any foreign company or converted foreign company.

Individuals or entities that fall into this category are restricted from purchasing any landed residential properties unless approval is granted from the Controller of Residential Property.

This restriction also extends to ownership by gift, inheritance, succession or bequest. The foreign beneficiary will be legally bound to sell the inheritance to a Singapore citizen within a stipulated period of ten years from the death of the previous owner if approval for ownership from the government is not granted.

Exceptions For Foreigners To Own Landed Properties

To be eligible to apply for ownership of a landed property in Singapore, there are certain criteria to be fulfilled;

  • Applicant is a permanent resident of Singapore
  • A foreigner who contributes to the economic benefit of Singapore
  • A foreigner who possesses qualifications, skills or experience that provides value or benefit to the economy of Singapore

If the foreigner fulfils any of the above stated criteria he may be granted approval for ownership of a landed property for residential use by following the steps below.

  1. Fill up Form A (downloadable with this link)
  2. A non-refundable application fee of $900 is to be made in favour of “Singapore Land Authority
  3. Submit Form A to “Singapore Land Authority Land Dealings (Approval) Unit 55 Newton Road #12-01 Revenue House Singapore 307987” together with the supporting documents stated in Form A

The application takes approximately 3 months to process and once approval is granted, the foreign purchaser must undertake that the property is to be used solely for residence and not for any sort of income-generating purposes or investment. The in-principle approval has an expiry date of 6 months from the approval date.

It is also important for the foreign purchaser to include the additional clause within the Option to Purchase or Sales Agreement;

This sale and purchase is subject to the Purchaser obtaining the approval from the Land Dealings (Approval) Unit before completion. In the event that such approval is not granted, the sale and purchase herein shall be annulled and all monies paid shall be immediately refunded free of interest and neither party shall have any claim against the other thereafter.