Can Foreigners Buy Property in Singapore?

Alevin Chan

Alevin Chan

Last updated 10 May, 2024

Foreigners are allowed to buy property in Singapore, but have to observe various rules and restrictions. They also have to pay stamp duties that are among the highest in the world. 

Singapore is renowned for having among the highest rates of home ownership in the world, and with the population enjoying high quality residential choices spanning public housing and private properties. 

Foreigners seeking to put down roots in Singapore may want to purchase a property for themselves, making it easier to establish a sense of home and belonging. But as is the norm, non-citizens often face restrictions and obstacles when attempting to purchase a property in a foreign country. 

What do these restrictions look like in Singapore, where property prices are continually creeping upwards?

Table of contents:

Can a foreigner buy property in Singapore?

Short answer – yes. But there are a couple of things you’ll need to consider before doing so. 

Firstly, foreigners are only allowed to purchase certain types of properties on their own. 

Secondly, foreigners will be subject to Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), on top of Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD), when purchasing a property – this can be a significant amount, as we’ll see later. 

Thirdly, financial means notwithstanding, you’ll also need to fulfil certain requirements under the Residential Property Act. 

You may notice that trying to purchase a property in Singapore is no easy task for foreigners. This is partly by design. Due to Singapore’s status as a world-class city, there is a need to minimise property speculation so as to control housing prices here. 

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Who counts as a foreigner when purchasing property in Singapore?

Under the Residential Property Act, a foreign person means any person who is not any of the following:

  • Singapore citizen
  • Singapore company
  • Singapore limited liability partnership
  • Singapore society

This means that Singaporean Permanent Residents (SPRs) – i.e., foreign nationals who have been granted long-term residency status – are regarded as foreigners for the purposes of property purchases. 

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What types of properties can foreigners buy in Singapore?

Singapore Permanent Residents


Public housing:

  • Privatised ECs (after 10 years) 
  • Resale ECs (after five years MOP)
  • Resale HDB flats (after three years from attaining PR)

Public housing:

  • Privatised ECs (after 10 years)


Private properties: 

  • Condominiums
  • Leasehold estate in landed residential development (maximum seven years)
  • Shophouses (with commercial title)
  • Hotels

Private properties: 

  • Condominiums
  • Leasehold estate in landed residential development (maximum seven years)
  • Shophouses (with commercial title)
  • Hotels

With permission from Singapore Land Authority:

  • Vacant residential land
  • Terrace house
  • Semi-detached house
  • Bungalows
  • Townhouse or cluster house
  • Shophouse for mixed or residential use
  • Association premises
  • Place of worship
  • Workers’ dormitory, serviced apartments, boarding house

With permission from Singapore Land Authority:

  • Vacant residential land
  • Terrace house
  • Semi-detached house
  • Bungalows
  • Townhouse or cluster house
  • Shophouse for mixed or residential use
  • Association premises
  • Place of worship
  • Workers’ dormitory, serviced apartments, boarding house

Can foreigners buy HDB flats in Singapore?

By themselves, foreigners are allowed to purchase privatised Executive Condominiums (ECs), which are ECs that have passed the 10-year mark. Such properties are considered private condominiums. 

However, together with a Singapore Citizen, foreigners are eligible to purchase:

  • 2-room flexi BTO flats
  • resale HDB flats
  • resale ECs after the 5-year MOP (also eligible with SPR)
  • privatised ECs 

SPRs are allowed to purchase the following types of HDB flats on their own:

  • resale HDB flat (after three years of attaining PR status)
  • resale ECs after the 5-year MOP
  • privatised ECs 

When purchasing property together with a Singaporean Citizen, SPRs are eligible to purchase all HDB flat types, including the full range of BTO flats. 

Can foreigners buy condos in Singapore?

SPRs and foreigners are eligible to purchase private condominiums in Singapore. This includes a strata landed house in an approved condominium development, as well as leasehold estate in a landed residential property for a term not exceeding seven years, inclusion renewals. 

No prior approval is required from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) for property purchases of these types.

Can foreigners buy landed property in Singapore?

Foreigners and SPRs wishing to purchase landed property in Singapore may do so only with approval from SLA. This applies to the following types of landed residential properties: 

  • vacant residential land
  • terrace house
  • semi-detached house
  • bungalows
  • townhouse or cluster house
  • shophouse for mixed or residential use

For such purchases, the buyer needs to apply to the Land Dealings Approval Unit (LDAU).

What is LDAU approval and what are the eligibility requirements?

In basic terms, LDAU approval is an assessment of your eligibility to own land and/or landed property as a foreigner or SPR. 

LDAU applications may be submitted online, and the approval process typically takes one month to be completed.

So what exactly does LDAU approval entail? Well, according to the SLA, each applicant is assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration, including but not limited to, the following factors:

  • you should be a permanent resident of Singapore for at least five years; and
  • you must make exceptional economic contributions to Singapore. This is assessed taking into consideration factors such as your employment income assessable for tax in Singapore

Additionally, the conditions for approval include the following:

  • you shall use the property solely for your own occupation and that of the members of your family as a dwelling house and not for rental or any other purpose
  • you shall not dispose of the property within 5 years from the date of legal completion of the purchase of the property or, if the property is under construction, 5 years from the date of issue of the Temporary Occupation Permit or Certificate of Statutory Completion (whichever is issued earlier) for the property 
  • you shall not subdivide the property without approval

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Stamp duties for SPRs and foreigners buying property in Singapore

Buyer’s Stamp Duty for property purchases in Singapore

In Singapore, all property purchases – whether HDB flat, condo, landed property or what have you – are subject to Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD). This is payable by all buyers regardless of citizenship status. 

BSD is calculated on the higher figure between:

  • purchase price of the property, as stated in the signed sale and purchase agreement
  • market value of the property, based on an official valuation report

The BSD rate is tiered, increasing as the purchase price or market value increases. See the table below for details. 

Purchase price/Market value

BSD rate for residential property 

First S$180,000


Next S$180,000


Next S$640,000


Next S$500,000


Next S$1.5 million 


More than S$3 million


Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty for property purchases in Singapore

Other than BSD, buyers also have to pay the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD). Introduced in December 2011, ABSD was meant as a cooling measure to discourage property speculation. 

It is levied on top of BSD, and is calculated based on the property purchase price, or its market value, whichever is higher. Foreigners, SPRs and Singapore Citizens are susceptible to ABSD, though to different degrees. 

ABSD was last revised in December 2021 to its current rates, which are as follows: 

Buyer’s profile

ABSD rate

Foreigner buying any type of property 



First property: 5%

Second property: 30%

Third and subsequent property: 35%

Singapore Citizen

First property: 0%

Second property: 20%

Third and subsequent property: 30%

As you can see, foreigners face an exceedingly high penalty, having to pay 60% extra just to purchase property. Also, selling your property is unlikely to allow you to recoup your ABSD, as real estate prices are highly unlikely to increase fast enough.

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Property taxes for foreigners in Singapore

All property owners have to pay property tax in Singapore. Property tax is calculated based on the annual value of your property. 

The annual value of your property is the estimated gross annual rent of the property if it were to be rented out, excluding furniture, furnishings and maintenance fees. 

It is determined based on estimated market rentals of similar or comparable properties and not on the actual rental income received.

Here are the property tax rates for owner-occupiers in 2024. 

Annual value of property

Property tax rate

Property tax payable

First S$8,000

Next S$22,000





First S$30,000

Next S$10,000





First S$40,000

Next S$15,000





First S$55,000

Next S$15,000





First S$70,000

Next S$15,000





First S$85,000

Next S$15,000





First S$100,000

Above S$100,000




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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are foreigners allowed to own property in Singapore?

Yes, foreigners and Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs) are allowed to own selected types of properties in Singapore. These mainly include condominiums and private properties, although landed properties such as bungalows and terrace houses will require approval from Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

What is the stamp duty for foreigners buying property in Singapore?

All property buyers are subject to Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) and Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD). Both of these are calculated on the property value or its purchase price, whichever is higher. 

Foreigners have to pay up to 6% BSD, plus 60% in ABSD when purchasing property in Singapore. 

Can a foreigner buy a walk-up apartment?

Yes, foreigners and SPRs are eligible to purchase walk-up apartments in Singapore as long as they are developed by private developers. There is no need to seek approval from SLA for such property types. 


Read these next:

How To Buy A House In Singapore: A Complete Guide (2023)

Thinking of Renting? Getting Home Insurance Can Pay Off More Than You Think

Singapore Property Market Cooling Measures: What It Entails

Pros And Cons Of Buying An Auction Property In Singapore

The Pros And Cons Of Purchasing Landed Property And Condo For Investment

Property Tax, Explained: Annual Value, Tax Rate And How To Make Payment

An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.


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