Should a Foreigner Invest in the Singapore Property Market?

Singapore is currently is one of a most expensive country in the world in which to live. Property prices reflect this reality. Should you still invest in the Singapore property market?

The answer is ‘yes’.

Singapore has become the Asian hub for technology, banking and financial services. These are some of the fastest growing industries and services in the 21st century.

Because of this growth, Singapore offers serious opportunities for investors looking to capitalize on their investments in the Singapore property market as well.

Singapore knows a good thing when it sees one and maintains an ‘open arms’ policy to foreign investment in their infrastructure. The property market, with some restrictions, is a part of this policy.

Companies and entrepreneurs have been flocking to Singapore to take advantage of the policy and the opportunities it represents. All of these highly-educated and highly-paid people need housing.

This is why there are still opportunities to be had in the property market of Singapore and why you should consider a Singapore property investment.

Before we get into the options that a foreigner has in property investment, you should know a little of the history behind the housing market in Singapore.

Housing History in Singapore

Singapore citizens enjoy one of a highest per-capita ownership of property in the world. Every working Singaporean is entitled to the option of purchasing a Housing Development Board (HDB) apartment which are supplied by the government.

These ‘flats’ as they are called in Singapore, come with government regulations. In order to achieve a racially harmonious mix, the blocks of flats carry a quota that restricts the percentage of the three main ethnic groups (Chinese, Malays and Tamil Indians) that make up the Singaporean population and can occupy the blocks of flats. Only Singapore citizens can own these flats. The flats are generally small ‘starter homes’.

The government set up a company in 1974 called the Housing and Urban Development Company (HUDC). They developed flats which offered another option to Singaporeans that were somewhere between the small HDB flats and luxury condos.

As Singaporeans became more successful they moved forward to investing in higher-cost luxury condominiums and landed houses and estates.

A Foreigner’s Property Options

Let’s look at some of the most common purchases by foreigners, along with the steps you’ll need to take to make your intended investment a reality. The property types that foreigners are able to purchase in Singapore include:

  • Freehold Condominiums
  • HUDC Flats
  • Leasehold Estates on Privately-Held Property

Freehold Condominiums are by far the most popular investments for foreigners, with condos ranging from budget accommodations to the most luxurious apartments on offer.

HUDC flats can still be found on the market, though the government ceased developing these in the late eighties.

Leaseholds are also popular with foreigners who plan to reside in Singapore for a limited amount of time, but want to own instead of rent their homes. Foreigners can own leaseholds for up to 7 years.

Purchasing Property in Singapore

There are some well-established steps that any investor has to take in the process of acquiring a property in Singapore. There are some hoops that you will have to jump through in the course of purchasing a property whether as an investment or as an accommodation.

  • The first thing that you should do is retain a Singapore real estate lawyer. They’ll be able to guide you through all the paperwork required by law and the steps that you’ll need to take in order to complete the deal.
  • The second person you need is a reputable Singapore real-estate agent. This person will represent the seller. You only need to contact one agent as they all share the same database of available properties.
  • The third entity is the bank who is loaning you the money for the property. Whether that bank is in Singapore or overseas, they will need to provide documents assuring the other parties that you have available funds for the deal.

This is where can be invaluable to the process of closing your deal on a property in Singapore.  These three parties, as well as yourself need to work together and keep the lines of communication open. can provide you with a virtual structure that is clear to all the parties involved in the process. They provide a portal that offers clear communication between parties as well as a virtual pre-closing, virtual closing and administration controls that allow you to monitor every step of the deal. They even offer dispute resolution tools that will help you untangle any snags along the way.

Acquiring property in Singapore has never been easier with the help offered by For Tips and Advice please click on

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By: David Proulx

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