Buying Property

When buying a private residential property, there are many factors to consider and look into. You should familiarise yourself with these considerations which may affect your purchase.

Key Considerations

When buying a property, there are many factors to consider and look into.

If you own a HDB flat, a DBSS flat or an Executive Condominium, you have to fulfil the minimum occupation period set by HDB before you can purchase any private residential properties. Visit their website to find out more.

If you are not a Singapore citizen, you have to obtain approval from the Controller of Residential Property in Singapore Land Authority (SLA), before you can buy landed houses including but not limited to strata landed houses.

Before buying a property, you should check the property prices in the areas of interest and compute your finances and fees payable. You should buy within your financial means.

Property prices

We provide free information on the property market, such as prices of private residential units, for you to do your research before purchasing your unit.

Using your CPF

You may use your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) savings to purchase your private property under the Private Properties Scheme. There are limits on the amount of CPF savings you can use to buy a property. Information on the use of CPF monies is available here.

Bank loan

You should enquire with your bank on your eligibility for bank financing as early as possible, preferably before you pay the upfront deposit or commit yourself to the purchase. Before you proceed to check with a bank on the size of your loan, read the guide on housing loans and other important information.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is a tax on dutiable documents relating to any immovable property in Singapore and any stocks or shares. Here are some stamp duty types related to property purchase:

  • Buyer’s Stamp Duty. You are required to pay Buyers’ Stamp Duty (BSD) after signing the agreement.
  • Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty. You may also need to pay Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty after signing the agreement depending on your profile:
  • Whether you are buying as an individual or as an entity
  • Your residency status e.g. Singaporean
  • Number of residential properties owned

  • Seller’s Stamp Duty. You may need to pay a Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) if you sell or dispose of the property within 4 years of acquisition (for property purchased between 14 Jan 2011 and 10 Mar 2017, both dates inclusive) or within 3 years of acquisition (for property purchase on or after 11 Mar 2017).

    Learn more about stamp duty on Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) website.

Legal fees

If you engage a lawyer, you should clarify the scope of services to be provided and the legal fees payable. For more information on the role of a lawyer in a property purchase, you may refer to the Law Society of Singapore’s ‘Know the Law NOW!’ booklet, available here (see Chapter 33, Buying and Selling a House).

 

If you engage a property agent to represent you, you should check that property agency and agent are licensed and registered with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA). Note that property agents are not allowed to offer you any benefit, in cash or kind, to induce you to engage their services. Visit the CEA website for more information on engaging a property agent and the role of an agent in a property transaction.

When buying an uncompleted private residential property, you need to consider certain factors before committing to a purchase. This Home Buyer’s Guide will take you through the five stages of buying a private uncompleted residential property. Click to download the full Home Buyer's Guide.

This guide is for general information purposes only and does not constitute advice, be it legal, financial or otherwise*. Please read the terms of access before proceeding to use this guide.


Basic Checks

Before committing to a purchase, you should do some basic checks on the developer of the housing project and consider the costs involved in purchasing a private residential property.

Download a checklist.

Visiting A Show Flat

At the show flat, review the information on the housing project and specific unit(s) carefully before committing to a purchase. Developers have to ensure that the plans and models displayed, and show units erected are accurate and in accordance with the approved building plans as required under the Housing Developers (Show Unit) Rules.

Download a list of important things to look out for.

Booking Your Unit

The developer is required to provide you with a set of mandatory information on the housing project and unit before accepting the booking fee from you. If you decide to proceed with the purchase of the unit after reviewing the information, you will then pay a booking fee for the issue of an Option to Purchase (OTP).

Download mandatory information and more details on Option to Purchase (OTP).

Signing the Agreement

The S&PA is a private contract between the developer and the purchaser for the sale and purchase of a unit. Licensed housing developers are required to use the standard form of S&PA in the sale of the units in a housing project. No amendment to the S&PA can be made except with the prior approval of the Controller of Housing. You should review the terms in the S&PA before signing it. 

Download important information about the Sale and Purchase Agreement.

Collecting Your Keys

Once Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) is issued and you have paid the progress payment due upon TOP, the developer will inform you of the procedure to collect the key to your unit. After collecting the key, you can inspect your unit and report any defects in your unit and housing project to the developer to carry out rectification works within the 1 year defects liability period.

Download detailed information on key collection and completion of sale procedures.

*If you need advice on your specific situation(s), whether you are a prospective home buyer or otherwise, you should consult the relevant professionals for further advice. While we endeavour to ensure accuracy in this guide, we make no representations or warranties of any kind (whether express or implied) about the accuracy, completeness, format, currency or any other aspects of this guide or its application. Any reliance you place on this guide is strictly at your own risk.