Singapore is an ideal place for those looking to get the best of both worlds; the East and West. This is perhaps the reason why Singapore is a preferred destination for expat Chinese and other Asians, who’d like their children get the best education, yet remain rooted and close to their culture. Sentosa Cove is a virtual hub for expats who’ve made this gated community in the deep sea marina, their home. In fact, there are several reports that suggest that Singapore has become the third most popular destination for the wealthy Chinese. Here are a few highlights to be kept in mind when buying property in Singapore.
• Foreigners in Singapore can buy non landed properties (read apartments and condominiums) without prior approval of the government. This rule is a result of an enactment in 2005 that barred foreigners from buying property in apartment blocks that are lower than six storeys or come under the category of condominiums. However they still need to seek permission from the Singapore Land Authority to buy landed properties like bungalows, semi-detached houses, and vacant plots.
• They are also restricted from buying an HDB shophouse, an HDB house directly from the HDB, a resale HDB flat that is approved by the HDB, and a condominium that is purchased under the Executive Condominium Housing Scheme of 1996. This scheme was introduced for people who wished to buy something better than an HDB flat, but couldn’t afford to buy private property. For the uninitiated, HDB is an acronym for Housing and Development Board- Singapore, the public housing authority of Singapore. This was set up by the government of Singapore, with an aim to help Singaporeans buy quality home at affordable prices. I will recommend The Vales EC
• Permanent Residents or PR’s are allowed to purchase HDB flats directly from the HDB, provided they form a family nucleus with a Singapore citizen. Pr’s can also buy an HDB flat from the resale market; provide they enlist at least one occupier as a Singaporean citizen or PR. And to protect people from flipping their property, owners looking to sell apartments that are less than 3 years old, would have to pay a duty of 3 per cent of the resale value. Thus property owners who buy property through easy credit and then sell them quickly for a profit are discouraged from doing so.
• As for properties under the Executive Condominium Scheme, PR’s are allowed to buy property in projects that are in their sixth to tenth year of the Temporary Occupation Permit or TOP. As for foreigners and corporate bodies; they can buy EC property only after the eleventh year of the TOP.
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