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Foreign Ownership of Property


To note:

  1. This is the official website on matters relating to foreign ownership of residential property in Singapore and the Residential Property Act. Please refer to this source of information as other sites may contain information that is not up-to-date.

 

  1. The general processing time for applications is one (1) month. Applications are to be submitted early as some applications may take longer to process. An application for in-principle approval can be submitted if no specific property has been identified.

 

  1. Legal personal representatives are to take note of the deadline involving foreign beneficiaries in estate matters under section 3(4) of the Residential Property Act. Please direct queries to the Land Dealings Approval Unit.

 

A foreign person who wishes to purchase a landed residential property is required to seek approval under the Residential Property Act. All applications have to be submitted online here.

WHO IS CONSIDERED A FOREIGN PERSON 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*; or
  • Singapore society*.

*Please see FAQs on Clearance Certificate for purchase of landed residential property 

WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR APPROVAL?

Each applicant is assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration, including but not limited to, the following factors:

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

TYPES OF PROPERTY FOR WHICH A FOREIGN PERSON MUST SEEK APPROVAL TO PURCHASE UNDER THE RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY ACT

  • Vacant residential land;
  • Terrace house;
  • Semi-detached house;
  • Bungalow/detached house;
  • Strata landed house which is not within an approved condominium development under the Planning Act (eg. townhouse or cluster house);
  • Shophouse (for non-commercial use);
  • Association premises;
  • Place of worship; and
  • Worker’s dormitory/serviced apartments/boarding house (not registered under the provisions of the Hotels Act).

TYPES OF PROPERTY FOR WHICH A FOREIGN PERSON CAN PURCHASE WITHOUT APPROVAL UNDER THE RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY ACT

  • Condominium unit;
  • Flat unit;
  • Strata landed house in an approved condominium development;
  • A leasehold estate in a landed residential property for a term not exceeding 7 years, including any further term which may be granted by way of an option for renewal;
  • Shophouse (for commercial use);
  • Industrial and commercial properties;
  • Hotel (registered under the provisions of the Hotels Act); and
  • Executive condominium unit, HDB flat and HDB shophouse. (For this category, you may wish to find out more information on HDB eligibility guidelines at hdb.gov.sg or email HDB at hdbsales@mailbox.hdb.gov.sg.)

PUBLICLY LISTED HOUSING DEVELOPERS WITH SUBSTANTIAL CONNECTION TO SINGAPORE TO BE EXEMPTED FROM QUALIFYING CERTIFICATE REGIME

Publicly listed housing developers can apply for exemption from the Qualifying Certificate regime on the basis that they have a substantial connection to Singapore. Subsidiaries and/or joint ventures that are wholly-owned by exempted entities can also submit an application for an exemption. All applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. An application can be submitted by submitting the form found here to the Controller of Residential Property via SLA_LDU@sla.gov.sg.

The application will be assessed by reference to the following criteria:

    a)    Incorporation in Singapore;
    b)    Primary listing is on the Singapore Exchange and principal place of business is Singapore;
    c)    Chairperson and majority of Board are Singapore citizens;
    d)    A significantly Singaporean substantial shareholding interest[1][2] in the company; and
    e)    Track record in Singapore.

[1] This is defined as either (a) substantial shareholders who are Singapore citizens, Singapore companies or Singapore Government entities holding at least 50% interest in the voting rights and issued shares in the company; or (b) the largest single substantial shareholder is a Singapore citizen, Singapore company or a Singapore Government entity and holding at least 25% interest in the total voting rights and issued shares in the company, and the largest single foreign substantial shareholder holds not more than 25% of the voting rights and issued shares in the company. Substantial shareholders refer to persons or companies who have an interest in at least 5% of the votes attached to all the voting shares in the company or class of shares.
 [2] Where applicable, you can find the whitelist of approved nominee companies here.

 

MORE INFORMATION

For more information on foreign ownership of residential properties, please refer to the FAQs.

You may also submit your feedback or enquiries here.

Land Dealings Approval Unit
Singapore Land Authority
55 Newton Road
#12-01 Revenue House
Singapore 307987

Tel: 6478-3444