So you’ve settled in Singapore and decided it’s time to buy a home rather than rent. With a reputation of having some of the most expensive real estate in the world, how much do you need to have saved before this is even possible?
To work this out, lets take a look at a hypothetical scenario of two British Expats purchasing a condo for $1.5m in Katong on the east coast.
Under the most recently revised Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) regulations, for your first property purchase as a foreigner you should be able to borrow up to 75% of the proposed property purchase price.
On our scenario of $1.5m above, you will need to have 25% as an initial deposit which would come to $325,000.
As a foreigner, you are subject to two levels of Stamp Duty.
The first is called Buyers Stamp Duty (BSD) and is paid by all purchasers of property in Singapore.
The amount charged is progressive and the rates as of Feb 2018 are:
- 1% on the first $180,000
- 2% on the next $180,000
- 3% on the next $640,000
- 4% on the remaining amount
The second, and most significant, cost for foreigners purchasing property is the Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD).
This rate is a flat 20% against the whole purchase price of the property and can be the biggest inhibitor to purchase property in Singapore.
PLEASE NOTE: Expats from the United States, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland are exempt from the 20% additional stamp duty charge due to the Free Trade Agreements Singapore has with these countries.
So for our British expats looking to buy, their stamp duty costs would come to:
BSD – $44,600
ABSD – $300,000
Total – $344,600
So the total up-front cash our couple would need to purchase their $1.5m condo would come to $669,600.
This can be a significant amount of money for any couple. Depending on your long-term plans and personal situation though, buying can still make sense as the Singapore property has a long-term history of strong returns.
Also, if you apply and are successful in obtaining Singapore Permanent Resident Status (PR), this can bring the ABSD rate down to 5%.
If you’d like to review your borrowing options and see what is possible, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us through www.aexphl.com
Tim Raes, Founder and Managing Director
Aussie Expat Home Loans – Singapore
* This advice is general and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the advice is suitable for you and your personal circumstances. Before you make any decision about whether to acquire a certain product, you should obtain and read the relevant product disclosure statements and seek personalised advice