Guide to Buying New Sale Residential Property

By Lin Zhiqin
/ The Edge Property |
Join our  Telegram  channel and follow our  Facebook  for the latest update.
Pre-purchase checks
  • Singapore citizens who own a HDB flat, DBSS flat or Executive Condominium must fulfill the minimum occupation period of 5 years before they can purchase private residential properties
  • A foreign person will require approval from the Land Dealings Approval Unit of Singapore Land Authority before they can purchase the following types of residential properties:
o Vacant residential land
o Terrace house
o Semi-detached house
o Bungalow/detached house
o Strata landed house which is not within an approved condominium development under the Planning Act (eg. townhouse or cluster house)
o Shophouse (for non-commercial use)
  • A foreign person can purchase the following types of residential properties without special approval:
o Condominium unit
o Flat unit
o Strata landed house in an approved condominium development
o 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
o Executive condominium unit, HDB flat and HDB shophouse
  • Estimate your budget by using a TDSR and mortgage calculator
Selecting your dream home
  • Consider the qualities your dream home should possess, such as location, amenities, facilities and design
  • Shortlist the developments that fit your requirements. Consider engaging a real estate salesperson (property agent) who can assist you in making your selection and handling the paperwork
  • Check that the salesperson is registered with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA)
  • Salesperson’s commission is usually paid by the developer for New Sale
  • Visit sales galleries of your shortlisted developments to learn more and zoom in on your dream home
Procedure for purchase
  • Obtain an Approval in Principle (AIP) for a bank loan
  • An AIP lets you know your eligible loan quantum and the monthly mortgage payable
  • Having an AIP before booking prevents the forfeiture of your booking fee should there be hiccups in the process of mortgage approval
  • Make payment of 5% to 10% booking fee to the developer for the Option to Purchase (OTP)
  • Option to Purchase is valid for 3 weeks from delivery of S&P
  • Buyer cannot do a sub-sale during the Option stage as the OTP is not assignable
  • The developer will deliver the Sales and Purchase Agreement (S&P) within 2 weeks to your address or your lawyer
  • Submit OTP to bank
  • Receive Letter of Offer (LO) from bank
  • The LO is a contract stating the terms of the loan offered by the bank to the borrower
  • Sign Letter of Offer (LO)
  • This forms a binding contract between the bank and the borrower
  • Sign and send S&P to the developer, and pay the balance down payment of 20% of purchase price, less booking fee paid
  • The developer may allow buyers to pay the balance down payment within 8 weeks of the Option date
  • If Option is not exercised, 25% of the booking fee will be forfeited with the remaining 75% refunded to buyer
  • Pay Stamp Duty within 2 weeks of signing S&P
  • The Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) is computed based on the purchase price or market value of the property, whichever is higher
  • Buyer needs to pay BSD of 1% on the first $180,000, 2% on the next $180,000 and 3% on the remaining amount of the purchase price
  • The Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) depends on the buyer’s residency status and number of residential properties owned
  • Singapore citizens need to pay 7% ABSD for the purchase of a second residential property and 10% ABSD for the third and subsequent residential property
  • Singapore Permanent Residents need to pay 5% ABSD for the purchase of a first residential property and 10% ABSD for the second and subsequent residential property
  • Foreigners need to pay a 15% ABSD for any residential property purchased
  • Nationals and Permanent Residents of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland; and Nationals of the USA are accorded the same ABSD rates as Singapore citizens
Schedule of payment
  • The purchase price will be paid in installments according to the Standard Payment Scheme
  • Notice of progress payments must be supported by the architect’s Certificate of Stage Completion
Payment under a standard payment scheme ( % of purchase price )
Upon the grant of Option to Purchase
5% - 10% (booking fee)
Upon signing of the Sale & Purchase Agreement or within 8 weeks from the Option date
20% less booking fee
Completion of foundation work
Completion of reinforced concrete framework of unit
Completion of partition walls of unit
Completion of roofing/ceiling of unit
Completion of door sub-frames/ door frames, window frames, electrical wiring, internal plastering and plumbing of unit
Completion of car park, roads and drains serving the housing project
Temporary Occupation Permit or Certificate of Statutory Completion
On completion date
Expected TOP and Vacant Possession Date
  • The developer may provide an estimated Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) date. The actual TOP date may vary depending on construction progress
  • The developer is contractually bound to deliver Vacant Possession of the property by the date stated in the OTP and S&P. Failing which, the developer has to pay liquidated damages to the buyer
Source: URA, SLA, IRAS, Singapore Statues Online, The Edge Property

Follow Us
Follow our channels to receive property news updates 24/7 round the clock.
EdgeProp Telegram
EdgeProp Facebook
Subscribe to our newsletter

Our Site (previously known as The Edge Property Singapore) is the best property portal for real estate agents, investors, home-seekers and sellers alike in Singapore. On EdgeProp, you will be able to find the latest and hottest property news, property listings, and access tools for your research and analysis.

Whether you are looking to buy, sell or rent apartments, condominiums, executive condos, HDBs, landed houses, commercial properties or industrial properties, we bring you Singapore’s most comprehensive and up-to-date property news and thousands of listings to facilitate your property decisions. Click into any listing to check out the new AI Redesign tool to envision your property based on your preferred style, be it Scandinavian, Minimalist or many others.

View More