Everyday Guide To Singapore's Residential Property Ownership

Singapore Property Resources

Liable buyers are required to pay ABSD on top of the existing Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD). ABSD and BSD are computed on the purchase price as stated in the dutiable document or the market value of the property (whichever is the higher amount).

The rate ranges from 5% to 25% depending on nationalities, property count etc. Click here to learn more.

Note: There are multiple strategies to reduce or even eliminate the need to pay ABSD. To find out if any of the methods might be applicable to you, please contact me for discussion.

An AIP or sometimes referred as In-Principle Approval (IPA), is essentially a commitment by a bank that they will extend you a home loan based on your credit history and financial health.

There’s no actual loan that takes place when you get AIP; rather, it’s a guarantee that the bank will extend you the loan when you need it.

The AIP typically lasts for 30 days and with this, you can go house hunting with a clear idea of what’s affordable.

BSD (Buyer’s Stamp Duty) is the tax payable when you buy or acquire property located in Singapore.

This is applicable to all purchasers (including Singaporean) and the taxable amount is up to 4% of the property value.

Example: The BSD on a S$1,000,000 property is S$24,600. Click here to learn more.

The CCR is considered as the heart of Singapore and comprises of 3 districts, 9, 10, 11 plus Downtown Core Planning Area and Sentosa.

The region encompasses Singapore’s main prime metropolitan area, largely constituted by the CBD district where major commercial buildings are. There are full amenities within reach, with high-end restaurants, shopping malls and hotels scattered throughout.

This is where most high-end, luxury properties in Singapore can be found.

Accrued interest is the interest amount that you would have earned if your CPF savings had not been withdrawn for housing. The interest is computed on the CPF principal amount withdrawn for housing on a monthly basis (at the current CPF Ordinary Account interest rate) and compounded yearly.

Interest will accrue on the amount of CPF savings that you have used for your property. You are required to refund the accrued interest together with the CPF principal amount withdrawn when you sell, transfer or dispose your property.

CSC (Certificate of Statutory Completion) denotes legal completion of the construction of a property. This means that all requirements are met for building to be stable and fit for occupancy and is typically issued around 12 months from TOP.

In Singapore, if a person dies without leaving a Will, the rules on intestate succession (Section 7 of the Intestate Succession Act) applies. Distribution of the deceased’s estate shall be according to the rules on intestate succession.

For a simplified flowchart to understand the distribution rules, refer to article here.

The LOI expresses the intention of a prospective tenant to rent a specific property from a landlord for a certain period of time and according to other agreed terms. As such, an LOI works as a preliminary instrument before concluding a Tenancy Agreement.

LTV limit determines the maximum amount an individual can borrow from a financial institution (FI) for a housing loan. Click here to learn more.

No more than 30% of a borrower’s gross monthly income should go towards repaying all their property loans, including the loan being applied for.

Only applies to the purchase of HDB flats and ECs.

The NRIC (National Registration Identity Card) is the compulsory identity document issued to Singapore citizens and permanent residents. People must register for an NRIC within a year of turning 15, or on becoming a citizen or permanent resident.

Refer to this article on why the residential address on the NRIC must be updated and how to do it.

The OCR is about three-quarters the size of Singapore, and basically refers to areas where mass-market condos at the lower range of price points are located. It is made up of 33 areas, namely districts 16-19 and 22-28.

This region houses the highest number of residential properties with higher concentrations of HDB than private property. Despite being situated outside of the core districts, many are choosing homes in this region due to the extensive public transportation options that Singapore has.

An OTP is an agreement between the buyer and seller (or developer) of a property, and is the most common way for parties to enter into a contract for the sale and purchase of property.

Typically, the seller grants the buyer an OTP in exchange of a sum of money from the buyer called the Option Fee.

Property owners can access free information such as title deeds and boundary plans on their property via Singapore Land Authority’s online service, MyProperty.

The online service includes all private property titles and HDB property titles that have been digitised so far.

The RCR consists of the areas that sit within the central region, but exist outside of postal districts 9, 10, 11, Downtown Core Planning Area and Sentosa.

The RCR is known to house mid-tier value properties with high-quality condominiums and bungalows. Even the HDBs developments in this area hold a higher value when compared to their counterparts located in other regions.

SSD is payable on all residential and industrial properties that are acquired and disposed of within the minimum holding period of 3 years.

SSD rate is the highest when a sale takes place within the first year and proportionally reduced to zero by the end of 3rd year.

For more info on SSD on residential property, click here. For industrial property, click here.

SIBOR is currently the most common benchmark to which home loan interest rates are pegged.

It is pegged to interest rates charged by banks to other banks wanting to borrow money on the Singapore interbank market.

The rates of the 20 banks are ranked and the top and bottom quartiles are removed. The remaining banks’ rates will be averaged to get SIBOR.

SingPass allows users to access hundreds of government services easily and securely online.

Refer to this Instructional Guide for step-by-step instructions on how to register for a SingPass account.

If you need on-site assistance, there are dedicated SingPass counters island-wide.

SOR is a benchmark pegged to the spot and foreign exchange rates of the USD and SGD. As far as home loans are concerned, it is more or less obsolete.

It measures the cost of borrowing USD and then converting it to SGD through an FX swap. Until 2017, SOR was one of the major alternatives to SIBOR.

SORA is quite similar to SIBOR in that it also measures the Singapore interbank lending rate.

However, SORA offers more transparency, as it is based on the average rate of all interbank lending transactions without removing the top and bottom quartiles.

TOP is an approval that marks the date when owners or tenants are permitted to stay in a property.

No more than 60% of a borrower’s gross monthly income should go towards repaying all their debt obligations, including the loan being applied for.

Applies to all properties in Singapore (both residential and non-residential) excluding HDB flats and ECs.