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Singapore: Working and Living

Buying and Renting Real Estate

This page was last updated on 28 April 2021.

Accommodation

About 80% of housing in Singapore is public, much of it on purpose-built estates with shopping, social and recreational facilities built in.

Most expats however, and many richer Singaporeans, live in private properties, mostly in the form of apartment blocks or condominiums. Apartment units range from 50 to as large as 800 square meters. Many condos are highly sophisticated and quite up to the best standards.

One recent development of 5-story apartments in a good area saw prices averaging SG$2,100 per square foot. Much higher prices were achieved for better quality apartments. 70% of buyers were said to be local. Generally, prices are said to be still 10% below the peak values achieved in early 2008.

In September 2010, amidst fears that the property market could be overheating, Singapore’s government announced immediate measures aimed at maintaining price stability. As a result, the Ministry of Finance has increased the holding period for the imposition of seller’s stamp duty (SSD) from the current one year to three years.

The government originally imposed an SSD for sellers buying residential properties on or after 20 February 2010 and selling them within a year of purchase. However, for residential properties bought on or after 30 August 2010, SSD has been imposed if these properties are sold within three years of purchase.

In addition, for property buyers who already have one or more outstanding housing loans at the time of a new housing purchase, the minimum cash payment has been increased from 5% to 10% of the valuation limit, and the loan-to-value (LTV) limit has been decreased, for housing loans granted by financial institutions to these buyers from the current 80% to 70%.

Property Tax

Annual property tax is imposed on property, based on estimated annual rental value; a 10% rate is imposed on non-owner occupied properties, while a progressive rate is imposed on those occupied by their owners.

Property tax is charged on immovable property, including houses, building and land. From 1 January 2015, residential properties have been charged on two progressive scales, based on annual value and depending on whether the property is owner-occupied or not.

 Owner-Occupier Property Tax Rates


Annual Value (SG$)

Rate

Tax Payable (SG$)

First 8,000

Nil

0

8,000-55,000

4%

1,880

55,000-70,000

6%

900

70,000-85,000

8%

1,200

85,000-100,000

10%

1,500

100,000-115,000

12

1,800

115,000-130,000

14

2,100

130,000+

16

-

Non-Owner-Occupier Property Tax Rates


Annual Value (SG$)

Rate

Tax Payable (SG$)

First 30,000

10%

3,000

30,000-45,000

12%

1,800

45,000-60,000

14%

2,100

60,000-75,000

16%

2,400

75,000-90,000

18%

2,700

90,000+

20%

-

Certain types of property are excluded from this category. These include serviced apartments, chalets and welfare homes. Tax on commercial and industrial properties remains at a flat rate of 10% of the annual value.

 

 

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