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7 Factors to Consider When Buying Residential Property for Singaporeans

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Ohmyhome

Genius is said to be 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. When it comes to purchasing a home, financial planning is your key to success.

7 Factors to Consider When Buying a Private Residential Property

Here are some of the essential financial factors involved in buying private residential property in Singapore.

1. Do you own an Executive Condominium, HBD, or DBSS flat?

As a flat owner, you can choose to acquire private residential properties locally if you can fulfil the eligibility conditions that apply to your flat.
If you own an HBD flat, a Design, Build, and Sell Scheme flat, an Executive Condominium, or any government-subsidised housing, you have to have to fulfil the HDB-set Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) before you can sell it in the open market.

2. How long is the Minimum Occupation Period?

The MOP starts from the date you take possession of your flat (including subsequent changes to flat ownership through outright transfer) to the following dates, whichever is earlier:

  • Date on which the Option to Purchase (OTP) the private property is exercised
  • Date of the Sale and Purchase Agreement of the private property, regardless of whether it is still under construction or ready for possession

The computation excludes:

  • The period of renting out or non-occupation of the flat
  • Any infringement of the lease of the flat by the owner

How to find out if you have met the MOP? You can log in to
My HDBPage
with your SingPass and check if you have met the MOP to acquire private property, under My Flat > Purchased Flat > Flat Details > Minimum Occupation Period (MOP).

3. Can you afford to buy another property?

If you want to buy something, you have to know how much it costs first. How much is the selling price of the property you are interested in? The Urban Redevelopment Authority has compiled property market information that you can look up in doing your research about property prices.

You can use Ohmyhome’s affordability calculator to find out the maximum home loan amount and property purchase price you can comfortably afford based on your income, age, and loan commitments.

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4. Can you use your CPF?

For the purchase of private property, you may use your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) savings under the Private Properties Scheme. However, you are not eligible if you are buying a private property with a remaining lease of 20 years or less.

Do note that there are limits on how much of your CPF savings you can use. Check how much you can use through the CPF Housing Usage Calculator.

5. Which bank loans are you eligible for?

Need help with understanding how housing loans work? You may consult with our mortgage specialists, free of charge, and get professional and unbiased guidance.

Second, understand that different banks have different requirements. Let our in-house brokers find the best loan package across all banks in Singapore you are eligible for before you commit to the purchase, much less paying an upfront deposit.

6. What duties do you have to pay?

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has detailed information on stamp duties on their website. There are three stamp duties that you have to pay to formalize the purchase of the property.

  • Buyer’s Stamp Duty – This is the tax you pay after signing the agreement.
  • Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty – You may need to pay this additional tax after signing the agreement. ABSD is imposed on top of the Buyer’s Stamp Duty and applied to the purchase price or the current market value of the property, whichever is higher.
  • Seller’s Stamp Duty – This tax applies if you sell or dispose of the property within three years of acquisition. For example, if you sell property held for one year or less, you will have to pay 12% in SSD.

7. What about legal fees?

There are a lot of legal factors involved in the purchase of private property.
If you are using your CPF to buy private property, you will have to authorise your lawyer (by signing the Letter of Authorisation, Declaration, Consent & Agreement) to submit an application form to use your CPF savings to buy the property. Also, you will need to instruct your lawyer to work with CPF Board’s lawyer to complete the necessary legal documentation.

Expect that your CPF savings will be released to you for the property purchase after:

  • The CPF Board’s lawyer confirms that all legal documentation is in order; and
  • You have paid the required cash down payment of at least 5% of the lower of the purchase price or the valuation price of the property at the time of purchase; and
  • You have paid any balance purchase price after taking into consideration the CPF lump sum and the housing loan amount.

Ohmyhome offers legal conveyancing services that you might want to employ as you purchase your property.

That’s a lot of factors to consider. But it would all be worth it when you finally have the keys to the new private residential property that you can proudly call your own.

If you need help with the whole process of purchasing a private residence, Ohmyhome provides Condo Buyer Agent Service, free of charge!

You can reach us at 6886 9009 or drop us an email at [email protected].

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