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Timeline of Buying a Condo in Singapore for Foreigners


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Written by: Benjienen Toledo

Interested to buy a property in Singapore? There are multiple ownership restrictions as stated in the Residential Property Act and it is highly regulated by the Singapore Land Authority.

Types of Property that a Foreign Person Can Purchase Without Approval Under the Residential Property Act:

  1. Condominium unit
  2. Flat unit
  3. Strata landed house in an approved condominium development
  4. 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;
  5. Shophouse (for commercial use)
  6. Industrial and commercial properties
  7. Hotel (registered under the provisions of the Hotels Act)

Since we previously shared with you a simple guide to get you started when buying a condominium in Singapore, let’s understand further how long does it take to own that dream property in this heart of Asia.

6 Steps and Timeline in Buying a Condo in Singapore for Foreigners

1. Search for your Property

In searching for your property, it is important to engage the Official Developer Real Estate Consultants, you will enjoy direct developer price and exclusive show suite viewing. You’ll also be up-to-date with the latest pricing, units availability, have a secure real estate transactions, get better deals, and enjoy more benefits. There no commission required and no service fee.

You also have to ensure that the Real Estate Consultant you are dealing with is granted a licence by the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) and the estate agency is registered. They can perform estate agency work only if they have a valid licence registration.

The speed of finding your property depends on its market availability, how often you search and how soon as you find the perfect one for you. Realistically, you could find your condo in a week, or it could take several months. If you are not in a rush, three to six months of searching for your property to buy in Singapore is long enough to shortlist the properties at the best rate for you.

2. Plan your Budget

While searching for your property, you can start to plan your budget at the same time. There are four things you need to consider when buying a condo in Singapore:

Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD)

The BSD is a tax on documents relating to immovable properties. It is levied on all purchases of property e.g. residential such as a condo, commercial or industrial properties. Find out how BSD is calculated.

Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD)

ABSD was imposed on top of the BSD, and applied to the purchase price, or the current market value of the property, whichever is higher. Here’s the ABSD fact sheet.

Loan-To-Value Limits (LTV)

LTV is the housing loan quantum a bank or financial institution is willing to offer as a percentage of the property’s valuation. LTV depends on whether this is your first, second or subsequent mortgage and your loan tenure.

Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR)

The TDSR is meant to work in the best interest of home buyers from over-committing to a mortgage that they otherwise would not be able to afford. As such, you can only allocate a maximum of 60% of your monthly income to servicing your monthly loan payments.

3. Choose a Bank

The process of comparing bank rates happens during your financial planning stage. Talk to our in-house Mortgage Consultants, we will summarise the best interest rates from all banks in Singapore for you, and help you secure the best home loan package, minus the hassle.

Obtaining the Approval-in-Principle (AIP) from the bank will take a few hours to one month or longer, depending on the buyer profile.

Once you have found your property and you have obtained your IPA, it’s time to pay the 1% of the property price as an option fee. Your real estate consultant will assist you in this stage.

4. Hire a Local Property Lawyer

The real estate consultant who assisted you in your show flat viewings and issuing the option fee, may also refer you to a local property lawyer.

After issuing the Option Fee, it will take 14 days before you can exercise the Option to Purchase (OTP). The lawyer will exercise the OTP on your behalf.


5. Secure the Property

Secure the property by signing the OTP and paying the 4% or 9% exercise fee. Prepare your AIP for many sellers or developers will not accept your Option to Purchase (OTP) without it. AIPs expire after one month and can be renewed when necessary.

Proceed with the Sale and Purchase Agreement and pay necessary dues such as agreed deposit, taxes, stamp duties, etc.

6. Completion of Sale

Completion of Sale happens after 8-10 weeks of exercising the OTP.

Assuming that you have completed steps 1-3 in the first 6 months and everything goes well, after 14 days you will already secure your property. Then after 8-10 weeks, the sale is completed. You have your new condo in Singapore within 11 months.

1. Search for your Property3-6 Months
2. Plan your Budget


  • Property Taxes for Foreigners
  • Property Financing
  • Other Fees
3-6 months
3. Choose a Bank and get your AIP, then pay the 1% Option Fee to the Developer or Seller1 month
4. Hire a Local Property LawyerWithin 14 days after the Option Date
5.Secure the Property by exercising the OTP14 Days after the Option Date
6. Completion of SaleAfter 8-10 weeks of Exercising the OTP

This timeline may be expedited depending on the duration of your search for property and financial plan. All the best on your condo buying journey!

Book a showflat viewing with any of our Super Agents here.

Source: Singapore Land Authority, MoneySENSE

While the Information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the Information. The Information may change without notice and Ohmyhome is not in any way liable for the accuracy of any information printed and stored or in any way interpreted and used by a user.

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