FAQ General
1. Can a foreigner or a relocating expat buy a residential property in Singapore?

Since 1973, the Singapore Government has imposed restrictions on foreign ownership of private residential property in Singapore. Such ownership is governed by the Residential Property Act (the Act).

The Act seeks to strike a balance between giving Singaporeans a stake in the country by making it possible for them to buy and own residential properties at affordable prices, while  allowing permanent residents, foreign companies and limited liability partnerships that make an economic contribution to Singapore to purchase such properties for their occupation.

If you are a foreign person interested in purchasing a restricted residential property, you need to apply for approval from Singapore Land Authority before making the purchase. For details on application, please visit Singapore Land Authority* website.


2. What are restricted residential properties?

Foreign persons (including natural persons, foreign companies and societies) are restricted from purchasing:

· Vacant land
· Landed residential property, such as bungalows, terrace houses, semi-detached houses
· Residential property in a building of less than 6 levels

Other restricted properties

· A HDB Shophouse
· A HDB flat purchased directly from HDB
· A resale HDB flat where HDB has consented to the sale
· Executive Condominium bought under the Executive Condominium Housing Scheme Act, 1996


3. What are the loan options available to a foreigner?

Depending on your income and credit status, a foreigner can loan up to 70% or 80% of the property valuation or purchase price of the property (whichever is lower), subject to the bank's criteria.

Non-Singapore companies cannot be granted Singapore Dollar loans to purchase the residential properties.


Common SOR Package Questions

4.1 What is SIBOR?

It is the Singapore Interbank Offer Rate ("SIBOR") + Market Reserve Costs. It measures how much it costs banks to borrow from each other in the Singapore Interbank Market.


4.2 What is Market Reserve Costs?

It is the additional cost incurred in lending out funds as banks in Singapore are required to maintain a minimum reserve against the deposit it collects. The market reserve cost is determined daily through an average of fixings by the active banks in Singapore.


4.3   What is SOR?  How do I find out what is the SOR for today?

The daily SOR will be published in the local Business Times on the next business day (Monday to Friday).  It is also available from Bloomberg after 11am (Singapore time)


4.4  Since the SOR changes daily, which day's SOR do you take?

The rate applied to a customer's loan will be the SOR on the day of loan disbursement, or the date of loan roll-over.  This rate is published in The Business Times the next business day,  and remains fixed throughout the tenor selected as the Interest Rate Period.


4.5  Why should I take up a SOR Packages?

SOR Packages offer you:

(a) Transparency
SOR is a published rate. This means that your interest rate will move in tandem with the market interest rate.

(b) Choice of SOR Rates*

You have a choice to peg your home loan rates to the 3-Month, 6-Month or 12-Month SOR

(c) Flexibility

You can opt to change the Interest Rate Period on the expiry date of the contracted Interest Rate Period by giving the Bank one month's notice in writing, and pay an administrative fee

eg: If you have chosen a 3M SOR package, you can opt to change to a 12M SOR package upon the expiry of the 3-month Interest Rate Period, subject to the conditions.

If no prior instructions are given by you, your Loan will be re-priced based on the new 3M SOR rate upon the expiry of the contracted Interest Rate Period.
Upon the expiry of the contracted Interest Rate Period, your Loan will be re-contracted based on the rate of the new 3M SOR if there are no instructions to the contrary.

(d) No Partial / Full Redemption Penalty
There is no prepayment penalty, if you effect your prepayments on the expiry date of the contracted Interest Rate Period, subject to the required written notice**.

*Partial Prepayment: 1 month's notice in writing before the expiry of the contracted Interest Rate Period.

**Full Redemption: 3 months' notice in writing before the expiry of the contracted Interest Rate Period

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