Sunday, January 1, 2006


Other country facts

Property in Singapore is plentiful and good quality. The use of a professional property agent is recommended. Most property companies share a national database of property listings in Singapore; therefore working with a single agent avoids duplication of effort.
Singapore Dollar : SGD. 1 Singapore Dollar equates to 0.627 US Dollars compared with an exchange rate of 0.583 at the end of 2003. Therefore relative fluctuation against property purchases in dollar ‘pegged’ currencies. However, in line with world currency market movement.

Economic climate : Singapore has staged a recovery in 2005 following 2003’s SARS crisis which severely impacted the tourism and property sectors. Property prices have lagged behind neighboring South Asia economies by 40 to 60 percent however housing prices rose 1.1 percent and high end apartments and condominiums by 4.1 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2005, the biggest quarterly increase in five years. Rental returns remain strong.

Capital Gains Tax : CGT is no longer imposed upon the sale of residential properties in Singapore.

Popular Areas : Prime residential districts close to the Orchard Road shopping and entertainment belt including Orchard, Tanglin, Holland and River Valley. Other attractions are Bukit Timah and Hillview in the West and Tanjong Rhu on the East side.

Price ranges : US$ 90,000 rising to US$ 1.5 million, dependent on location, inner city real estate in good areas is much more expensive. Annual Property Tax is 4% for wholly owner-occupied residential properties and 10% for other properties based on the annual estimated rental value.

Budgetary guide : Apartments 2/3 bedrooms: US$ 90,000 to 220,000. Terraced houses: US$ 140,000 to 250,000, Semi-Detached houses 3 to 5 bedrooms: US$ 170,000 to 350,000. Bungalows 3 to 5 bedrooms: US$ 170,000 to 470,000. Luxury Bungalows: US$ 270,000 to 750,000.

Overseas Investors : Foreigners may purchase apartments in a building of any number of levels or designated condominium development. Prior approval from the Singapore Land Authority must be obtained to buy ‘Restricted property’, e.g. bungalows and houses with land.

Service Fees : Stamp duty and legal fees represent approximately 3% of the sale price. An ‘Option to Purchase’ demands a non-refundable payment of 1% of the purchase price for ‘resale apartments’ and 5% for ‘off plan apartments’ which instigates a 14-day review period but forms part of the mandatory 10% deposit if the sale proceeds. Purchaser’s agent commission is 1% of Sale price.

Mortgages : A purchaser of a ‘private residential property” can now secure a loan of up to 90% of the lower of the valuation or purchase price. The deposit of 10% can be paid as 5% in cash and if applicable 5% drawn from the Central provident fund (CPF). Most international banks operate in Singapore. Interest rates average between 2 and 3.5 % per annum dependent on loan type.