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Complete Guide To Buying Landed Property In Singapore

A terrace house would cost about $3 million on average


While most Singaporeans are familiar with the process of buying an HDB flat or condominium, few of us actually have the experience of buying landed property in Singapore. After all, only 5% of Singapore households reside in landed properties.

For those of us who are fortunate enough to buy a landed property in Singapore (or those of us who are just curious about the process), here’s a complete guide to buying landed property in Singapore.

Read Also: Step-By-Step Guide To Upgrading From An HDB Flat To A Private Property

Types of Landed Property Available in Singapore

There are 3 main types of landed property in Singapore: terrace houses, semi-detached and bungalows.

Source: URA

According to URA, a terrace house is a house with its own land title that forms part of a row of at least 3 houses with common walls between them. Usually, the corner terrace houses (i.e. the 2 houses at the end of the row of terrace houses) are more sought after as they typically have a larger land area.

A semi-detached house is one half of a pair of two houses, each with its own land title, separated by a common wall along one side of the premises. They are usually joined side-by-side but can be joined back-to-back.

A bungalow is a detached landed house with its own land title. The property doesn’t share any common walls with any other property and is surrounded by land space.

Note: it is possible for all these types of landed property to be strata-titled.

While a good class bungalow (GCB) is technically a bungalow, it is usually categorised separately due to the unique characteristics that distinguish a GCB:

  • A GCB must be located within the 39 GCB areas listed by URA
  • Generally, land size of at least 1,400 sq m (about 15,069 sq feet)
  • Cannot be more than two storeys high (excluding attic and basement)
  • At least 60% of the land must be allocated to greenery and landscape

Read Also: 4 Reasons Why A Good Class Bungalow (Assuming You Can Afford It) Is A Great Investment

How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Landed Property In Singapore?

According to URA data which tracks the private residential property data, the price index for landed property is 184.8 for 2Q2021, a slight dip from 185.4 in 1Q2021, which jumped 6.7% from 4Q2021. This is the highest of all the private residential types which include non-landed property (i.e. condominiums), except for Outside Core Region (OCR) non-landed property which hit a hit of 189.1 in 2Q2021.

Between January 2021 and August 2021, a total of 1,959 resale landed property transactions had their caveats lodged or options issued, according to URA’s Private Residential Property Transactions. We did not look at new sales or sub sales as most landed property transactions are for resale properties. We also did not look at strata-titled landed properties.

Terrace Houses

Terrace Houses Average Price Number of Transactions
CCR $5,565,000 55
District 4 $6,690,000 2
District 9 $6,250,000 21
District 10 $5,001,000 15
District 11 $5,086,000 17
RCR $3,220,000 226
District 2 $5,950,000 1
District 5 $3,462,000 13
District 8 $3,643,000 4
District 12 $3,096,000 5
District 13 $2,675,000 50
District 14 $2,514,000 10
District 15 $3,567,000 59
District 19 $2,883,000 4
District 20 $3,077,000 53
District 21 $3,807,000 27
OCR $2,918,000 781
District 5 $3,062,000 23
District 13 $2,885,000 13
District 14 $3,198,000 38
District 15 $3,547,000 91
District 16 $2,913,000 81
District 17 $2,103,000 29
District 18 $2,086,000 21
District 19 $3,021,000 214
District 20 $2,939,000 46
District 22 $1,777,000 23
District 23 $2,484,000 56
District 25 $1,862,000 17
District 26 $3,187,000 45
District 27 $2,502,000 13
District 28 $3,047,000 71
Total $3,119,000 1,062

 

Semi-Detached

Semi-Detached Average Price Number of Transactions
CCR $6,749,000 119
District 10 $6,821,000 84
District 11 $6,576,000 35
RCR $5,206,000 83
District 4 $4,630,000 1
District 5 $4,050,000 2
District 12 $4,169,000 1
District 13 $4,385,000 12
District 15 $6,033,000 28
District 20 $4,712,000 14
District 21 $5,109,000 25
OCR $4,074,000 395
District 5 $5,119,000 8
District 13 $4,097,000 6
District 14 $4,507,000 24
District 15 $5,268,000 36
District 16 $3,891,000 73
District 17 $3,473,000 16
District 18 $3,763,000 6
District 19 $4,480,000 72
District 20 $3,477,000 15
District 21 $8,700,000 1
District 22 $1,741,000 5
District 23 $3,390,000 30
District 25 $3,081,000 7
District 26 $3,954,000 22
District 27 $3,203,000 13
District 28 $3,927,000 61
Total $4,764,000 597

 

Bungalows

Bungalows Average Price Number of Transactions
CCR $21,024,000                                                              132
District 4 $16,897,000                                                                19
District 9 $33,600,000                                                                  1
District 10 $25,062,000                                                                73
District 11 $15,153,000                                                                39
RCR $12,701,000                                                              125
District 3 $6,380,000                                                                  4
District 12 $800,000                                                                13
District 13 $6,058,000                                                                  9
District 14 $6,650,000                                                                14
District 15 $12,062,000                                                                  5
District 20 $5,867,000                                                                  6
District 21 $18,170,000                                                                  3
OCR $7,405,000                                                                29
District 5 $8,888,000                                                                  2
District 13 $9,727,000                                                                  9
District 14 $6,444,000                                                                  1
District 15 $10,063,000                                                                10
District 16 $5,706,000                                                                  2
District 17 $5,058,000                                                                  1
District 18 $5,150,000                                                                  3
District 19 $5,842,000                                                                14
District 20 $7,450,000                                                                43
District 21 $10,380,000                                                                  1
District 22 $6,000,000                                                                  1
District 23 $8,655,000                                                                  5
District 25 $4,250,000                                                                  2
District 26 $6,660,000                                                                14
District 27 $7,337,000                                                                  3
District 28 $5,929,000                                                                17
Total $14,157,000                                                              300

 

As seen from the figures above, buying a landed property is not a small sum of money for most people. The supply of available landed property is also limited. In general, you would expect to fork out above $3 million for a terrace house, close to $5 million for a semi-detached, and about $14 million for a bungalow.

The location also matters. The Outside Central Region (OCR) is the most affordable region to buy landed property while the Core Central Region (CCR) is the most expensive. The CCR is also home to the Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) which are known to be the homes of the wealthiest in Singapore.

Foreigners And Permanent Residents Are Not Allowed To Buy Landed Property In Singapore Without Approval

In Singapore, landed property is a restricted property type. Under the Residential Property Act, all foreign persons who want to purchase a landed residential property must obtain approval from the Controller of Residential Property in Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

Foreign persons are defined as anyone who is not a Singapore Citizen, Singapore company, Singapore limited liability partnership or Singapore society. Foreigners (including Permanent Residents) will have to seek approval to buy landed property in Singapore.

The SLA assesses each application based on factors such as being a Permanent Resident for at least 5 years and exceptional economic contribution to Singapore, including your employment income assessable for tax in Singapore. While foreign persons are allowed to buy landed property in Sentosa Cove, they are still required to seek approval from SLA prior to the purchase.

You Can Use CPF And/ Or A Bank Loan

Similar to buying private condominiums, landed property buyers can tap on their CPF monies as well as take a bank loan to finance their housing purchase.

To use your CPF savings to buy a private residential property, the property must have at least a remaining lease of more than 20 years. The amount of CPF that can be used is prorated based on the age and remaining lease. To use the maximum amount of CPF, the remaining lease must cover the youngest owner using CPF for the property until age 95.

The maximum amount of CPF that can be used towards private residential property (included landed property) is up to the lower of the purchase price or the valuation price of the property at the time of purchase, if you have already not met the Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) and up to an additional 20% of the lower of the purchase price or the valuation price of the property at the time of purchase, if you have met the BRS.

As for a bank loan the same loan-to-value (LTV) and total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) for a bank loan apply for private property purchases. If you have no outstanding loan, the maximum you can borrow is 75% with a minimum of 5% cash downpayment. In total, our debt obligations including our housing loan cannot exceed 60% of our gross monthly income.

Buyers of landed property are also subject to the same buyer’s stamp duty, additional buyer’s stamp duty and seller’s stamp duty as other property buyers.

Read Also: Complete Guide To Using Your CPF To Pay For Your Private Property

Title Searches Are Important Before Buying Landed Property

Unlike buying HDB flats and condominiums, landed property comes with land and this adds another factor to consider when buying landed property.

Land can come with easements and covenants that may restrict the use of the land. An example of an easement is giving of right of way. For example, if your property is the only route of access to another property, most likely the land title will have an easement that allows access to the second property. This would mean that there may be sections of your land that you may not build without consideration to the easement.

Understanding the limits of your land title is also crucial to avoid trespassing into other properties or state land. One example is the case of a couple who trespassed on state land for nearly 15 years.

While most landed properties come without land easements or covenants, your appointed lawyer should conduct due diligence on your behalf and highlight any issues.

It Is Not Mandatory To Lodge A Caveat For Landed Property

According to URA, “caveats are legal documents lodged by purchasers with the Singapore Land Authority to register their legal interest in the property. Caveats are usually lodged by purchasers after the Option-to Purchase is exercised or the Sales and Purchase agreement is signed.”

As it is not mandatory to lodge a caveat with SLA, some landed property transactions may not be captured by URA’s Private Residential Property Transactions and thus be in the domain of public knowledge. However, it is advisable for buyers to lodge a caveat as it protects the buyers’ interest. In cases where there is more than one claim to the property, the time of lodgement of the caveat will determine who is the first claimant to the property. This lodgement is typically done by the lawyer as part of the conveyancing process.

Read Also: Complete First-Timers’ Guide To Buying A New Executive Condominium (EC) In Singapore

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