A Guide to Buying Private New Launch Properties in Singapore: A Checklist

Are you keen on buying property from the private residential market? Continuing on from our previous 2-part guide on the type of information that you need to acquire with regards to the development before you head to the showflats, here is a checklist of some of the personal information you will need to verify before you start on your showflat tour. These include government policies and guidelines, as well as the financial aspects of buying a new launch property.

Eligibility

If you are currently living in a HDB, EC or DBSS unit, you will need to fulfill the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) before you can purchase a private property. For flats bought directly from the HDB, under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), DBSS unit bought from the developer or resale flats bought from the open market with or without a CPF Housing Grant, the MOP is 5 years. For any flats bought under the Fresh Start Housing Scheme, the MOP is 20 years.

Seek a Lawyer

A professional lawyer can help you understand your rights as a potential buyer and handle all legal documentation for you. It may seem like you are forking out a lot of money when it comes to legal fees but it will prevent you from incurring any unnecessary costs in the process of dealing with all the paperwork if any mistakes or misunderstandings should arise.

Sort out your finances beforehand

Imagine this scenario: you walk into a showflat, go through the tour and fall head over heels in love with the unit. However, after doing financial checks, you discover that you are unable to afford it. Cue heartbreak! To prevent that heartbreak, it will be best to first have your finances sorted out beforehand.

BANK LOAN

Firstly, head down a few banks and have sit-down sessions with a banker to analyze your finances and ask for an Approval-in-Principle (AIP) which is a hypothetical estimate on how much that bank would be agreeable to loan you and the monthly mortgage payments that you should expect to incur. Different banks offer different sums, so it is advised that you visit a few banks to find out which has the best offer.

CPF

If you have been making consistent monthly contributions to your CPF, you should have a substantial amount in your account that you can use to pay for your property purchase. Log in via your Singpass on the CPF Website to find out exactly how much you have in your CPF.

Under CPF’s Private Properties Scheme (PPS), as long as you are eligible by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to buy a private residential property, you can use your CPF to finance your purchase. The maximum amount you can use to fund your purchase is up to 120% of the Valuation Limit (VL), the valuation or purchase price of the property. In order to determine whether or not you have enough in your CPF to finance your private property purchase, check your Ordinary Account.

When you have decided to use funds in your CPF account to pay for your purchase, the next step would be to apply to do so. This will involve the legal expertise of a lawyer who will have to submit (1) an application form to use your CPF funds and (2) a valuation report that will have to be prepared by a valuer. Once you have received a letter of approval from the CPF board, your lawyer will have to work out details with a lawyer from CPF to settle all legal documentation. All the relevant forms are accessible here.

ADDITIONAL COSTS

This includes legal fees, Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD), 5% Option Fee and minimum 15% Exercise Fee. The Exercise Fee is dependent on how much bank loan you are able to secure.  The BSD is calculated as follows:

Market Value or Purchase Price of Property Rates
First $180,000 1%
Next $180,000 2%
Remaining Amount 3%

For example, for a property with a price tag of $1 million,

Market Value or Purchase Price of Property Computation Rate
First $180,000 $180,000 x 1% $1800
Next $180,000 $180,000 x 2% $3600
Remaining Amount of $640,000 x 3% $19,200
Buyer Stamp Duty Payable $19,200+$1800+$3600=$24,600

5% of the Option Fee = $50000

15% of Exercise Fee=$$150,000

 

ADDITIONAL BUYER STAMP DUTY (ABSD)

Introduced in 2011 as a measure to cool property prices, the ABSD is applicable to certain groups of people. It is a sum that is payable on top of the original BSD.

For first property, Singaporeans need not pay any ABSD and Permanent Residents have to pay 5%.

For second property, Singaporeans incur a 7% charge and Permanent Residents will have to fork out 10%.

For the third and subsequent property, both Singaporeans and Permanent Residents have to pay 10%.

Foreigners are charged 15% for first, second and third or subsequent properties purchased.

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Do remember to check back with us at Aiden Real Estate as we have another showflat guide as well as an informed guide on the Option to Purchase and Sale and Purchase Agreement forms lined up to help you better understand the procedures involved in purchasing a private property in Singapore.