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Housing Options for Single PRs: What Can You Buy?

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
Buying a property as a single Singaporean is challenging enough, let alone buying as a single Singapore Permanent Resident (PR). It’s not uncommon to see questions like: “Can single PR buy HDB flats” or “Can single PR buy resale EC?” on our AskGuru property forum.
This article will explain the type of properties that single PRs can and cannot buy. So if you’re looking to buy a property as single PR, read on.
But before we get into that, here’s an overview:
Residential properties that single PRs can’t buy
Residential properties that single PRs can buy
New HDB flats (BTO, resale HDB flats, Sale of Balance Flats and Open Booking of Flats)
Resale executive condominiums (EC)
Executive condominiums (EC)
Private condominiums
Landed properties
Strata landed properties (also known as cluster houses or townhouses)
Resale HDB flats

Residential Properties That Single PRs Can’t Buy:

1. New HDB BTO flats

As BTO flats are reserved for Singaporeans, you can’t buy a new BTO flat (including Sale of Balance Flats and Open Booking of Flats) if you’re a single PR (or if you’re buying with another PR for that matter).
You can, however, buy a new BTO flat if you’re buying with another Singapore citizen under these schemes: Public Scheme, Fiance/Fiancee Scheme and Orphan Scheme. Read more about the eligibility conditions on HDB’s site here.

2. New Executive Condominiums (ECs)

Aside from new BTO flats, single PRs are also not eligible to buy new executive condominiums (ECs). However, like BTO flats, you can buy a new EC if you’re buying with a Singaporean spouse.

3. Landed Properties

According to the Residential Property Act, landed properties, which include terrace house, semi-detached house, bungalow, and good class bungalow, are off-limits for (single) PRs and foreigners.
However, you may buy landed properties if you manage to obtain special approval from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA). Approval is based on a case-by-case basis, including (but not limited to) these conditions:
1. You should be a permanent resident of Singapore for at least five years; and
2. You must make "exceptional economic contribution to Singapore". This is assessed taking into consideration factors such as your employment income assessable for tax in Singapore.

4. Resale HDB flats

A single PR can only buy a resale HDB flat with another PR or a Singapore citizen under the Public Scheme or Fiance/Fiancee Scheme. In other words, you can’t buy a resale flat alone.

So, What Type of Properties Can Single PRs Buy?

Now that we’ve run through the type of properties that you can’t buy as a single PR, below are the properties that you can buy; however, do keep in mind that you will need to pay Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) for all residential property purchases:
Singapore PR buying first property
ABSD amount: 5% of property price or market value (whichever is higher)
Singapore PR buying second and subsequent properties
ABSD amount: 15% of property price or market value (whichever is higher)

1. Resale ECs

Whilst you can’t buy a new EC, you can buy an EC in the secondary market (this includes MOPed and privatised ECs).
The main benefit of buying a resale EC is that the property is already built and in move-in condition. So, unlike a new EC, you don’t have to wait two to three years for the property to reach its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP).
Another benefit is you can rent or sell your property immediately (though you would need to pay Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) if you sell it within three years).
Last but not least, since ECs become fully privatised after the 10th year, buying a resale EC means you would have a shorter waiting period for it to be privatised, meaning you can sell/rent it to foreigners faster.
The caveat of buying a resale EC is that you won’t be eligible for CPF housing grants to help offset the cost. Additionally, you can only take a bank loan to finance for the property and must pay at least 25% downpayment for the property (assuming that you get the maximum 75% loan amount from the bank), of which 5% must be in cash.
So say that you’re buying a resale EC for $900,000. You must pay at least $45,000 in cash, which is a hefty amount to pay upfront.
If you need help to get the best financing strategies or compare home loan rates, visit PropertyGuru Finance or speak to our professional Home Loan Advisors for free.
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2. Private Condominiums

If you have the means, then getting a private condo (including a privatised EC and HUDC flat) is the easiest as there’s the least restriction involved.
For example, there’s no HDB MOP rule, which means you don’t have to wait five years before you can rent or sell the property. You can also buy a private condo as long as you’re 21 years old and above.
Other benefits of buying a condo include the chance of buying a property with a freehold tenure, location in prime areas that are near to amenities, and access to facilities such as swimming pools, gym and BBQ pits.
However, private condos don’t come cheap, and are typically smaller than comparable HDB flats or ECs of similar types. Plus, remember that the upfront payment and costs are also higher; these include ABSD, Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD), Option to Purchase (OTP), legal fees, agent’s commission, monthly maintenance fees, and so on.
Related articles:

3. Strata Landed Homes

Single PRs may also consider buying strata-titled landed homes.
Commonly known as cluster houses, these landed homes are a hybrid landed property type; they come with communal facilities like condo developments, but instead of high-rise buildings, cluster homes consist of low-rise projects comprising terrace houses, semi-d houses, bungalow homes or a mix of all three types of properties.
Being a hybrid development, you get to enjoy the perks of both worlds; you have the privacy of a landed development whilst you have access to condo-like facilities. In terms of price, cluster houses are also more affordable than landed properties.
On the flip side, since cluster homes have fewer residents, the shared monthly maintenance fees are higher. Also, being a strata-title development, you do not own the land and instead share it with other owners of development, much like a condo.
Note that single PRs can only buy a cluster home that’s located within an approved condominium project. If it’s not, then you have to seek approval from the Land Dealings Approval Unit (LDAU) of the Singapore Land Authority.

Other FAQs Related to What Housing Options That Single PRs Can Buy

Can Single Singapore Permanent Residents Buy Resale HDB Flats?

Single Singapore PRs may buy resale HDB flats with another PR or Singapore citizen, but must apply through one of the eligibility schemes. However, single PRs can’t buy a resale flat alone.

Can Single PR Buy Resale EC After 5 Years?

Yes, you can buy a resale EC after MOP.

Can Single PR Buy Condo in Singapore?

Yes, you can. There are no restrictions for single PRs buying condos. However, you would be subjected to ABSD for your first property purchase.
For more property news, resources and useful content like this article, check out PropertyGuru’s guides section.
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This article was written by Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru. When he’s not busy churning out engaging property content* or newsletter copies, he’s busy being a lover of all geeky things. Say hi at: victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg.
*I mean, I’ll try