Property Investment in Singapore: How to Get Started, Calculate Rental Yield and More

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
Property Investment in Singapore: How to Get Started, Calculate Rental Yield and More
Singapore is home to hundreds of millionaires, both local and foreign. For many of these businessmen, property investment in Singapore has proved to be rather lucrative throughout the years.
Property investment in Singapore is so lucrative, in fact, that prices for homes have increased to the point where the government has seen fit to step in. Cooling measures have been imposed to ensure that homes remain affordable enough for citizens to live in.
With Singapore doing what it can to curb the rise of property investors looking to make a quick buck, it may seem like property investing is a bad idea nowadays. However, there are more ways to earn money than simply buying and selling property.
Itching to learn the many ways you can invest in real estate investments in Singapore? This article will cover the basics you need to know when it comes to property investment in Singapore.

Overview of the Singapore Property Investment Market

What has led to the fluctuating popularity of property investment - PropertyGuru Singapore
What has led to the fluctuating popularity of property investment?
Singapore’s property market has been quite lucrative for property investors in the past. Prices of properties could rise very high, and buyers would still snap them up. This caused a chain effect among property investors: “if people are willing to buy at high prices, I can sell them at high prices as well.”
Then came the problem: Rising prices meant that Singaporeans could no longer find suitable housing for themselves without breaking the bank. Their choices were to either relocate, or hope that a new investor would price their property at an affordable sum.
In a bid to halt the soaring prices of homes in Singapore, the government developed several laws and countermeasures against property investors. Their aim was not to bring down the prices of the properties, as doing so would only lead to a greater surge in investors. Rather, they wanted to stabilise and moderate the sales cycle, making it harder for property investors to turn a profit.
Despite this, foreign property investors are still turning to Singapore for their property investments. This is due to the fact that it is safer in Singapore than anywhere else in the region; Property prices will not fluctuate that much in response to political unrest.

How to Invest in Singapore Property

Property investment remains one of the favourite investment methods for many Singaporeans, as you can invest long-term without worrying about short-term fluctuations. However, with the implementation of cooling measures, purchasing property has become more expensive than before.
You have to take into account the added costs of the restrictions and cooling measures. These include things such as the Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duties (ABSD), and Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR). For example, Singapore citizens purchasing a second property have to pay an ABSD of 12%, and an ABSD of 15% for their third and subsequent property. Also, under the TDSR framework, the sum of an individual’s loan repayments (housing loans, credit card debt etc.) cannot exceed 60% of income.
For HDB upgraders, you should know that there is also a remission period for ABSD. The remission period of 6 months means that, if you sell the first property within six months, you can get a “refund” of the ABSD that you incurred.
Fortunately, there are more ways to invest other than the buy-and-sell route, which requires waiting for an increase in property value. In Singapore, a high rental yield can net you a decent sum of passive income through rent alone. This allows you to reap a profit while still mitigating the tax costs.
If you want to learn more about getting into investments, the following guides will put you in a good place to start.

How to Calculate Property Rental Yield

There are two predominant forms of rental yield: Gross rental yield and net rental yield.
Type of yield
How is the property yield calculated?
Gross rental yield
Gross rental yield = Annual gross rental income from property / Property total value
Example: You have a $300,000 property and you charge $2,000 for rent each month.
Gross rental yield = ($2,000*12 / $300,000) * 100% = 8%
Net rental yield
This includes other expenses incurred while the tenant is living in the property such as bills and taxes.
Net rental yield = Annual net rental from property / Property total value
Rental yield is important if you intend to make a profit as a landlord. If you’re interested in renting out a home, here are some of the condos with the best rental yields in Singapore.

How to Maximise Profits from a Property Sale

Once you are ready to sell your property, it’s important to think of how to maximise the amount that you can earn. One of the ways to do so is to conduct your property’s valuation, which will take into account its age, location, and number of rooms, among other things.
The amenities surrounding your property can influence its value as well - PropertyGuru Singapore
The amenities surrounding your property can influence its value as well
There are many ways to increase your HDB’s value. For example, you can opt to repaint your house, remove all the clutter, or repair any leaking parts. Although they might incur a small cost, these issues, if not dealt with, may cost you an attractive deal.
Take a look at these articles to learn how to maximize your profit from a property sale.

Where and What Properties Should I Invest in?

A useful place to start looking would be to study URA’s Master Plan. The Master Plan will give you an idea of upcoming developments in different parts of Singapore.
After that, you have to consider your own finances, and plan around the best type of property that you can afford: most Singaporeans usually plan around BTOs, ECs, and resale HDBs, as they tend to be more affordable.
To learn more on where and to invest in, you can check out the links below.#
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Other FAQs About Property Investment in Singapore

There is no straight answer to this, but property investment is very popular in Singapore. Compared to stocks, it is less volatile.

You can turn a profit if you "buy low and sell high" (i.e. capital appreciation) and/or earn rental income from having tenants. You can also buy REITs, but that's another thing altogether.

Foreigners can buy private non-landed property (condos), but not landed property and not HDB flats. Singapore PRs can buy HDB resale flats and may appeal to buy landed homes (both subject to eligibility conditions).

With the existing low interest rate environment, investing in property and then renting them out can be attractive for landlords. The monthly mortgage that you are paying will likely be sufficiently covered by the monthly rental you get from the tenant. You can learn some of the key metrics in evaluating rental properties in the guide above.

It depends on the type of property you are looking at. For public housing (HDB), which is more for own stay, the cost is anywhere between $90,000 (2-room) to $1m (executive maisonette). For condo, which are more common for property investing, the cost is anywhere from $600k onwards depending on the size of the unit.