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All About URA Caveats: Everything Singapore Property Buyers and Sellers Need to Know (2024)

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
All About URA Caveats: Everything Singapore Property Buyers and Sellers Need to Know (2024)
What’s a URA caveat, and why is it relevant for Singapore property sellers and buyers? Well, if you’re looking for property for sale in Singapore, you’ll need to do your due diligence before making this big-ticket purchase.
Next, we consult resources like the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) transactions tool. This public database shows Singapore property sellers and buyers the URA caveats lodged and options issued. It’s especially helpful as a guide when buying or selling your property.
But what exactly are URA caveats, and how does this impact Singapore property sellers and buyers? Let’s read more about it in this article, starting with a tl;dr of what URA caveats entail:

URA Caveats for Singapore Property Sellers and Buyers: A Summary

What is a caveat lodged in URA?A URA caveat is a legal document that protects buyers’ interests in a property for sale
Is it compulsory to lodge a caveat? No, it is not compulsory to lodge a URA caveat in Singapore
How do you lodge a URA caveat in Singapore?The URA caveat document must be lodged by your lawyer (conveyancing solicitor) with the Singapore Land Authority (SLA). They will fill out a form available on the Singapore Titles Automated Registration System (STARS) eLodgment site, which they can access
What are the benefits of registering a property caveat for buyers?For property buyers, lodging a URA caveat helps them secure the property. In turn, fellow buyers and sellers can analyse this public data to ensure they pay a reasonable price for their future home
URA caveats for property sellers: BenefitsFor property sellers, a URA caveat helps them gauge buyers’ interest. The public data also helps them gauge the market price of their property
How do you check caveats on property in Singapore?You can check the caveat on property in Singapore via the URA transactions portal. The URA caveats lodged can be searched by project name, property type and district
Property buyers and sellers, if you need more details, continue reading for more information on how to lodge and leverage the URA caveat data. This could inspire more confidence when making the actual transaction or during negotiations.

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What Is a Caveat Lodged in URA?

A URA caveat, or a caveat lodged in URA, is a legal document. A purchaser or their representing lawyer lodges the URA caveat with the Singapore Land Authority (SLA). The URA caveat is lodged after an Option to Purchase (OTP) or a Sales & Purchase Agreement is signed.
The URA uses information from caveats lodged, with “options exercised”, to compute their property price index.
URA caveat information is public and readily available on the URA transactions tool. Everyone, from your colleagues to your inquisitive auntie, your neighbours and your fellow property buyers will be able to see how much you are selling or buying your home when they search for your address in the URA caveat portal.
To get an edge over other property buyers or sellers, use the URA caveats information with other sources, such as independent valuation reports and insights from an experienced property agent who knows the market well.

Is It Compulsory to Lodge a Caveat?

No, it is not compulsory to lodge a caveat with URA. However, the extra step to lodge a URA caveat helps a property buyer in Singapore protect their interests in a property. Just think of it as a legal document to claim ‘first dibs’ or even a ‘double-confirm’ to ‘lock in’ or ‘reserve’ the property they want to buy – and prevent other buyers from swooping in to buy the property they are eyeing.

URA Caveats for Property Sellers

URA caveats seem important for property buyers, so what’s in it for me if I want to sell my house? Can’t I just leave it to my property agent? Yes… and no. First, you need to find a property agent, but you’ll also need to know what’s going on to make an informed transaction.

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Well, for property sellers in Singapore, you don’t need to lodge a caveat with URA, as your buyer will do that. Sure, your property agent is amazing, but that doesn’t mean that the URA transactions tool is something you should ignore!
As URA caveats include the “locked-in” prices from interested property buyers, you can use the URA transactions tool to gauge the market price of your property. Minor differences aside, search for a unit similar to yours on the URA transactions tool to see how much other property buyers pay fellow property sellers. This data can help you get the best price on your unit.
You can use this with other methods to better gauge property prices, such as valuation tools, which can take as little as two minutes!

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How to use the URA transactions tool? For instance, you have a three-bedroom condo unit that you want to put for sale on the property market. Using the URA transactions tool, you can search for either project name (up to five projects) or by type of property (condominium, landed, etc) and district (up to five districts).
From the results, you can see the further details and do your analysis. The results will include additional information such as:
  • Street name
  • Postal district
  • Market segment (region: OCR, CCR, RCR)
  • Tenure (freehold or 99-year leasehold)
  • Type of sale (resale, sub-sale or new sale)
  • Number of units
  • Price and nett price
  • Area (sq ft)
  • Type of area (land area or strata)
  • Floor level (this will be a range)
  • Unit price (per PSF)
  • Date of sale (so you can check the recency of the transaction)
In addition, if you’re already a property seller with an interested property buyer, getting them to lodge a URA caveat helps you gauge their interest. Serious buyers only! And for yourself, you can begin your hunt for a new property to buy without worrying that the buyer will suddenly back out of the deal and leave you high and dry. How’s that for a boost in confidence?

URA Caveats for Property Buyers

Property buyers, remember when you saw a home you fell in love with, but… someone else bought the unit first? Well, lodging a caveat with URA helps you ensure that you’re the only one who calls dibs on that unit.
With your lawyer’s help (because they have access to SLA’s Singapore Titles Automated Registration System (STARS) eLodgment site), they can search and ensure that there isn’t a caveat lodged on the unit you’re interested in. Saves you time and effort from making wasted trips to the unit and speaking to the property seller! However, there’s still a slim chance that the property buyer ahead of you decides to forgo their OTP, or option to purchase.
Home buyers should note that the prices listed in the URA transactions portal are as updated as possible. Tip: Check the URA transactions portal every Tuesday around noon because that’s when the transactions for the past week are updated. On Fridays at 3pm, there’ll be updates that include new launches and resale transactions up till the previous Sunday.

Thinking of Selling or Buying a Private Property? (2024)

Now that you understand URA caveats and how lodging a caveat with URA helps property buyers and sellers, perhaps consider using the URA transactions tool as an integral part of your property journey.
Do note that the URA transaction tool does not show other details, such as years of lease left, the property’s actual condition and other environmental factors that you may not be comfortable with. The prices you see transacted may or may not be an actual reflection of the valuation price – there’s no way to see if they were sold higher or cheaper than the market rate.
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The best thing is to lock in your interest by lodging the URA caveat only after you have scrutinised everything about the unit, including making personal trips to check the actual physical conditions. You may also want to suss out your new neighbours… just in case.
All in all, URA caveats and the URA transactions tool are indeed useful in many ways, whether you’re a property buyer or seller and whether you’re buying for your stay or investment. Who knows, you might uncover some undervalued gems… which you may want to reserve ASAP!
In that case, you’ll need to get everything sorted out, which means you’ve already researched the best home loan. Well, if you haven’t already done so, chat with our mortgage experts before you find your dream home.
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Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. PropertyGuru Pte Ltd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

More FAQs About URA Caveats

An URA caveat is a legal document that a property buyer's lawyer lodges with the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) after an option to purchase (OTP) is exercised, or after a Sales & Purchase Agreement is signed.

Check URA caveat via the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) transactions tool. This is a public database that shows Singapore property sellers and buyers the URA caveats lodged and options issued.

Check private property transaction history via caveats lodged with the URA. However, not all transaction data will be there as lodging a caveat is not compulsory.

The URA transaction tool does not show other details from URA caveats lodged, such as years of lease left, the property’s actual condition and whether the price is higher or lower than valuation.