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Singapore is one of the best cities in the world to live in. It is safe with a very low crime rate, the quality of life is constantly improving and the housing standards are also of the highest standards. That is why Singapore permanent residency is one of the most sought after in the world.

As Singapore is a small city state with limited land and space, and a population target of 6.9 million by 2030, there will be greater demand for housing. As the permanent resident (PR) population is currently between 500,000 to 600,000, today, we will take a look at the types of properties PRs can buy in Singapore.

The criteria for PRs buying property in Singapore is that he/she must be at least 21 years and be a PR for at least 3 years. As compared with Singapore citizens (SC), there are certain restrictions on what PRs can and cannot buy. SCs can buy any type of property in Singapore, limited only by how much they can afford. PRs, however, have slightly fewer options. Here are the options that are available for PRs.

HDB New Flats (BTO)

Only PRs married to a SC spouse can purchase a new HDB flat or what is commonly known as a Build-To-Order (BTO) flat. There is also an income ceiling of $14,000 to be eligible. It is important to note that first-time buyers consisting of a SC and one or more PRs must pay a $10,000 premium to buy a BTO. But not to worry, you can get the money back by applying for the $10,000 Citizen Top-Up Grant when you or your spouse converts to a Singapore citizenship, or when you have a child who is an SC.

After your application for a BTO is successful and you have taken possession of the unit , you will be subject to the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of five years, during which, you are not permitted to sell the flat or rent out the entire unit. Also, both you and your spouse must not be owners of any private properties both locally or overseas. If you have ownership of such, you must sell or dispose of them within 6 months after taking the keys to the new flat.

Do take note that PRs are not allowed to buy a BTO on their own without a SC (Singapore Citizen) spouse.

HDB Resale Flat

Once a HDB new flat or BTO flat reaches the MOP of five years, it can be sold on the open market as resale flats. Many people are buying resale flats nowadays because you can get a home almost immediately as opposed to the long waiting period of about 6 years for a BTO flat.

Because HDB resale flats are bought from existing homeowners and not directly from the HDB, PRs can purchase one even if you do not have s SC spouse. PRs can apply to buy a HDB resale flat through the Public Scheme or the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme. Non-citizen families can qualify if they have attained PR status for at least three years.

However, before you decide on an area to buy a HDB resale flat, you must take note of two very important factors. The Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) and the Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) Quota. The EIP is put in place to preserve Singapore’s multi-cultural identity and promote racial integration and harmony. It ensures that there is a balanced mix of the various ethnic communities in HDB towns. The EIP limits are set at block/ neighbourhood levels based on the ethnic make-up of Singapore. The SPR quota ensures that SPR families can better integrate into the local community. Malaysian PRs are excluded from this quota because of their close cultural and historical similarities with Singaporeans and therefore are deemed able to fit in better and much quicker.

If your household comprise of at least one SC or one PR who is a Malaysian, you only need to ensure that you meet the EIP. On the other hand, if your household comprise of non SCs and non-Malaysian PRs, then you must comply with both quotas.

For the EIP quota, you or a family member must be of the same race or ethnic group as the seller of the flat, and there must still be space for your ethnic group in the HDB block or neighbourhood where you plan to purchase. The quotas are updated every first day of the month. You can check the EIP and SPR quotas of the place you are looking to purchase @

As HDB resale flats are also public housing, PRs are also not allowed to purchase one on his/her own.

Executive Condominiums (ECs)

ECs are a hybrid of public and private housing. They are full suite condos with complete facilities and amenities such as swimming pools, clubhouse, tennis courts, playgrounds etc. They resemble private condos and are enclosed within a gated compound with security guardhouse and services. They are built and sold by private developers, but at a slightly lower price as compared to a private condo because their land prices are subsidised by the Government.

As such, ECs are subject to HDB public housing regulations such as household income ceiling not exceeding $16,000. There is also the MOP period of five years after which you can sell to SCs and PRs only. The EC will become fully privatised once it reaches 10 years only and then, it can be sold on the open market to anyone including foreigners. PRs can purchase a brand new EC if your spouse is a Singapore Citizen. Unlike HDB flats, PRs can purchase one on his/her own after the EC is more than 10 years old.

Private Property

If you are thinking of buying a private property as a PR, you have to be very careful. That’s because of restrictions placed on certain types of private properties for PRs and foreigners by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

PRs are free to purchase condominiums, fully privatised ECs (more than 10 years old), strata-titled landed houses, with building plans approved before April 2012 and landed houses in Sentosa Cove.

Restricted private properties for PRs include :

· Vacant residential land

· Terrace houses

· Semi-detached house

· Bungalow/detached house

· Townhouses or cluster houses

· Shophouses

· Places of Worship

· Workers dormitories, service apartments, and boarding houses that are not registered under the Hotel Act

As a PR and if you wish to invest in any of the above-mentioned properties, you will need to sort approval from the Singapore Law Minister. Applications can be submitted to the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) at this website:

Please take note that with effect from April 2021, applicants are required to log in to the government digital services for businesses (G2B) using Singpass instead of Corppass. For more information, please visit:

Applicants will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account (but not limited to) the following factors:

1. You must be a PR for at least 5 years

2. You provide “exceptional economic contribution” to the country, as seen from the taxes you generate. The government may also consider your investments in Singapore, your business activities and amount of people you employ here

Stamp Duty

When purchasing properties in Singapore, there are two stamp duties you must take note of: Buyer's Stamp Duty (BSD) and Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD).

Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) is taxed based on the purchase price or market value, whichever is higher, on all home purchases in Singapore. The amount taxable is in the chart below:

As an example, if you are purchasing a $2 million property, the BSD payable will be $64,600 as shown in the below computation.

Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD)

ABSD is an application for SCs who are buying a second and/or subsequent properties. However, for PRs, a 5% ABSD is payable for the first and second purchases. As for subsequent purchases, the ABSD is 15%.

So if you are buying your first home for $2 million, the ABSD payable is $100,000, and if you are buying a second property for $2 million, the ABSD payable will be $300,000.

So if you are a PR and looking for your dream home or to invest in the Singapore property market, do check out the extensive and comprehensive listings on, Singapore’s smartest property portal where you can find your dream home within seconds by doing a keyword search.


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