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Public Housing in Singapore

Singapore Permanent Resident: What Are Your Residential Options?



As an expatriate living in Singapore, you might feel constrained by the type of property you can purchase. Fortunately, you have more options after successfully applying to become a Singapore permanent resident (PR). Although PRs still have fewer housing choices than Singapore Citizens, they are less restricted than non-residents (foreigners). Let us share the residential options available once you are a Singapore PR.


Restricted Properties


Even after your PR application has been approved, you will notice that several types of residential properties remain restricted to you. Under the Residential Property Act, only a Singapore Citizen, Singapore company, Singapore society, or Singapore limited liability partnership can purchase landed housing in the city-state without prior approval from the government. Please refer to our infographic below for the complete list of restricted properties.


Singapore Properties That Are Restricted For PRs & Foreigners

That is not to say you cannot purchase these properties. However, you must apply for approval online at https://app.sla.gov.sg/ldau1/MainPage.aspx. Each application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the following factors:


  • You must be a PR for at least five years;
  • You have provided “exceptional economic contribution” to the country based on the taxes you generate;
  • The government may also consider your investments in Singapore, your business activities, and the amount of people you employ here, if applicable.

A notable exception to the Residential Property Act is the landed houses in Sentosa Cove. Singapore PRs and foreigners can freely purchase residential properties in the area without government approval. However, please note that these houses are leasehold, and the prices are at a premium.


Non-Restricted Properties


Meanwhile, here is the list of all the properties that non-Singaporean Citizens and foreign companies can purchase without prior approval from the government.


Singapore Properties That Are Not Restricted For PRs & Foreigners

What Are Your Residential Options As A PR?


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As you peruse the above lists, you might wonder what separates Singapore PRs from non-residents. As a Singapore PR, you can purchase an HDB flat or Executive Condominium (EC) – two types of government housing not available to non-residents – although with caveats involved in both situations.


Let us start with purchasing an HDB flat first. Even after a successful PR application and becoming a Singapore PR, you cannot buy a BTO flat or SBF flat directly from HDB if you are single. The same holds true for a resale HDB flat. To legally purchase a brand-new HDB flat, you must tie the knot with a Singapore Citizen. Subsequently, both of you can acquire a BTO flat via the HDB Public Scheme or the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme.


Unfortunately, these housing schemes are unavailable to Singapore PRs looking to start a family together. You can only purchase a resale flat if you and your spouse are both Singapore PRs. Moreover, both of you must be Singapore PRs for a minimum of three years.


Lastly, you must ensure you meet the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) and the Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) quotas when buying a resale flat. To abide by the EIP quota, you must belong to the same race or ethnic group as the seller. Furthermore, space must still be available for your ethnic group in the HDB block or neighbourhood you intend to purchase.


So, what about an EC? Similar to buying a brand-new HDB flat, you must marry a Singapore Citizen, on top of fulfilling other similar requirements for buying a BTO flat, if you want to purchase a new EC. Thankfully, the conditions for buying a resale EC is much easier to fulfil. You can purchase one yourself; you do not need to form a family nucleus to do so.


After reading about the new residential options available as a Singapore PR, you must understandably be excited to begin applying for Singapore PR online. To ensure you stand the best chance of getting your PR application approved, we recommend working with our professional consultants at Singapore Immigration Partners.


Our PR application agency can assist you in crafting a robust, detailed application, bringing you one step closer to achieving your goal of becoming a Singapore PR. Our team takes a hands-on approach in helping you prepare the necessary documents for correct and timely submission, leaving no stone unturned. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our immigration consultants.