9 Costs to Budget for When Buying a Property

If you’re planning to buy a property in Singapore, then you will know that buying a house doesn’t come cheap, especially in this country. The real estate market in Singapore is ranked among the top ten most expensive around the world, with few people actually able to buy property in Singapore without the help of a home loan.

Prices for a private property or HDB in Singapore can differ a lot. It’s important to not only understand the price of properties to help you choose the best property for your budget, but to also factor in the cost of everything else you will need to pay for when making the purchase.

Property Prices in Singapore

Properties in Singapore are priced at around S$400-S$2000 for each square foot on average. You can also expect to pay much more if you are looking for a landed property. You should be ready to pay an average of S$200,000 for a HDB flat of around 400sq Ft. with one bathroom and bedroom.

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However, if you are a foreigner buying in Singapore for the first time then you are unlikely to be eligible for HDB properties, and an executive apartment will set you back around S$590,000. Some other costs to consider when buying a property in Singapore include:

Stamp Duty

This is a tax that you will pay on the Option to Purchase agreement or Sales and Purchase Agreements. The amount that you will pay is calculated as a percentage of the market price of the property or the price at which you are purchasing it, based on whichever is higher.

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If you have a property in mind that you want to buy, then it’s a good idea to use an online calculator from PropertyGuru for your stamp duty calculation. Property Guru is one of the biggest and most trusted property sites in Singapore with a wealth of information for buyers.

Additional Stamp Duty

An additional buyer’s stamp duty has been introduced for residential properties, and is paid in addition to the existing buyer stamp duty that you will pay.

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However, not all buyers will need to pay it, including Singapore citizens who are buying a property for the first time. However, if you are buying a second property in Singapore, you will need to be prepared to pay 12% of the property purchase price for this cost.

Valuation Fees

For the bank to agree to release the funds that you need to purchase the property that you are interested in, they must perform a valuation that you are liable to pay for. The fee for this will differ based on how much the property is valued at. In general, it will cost a few hundred dollars.

Conveyancing Fees

You will usually need to hire a legal firm or property lawyer when buying a property in Singapore. Conveyancing fees are legal fees that you will be charged by your lawyer or legal firm for any work that is done. Typically, they will start at around S$1800.

Agent Commissions

You will also need to consider the agent’s fee when budgeting for buying a property in Singapore if you are going to hire a real estate agent to help you purchase the property.

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Usually, this fee is charged at one percent of the price that you purchased the property for, so it can vary depending on the type of property that you are buying and how much you pay for it.

Insurance

If you are using a bank loan to fund the purchase of your property in Singapore, then the bank will usually request that you have homeowner’s insurance.

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 Most banks require this in order to ensure that homeowners are protecting their investment in the event of natural disasters such as flooding or fire, to ensure the security of the loan collateral.

Loan Interest

If you are using a home loan to finance your Singapore property purchase, then the interest on the loan will add up over time and should be a cost that you factor in.

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Interest can easily add thousands of dollars to the amount that you repay for your home loan each year, which is why it’s important to shop around and find a home loan with the best terms and interest rates.

Maintenance

Finally, don’t forget that once you have purchased the property there will be maintenance fees to pay. This could include utility bills, parking lot fees if you have a car, and property maintenance fees if you are living in an apartment or condo. You will usually need to pay these on a monthly basis after purchasing the home.

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Buying a property in Singapore is no cheap feat, and there are several different costs that you will need to factor into your budget.