Don’t believe the hype from Singapore’s state newspapers – prices are still dropping

After a downward trend for the last four years, experts claimed that the property market in Singapore is finally looking up – which is a bit suspect as it’s still actually trending downwards. Some experts say that there is a decline in residential and office occupancy and house prices continue to fall — and the sales in the third quarter of 2016 saw a drop of 12.2%.

Local laws order developers to build apartment units within five years of purchasing the land and sell the units in two years from completion. Developers that built apartment blocks during the property market slump are now offering the units at competitive prices to avoid penalties. Homes in the heart of business and entertainment or near Orchard Road cost three times than properties outside the city centre.

On average, house prices are massive at US$1,745 per square foot (sq. ft.) with gross rental yields ranging from 2.45% to 3.2%.

Non-Singaporeans are taxed at 20% for their net rental income sans property tax, insurance, maintenance, and repairs. The property tax is levied at a flat rate of 10 percent for residents and non-Singaporeans pay a 10% surcharge.

There are no restrictions for non-Singaporeans to own a private apartment or condominiums and there is no limit on the number of units they can own. However, non-Singaporeans must seek government approval when purchasing landed properties as ownership is restricted to people who make an adequate economic contribution to Singapore. The rationale behind this is the fact that land is limited in Singapore is a small country. There are also huge stamp duties to pay, which is tax dutiable documents relating to any immovable property such as lease, transfer, and mortgage documents.

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