Getting a Mortgage In Singapore

Find out how to get a mortgage in Singapore and what criteria lenders may look at for approval.

Home Overseas Mortgages Getting A Mortgage In Singapore
Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: April 8, 2024

We’ll explain what the rules are in Singapore for buying a home, how these rules apply to expats and how a broker can help you secure the best rate.

How do mortgages work in Singapore?

When buying a home in Singapore, there are 2 main ways to finance it. You would either use a HDB loan (Housing & Development Board) or you would finance through a bank loan. Both work in slightly different ways:

HDB loan

A HBD Loan requires at least one applicant to be a citizen of Singapore, and your household income can’t be higher than $14,000 for families, £7,000 if you’re a single occupant or $21,000 for extended families. The home you’re about to buy must also be your only potential home as you cannot have owned a home in the last 30 months to qualify.

You can borrow up to 80% of the property value and your loan period must be a minimum of 25 years. This means a 20% deposit is required. You can find detailed information from the HDB official website

Bank loan

A loan from the bank will allow you to borrow up to 75% of the property value so you’ll need a 25% deposit. There are 2 loan types available:

  • Floating mortgage
  • Fixed-rate mortgage

A floating mortgage is essentially the same as a variable mortgage in the UK, so the rate you pay will depend upon the Singapore Overnight Rate Average (SORA) or the Fixed Deposit Rate (FDR).

A fixed-rate mortgage will set your mortgage monthly payments at a set interest rate for some time. Your payments won’t change during this period, but once the period ends, you’ll need to consider options to either get another fixed-rate mortgage or opt for a floating mortgage.

How much could you borrow?

The amount you can borrow will be based upon your Loan to Value ratio (LTV), Mortgaging Servicing Ratio (MSR) and Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR)

Loan to Value ratio

As outlined earlier, the Loan to Value will be capped at either 80% through a HDB loan or 75% through a bank loan. Other factors might also affect this such as your Total Debt Servicing Ratio

Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR)<

TDSR calculates how much of your income is used to pay off any debts. If you get a mortgage, your mortgage plus any debts cannot exceed 55% of your gross monthly income. 

Mortgaging Servicing Ratio (MSR)

This is only applicable for anyone purchasing through a HBD Loan and the MSR will check to make sure your monthly repayments of your mortgage don’t exceed 30% of your gross income. 

Things to consider when getting a mortgage in Singapore

There are a number of other factors you should take into account before pursuing a mortgage in Singapore, and they include…

The language

Many borrowers initially worry that contractual information regarding the terms of their mortgage can be lost in translation, however often both the seller of the property and the lender are both fluent in English.

In fact, the most commonly spoken language in Singapore is English, closely followed by Malay and Tamil.

Do you pay stamp duty in Singapore?

Yes. Stamp Duty is payable on the actual price or market price (whichever is higher) of the property after you agree to purchase it.

Read the table below to see how Stamp Duty is calculated.

Payment Schedule % of Stamp Duty
First S$180,000 1%
Next S$180,000 2%
Next S$640,000 3%
Remaining Amount 4%

How much Stamp Duty is charged on a second property mortgage in Singapore?

If you buy more than one property in Singapore, you will be charged Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) on top of the standard Stamp Duty as above.

As a non-resident of Singapore you will be charged as follows:

1st Property Purchase 2nd Property Purchase 3rd Property Purchase
15% 15% 15%

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Get the best advice from an international mortgage broker

Applying for a mortgage for overseas property in Singapore can be a daunting process but with the advice and professional help of a mortgage broker, it doesn’t have to be.

An experienced mortgage advisor can carefully check any Singapore lenders and ensure that you understand the terms clearly before you sign anything. They will also complete all of the necessary paperwork to get your mortgage approved. If you have questions about getting a mortgage in Singapore and want to speak to an expert for the right advice, call Online Mortgage Advisor today on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry.

FAQs

It may be possible under the right circumstances to get a mortgage while self-employed in Singapore.

Your approval for a mortgage will be subject to affordability checks and you may be required to give a larger deposit of up to 40% of the property’s market value.

Additionally, the amount of debt you have can not exceed 70% of your take-home pay.

About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for Online Mortgage Advisor of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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