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  • Writer's pictureAnna Thng.Real Estate

Can You Buy Overseas Property If You Own A HDB?

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

Want to own property abroad while living in your HDB? Discover how it is possible!


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Exploring the feasibility of owning international property while residing in your HDB in Singapore.


In the modern world, lots of people dream about having a house in another country. But if you already own an HDB flat in Singapore, can you make that dream come true?


It's a big question, and the answer might surprise you.


Read on to find out more...


First, understanding the Rules for HDB Owners


If you're a Singaporean HDB flat owner, you probably know that there are rules you need to follow. One of these rules used to say that you couldn't own both an HDB flat and a private property at the same time. However, in recent years, things have changed, giving HDB flat owners more options.


HDB owners are now allowed to own private property in Singapore. This means you can have your HDB flat and a private condominium, for example, in the same country.


Oh, but what about homes abroad?

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International Homeownership While Residing in an HDB: A Possibility

Owning a Home Abroad While Living in an HDB


If you want to buy a home overseas while keeping your HDB flat, you have to follow some rules.


These rules can change over time, so it's crucial to understand what they are and talk to the HDB before you buy property abroad.


Latest Update:

Owning Overseas Residential Property - Wait for the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP)

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Navigating Overseas Property Ownership: The MOP Factor

Singaporean HDB flat owners, eager to explore the prospects of owning residential property overseas, are now subject to an essential update in regulations.


As of the latest update, you are prohibited from buying residential property abroad until you have fulfilled the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) on your current premises, which typically spans a period of five years.


*Note: MOP for Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) flats is 10 years.


If you have recently purchased an HDB flat, which can be a brand new one or a resale one, you must wait for five years before you can purchase a home in another country.


This rule is only for homes where people live. If you want to buy a shop or an office in another country, you can do that whenever you like.



It's Important to Understand the New Regulation


This change comes as part of a broader effort to ensure that HDB flats continue to serve as the primary homes of Singaporeans for a reasonable duration. Ultimately, HDB wants to make sure that your HDB flat is your main home.


The MOP requirement now extends to any prospective property purchase abroad, meaning that you must have lived in your HDB flat for the stipulated MOP duration before considering an overseas residential property investment.


If you just bought an HDB flat, whether Build-to-Order (BTO) or resale flat, you will need to wait out the five-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) before you can buy an overseas property.


*Do note that this rule only applies for residential properties.


It's very important to keep up with the latest HDB rules about owning property overseas because these rules can change. Here's the link: [link here]


Benefits of Owning Property Abroad



Buying a home abroad while living in your HDB flat can bring you some good things!


Diversifying Your Investments:

It's like spreading your money around, which can be a smart thing to do. By owning property abroad is like spreading your financial resources across different baskets, which can be a prudent and strategic financial move.


It can help you manage risk, enhance your investment portfolio's performance, and tap into opportunities in international real estate markets.


While it's important to approach overseas property investments with care and awareness of the associated challenges, the potential benefits are numerous and can contribute to your long-term financial well-being.


Money from Rent:

If your overseas home can be rented out, you might make money that can help pay for it. The potential to earn money through renting out your overseas property can be a valuable financial asset.


It offers financial support, offsets costs, and can be a long-term source of income, making it an appealing aspect of owning property abroad. Understanding the rental market, local regulations, and the dynamics of your chosen location is essential for making the most of this opportunity.


Property Value Going Up:

Some places where you buy homes overseas can make your property more valuable over time. Property appreciation is one of the key drivers of the potential financial benefits of owning property overseas.


It offers the opportunity for long-term growth and increased property values, which can contribute to your overall financial well-being and make overseas property ownership a rewarding investment.


Even though owning property in another country can be a good idea, it's not without problems. You need to understand the rules and the challenges.


But the good news is, it can help you grow your money and secure your financial future in the long run.


A Place for You:

If you have family or work far away, owning a home abroad can be a good place to stay when you visit.


So, owning property abroad while living in your HDB flat is possible, but there are rules you need to follow. Those rules can change anytime, so it's important to talk to the HDB or a legal expert to get the most up-to-date information.


If you follow the rules, you can turn your dream of owning a home abroad into a reality.


Can you use your CPF to pay for overseas property?


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Using CPF for Overseas Property: What You Need to Know

For many Singaporeans, the Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a vital source of financial security and stability, assisting in housing, healthcare, and retirement needs.


It's not unexpected that people have questions about CPF and how it relates to buying property in other countries.


Can you use your CPF savings to buy property in another country? This question makes people curious and hopeful, but it's important to know what's true and what's not when you're thinking about it.


CPF and Overseas Property


The CPF rules are clear:

You cannot directly use your CPF savings to buy property outside of Singapore.


The Central Provident Fund (CPF) is like a strong foundation for the financial well-being of people in Singapore. It's there to help with important things like buying a home, healthcare, and having money for when people stop working.


CPF is like a big savings account where money is put in during a person's working years. It's all about making sure that Singaporeans have the money they need for important things in their life here.


It's important to stay informed about the latest CPF regulations and investment opportunities, as well as adapt your investment strategy accordingly.


You should use the rules of CPF to help you plan your money wisely when you're thinking about investing in property in other countries.


By understanding that CPF is mainly for important things in Singapore and looking at different ways to invest, people can make good financial choices and follow the CPF rules when buying property in other countries.


Alternative Funding Options for Overseas Property

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Exploring Financing Alternatives for International Real Estate Investments

While CPF is not available for overseas property purchases, there are alternative funding routes you may consider:


Personal Savings:

Using your own savings to buy property in another country is like being the boss of your money. You can decide how much to spend, where to spend it, and when to do it. It's great because you don't have to worry about paying back loans with interest, making it a secure choice.


Plus, you have the freedom to choose when and where to invest, whether it's for the long term, retirement, or a vacation home.


Just remember to plan your finances carefully and understand the property market in the other country, ensuring your savings are still diversified for other financial needs and goals.


Bank Loans:

Lots of banks in Singapore provide loans to help people buy property in other countries. These loans work kind of like loans for properties in Singapore, which can make it easier for people to buy homes overseas.


Some of the major banks that may provide such loans include DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, HSBC, UOB (United Overseas Bank), and Standard Chartered Bank, among others.


*Click here for more info: DBS Bank , OCBC Bank , HSBC , UOB , Standard Chartered Bank


However, the availability and terms of these loans can vary, so it's essential to contact the specific bank or financial institution of your choice to inquire about their offerings and eligibility criteria.


Diversifying Your Portfolio with Overseas Property


Adding overseas real estate to your investment mix is an interesting idea. It can bring in money from rent, make your property more valuable over time, and be a good part of your investments.


But remember, it's important to think carefully and understand the rules and laws about buying property in other countries.



What to Think About Before Buying Property Abroad



Investing in property in another country can be a big adventure, but there are more things to consider than just where the property is located. Here are some important things to keep in mind:


1. Rules and Laws

Every country has its own rules and laws about property ownership. You need to understand the laws in the country where you want to buy property. Talking to a local lawyer is a good idea.


2. Money Exchange

The value of money from one country to another can change. That can affect how much your property costs and how much money you make from it. You should have a plan for how to deal with these changes.


3. Local Property Market

You need to know what's happening in the local property market. Are prices going up or down? How many people want to rent or buy property? Knowing this can help you make good choices.


4. Taking Care of the Property

Think about how you'll manage and look after the property, especially if you don't live nearby. Will you hire someone to do it for you? Make sure you understand the costs and how it will work.


5. Money and Loans

Different countries have different ways to get money to buy property. Find out what options you have for loans and what the interest rates are.


6. Taxes

Taxes can take a big chunk out of your profits. You need to understand the tax rules in the country where you buy property. This includes property taxes, income taxes, and taxes when you sell.


7. Culture and Language

If you don't speak the local language or understand the culture, it can be tough to manage your property. It's a good idea to learn about the local customs and maybe get help with the language.


8. How to Sell

Think about how you'll sell the property when you want to. It's a good idea to have a plan for when and how you'll do this.


9. Safety and Stability

Before you put your money into another country, check if that place is safe and has a strong economy. Problems with politics or money can harm your investment.


10. Do Your Homework

Before you buy property, do your homework. This means checking everything carefully. Make sure the property is in good condition, and the paperwork is correct. It's okay to get help from experts when you need it.


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Owning a holiday home or international property combines relaxation with investment potential, offering income, diversification, and cultural exploration opportunities.

Buying property in another country can be exciting, but it's a big decision. Thinking about all these things will help you make the right choices and have a successful investment.


Always ask professionals for help and learn as much as you can about the place where you want to invest.


Whether you're eyeing a beachfront paradise, a bustling city apartment, or a charming countryside retreat, remember this call to action.


Seek professional guidance, embrace local knowledge, and never stop learning. With the right support and knowledge, your overseas property investment dreams can become a rewarding reality.






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