Cost of Purchasing Real Estate in Singapore

BSD, ABSD, Conveyancing Lawyer Fee, Mortgage Duty, Renovation (if any)

1. Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD)

Property buyers are required to pay BSD when purchasing a property in Singapore. BSD will be computed on the transacted price or valuation price (whichever is the higher amount). There is a slight difference in the BSD rate for residential and non-residential i.e. commercial or industrial properties.

Transacted Price or Market Value of the Property

BSD Rates for residential properties

BSD Rates for non-residential properties

First S$180,000



Next S$180,000



First S$640,000



Remaining Amount


The formula to calculate BSD Rates for residential properties:

a. BSD for S$1,000,000 and below: 3% x Transacted Price or Market Value (whichever is higher) – S$5,400. For example: (3% x 1,000,000) – S$ 5,400 = S$24,600.

b. BSD for S$1,000,000 and above: 4% x Transacted Price or Market Value (whichever is higher) - $15,400. For example (4% x 1,100,000) – S$15,400 = S$28,600.

The formula to calculate BSD Rates for non-residential properties is 3% x Transacted Price or Market Value (whichever is higher) – S$5,400. For example: (3% x 2,000,000) – S$ 5,400 = S$44,600.


2. Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) (only for residential properties)

ABSD is a tax that’s levied on top of BSD for purchase of another residential property by property owners who already own a residential property. This is a “cooling measures” that was first introduced by the Singapore government on 8 December 2011 to ensure the residential property market didn’t create a bubble. Since then there has been many revisions to the rate according to the residency status and number of properties presently held by owners.

ABSD Rates on the higher of the transacted price or market value.

Profile of Buyer

ABSD Rates from 12 Jan 2013 – 5 July 2018

ABSD Rates on/ after 6 July 2018

Singapore Citizens buying first residential property

Not applicable

Not applicable

Singapore Citizens buying second residential property



Singapore Citizens buying third and subsequent residential property



Singapore Permanent Residents buying first residential property



Singapore Permanent Residents buying second and subsequent residential property



Foreigners buying any residential property



Entities buying any residential property



The purpose of ABSD is to discourage people from hoarding on properties for future gains in the hope selling it at higher price. Thus, remissions are given to married couple whose intention is to purchase residential property for their own stay. Such married couple must include a Singapore Citizen (SC) Spouse. There is also remission given to married couple purchasing a second residential property with the intention to sell their first residential property.

There is no ABSD for non-residential property i.e. commercial or industrial properties.


3. Conveyancing Lawyer fee

Conveyancing lawyer service is required to transact properties to ensure the title of property is transferred to property buyers free of encumbrances. Conveyancing fee is one-off and ranges from $1,600 – $3,000 depending on the Dollars amount of the transaction, and it involves usage of CPF Ordinary Account, and mortgage financing in which they have extra work to liaise with the relevant authority and banks.


4. Mortgage Duty (Stamp Duty for Mortgage Documents)

You probably have not heard about this as your conveyancing lawyer will usually incorporate this amount in their total fee. Mortgage duty is payable on mortgage document where the interest in immovable property or shares is transferred from the borrower to the lender as security for the repayment of a loan obtained under such an agreement. Mortgage duty of 0.2% to 0.4% is payable on the loan amount, subject to a maximum duty of S$500.


5. Renovation

Unless you are purchasing a brand-new home from a show gallery from real estate developer, you may end up needing to renovate. You might purchase supposedly well-renovated house only to find out there are many unseen defects and it doesn’t look that nice without all the previous owners’ moveable furniture. If you do not plan this properly from the beginning, you may need to take up a renovation loan on top of your mortgage loan.

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