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Property Search

Singapore - Property Search

As a foreigner in Singapore, you will probably find that hiring a property agent is more convenient and less overwhelming than trying to purchase property on your own. Because most agents share the same portfolio, it is important to stay with the same agent throughout your property search, unless you find that your agent really isn’t working with you and your needs. To find the best properties, you should be honest and explicit about the type of property you want. Be sure to include any pertinent information such as budget, location, and the type of dimensions you want in your property. Not only will a good agent help you find the ideal property, they will also act as a consultant for the legal aspects of your purchase.

Most property agents in Singapore property will charge a commission of 1-2% to the seller of a private property, and 1% to the buyer and 1-2% to the seller for HDB flat transactions. There are around 1,700 agencies in Singapore and as many as 25,000 property agents. The biggest agencies are Dennis Wee, Propnex, HSR, ERA, DTZ, and Knight Frank. In 2010, the government created the Estate Agent Act and a new statutory board called the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA). This regulates the property agencies and requires certain criteria and even a mandatory exam that the agents must follow and pass.

Your real estate agent should be able to point you to the properties that are most suited to you. However, there are other places that you can search for properties as well. Expat forums can not only offer you support during your home-buying adventures, but can also act as leads in your property search. There are also several expat websites that offer property search engines that can help you find properties that can both give you an idea of prices to expect as well as offer you leads that you might be able to send to your property agent if you are interested in viewing them.

One website that has an easy-to-use search engine and can show you some of the available properties in Singapore is iproperty: http://www.iproperty.com.sg/property-for-sale/

Knowing the area that you are interested in living in, as well as the type of housing that you want, is important in the beginning of your search. For some expats, it’s not the type of property that is important, but rather the location since most people like to live within close proximity to their business or school.

Even though real estate agents get a commission there really is no market price for those commissions and it isn’t fixed. As a result, you can often negotiate that amount with your agent. While the Institute of Estate Agents (IEA) once had guidelines recommending that a Housing Board flat seller pays a minimum two per cent of the price as commission, while the buyer pays one per cent, the Competition Commission of Singapore ruled that these IEA guidelines were uncompetitive and they were removed in 2008.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.