Singapore ringfences ‘commercial and residential’ land from foreign buyers

Citi Commercial Pte Ltd

FOREIGNERS will be required to get government approval to purchase land currently zoned as “commercial and residential” from Thursday (Jul 20).

This follows changes to the Residential Property Act (RPA) to “safeguard residential land for Singaporeans”, the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and Singapore Land Authority (SLA) announced on Wednesday night.

Developments on land zoned for “commercial and residential” use will now be deemed residential property and regulated as such under the RPA, as the “commercial and residential” zone is being removed from the list of land-use zones that have been designated as non-residential property.

“Commercial and residential” properties may include shopping centres, hotels as well as office and residential properties. Some examples are Robertson Walk and UE Square.

Sites currently zoned as commercial and residential must have at least 60 per cent of allowable floor area used for residential purposes.

Foreign persons – individuals and entities – who are existing owners of land zoned or property permitted for such use need not seek approval if they intend to retain the property as-is, but must seek approval if they wish to retain and redevelop the property.

Exemptions for seeking approval can be made if: these foreign persons intending to purchase or acquire interest were granted the Option to Purchase (OTP) by sellers before Jul 20, 2023; the OTP is exercised on or before Aug 9; and the OTP has not been varied on or after Jul 20.

This change is among other updates being made to the Schedule of Non-Residential Properties under the RPA, as part of regular reviews.

Seven uses – Business 1, Business 2, Business 1 – White, Business 2 – White, Commercial/Institution, Reserve Site and Special Use – are also being added to the list, as residential uses are typically not allowed on such land-use zones.

More News