Can Foreigners Buy Shophouses in Singapore?

Nov 10, 2023

Are you a foreigner looking to invest in real estate in Singapore? Perhaps you've set your sights on owning a shophouse in this vibrant city-state and want to know if it's possible. Well, you're in the right place!

Singapore is one of the most attractive destinations for real estate investments, offering numerous opportunities for both locals and foreigners alike. In this article, we will shed light on the regulations surrounding shophouse ownership for foreigners and highlight the advantages of investing in this unique property type.

The Appeal of Shophouses in Singapore

Shophouses hold a special place in Singapore's architectural landscape. These unique properties are a fusion of commercial and residential spaces, combining the charm of traditional design with modern functionality. What makes them even more enticing is their prime location within Singapore's bustling city center.

As a foreigner, owning a shophouse in Singapore not only presents a fantastic investment opportunity but also offers the chance to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage and vibrant lifestyle of the city. Whether you plan to utilize the property for commercial purposes, convert it into a residential space, or a combination of both, shophouses provide versatile options for investors.

Ownership Regulations for Foreigners

Now, let's dive into the regulations that govern foreign ownership of shophouses in Singapore. As a foreign investor, you can indeed own a shophouse in the Lion City. However, there are some restrictions and guidelines you need to be aware of.

Firstly, it's crucial to note that the Singapore government imposes certain restrictions on real estate ownership to maintain stability and protect the interests of its citizens. Foreigners are required to seek approval from the relevant authorities, such as the Land Dealings (Approval) Unit, before purchasing a shophouse.

Additionally, there are specific types of shophouses known as "conserved shophouses" that have stricter regulations in place. These properties are deemed important for historical preservation and may have guidelines limiting alterations and usage. Understanding the category of shophouse you're interested in will help you navigate the ownership process more effectively.

The Process of Buying a Shophouse in Singapore

Now that you're familiar with the ownership regulations, let's explore the general process of purchasing a shophouse in Singapore as a foreigner.

  1. Engage a Qualified Real Estate Agent: To navigate the complex real estate market in Singapore, it's advisable to engage the services of a professional real estate agent specializing in shophouses. They are familiar with the local market trends, regulations, and can guide you through the buying process with expertise.
  2. Secure Financing: Determine your budget and explore financing options available to foreigners in Singapore. It is essential to understand the associated costs, including stamp duties, legal fees, and maintenance expenses.
  3. Submit Application for Approval: Ensure you have all the necessary documents and seek approval from the relevant authorities, such as the Land Dealings (Approval) Unit. They will review your application and determine if you meet the eligibility criteria for shophouse ownership.
  4. Engage Legal Representation: Once your application is approved, engage a reputable lawyer who specializes in real estate transactions. They will help you review the legal documents, ensure a smooth transfer of ownership, and protect your interests throughout the process.
  5. Complete the Purchase: Finally, complete the purchase transaction by signing the relevant contracts and fulfilling the financial obligations.

The Benefits of Investing in Shophouses

Investing in a shophouse in Singapore offers a range of benefits for foreign investors. Let's explore some of the advantages:

  • Diverse Income Streams: Shophouses provide the opportunity to generate rental income from both commercial and residential spaces, increasing the profitability of your investment.
  • Capital Appreciation: Singapore's real estate market has demonstrated a history of steady growth. Owning a shophouse in a prime location could potentially lead to significant capital appreciation over time.
  • Preservation of Cultural Heritage: By investing in a shophouse, you contribute to the preservation of Singapore's architectural and cultural heritage, as shophouses are an integral part of the nation's history.
  • Strategic Location: Shophouses are typically situated in prime locations within the city center, offering convenience and accessibility to a wide range of amenities, transportation, and business opportunities.
  • Flexibility in Usage: Shophouses' versatile layout allows you the flexibility to adapt the space according to your needs, whether for retail, office, or residential use.

In Conclusion

Foreigners can, indeed, purchase shophouses in Singapore, subject to regulations and approval by the relevant authorities. These unique properties offer excellent investment opportunities, allowing investors to benefit from rental income and potential capital appreciation. Owning a shophouse in this thriving city-state not only provides financial advantages but also presents a chance to experience and contribute to Singapore's rich cultural heritage.

If you're interested in exploring real estate opportunities in Singapore or learning more about owning a shophouse as a foreigner, feel free to reach out to us at Our team of experienced real estate agents specializing in shophouses, home services, and real estate will be more than happy to assist you on your investment journey.

Invest wisely, embrace the charm of shophouses, and unlock the potential of Singapore's real estate market!

can foreigner buy shophouse in singapore