Renting property is akin to borrowing; like the payment of interest, rent is money thrown away as you miss out on the chance to own the property. Of course there are a myriad of other reasons as to why it is better to buy-invest, than to rent-borrow.
If you are residing in Singapore, or intending to, then at some point or the other you may consider buying a home rather than having to move out of one on the expiry of a lease agreement or renegotiate an existing lease every couple of years. Or perhaps you are looking at places to park your wealth, and residential real estate in Singapore is an option.
The legislation that governs the restrictions imposed on foreigners in the ownership of residential property is the Residential Property Act (Cap. 274). For convenience, we will refer to it as “RPA”.
What can you buy?
If you are contemplating buying non-residential property, go right ahead. There are no restrictions on foreigners.
However if it is residential property you are looking at, whether you are a foreigner, Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident is of consequence only if you are buying property which is landed.
A foreigner you most certainly are if you are not a Singapore citizen. Even a permanent resident of Singapore or Malaysia is a foreigner. Your being a Singapore tax resident has no bearing on the matter.
Under the RPA, non-Singapore citizens cannot buy a house lying on residential land without approval of the relevant authorities.