URA Caveat for Property Transactions in Singapore: What It Is And Why It's Useful (2022)

·7-min read
URA Caveat for Property Transactions in Singapore: What It Is And Why It's Useful (2022)
URA Caveat for Property Transactions in Singapore: What It Is And Why It's Useful (2022)

Everyone knows that buying a home is a big commitment, which is why property buyers should always do their due diligence before making a purchase. But what really sets the smart property buyers apart from the rest is the ability to identify the right data to draw insights from. One such useful resource is the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) transactions tool, which shows you the caveats lodged and options issued. 

In this article, we’ll explain what the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) caveat is and how you can use this information to your benefit. Hang on tight, because this can get messy.

No time to read? Here’s a quick summary:

What is a URA caveat?

It is a legal document to protect buyers’ interests in a property for sale.

How to lodge a URA caveat

Your lawyer must lodge the document with SLA.

Benefits of URA caveat for buyers

Lodging a caveat helps you to secure the property. Analysing the data helps you to ensure you are paying a reasonable price.

Benefits of URA caveat for sellers

It helps you gauge the interest of buyers.

Benefits of URA caveat for those looking to sell

It helps you gauge the market price of your property.

How to find URA caveat data

Access the URA transactions portal and search by project name, or by the property type and district.

Need more details? Here’s more information for those looking to leverage URA caveat data to make smarter property buying decisions.

What Is a URA Caveat?

In layman’s terms, lodging a URA caveat is a legal way of telling everyone else to back off from buying a property that you’ve been eyeing. Typically, it is lodged once a buyer exercises the Option to Purchase (OTP) agreement or entered into a sale and purchase agreement with a seller.

It’s not compulsory, but it’s a good precautionary measure to protect your interest in a property while preventing others from buying it. In other words, it is a legally certified way of reserving your prospective new home.

URA Caveats: How to Lodge It

Your lawyer will need to lodge a caveat with the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) to fill a form that contains information which includes details of the buyer and transaction, before paying a fee.

Once the document is approved, you can legally prevent the seller of the property from making a deal with someone else. 

Do note that this information is public. (Remember how we said that this information is readily available on the URA transactions tool?)

So when you lodge a caveat, you’re basically showing the world how much you’re paying for a property. This also means that the public (including your nosy neighbour) can search for your address on it and find out how much you’re buying or selling your home for, and vice versa.

URA Caveats: Why Is It Important?

So, how does lodging the document with SLA affect you? And more importantly, why should you bother to search for caveats?

1. If You’re a Home Buyer

the-ura-caveat
the-ura-caveat

As mentioned, if you’re interested to buy a particular unit that’s listed for sale, caveats are a sure-fire way to confirm that no one else has already called dibs on the unit.

In order to do that, you’ll need your lawyer’s help to search and ensure that there isn’t a caveat lodged on the unit. This saves you from wasting your time speaking to the owner and making house visits (unless the buyer foregoes his/her OTP).

2. If You’re a Seller Who Has Just ‘Sold’ Your Unit

As a seller, knowing that a potential buyer has lodged a URA caveat for your home is a sign that he/she is serious about acquiring your home. It gives you the assurance that you can start your hunt for another home to settle into.

3. If You’re a Potential Home Seller

Thinking about selling your home? URA caveats are a simple and fuss-free way of gauging the market price of your unit. All you need to do is to find a unit similar to yours on the URA caveat to check how much other sellers are offering their units. 

For example, if you’re selling your private apartment, knowing how to search for condo transaction prices in your area will arm you with some valuable data.

Thinking of selling your home but not sure where to start? Let PropertyGuru help you make confident property decisions with our selling guides.

Making Full Use of URA Caveat Transaction Data

Regardless of where you are at in the home buying or selling journey, it is definitely useful to know how to make use of URA’s transaction portal, i.e. the list of URA caveats lodged.

For home buyers, the prices listed on the transaction portal are the most updated market transaction data you can get. The transactions are updated every Tuesday around 12pm and only show up till the previous Tuesday’s transactions.

Whereas on Friday, updates happen at 3pm and showcase new launch and resale transactions up till the previous Sunday transactions.

[PropertyTip]When comparing condo transaction prices, make sure you find a unit that has a similar tenure and size to the unit you are eyeing. Otherwise, the apple to orange comparison will give you a wrong impression of the unit’s desirability.[/PropertyTip]

With actual condo transaction price data, you can now compare the per square foot (psf) prices of units similar to the unit you are eyeing, just to make sure that you aren’t getting ripped off. And if you find a bargain buy, make sure to close the deal as soon as possible!

Meanwhile, those thinking of selling their properties can use URA transaction data to gauge the sales volume in your area and how much you can expect your property to fetch.

So regardless of whether you’re looking for a home to call your own, or an investor who wants to keep up with market trends and look for underpriced gems, you’ll find the transactions portal extremely useful.

The URA has also released their price index for private residential property in Q2 2022, if you prefer a nice summary of the previous quarter’s trends, based on historical data.

How to Use URA Transactions Portal

The URA transaction portal lists all caveats lodged within the last 60 months.

You can choose to either search by project name (up to 5 projects), or by the property type and district (up to 5 districts). The results will include the following information:

  • Project name

  • Street name

  • Type (condominium, landed, etc.)

  • Postal district

  • Market segment (CCR, RCR, or OCR)

  • Tenure (freehold or 99-year leasehold)

  • Type of sale (resale, sub-sale or new sale)

  • No. of units

  • Price and nett price

  • Area (sqft)

  • Type of area (strata or land area)

  • Floor level (non-specific, e.g. 31 to 35

  • Unit price (price psf)

  • Date of sale

URA transaction portal
URA transaction portal

How to Find Condo Transaction Prices and Landed Home Prices

the-ura-caveat
the-ura-caveat

Looking for condo transaction prices for a particular project? You can do so easily through the URA transaction portal.

Under ‘Search by project name’, look for and select the condominium you are looking at. You can select up to 5 projects if you are, say, looking at nearby condos in the same neighbourhood.

Select the date parameters you want (for example, transactions from Oct 2020 to Oct 2021) and check the boxes for the types of sales you are interested in. Then click ‘Search’.

You’ll be taken to a results page full of condo transaction prices for the project(s) you’re eyeing.

For landed housing, it’s easier to use the ‘Search by property type and district’ function. Select ‘Landed Properties’ or ‘Strata Landed’, whichever applies, and enter the relevant postal district(s).

After clicking on ‘Search’, you’ll land on a results page with URA’s latest landed housing transaction prices.

Limitations of URA’s portal

URA can only tell you about transaction prices. However, it does not tell you other factors about the development, such as the property’s condition and years of lease left.

It also doesn’t tell you if properties were sold cheaper or higher than the valuation price.

For more property news, content and resources, check out PropertyGuru’s guides section

Looking for a new home? Head to PropertyGuru to browse the top properties for sale in Singapore

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