New measures to cool Singapore’s property market

The new rulings on seller’s stamp duty (SSD) doesn’t affect HDB owners at all, since now all HDB owners have to stay in their flats a minimum of 5 years.

If you are looking to sell your private property within the first 4 years, or if you are looking to purchase a 2nd property (HDB owners looking to purchase private property included), then the new rulings will affect you.

Read on for details.

SINGAPORE – The Singapore government today announced new measures to maintain a stable and sustainable property market, which will take effect by tomorrow, January 14.

From tomorrow, the holding period for the imposition of Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) will be increased from the current three years to four years.

Currently, for residential properties bought on or after 30 August 2010, SSD is imposed on the sale of such properties within three years of purchase. This followed the introduction of SSD for residential properties bought on or after 20 February 2010.

The SSD rates will also be increased sharply so as to provide a strong disincentive for investors looking to make
short term gains. The impact of the SSD is especially significant as it is payable regardless whether the property is eventually sold at a gain or loss.

For residential properties bought on or after 14 January 2011, the SSD rates to be levied on the full consideration will be increased to as follows:

1. SSD at 16 per cent (higher than up to 3 per cent currently), if the property is sold in the first year of purchase, i.e. the property is held for 1 year or less from its purchase date.
2. SSD at 12 per cent (higher than up to 2 per cent currently), if the property is sold in the second year of purchase, i.e. the property is held for more than 1 year and up to 2 years.
3. SSD at 8 per cent (higher than up to 1 per cent currently), if the property is sold in the third year of purchase, i.e. the property is held for more than 2 years and up to 3 years.
4. SSD at 4 per cent (no SSD currently), if the property is sold in the fourth year of purchase, i.e. the property is held for more than 3 years and up to 4 years.

Currently, the SSD rates are levied at the same rate as buyer’s stamp duty, i.e. 1 per cent for the first $180,000, 2 per cent for the next $180,000 and 3% on the balance. The SSD rates are tiered according to the duration of the holding period, i.e. the seller pays the full SSD rate if the residential property is sold in the first year of purchase; 2/3 the full SSD rate if the sale is in the second year; 1/3 the full SSD rate if in the third year.

Changes to Loan-To-Value limit

The Loan-To-Value (LTV) limit on housing loans granted by financial institutions regulated by MAS for property purchasers who are not individuals will be lowered to 50 per cent. This includes corporations, trusts and collective investment schemes, among others, as well as to joint property purchases by an individual and a purchaser who is not an individual.

Meanwhile, the LTV limit on housing loans granted by financial institutions regulated by MAS individuals with one or more outstanding housing loans at the time of the new housing purchase will be lowered from 70 per cent to 60 per cent.

However, borrowers who can show evidence that they have sold their existing properties will not be subject to the lower LTV limit when they buy a new property. Where the existing property is a private property, he can show a signed Sale & Purchase (S&P) agreement with the IRAS certificate showing that stamp duty has been paid on it. Where the existing property is a HDB flat, he can show HDB’s approval letter to sell the flat, that HDB will issue within 2 weeks of the First Appointment. These borrowers will still be able to borrow at an 80 per cent LTV from financial institutions.

Borrowers without any outstanding housing loans continue to have a LTV cap of 80 per cent.

These rules apply to housing loans granted by financial institutions for private residential properties, Executive Condominiums, HUDC flats and HDB flats (including DBSS flats).

Loans granted by HDB for HDB flats (including DBSS flats) will still have a LTV cap of 90 per cent.

The Government will continue to monitor the property market closely and take further steps to promote a stable and sustainable property market if necessary.

(via AsiaOne, 13 Jan 2011)

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5 Responses to “New measures to cool Singapore’s property market”

  1. David Says:

    Hi,

    Would appreciate help/advise as my situation is rather unique…

    My girlfriend and I are considering to purchase a private condo. I would be a 2nd time home owner without current property ownership and no outstanding loans to my name. My girlfriend is listed as a co-owner in a HDB, but has no loans to her name. However, she plans to keep her name in the HDB flat even after we purchase this private condo.

    Question – are we eligible for an LVT of up to 80%? Or are we subjected to the new ruling of only
    50% LVT?

    Question – are we eligible

  2. Justina Says:

    If there are no loans in either your names, and if your gf has met the HDB MOP, you should be eligible for up to 80%. Best way to confirm however, is to approach a housing loan officer at a bank.

  3. sharon Says:

    HDB reduce MOP for bank loan to sell the resale flat.1 year or 1 and half yrs.

  4. Justina Says:

    Hi Sharon,

    Since 30th August 2010, there’s a new ruling for all flats bought on open market – MOP is now 5 years.

  5. Eddy Says:

    I owned a hdb with my dad, a private condo with my wife, if I sold my hdb, can I still buy hdb with my wife? The private condo is under both our names n still have outstanding mortgage, but we intend to refinance under my wife alone, so I will not hav any loan tab to my name, but my wife will have a loan tab to her name due to the private condo.. So can we still buy a hdb flat after I sell my current one?

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