Huge backlash from Singaporeans after Government raises stamp duties and tightens loan limits in attempts to control surging property prices

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Yesterday, the Singapore government announced adjustments to the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates and Loan-to-Value (LTV) limits on residential property purchases.

In a joint statement, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of National Development and the Monetary Authority of Singapore said that the ABSD for Singaporeans and permanent residents who are buying their second or subsequent property will be raised by five percentage points with effect from Friday, July 6.

These changes come after an increase of about 9.1 per cent for private residential prices over the past year.

New property cooling measures introduced by Government to calm market euphoria

Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development, said the government has been monitoring the property market and he added, “We are very concerned that prices are running ahead of economic fundamentals. There is a large supply of units coming on stream and interest rates are going up. We want to avoid a severe correction later, which can have more destabilising consequences. Hence we are acting now to maintain a stable and sustainable property market”.

These changes leave many unhappy, especially amidst rising water prices and electricity tariffs.

The most common gripe of people being that while ABSD rates have increased, the changes might not be effective enough for those able to afford second or third properties in the first place. Singles also feel discriminated against, as married couples can “apply for a refund of ABSD, as long as they sell their first residential property within 6 months after (a) the date of purchase of the second residential property, or (b) the issue date of the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) or Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC)”, while singles are unable to.

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obbana@theindependent.sg