On 15 Dec 2021, the Singapore government announced that it is raising Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates and tightening loan-to-value (LTV) limits on residential property purchases, in an effort to cool the property market and keep price increases in line with economic fundamentals.
What does this mean if you are a foreigner planning to buy a new launch property in Singapore?
Changes to Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty
While earlier property cooling measures in Dec 2021 and Sep 2022 had a “moderating effect” on the market, property prices in Q12023 still showed renewed signs of acceleration amid resilient demand from locals buying homes for owner-occupation.
So on 26 April 2023, the government announced that it is raising Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates as a preemptive measure to alleviate the tight housing market for both owner-occupation and rental, as well as curb investment demand from foreigners and local investors.
These new ABSD Rates will apply to cases where the OTP is granted from 27 Apr onwards:
|Citizen||Buying 1st Residential Property||Buying 2nd Residential Property||Buying 3rd and Subsequent Residential Property|
|Foreigners buying any residential properties||60% (up from 30%)||60% (up from 30%)||60% (up from 30%)|
New laws from 9 May, 2022 with regards to residential properties transferred into a living trust:
Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) of 35% will now apply on any transfer of residential property into a living trust. ABSD will be payable even if there is no identifiable beneficial owner at the time the residential property is transferred into a trust.
So this new change closes a loophole. This ABSD (Trust) is to be paid upfront when the transfer is made.
What is Loan to Value (LTV) limit?
LTV is the housing loan quantum a bank or financial institution is willing to offer as a percentage of the property’s valuation. LTV depends on whether this is your first, second or subsequent mortgage and your loan tenure. There has been no change for foreigners in the Dec 2021 update.
|No Outstanding Residential Property Loan||55% (an absolute limit of 35 years on the tenure of all loans for residential property. This will apply to loans to both individual and non-individual borrowers)|
|Individuals Obtaining a 2nd Housing Loan||45% or 25% (if the tenure exceeds 30 years or the loan period extends beyond the borrower’s retirement age of 65)|
|Individuals obtaining 3rd or subsequent housing loans||35% or 15% if the loan tenure exceeds 30 years or the loan period extends beyond the borrower’s retirement age of 65|
These new cooling measures mean that if you are a foreigner planning to buy a property in Singapore, you would have to pay at least 10% more in stamp duties as well.
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