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How Soon Can You Sell Your Condo in Singapore After Buying It?

Maelyn Lagman

Maelyn Lagman

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Planning on selling your condo? Before you do so, consider this one important factor that might affect your property transaction plans: Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD).

You might have already heard of the term ‘SSD’ before, but do you know exactly what it is and how it will affect you as a seller?

What is a Stamp Duty?

Before we get into SSD, let’s first define the term ‘stamp duty’-a term commonly used for property transactions in Singapore.

In essence, it is tax levied on documents relating to properties, stocks or shares, and is payable just like other taxes, to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

There are three notable stamp duties in the lion city: the Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD), Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), and Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD).

In this article, we’ll be focusing on the last one: Seller’s Stamp Duty.

So, what is Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD)?

SSD is basically the tax payable to IRAS if you sell a property within the first three years of purchasing it. The three-year, minimum holding period requires you to hold on to your property for three years before selling it.

The government imposed the SSD as a cooling measure to curb the practice of ‘property flipping’, where property investors sell their properties within months of purchasing it. This practice is popular mostly in the U.S., but hasn’t quite caught on in Singapore. Probably because of the extra fees they might incur with the SSD in place.

As with other cooling measures, the SSD rates have undergone several revisions over the years.

When it was first introduced in February 2010 (plus all the changes that lead to the final revisions imposed on 11 March 2017), the SSD rates were as such:

Date of Purchase or Date of Change of Zoning / UseHolding PeriodSSD Rate (on the actual price or market value, whichever is higher)
Between 20 Feb 2010 and 29 Aug 2010 (all inclusive)
Up to 1 year

 

More than 1 year


1% on first $180,000

2% on next $180,000

3% on remainder

 

No SSD payable

Between 30 Aug 2010 and 13 Jan 2011 (all inclusive)Up to 1 year

 

More than 1 year and up to 2 years

More than 2 years and up to 3 years

More than 3 years


1% on first $180,000

2% on next $180,000

3% on remainder

 

0.67% on first $180,000

1.33% on next $180,000

2% on remainder

0.33% on first $180,000

0.67% on next $180,000

1% on remainder

No SSD payable

Between 14 Jan 2011 and 10 Mar 2017 (all inclusive)
Up to 1 year

 

More than 1 year and up to 2 years

More than 2 years and up to 3 years

More than 3 years and up to 4 years

More than 4 years


16%

 

12%

8%

4%

No SSD payable

SSD rates from 11 March 2017 onwards

Date of Purchase or Date of Change of Zoning / UseHolding PeriodSSD Rate (on the actual price or market value, whichever is higher)

On and after 11 Mar 2017

Up to 1 year

 

More than 1 year and up to 2 years

More than 2 years and up to 3 years

More than 3 years


12%

 

8%

4%

No SSD payable

Keep in mind that the SSD amount you have to pay is calculated off either the property’s selling price or market valuation, whichever is higher.

Also, in the event that the sale comprises only a partial interest in the residential property (which means that you own a portion of the property only), the payable SSD will also be based on the selling price or market value of the partial interest, whichever is higher.

Date of purchase or acquisition

Another thing to note is the date of purchase or acquisition, as it will determine when the holding period will begin. In most instances, the date of purchase or acquisition of a property refers to any of the following:

  • Date of Acceptance of the Option To Purchase (OTP)* or
  • Date of Sale and Purchase Agreement or
  • Date of Agreement for Lease (for new HDB flat) or
  • Date of Transfer where the first three points are not applicable

*Excludes an OTP that is subject to the execution or signing of the Sale and Purchase Agreement

Date of disposal

Meanwhile, the date of disposal of a property refers to any of the following:

  • Date of Acceptance of the OTP* by the buyer to the seller’s offer to sell or
  • Date of Sale & Purchase Agreement or
  • Date of Transfer where (a) and (b) are not applicable

*Excludes an OTP that is subject to the execution or signing of the Sale and Purchase Agreement

Here’s a sample scenario:

how-soon-can-you-sell-your-condo-after-buying-it
SSD is basically the tax payable to IRAS if you sell a property within the first three years of purchasing it.

Let’s say Seller A purchased his property on 17 March 2017 and sold it on 1 February 2018 for $1.5 million. The holding period here is less than one year; for properties bought on and after 11 March 2017, the SSD rate is 12%.

As such, the SSD payable for Seller A is: $1.5 million x 12% = $180,000.

Pro tip: When computing the SSD, you need to consider two main factors, which are the period of transaction and the holding period. From there, calculating the percentage payable will be relatively straightforward and easy to do.


Dive Deeper: How do you know if you’re liable to pay for the SSD?


When do you not need to pay SSD?

On the other hand, there are several instances where exemptions from paying the SSD apply. They are:

  • Licensed housing developers who are governed under the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act when selling residential properties developed by them.
  • Public authorities (such as HDB or JTC) in exercising their functions and duties when selling residential properties.
  • Residential property owners when their properties are acquired by the Government under the Land Acquisitions Act.
  • Residential property owners when selling their residential properties due to bankruptcy or involuntary winding up.
  • Foreigners when they have to sell their residential properties as required under the Residential Properties Act.
  • HDB flat sellers or transferors who bought or acquired their flats on or after 30 Aug 2010 and their flats have been identified for Selective En-Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) but sell their flats in the open market prior to HDB claiming them.
  • HDB flat sellers or transferors who return their flats to HDB as a result of re-possession by HDB or under the SERS.

Calculate your SSD with the help of a Super Agent

While selling your home can potentially bring in tidy returns, do remember to factor in possible expenses such as Seller’s Stamp Duty, and also fees for your property agent if you’re looking to hire one. Ohmyhome’s Super Agents offer specialised service at a very affordable fee.

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