New Cooling Measures – Seller Stamp Duty Holding Period, Lower LTV, Minimum Cash Revised

The Singapore Government has recently released further measures today to curb the possibly speculative hot property market which will be in effect immediately (30th August 2010) as follows:-

  • Seller’s Stamp Duty Holding period extended from 1 year to 3 years
  • For residential properties bought4 on or after 30 August 2010, SSD will be imposed if these properties are sold within three years of purchase. Specifically, the SSD levied on residential properties will be revised to as follows:

    1. Sold within the first year of purchase, i.e. the property is held for 1 year or less from its purchase date – The full SSD rate (1% for the first $180,000 of the consideration, 2% for the next $180,000, and 3% for the balance) will be imposed.

    2. Sold within the second year of purchase, i.e. the property is held for more than 1 year and up to 2 years – 2/3 of the full SSD rate.

    3. Sold within the third year of purchase, i.e. the property is held for more than 2 years and up to 3 years – 1/3 of the full SSD rate.

    No SSD will be payable by the vendor if the property is sold more than 3 years after it was bought. Please see Annex for examples of how the SSD will be computed.

  • Cash Component Revised from Minimum 5% to 10% Loan to Value Limit for Property Owners with More Than One Outstanding Loan
  • Loan to Value revised from 80% to 70% for Property Owners with More Than One Outstanding Loan
  • The LTV limit is lowered from 80% to 70% with effect from 30 Aug 20108 for borrowers who have one or more outstanding housing loans (whether from HDB or a financial institution regulated by MAS) at the time of applying for a housing loan for the new property purchase. Borrowers who do not have any outstanding housing loans continue to have an LTV cap of 80%. 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 an LTV cap of 90%. HDB loans are offered to eligible first-time flat buyers and second-timers who are right-sizing their flats to meet their housing needs. They are required to utilise all of their CPF Ordinary Account balance before HDB loans will be granted. Furthermore, those taking a second concessionary HDB loan must use the CPF refund and 50% of the cash proceeds from the sale of their previous flat before they are granted an HDB loan. This is in line with HDB’s home ownership policy of helping eligible buyers, especially first-time buyers, purchase public housing in a financially prudent manner.

    Financial institutions’ lending standards have remained prudent and the asset quality of housing loans has stayed robust, with the non-performing loans ratio at less than 1% as at Q2 2010. Nonetheless, there are signs that more housing loans are originating at higher LTV bands of above 70%. In line with the objective of ensuring a stable and sustainable property market, lowering the LTV limit sends a clear signal to financial institutions to maintain credit standards, and encourages greater financial prudence among property purchasers already servicing one or more outstanding housing loans.

The reasons as exact given by Ministry of National Development,

While Singapore has enjoyed strong economic growth in the first half of 2010, our economic growth is expected to moderate in the second half of the year. There are also still uncertainties in the global economy. Should economic growth falter and the market corrects, property buyers could face capital losses, with implications on their own finances and the economy as a whole. Moreover, the current low global interest rate environment will not continue indefinitely, and higher interest rates could have severe implications for buyers who have overextended themselves. Therefore, the Government has decided to introduce additional measures now to temper sentiments and encourage greater financial prudence among property purchasers.

Huge impact should follow with such, and we could very likely see the property transactions drop drastically.

We’ll have to wait out for more details from each relevant government agencies on how the changes should impact your usual property transactions.

Written by Benson Koh
Benson is a professional real estate realtor with over 11 years of experience specializing in all forms of real estate consultancy and brokeraging of different segments from regal homes to commercial spaces. Also a boutique developer, he manages both SRI5000 Developments which concentrates on landed homes as part of his land bank segment and Singapore Realtors Inc (SRI), a real estate agency which has over 7 years of group experience. You can reach him here via various channels. [ Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | RSS Feed ]