Calculating Stamp Duty for Sale of Property in Singapore

So you’re about to purchase a property in Singapore, you’ve probably heard about Stamp Duty, a tax which the Inland Revenue of Singapore (IRAS) collects upon a new sale or tenancy of a real estate.

Stamp duty is a tax on documents relating to properties or shares.

How do you actually calculate your stamp duty for sale of property? Let’s find out.

Stamp Duty for Sale of Property

I’m referring to the IRAS website on Stamp Duty and you’re suppose to pay this tax if:

  • You have purchased a HDB Flat
  • You have purchased a completed property issued with Temporary Occupation Permit
  • You have purchased a property under construction
  • You have purchased a property by way of a sub-sale
  • You have acquired properties an enbloc purchase

The Formula

For Realtors, we simply use the formula of (Sale Price multiply by 3%) minus $5,400.0 for a quick guide, but if the price of the property falls below $360,000, this would be inaccurate. Remember we also have to round up to the nearest hundred dollar before calculating.


Peter bought a walk up apartment at the price of $500,000.00, his stamp duty fees will be [($500,000 x 3%) – $5400] = $9,600

The real formula would be,

1% of the first $180,000, 2% of the next $180,000 and 3% of the remaining amount balance.

Let’s use the same formula for the above mentioned property Peter bought.

[3% of ( $500,000 – $180,000 – $180,000)] + (2% of $180,000) + 1% of ($180,000) = ( 3% of remaining $140,000 ) + (2% of 180,000) + (1% of 180,000) = $4,200 + $3,600 + $1,800 = $9,600

Who To Pay?

Most of the time, the purchaser will be responsible for paying the stamp duty fees unless otherwise stated on the Sales & Purchase or Option to Purchase terms and conditions.

The persons liable to pay stamp duty will be in accordance to the terms of the document. If the terms of the document are silent on this, under the Stamp Duties Act (Cap 312), the transferee or grantee has to pay stamp duty.

When To Pay?

Please take note that upon execution of Sales and Purchase agreement in most cases, you’ll have to get your documents stamped within 14 days or within 30 days if you are overseas. Late stamping would be subjected to penalties for violating the Stamp Duties Act (Cap. 312)

Penalties will be imposed on documents that are stamped late or for which stamp duty is underpaid.

If the delay does not exceed 3 months, the penalty is $10 or equal to the amount of the deficient duty, whichever is higher.

If the delay exceeds 3 months, the penalty is $25 or 4 times the amount of deficient duty, whichever is the higher.

Now that’s pretty hefty, so please make sure your Realtor gets this properly done up upon a sale of your new home or property!

SISV CEHA Course – April 2008 Intake

And I do believe in returning the favor whenever you receive something.

SISV is having it’s next course running for Common Examinations for Housing Agents (CEHA) in April for the July 2008 Examinations (7th, 8th and 9th July). If you’re a full time Realtor (Property Agent), you’ll have to rush and get your papers before the 2009 axe.

The objective of this SAEA Pre-CEHA course is to train estate agents to undertake agency work in Singapore. In particular, it is designed to prepare practising agents to take the CEHA examination. A pass in the CEHA is now a pre-requisite for those wishing to apply for a House Agent’s Licence under the Appraisers & House Agents Act. Under the SAEA’s requirement, all agents under the accredited agency must possess a pass in CEHA and be accredited by 1 January 2009.

Unfortunately, my agency is accredited.

The Files

The venue for all lessons from SISV are conducted in Toa Payoh Community Centre on Tuesdays and Thursdays (from 2 to 5pm for this season). Cost is SG$365 nett for all 3 papers.

Honest Review

I like the lecturers, they’re knowledgeable on their subjects, professionals to the real estate market scene. I actually like Sam Gian’s 10-year series, though some of the information have to be reviewed because of changing policies. He’s a funny man.

If you’re worried that you can’t pass your papers, I suggest enrolling with SISV and attend all the classes, it should put you in good shape before attending your papers.

The Singapore Property Search – Review, PropertyGuru

We continue our Singapore Property Search shootout on the next website, PropertyGuru.

PropertyGuru, Singapore

Ease of Listing

Registration process is okay. It would be better if there’s a registration tab on top just for agents, especially the logging in for their “AgentNet“. Bookmarking it would seem to be the only easiest way to access the listing area since I can’t find the link to it on the index.

The AgentNet index is fancy. You can promote yourself by answering questions. I think Howard Teo (Dennis Wee) is doing pretty well as compared to the rest of the Singapore Realtors in this segment. Agents who’re knowledgeable can score well with queries coming from the public and leaving their contact behind so that they can clinch some new leads.

Property Guru AgentNet - Q&A Time ;)
Are you a Property Guru? ;)

Options to list a property are comprehensive, but you can’t seem to expire a listing. Also, some properties do have more than 3 bathrooms, I suppose they’ve added the + sign after people had feedback on it, but it would be nicer to add bathroom numbers to “4” or “5”. It would be nice if people can add more than 3 photos to showcase.

Searching for a Property

Uh Uh. I’d be bashed, but it isn’t user friendly to me. I’d rather much prefer Myoochi‘s way of searching, at least with street or for a development. To each its own, but I wouldn’t be stereotyped or bogged by budget, the area, or the exact maximum price for rental or sale. To improve, maybe they would like to list down the areas in the districts rather than the district numbers (North/ West).

Plus Points of Listing

How it looks when you list with PropertyGuru
This is how it looks when you list it with PropertyGuru

+ Very clean listing, development details are listed as well (good for condominium listings, with the developer name and TOP date)
+ Allows potential clients to submit a form to contact you, with their email/ contact and their preference of contact.
+ Location map with amenities are listed by the sidebar. Great for potential buyers who’re interested in the particular development

Minus Points

– 3 photos limit isn’t good
– Premium listing are REALLY focused than normal listings. I understand when you pay you’ll get better features, but I suppose it shouldn’t be made so obvious. All the premium listing gets in front. My Sanctuary Green listing gets hidden in the pile of premiums without photos.
– Adding a video tour option would be good (though impractical at the moment)

Traffic/ Viewership

PropertyGuru’s Alexa Ranking
It’s doing better than Myoochi. One reason I can think of is it’s advertisements on the television. But is it the number one Property Search portal in Singapore as claimed by someone who actually gave me a call to register for the premium member (from PropertyGuru’s office) yet? Let’s see. *Compares.

True to some extend (those that I’m more familiar with), but very close fight with one which I will be reviewing soon. With such page views, you’ll get 200 – 300 unique visitors daily. From what I can see on the charts, their traffic is improving as well.

To hit expatriates or overseas market, I think SingaporeExpats is doing fantastic as compared to the search portals that I’ve seen. (In fact, the best).

Extra Features

The estate market data seems interesting. Also, the online valuation function is pretty accurate to how much a particular project cost now. Information about the different condominium projects and photos are here.

The site is tastefully done, but I’d say if it could improve on not focusing too much on Realtors that pay for their premium listing, it would fair better. (Not that I don’t want to pay to list, but with that kind of uniques in terms of traffic, it’s not worth my $50 per month just yet). Register here as an Agent to advertise your listing.

Rating: 2.5 /5.0 (Better viewer ship, but not worth the money to spend for membership for now)


iProperty will be next in the shootout.

Google’s Way of Countering MSN/ Yahoo Search

Just tried to install the new version of MSN Live Messenger and accidentally clicked on most of the default options to have MSN Search set as default when I was pleasantly surprised with some Google dialogue box coming out from nowhere.

Google’s way of countering

Well, since I’m not so much of a Microsoft fan in terms of search, it saved me the time to switch Google back to default, but don’t you ever wonder why programs gets bigger in size in terms of megabytes when you install them with new upgrades?

Privacy will be the next big issue in the future as with our most common used programs studying our online habits. Pfft. Not that I’m not happy with Google axing MSN search in this way. It’s another whole big issue with ‘Legal Spyware’.

Property Legal Woes – Seperated Spouse Unwilling to Sell House (HDB)

MY HUSBAND and I have been separated for a year. In the past, he has refused to pay for all household bills and refused to sell our HDB flat. He refused to do anything at all. What should I do if there is a buyer for the house and my husband refuses to sign the documents? What procedures can I take to make him sign?

Since I have been paying most of the household bills, can I fight for a bigger share of the sale proceeds from the house? As legal fees are very high, do you think it is worth doing that? Can I fight for alimony?

We have no children and I am earning slightly more than him. How much can I claim? If he does not pay for the alimony, what do I need to do? I am earning $2,500 monthly and have heavy financial commitments. Am I entitled to any government legal aid?

Answer from Lim Choi Meng, a lawyer from TM Hoon and Company

I ASSUME more than three years have passed since you got married, so you are now able to get a divorce.

I also assume that you are seeking a divorce and basing it either on grounds of adultery or unreasonable behaviour.

A year’s separation is not sufficient to get a divorce on those grounds, though. A minimum of three years (with his agreement) or four years of separation is required.

If the flat is sold pursuant to a court order made under the divorce, a time limit for selling it is usually stated.

In any event, the HDB will not allow a divorced couple to hold on to a flat jointly.

If a prospective sale fails because your husband unreasonably refuses to sign his agreement to the sale, it is possible for you to get an order in which the court is empowered to sign on your husband’s behalf.

On your question of your husband seeking a buyer, both of you have an equal right to sell the flat.

You can jointly appoint a housing agent, or else, if the court order specifies what price level the flat shall be sold at, the first spouse to get a successful buyer gets to sell the flat.

Your paying the house bills does not entitle you automatically to a greater share of the flat. This is an ‘indirect contribution’.

The first benchmark for arriving at the percentage of division is your respective direct contribution to the purchase price of the flat.

In deciding how much each party’s indirect contributions are, the court will look at factors such as who has been paying the household bills, and caring for the family and home.

Whether it is worth fighting the case in court depends on how much the profit on the flat is.

If there is a net profit of, say, only $10,000 which is to be shared between both of you, it makes no sense to go to trial to fight for an additional $1,000 or $2,000, as the money will easily be used up for your legal fees.

On alimony, the law provides an avenue for a wife to claim maintenance from her husband.

The amount depends on many factors such as the length of the marriage, the financial circumstances of the parties, their lifestyle, and whether there are children.

If you have been married less than five years with no children, chances are the maintenance that you will get will not be significant.

The court is likely to give you a lump sum (represented by a larger share of the net profit of the flat) rather than continuing maintenance.

If there is a court order for maintenance and he does not pay, you can enforce the court order yourself at the Family Court (Maintenance Section) in person – that is, without hiring a lawyer.

On your last question, your income is above the ceiling to qualify for legal aid.

Text Link Ads Support Isn’t Responding

Text Link Ads

I have a few websites which runs for some pocket/ advertising money for my CATS money. Most of them are running Google Adsense and Text Link Ads (TLA) for monetization. Most of the sites who don’t go for affiliate sales would go with me that Adsense and TLA is still the most common and best way to go (of course depending on your niche).

And for those who use TLA to monetize your site, here comes a question. If you’re using WordPress, do you always face the issue of TLA support sending you emails that they can’t find their advertisers’ link up on your site even though you’re using their latest version of WordPress plugin?

And they even give you final warning for not having the link in your site?


This is the 3rd and final warning regarding the ads that we have sold on your site (censored). It looks like the script is not working properly. Our spider was unable to find the following links on your site:

I’ve tried responding to Brock Boser, COO of TLA on the issue, but till date haven’t receive any responses yet.

TLA has been good worker on my Paypal account, but with this kind of issue faced, I’m not sure whether it’s good for me to introduce this to chocomedia for the new 100 strong blogs for monetization.

Jan 2008 CEHA Results Out

CEHA - Common Examination for House Agents

Dear Sir/ Madam


We refer to the Common Examination for House Agents held in January 2008. The following are your results:

Paper 1: PASSED
Paper 2: PASSED
Paper 3: PASSED

Result: PASSED

Fellow agent friends, have you passed your CEHA yet? If not, go for SISV classes, they’re worth every single cent spent. Just as long as you attend classes regularly, SURE PASS! ;)

Property Legal Woes – Financial Risk of Singaporean Divorcing Foreign Spouse

Found this article online and I think this is something that we should archive and share, maybe we should get a legal panel for advice as well on properties when it comes to relationship encumbrance.


I AM MARRIED to a foreigner and we have a two-year-old child. After living abroad, I am now back in Singapore because our marriage is on the rocks.
My husband has a girlfriend and intends to file for divorce.

I have not been working since I married and moved overseas.

We own a property in Singapore which was bought solely under my name with my husband as the guarantor. Does that mean the house cannot be sold without my consent and that my husband, as the guarantor, has no alternative but to continue to service the loan?

Does he have the right to call for a sale of the house once he files for divorce?

Does he have the right to ask for a share of the sales proceeds since he has been the one servicing the loan from the start?

In addition, he bought shares and bonds under my name. Can I assume there is no dispute on the ownership?

As for child custody, how should I fight for it?

Answer from Justin Wee, a Solicitor from Loke & Seah Advocates & Solicitors

ASSUMING that the loan is secured on a mortgage of the property, there will be obligations on both your husband who is the guarantor and yourself as mortgagor to service the loan.

If your husband ceases repayment of the loan, the lender may look to you for repayment even though your husband has been servicing the loan since day one.
As your husband is not a registered proprietor of the property, he cannot unilaterally sell or otherwise dispose of the property without your consent.
Depending on the circumstances, if the property is considered a gift from your husband to you, he may not be able to ask for a monetary share when the property is sold.

In this regard, the law presumes there is a gift from the husband to the wife but this presumption may be rebutted by contrary evidence.

The same rebuttable presumption applies to assets like shares and bonds that are purchased in your name.

On the question of the custody of your child, the fact that you are not working does not mean that custody of the child will be given to your spouse as the court’s paramount consideration is the welfare of the child.

Moreover, there are provisions entitling you to obtain maintenance for yourself and your child.

As for fighting for custody of the child, it is best that you provide the full facts of your case to a lawyer as there needs to be a strategy put in place.

Depending on the circumstances, it can be a complex issue which cannot be fully dealt with in this space.

Singapore Shows Vigilance Capabilities on the Hunt for Jemaah Islamiyah

A MMS from ‘SPF’ came yesterday at 4pm.

You would think you’re getting another mobile virus from some anonymous bastard who wants to fry your phone. As Channel News Asia flashes across me with the JI terrorist hunt still on, I opened the MMS with my Dopod.

Mmn, so this is how Jemaah Islamiyah look like. It would seem so weird that he could possibly escape, but Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Armed Forces have been securing most of the key installations and possible escape perimeters very vigilantly. A good friend of mine, Nicholas who’s in the fish chartering business notice a lot more coast guard petrols on the sea lately.

I would say SPF and SAF is taking this operation as a way to show off their capabilities. First off, the main mobile networks volunteered and allow SPF to tap the 5.5 million mobile phones (M1, Singtel and Starhub). I received another email coming from Singnet, it looks alot like a phishing email than a warning one though, but its not too hard to recognise.

Posters of Jemaah Islamiyah is all over the island, and with the public working diligently with the government forces, it’s only a matter of time before he gets back behind bars.

Strength Finder 2.0 – The Online Test

Lincoln lent me his book, Strength Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath.

Strength Finder

This book actually came with an online test (a set of unique codes behind for a unique user) to test your 5 most matched unique strengths on your results with 34 different themes to match from. Since Lincoln has used his code, I was contemplating of getting a new book myself just to test out what kind of results would I have.

Google is your friend, they say.

Indeed, I manage to save the trees and my pocket by purchasing a brand new access code online just to take the test. Interested parties can purchase a code which would be sent to you in 24 hours at $17.50 USD (You don’t really save much since the cost of the book is about $20.50USD, but there’s no point of keeping the physical stuff, why not just save the pdf that the test gives you)

The test takes 30 minutes or so, with no time for you to think of the answer. “When you take the assessment, you have just 20 seconds to respond to each item. It’s quick because we found that instinctual, top-of-mind responses are more revealing than those you’d give if you sat around and debated each question…” as quoted by Tom in the book.

Here’s my 5 traits if anyone of you are interested:


People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.


People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.


People who are especially talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.


People who are especially talented in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act.


People who are especially talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.

Basically if you find reading the whole book to read all the different 34 themes a chore, just take the online test, the results are given with explanation, insights and even action plan which are laid exactly in the book. (Your 5, except missing out the rest of the 29 themes)

It’s a good read and a good way to start knowing yourself if you’re feeling lost on what kind of strengths do you have.