Cooling measure changes and how you can benefit from it

Seller Stamp Duty SSD Changes

Changes to SDD, TDSR and Stamp Duty for Companies (PHEs)

On 11 March 2017, The MOF and MND released a joint statement regarding changes to the cooling measures currently in place when you purchase property in Singapore.

These are :

1) Reduced Sellers Stamp Duty (SSD)

Properties purchased after 11 March will be subjected to a reduced holding period that is subjected to the Sellers Stamp Duty. (i.e. 3 years instead of the 4 years currently in place) as well as a reduction of % points . See table below. 

2) Changes to the TDSR limit for those planning to take out an equity term loan using their current property.

The current TDSR framework has limited an owner's ability monetise their properties in their retirement years, i.e. to borrow against the value of their properties to obtain additional cash. Therefore MND will no longer apply the TDSR framework to mortgage equity withdrawal loans with LTV ratios of 50% and below.

3) A new Stamp Duty Treatment for 'Property Holding Entities' (PHEs)

Companies owning properties are now subjected to a higher stamp duty rate, in line with the stamp duty rate for individuals. 

Since changes 2 & 3 only applies to a select group, we shall talk about it in a separate blog post .

Seller stamp duty changes

The sellers stamp duty has been in place since Feb 20, 2010 to prevent investors from making a quick profit in a rising market.

When times were good previously,  there were instances a single property could change hands multiple times within a few days, earning the flippers a good deal of money and creating a runaway housing market that the government was later forced to control.

​To curb this, the Government introduced the Sellers Stamp Duty which forced the seller to pay a percentage of the property's selling price to the government, thus reducing the sellers profits. Although it was not one of the most effective tools of the entire cooling measures in the government's arsenal, it contributes to an investor's hesitation to purchase a property, since they will not be able to sell it off if quickly if he loses his holding power.

​The Government announced that for properties bought on or after 11th March 2017, there will be a reduction in the holding period as well as the amount of stamp duty/percentage points of the SSD as shown in the table below :

Holding Period

1 year or less 

Between 1-2 years

Between 2-3 years

Between 3-4 years

Between 4-5 years

From Feb 2010 to 
10 March 2017

16%

12% 

8%

4%

No SSD

From 11 March 2017

12%

8%

4%

No SSD

No SSD

How the changes can benefit you.

As of now, we believe that the changes in the SSD may have an impact on new launch properties or those that are still under construction. Smaller units that are meant for investment may experience the biggest impact.

[Analysts from the straits times seem to think so too. Click here for the article.]

The Seller stamp duty or the SSD starts from the day you exercise the Option To Purchase or sign the Sales & Purchase Agreement. This is regardless of if you purchase a new launch, a property under construction, one that has just TOP or a resale unit. 

[In contrast, the 5 year holding period of a HDB flat or the MOP, starts from the day you receive the keys, not while its under construction]

Therefore, the changes in the SDD can benefit you if you purchase a new launch, due to the following factors :

1) Reduced risk of not being able to rent the unit out in a slow market.

This means that the SSD period for buyers of new launches would be mostly during the construction period, taking away some risk from the owner, i.e. the risk of not being able to rent it out in a slow market.  Your profits would be through the capital appreciation that a development happens from launch to TOP, since not all buyers out there are willing to wait 3 years for a place to stay. 

To maximise your profits,  you should choose a property that is in an area that is either going through gentrification or one that MND has earmarked as a 'growth area'. Examples include Park Place Residences in Paya Lebar or Parc Riveria in the Jurong Lake District.  [ Other growth areas include Woodlands Regional Center and the Punggol Creative Cluster. ]

At the same time, we would advise against just purchasing a random property that under construction. Although this change cuts your risk, you should still stick to the fundamentals of purchasing a property at a good entry price and one that can easily be rented out. Not sure which properties to look at? Sms/ Whatsapp 96918885 so that we can give you proper advice. 

2) Lesser "Capital Outlay" via the progressive payment scheme if you purchase a property at a new launch.

Investors can also opt for the Progressive Payment Scheme when you purchase a new launch.

The progressive payment schedule for new condo launches are as follows: 

Progressive Payment Scheme for new condo launches

The monthly amount you pay depends on the stage of construction of the unit you purchased and monthly outlay can be as little as a few hundreds each month for the first few phases of construction. We've done up an example based on a $700 000 new launch unit. This can be via cash or CPF depending on your situation. 

Progressive payment schedule for new launches

3) Prices at launch are the usually the cheapest.

If you are wondering why there are still crowds at new launches, this is probably why. Buyers are willing to brave the crowd and wait in line to ballot for units during launch date because they are able to get their pick of the best units at a good price. Prices for good units tend to increase once supply decreases and the closer the development is to TOP.  

These are probably part of the reasons why, despite the cooling measures in place, new launches have experienced brisk sales at launch date. 

Thinking of benefiting from the changes? We suggest you take a look at new launch properties in growth areas, especially Park Residences at Paya Lebar. SMS us at 9691 8885 to book an appointment slot and a VIP pass to view the showflat before the official launch date.

Preview Period : 11th - 20th March 2017. Targeted Launch Date 25th March 2017.

Park Place Residences

Click here to find out more about the development or SMS/whatsapp us at 96918885.