The Singapore Ministry of National Development say to pre-empt a bubble from forming in the private homes sector, they will impose a “Seller’s Stamp Duty” on all residential properties and residential land bought after 19/2, and sold within one year from the date of purchase. The housing loan limit will also be capped at 80% down from the current 90%. The Government says that these 2 new measures to cool the property market and ensure a stable and sustainable property market.
In theory, the “Seller’s Stamp Duty” is a good idea but the Ministry of National Development destroyed their own good idea with “sold within one year from the date of purchase” caveat. What is 1 year in the property market? Most buyers flip properties after 1 year, some even after 3-5 years. With the one year caveat, the “Seller’s Stamp Duty” is practically useless. Only a few days after the announcement, property agents are already saying the new rules will have minimal impact to the market.
They are right because even a property layman like me can see that the new rules are half-hearted at best. Last September, the Singapore Government introduced some anti-speculative measures to cool the property market which failed. These new rules will also almost certainly fail as well.
With all these failures, I can’t help but ask, “Just how serious is the Singapore Government in cooling down the property market?”