More Property Cooling Measures

The measures, which will take effect on or after 12 January 2013, include higher buyer’s stamp duty, tighter loan—to—value limits, higher minimum cash downpayment for second and subsequent housing loans, as well as an introduction of seller’s stamp duty for industrial properties.
The package of measures is the seventh round of property cooling measures introduced since 2009.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said it is the most significant set of measures undertaken by the government so far.
For the first time, the government has also introduced a seller’s stamp duty (SSD) on industrial property to discourage short—term speculative activity which could distort prices and raise costs for businesses.
The SSD will apply to industrial properties and land bought and sold within three years of purchase.
A rate of 15 percent will be imposed on industrial properties sold within the first year of purchase. This will go down to 10 percent for those sold in the second year of purchase, and to 5 percent for those sold in the third year of purchase.
Finance Minister Tharman said authorities are not trying to engineer a market crash. The measures are designed to calm the market, so some of the temporary cyclical ones will be reviewed if things turn around.

Source: CNA/al