Latest Update: 24th January 2022
The latest Cooling Measures on 15 December 2021 was overdue for a long time. I believe it would have happened earlier if Covid didn’t happen. A quick summary as follows
- Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates for 2nd property onwards will be raised.
- Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) rates was tightened from 60% – 55%.
- HDB LTV (Loan to Value) Ratio was reduced from 90% – 85%.
Also, I think there are several other cooling measures that will happen within the next ten years. The previous set of cooling measures (a total of 28!) started from September 2009 and lasted all the way till July 2018.
So what are the other types of cooling measures that the government can think of implementing? Here are a few.
Extend the minimum occupation period (MOP)
Update: Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) has been introduced for newly built HDBs in prime locations. The minimum occupation periods for these BTOs were increased to 10 years, certain subsidies have to paid back if they are planning to sell in the resale market and they are not allowed to rent the full unit after the MOP.
This is more for those interested in buying a new BTO in a prime estate. Don’t think it will affect those buying HDB Resale and definitely not the private property purchaser.
Impose minimum size for each dwelling unit, or increasing the minimum average size for each project.
Update: No change.
Actually this has already been done from 2019 onwards. For all new properties, the minimum size for all houses has been revised to 85sqm or 915 sqft. For areas such as Telok Kurau, Kovan, Joo Chiat as well as Jalan Eunos, the minimum size is 100 sqm or 1076 sqft
What the government is trying to do is reduce the number of small shoebox unit. What they don’t want is another Hong Kong situation. Check this link for more details
What does that mean for you as a first time private property buyer? The good thing is that your first home would be bigger in size. The bad thing is you probably need to fork out more for your first property purchase.
If you own a property that is smaller than 85sqm. Congratulations, your property will naturally increase in value because those that cannot afford the newer larger properties, will look for your property so that they can afford a property of their own.
Imposing a capital gains tax or increasing higher ABSD (Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty) rate
Update: They have already increased the ABSD from the 2nd property onwards for Singaporeans, PRs, Foreigners and Entities.
More for seasoned investors, they can introduce a tax on your profit that you gain when you flip your property (The Singapore government doesn’t do that for now) or they can just increase the additional buyers stamp duty if you already own one private property and plan to buy more (currently the highest tax rate goes up to 20% for foreigners, check with me to see which category you are in)
Lowering LTV (Loan to Value) rates, TDSR (Total Debt Servicing Ratio) or Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR)
Update: From 15th December 2021 onwards, LTV was lowered for HDBs from 90% – 85%. TDSR was lowered from 60% – 55%. MSR remains unchanged 30%.
Probably affecting all aspiring property owners. They have already done it once before. LTV was reduced from 90% (20 Feb 2010) to 80% to 75% (6 July 2018).TDSR was introduced in 29 June 2013 to capped home loans to 60% of your income and where they introduced the MSR for Executive condominiums on 9 December 2013
For a more comprehensive timeline check out
Extend five year deadlines for developer
Update: No change.
More for the developers. Slow down the rate of new launches and space themselves out. Personally, don’t think this will work because where the new launches enters in the real estate cycle is important. Launching just before the cycle starts to go into recession is probably not the best idea.
Regulate agents commissions
Update: No change.
Hmm. Might or might not work. Leave it up to the agents and the buyers to discuss among themselves. But what is a good thing that could come out would be agents introducing properties that are suitable for their buyers instead of just pushing them to those developers who give the highest commissions.
Increasing Government Land Supply
Update: They have already discussed this on 16th December.
Good idea! Increasing supply will allow more property to be purchased at a better pricing which leads to better new launch prices! This is a win win for all!
The link to the original article from the Business Times Singapore is here
Anyway, these are just my personal thoughts. Let me know if you have any questions or would like to know further about how this or any upcoming cooling measures might affect you in purchasing your next property.
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