Singapore ramps up stamp duty for foreign property buyers

Singapore ramps up stamp duty for foreign property buyers
Published:  18 Jan at 9 AM
The Singapore government has hiked up stamp duty on property being purchased by foreigners in an attempt to calm the booming property market. A year ago additional buyer’s stamp duty was introduced at 10 per cent. However, this appears to have done little to calm prices and so it has been increased to 15 per cent.

The ABSD is charged in addition to standard stamp duty and is specifically aimed at foreigners. Permanent residents will now also be subject to the ABSD system although the rate will be 5 per cent. In October, neighbouring Hong Kong ramped its stamp duty up to 15 per cent.

However, it is not just foreigners who are being targeted as Singaporeans looking to purchase a second home will now have to pay 7 per cent stamp duty on the property. Investors looking to buy industrial property will also feel the effect as seller’s stamp duty now ranges between 5 and 15 per cent.

Property buyers are attracted to Singapore and Hong Kong because of their strong economies and stable governments. Although analysts were expecting further cooling measures many have been shocked by the severity of the move. PropertyGuru chief executive, Steve Melhuish, said the government will have to be careful that the property market does not go into a downward spiral.

Overseas buyers have had a similar effect on the market in Malaysia and the government is reportedly looking into introducing foreign buying measures.