Don't hurry to cut back on cooling measures

Mr Jason Soon Hun Khim recently called for the authorities to look into repealing the seller's stamp duty (SSD) for properties that were bought but subsequently sold in a collective sale exercise (Consider abolishing seller's stamp duty for collective sales; Sept 30).

His view is that a property owner has no control over a collective sale, hence he should be exempted from the SSD.

On the contrary, anyone who buys an apartment that is more than 10 years old knows well that it has potential to be sold en bloc.

A collective sale could fetch owners between 1.25 and 1.6 per cent more than the open market value of the unit.

The Government's property cooling measures have worked well and have had a positive effect on the property market.

Also, some changes to the SSD have already been made this year.

Property prices have been inching upwards and developers have been snapping up land at collective sales.

It is safe to leave the cooling measures as they are, at least for now, if we do not want to see property prices spike sharply again.

T. N. Srinivasan