Will cooling measures lead to a property chill in Singapore?

While the latest property cooling measures affect buyers, there is continued interest in luxury property from affluent buyers. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

The impact of Singapore's latest property cooling measures is expected to take root in the market from this month onwards. Will buyers step back or still bite? How would developers respond?

ST examines how the situation could unfold and the factors that are at play.


Too soon to tell if property curbs are cooling the market

The latest cooling measures may have unnerved many buyers, but PropNex agents Leng Kar Yee and Joy Shi have been clocking condominium sales at projects like Normanton Park and Verdale.

Many of their clients are failed Build-To-Order flat buyers, Housing Board upgraders or private home owners who sold their first private property before buying another and are therefore not subject to additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD).

Some foreigners - now subject to ABSD rates of 30 per cent, up from 20 per cent - are also not deterred by the latest property curbs and are willing to shell out for big-ticket homes.

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Cooling measures: Hong Kong couple still willing to pay nearly $1m in stamp duty for S'pore condo

The new property cooling measures took property agent Jaeson Lin's foreign clients by surprise but they decided to bite the bullet and buy their new apartment.

The couple from Hong Kong had been scouting for homes in Clementi, Bukit Timah and Orchard Road for the past year and were still willing to fork out nearly $1 million in ABSD on a $3.3 million penthouse at Verdale, a 258-unit condo in Bukit Timah.

Mr Lin, who is from Propnex, said the couple moved to Singapore in July 2020 when their IT company relocated its headquarters here.

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Home buyers adopt wait-and-see approach after roll-out of property cooling measures

Home hunters are now on the prowl for cheaper buys after property cooling measures were rolled out by the authorities last month.

Take the case of car dealer Jerome Pang, who has sold his three-room Housing Board (HDB) flat in Clementi. He would have been keenly looking for a replacement home but is now adopting a wait-and-see approach.

"If there weren't any cooling measures, we probably would have bought a new unit as soon as we sold the Clementi flat because there's no point in dragging it out," said Mr Pang, 30, who runs a second-hand car business.

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HDB resale market likely to remain robust this year

The new year has begun much as the old one ended with Housing Board flats changing hands at sky-high prices.

In 2021, a record 259 HDB resale units sold for over $1 million, more than three times the 82 units in 2020, but the blistering pace of big-buck sales has hardly slackened so far this year.

Just 13 days into 2022, 16 resale units had already changed hands for at least $1 million.

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