The 7th Round of Cooling Measures: Will raising ABSD lead to falling prices?

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We’ve been expecting the government to trot out another round of cooling measures, as I mused on Facebook just hours before the official announcements came out. Prices have continued to defy gravity despite the 6 earlier rounds of cooling, and the recent ruckus over $2M Executive Condos had also alerted Minister Khaw to the need to bring developers back in line with the original mission statement behind Executive Condos.

Still, the 7th round of cooling measures does stand out amongst its predecessors as the broadest spectrum of cooling measures we have seen, affecting both private and public housing, as well as the industrial property market. The measures have drawn a mixed response, ranging from fiery profanities from property agents concerned about their rice bowl, to mild jubilation from Singaporean first-home buyers (and more cursing and swearing from PR buyers yet to secure a home.)

On the whole, I agree with the government’s decisive move this round. The market, jaded by countless rounds of “cooling” measures, has reached a stage where anything less than draconian simply won’t cut it. However, I question whether the ABSD measures introduced will truly serve the interests of those they are seeking to protect -the Singaporean first-time home buyer. Today’s post shall be focused mostly on the ABSD hike and its repercussions.

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Stamp Duties – Who pays what, when, and how much?

From my daily dealings with buyers and sellers of Singapore property, along with enquiries from blog readers, there are a number of queries that constantly pop up on my radar (besides the perennial favorite, “How’s the market?”)

One area that has a lot of people confused is the different stamp duties introduced via the various cooling measures. Apologies to readers who are familiar with the stamp duty matrix and consider this stale, but I reckon the fact that I’ve encountered even senior conveyancing lawyers who aren’t too clear on their stamp duty facts suggests that this is an area that requires clarification.

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Is the Singapore Property Market in Trouble? Part 1

Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot of speculation in the newspapers, blogs and forums about new cooling measures for the property market and how domestic lending has gone through the roof and may precipitate in property crash etc. The common thread in all the rumours and commentaries is that the property sector is not going to be good. I’d like to list out some of these topics to just discuss how bad the situation is, or if the speculation is unfounded.

It looks like it’s going to be quite a long discussion, so I’m going to break it up into a few posts to make it more readable.

Risk 1: More cooling measures

With housing prices continuing to rise, are we going to need new property market cooling measures? Before I try to answer that, here is a quick overview of the 5 rounds of property market cooling measures that the government has already implemented over the last few years:

Continue reading “Is the Singapore Property Market in Trouble? Part 1”