What You Need to Know Before Buying a Second Property in Singapore

What you need to know before buying a second property in singapore

Despite significant property cooling measures in Singapore, many homeowners are still buying a second property for themselves - with good reason. While a second property can serve as an investment and a passive source of income, here are some things to consider before purchasing one.

Eligibility

The Singapore government imposes certain restrictions if your first house is a Housing Development Board (HDB) housing, be it Build-to-Order (BTO) flats resale HDB flats, executive condo (EC), or Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flats.  

For starters, the first thing you'll need to know is HDB's 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) requirement. Before you buy, sell or rent out your flat, you'll need to live in the flat for a minimum of 5 years, excluding periods of subletting or non-occupation of the flat. However, the MOP does not apply if you purchased a resale flat without the CPF Housing Grant prior to 30 August 2010.

Additionally, Singaporean owners of HDB or DBSS flats who purchase a second property must continue to stay in their flat unless given permission by HDB to sublet it. Singapore PRs will need to notify HDB of their purchase and move out of their flat within 6 months of the private property purchase.

Remember, these restrictions only apply for public housing. If you have a private property, then you're not bound by these rules. 

Loans

If you have taken a loan for your first home, your loan eligibility for the second property may differ. Here are two key things to note:

#1. The Loan to Value (LTV) Ratio

The LTV ratio determines the amount you can loan from banks for a particular property. It is expressed as a percentage of the property’s value. An LTV ratio of 65% means you can borrow up to 65% of the property’s value and pay the remaining 35% in the form of a down payment.

Your LTV ratio decreases with each subsequent housing loan. As such, your LTV ratio for the second property will be much lower if you are still paying off your first housing loan. To enjoy the same LTV ratio, it is better to pay off your previous housing loan before buying a second residential property.

#2. The Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR)

The TDSR is the percentage of your gross monthly salary that can be used to service all your loans in a month. The current TDSR set by the government is 60%. This means that all your loans must be serviced with not more than 60% of your gross monthly income.

 

Other Financial Considerations

Eligibility and loan restrictions aside, here are other financial aspects to take note of:

#1. Minimum Cash Down Payment and use of CPF money

The minimum cash down payment for a second residential property is 25%, compared to 5% for a first property. With enough funds, you can use your CPF funds to pay part of the downpayment for your second property. However, only funds from your CPF Ordinary Account can be used.

#2. Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD)

ABSD is a property cooling measure introduced by the government and imposes an additional tax on buyers of residential property in Singapore, with increasing rates for every subsequent property purchase.

  • For Singaporeans, ABSD will be levied on the second property purchased, and all subsequent property purchases.
  • For Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs), ABSD will be levied on all purchases, with the first purchase at a lower rate. 
  • For entities, ABSD will be levied on all purchases at a similar rate, including the first purchase.

Singapore citizens

ABSD for first property

Not applicable

ABSD for second property

12%

ABSD for third and subsequent property

15%

Singapore PRs

ABSD rate first property

5%

ABSD rate for second and subsequent property

15%

Foreigners 

ABSD rate on the purchase of any property

20%

Entities

ABSD rate on the purchase of any property

25% (With an additional 5% if the entity is a housing developer)

Several conditions have been put in place for buying a second property. While the notion of passive income is appealing, cooling measures such as those highlighted could result in a purchase that is eventually unprofitable. It is therefore important to take these measures into account before buying a second residential property in Singapore. 

 

Whether you want to compare the best home loans, or get personalised advice for your home loans, PropertyGuru Finance helps you for free. 

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