Call for review of property curbs increasingly insistent

Romesh NavaratnarajahNovember 17, 2015

Singapore’s second-biggest property developer, City Developments, has been calling on the government to ease the property cooling measures “as soon as possible”, reported the Singapore Business Review.

The company saw its profit fall 16 percent in Q3, on the back of lower contributions from its property development unit. “The Group continues to hold the view that the property cooling measures need to be reviewed as soon as possible, given that the home ownership rate in Singapore is over 90 percent. Timing is the most important factor to achieve a healthy and sustainable property market,” it said in a statement.

Notably, the quarterly Real Estate Sentiment Index released by the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) earlier this month showed that market sentiment among property developers had fallen further in Q3 2015. “The sentiment in the market continued to weaken in Q3 2015,” said NUS associate professor Sing Tien Foo.

As such, more respondents called for the removal of “some of the cooling measures, such as ABSD and SSD to arrest the worsening market condition”.

In fact, 83.1 percent of the respondents believed the government should tweak or lift the cooling measures in the next six months. 56.7 percent of them felt the sellers’ stamp duty (SSD) should be lifted, while 60.8 percent said the additional buyers’ stamp duty (ABSD) should be removed.

“ABSD should be removed due to the tight supply of housing in the market. It should not be a permanent policy, as it creates inefficient market equilibrium. Furthermore, it does not encourage financial prudence. MSR and TDSR are based on ratios and percentages; percentages only address the issues of the average category, and could be too harsh or too lenient,” noted one survey respondent.

“The ABSD should be lifted as private residential property prices dropped by about eight percent in Q2 2015, compared to the third quarter of 2013. However, the TDSR Ratio should be retained,” said another respondent.

 

Cheryl Marie Tay, Senior Journalist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories email cheryl@propertyguru.com.sg

Mabel MK
Nov 23, 2015
ABSD should NEVER be lifted. In fact, it should apply for 2nd property purchase (currently, ABSD only applies for purchase of THIRD prop onwards). For good karma's sake, don't be so begrudging and contribute to public coffers to help those who are poor.
Lim Edwin
Nov 19, 2015
When the developers are making big money and causing prices to shoot up, did they volunteer to ask government to implement cooling measure? Very selfish!!
Sieong Jack Chai
Nov 18, 2015
The ABSD should be remove for 1st time buyer of any properties, be it HDB or Private. It should remain for the person 2nd, and increase at least 5% more on 3rd or more properties onward.
KC Yap
Nov 18, 2015
Removing SSD & ABSD is only benefiting the rich (who can afford to buy 2nd+ property) & developers but not protecting interest of majority of the house owner.
Yb Yb
Nov 17, 2015
property cooling measures is too early to remove, at least for now.
james yang
Nov 17, 2015
hahahah Big developers never lower their sales price but keep asking for lifting cooling measures. The Government policy should not be swayed by developers' interest.
A.K. TAN
Nov 17, 2015
The developers still enjoy good profit.
Lau Chee Onn
Nov 17, 2015
I disagree. It is not the government duty to guarantee developers their profits. If it is so, there are many others sectors needing bailouts too.
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