Buyer’s stamp duty hike unlikely to hinder housing market recovery

Romesh Navaratnarajah26 Feb 2018

Augustine Tan Redas

REDAS President Augustine Tan.

The Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS) believes that the hike in buyer’s stamp duty (BSD) is unlikely to jeopardise the recovery of the city-state’s private housing market, reported the Business Times.

“The property market is in the early stages of a recovery and positive buying sentiments are likely to continue. Barring unforeseen circumstances and on the back of a stronger-than-expected economic growth outlook in Singapore, sale momentum of 2017 is likely to carry through to the next few years,” said REDAS President Augustine Tan on Friday (23 February).

However, prices of new developments here are expected to rise due to the BSD hike, coupled with the significant premiums home builders pay for housing sites. This could “add some friction to transaction volumes” as buyers are still price-conscious.

Last Monday (19 February), Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat revealed during his Budget 2018 speech that the top marginal BSD rate for residential properties costing over $1 million would be raised from three percent previously to four percent starting on 20 February.

Meanwhile, property prices in Singapore are relatively affordable versus other major cities in the world, added Tan, citing research from property consultancy JLL.

In fact, a typical house here is worth 4.8 years to five years of income compared to 8.5 years in London. That in Beijing and Shanghai is equivalent to 14 or 15 years.


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email

Mar 26, 2018
What recovery are we talking about and why should we be expecting one? From 2006-2013, property prices went up 60-70% before Government put in various measures to curb the shot to the moon. Thereafter, prices barely came down 13-15% from 2013-2016. With prices climbing again fueled primarily by the en bloc fever spread by propaganda, Government should put in more measures to fulfill the original goal. It's just a matter of time before the bubble created by the soon becoming unsustainable global debt of more than 200 Trillion US dollars, including those held by Singaporean, burst resulting in the next financial meltdown. Government should do more now before it's too late.
Feb 26, 2018
It seems like a very poorly timed slap in the face to the beginning of a recovery in the property market in Singapore. It's like adding insult to injury. I really wonder what these nerds are thinking about. I really miss the great presence of LKY. He basically told the technocrats what to do - the right thing - and they did it. Now the ship seems to be missing the rudder.

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