ABSD of 35% to be imposed on transfers of residential properties into living trust, Golden Mile Complex sold en bloc for $700mil and more

Cheryl Chiew9 May 2022

3rd May to 9th May 2022

The Government imposed an Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) of 35% on any transfer of residential property into a living trust occurring on or after 9 May. Meanwhile, the Golden Mile Complex has been sold for $700 million, making it the first en bloc sale of a large-scale strata-titled conserved building within Singapore.


1) ABSD of 35% to be imposed on transfers of residential properties into living trust

Those planning to transfer residential property into a living trust will now have to face an Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) of 35%.

This comes as ABSD will now be payable even if the beneficial owner is not identifiable at the time the property is transferred into the trust, said the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

Currently, Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) is payable when a residential property is transferred into a living trust. ABSD may be payable, depending on the profile of the beneficial owners of the property transferred into the trust.

“Where the living trust is structured such that there is no identifiable beneficial owner at the time when the residential property is transferred into the trust, ABSD currently does not apply,” said MOF.

“Arising from its periodic policy review, the Government will introduce ABSD (Trust) at 35%, to address and close this gap.”

Moreover, the new ABSD (Trust) will likely affect wealthier families who are often buying private properties in their children’s names. Despite the increasing trend in recent years, there are multiple drawbacks which may affect the child’s future credit score, create potential legal disputes as well as result in them being ineligible for Government subsidies or vouchers. 



2) Golden Mile Complex sold en bloc for $700mil

Golden Mile Complex crop

The iconic Golden Mile Complex has been sold for $700 million to a joint venture comprising Perennial Holdings, Sino Land and Far East Organization, revealed sole marketing agent Edmund Tie.

Notably, Perennial holds a 50% stake in the JV, while Sino Land and Far East Organization own 25% each.

Subject to relevant authority’s approval, the deal marks the “first collective sale of a large-scale strata-titled conserved building in Singapore”, as announced in a release.

They also shared plans to sensitively restore the existing building, with special attention given to retaining the key features of the main building as well as its signature terraced profile.

“The JV will also explore transforming Golden Mile Complex into a mixed-use integrated development comprising office, retail, and residential components,” added the trio.

Golden Mile Complex has significant architectural and historical value. The amenities include entertainment facilities such as cineplexes and theatre halls. There are also various nearby foreign consulates and government offices to the building. The building itself is located near Nicoll Highway MRT station, offering its residents excellent connectivity to the CBD area. 


3) 77% of units at Piccadilly Grand sold at launch weekend

Piccadilly Grand

Piccadilly Grand, City Developments Limited (CDL) and MCL Land’s joint residential project on Northumberland Road, sold 77% or 315 of its 407 units at an average price of $2,150 per sq ft (psf), reported The Business Times.

Singaporeans accounted for about 90% of the buyers, while the rest are permanent residents and foreigners from countries such as China, Malaysia and India, said CDL and MCL Land.

The one-, two- and three-bedroom units were the most popular among buyers during the launch weekend.

With a leasehold tenure of 99 years, the development – which is connected to Farrer Park MRT station – has three 23-storey towers. It also features a 1,500 sq m retail and space for food and beverage (F&B) known as Piccadilly Galleria as well as a 500 sq m childcare centre.

Related article: New Launch Condos and ECs for 2022: 11 Upcoming Projects We Can Expect

In Q1 2022, we saw the effects of the property cooling measures set in. Alongside North Gaia EC and LIV @ M, Piccadilly Grand were expected to bring the market some cheer in Q2 2022.  


4) Bukit Sembawang opens Liv @ MB for preview

Liv @ MB

Liv @ MB, Bukit Sembawang Estates’ 298-unit residential project within the Mountbatten area, has opened for preview on 6 May, with indicative prices ranging between $1.08 million for a one-bedder and $3.63 million for a four-bedroom deluxe unit, reported The Business Times.

Located on Arthur Road, the 99-year leasehold project features three 20-storey towers and a 19-storey tower.

Prices range from $2,190 per sq ft (psf) for one-bedroom units, $2,292 psf for two-bedders, $2,288 psf for two-bedroom deluxe units and $2,080 psf for three-bedroom units.

The four-bedroom units, which are situated from the 12th floor onwards, are priced from $2,233 psf to $2,177 psf for the deluxe version.

The Liv @ MB is located at The inside of the LIV@MB condo is equipped with a top-of-the-line air conditioning system. There are also premium sanitary fixtures and kitchen appliances supplied. The Thomson East-Coast Line’s Katong Park MRT Station (set to open in 2023) is just a short walk from Live @ MB, will make it easier for people to travel.

Related article: 7 Condos to Benefit from the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL)


5) Mortgage rates nearly doubled in six months

Median mortgage rates in Singapore nearly doubled over the past six months as central banks across the globe try to combat inflation via higher interest rates, reported TODAY.

The median rate for a fixed two-year mortgage, for instance, increased from 1.15% in December 2021 to 2.25% in May, revealed Redbrick Mortgage Advisory, a mortgage broker that compares interest rates from different banks.

“When COVID started two years ago, it was expected that there would be an economic slowdown, so to save the economies all over the world, central banks kept the interest rates low,” said Nicholas Mak, ERA Realty’s Head of Research and Consultancy.

“But there have been expectations for interest rates to go up ever since inflation started to rise.”

Notably, economies across the world started opening up earlier this year, which saw people spending more money. This prompted central banks to increase rates to take pressure off prices and slow demand.

In fact, OrangeTee & Tie CEO Steven Tan expects interest rates to continue moving upwards due to inflation’s persistence.

Related article: 


6) Good Class Bungalow at Joan Road on sale for $48mil

joan road

A Good Class Bungalow (GCB) at Joan Road has been put up for sale with a guide price of $48 million or about $1,628 per sq ft (psf), revealed marketing agent Knight Frank.

Situated within the Caldecott Hill estate in prime District 11, the property occupies a regular shaped site of nearly 30,000 sq ft. The site has a wide frontage of 53 m and depth of 55 m, providing it “strong potential to be subdivided into two lots for two separate GCBs”.

Knight Frank noted that the site is located near the MacRitchie Reservoir Park and the MacRitchie Nature Trail and enjoys direct access to both the Thomson-East Coast Line and Circle Line. It is also just a 10-minute drive to the city centre.

“Well-located GCBs like these remain highly sought after as they are tightly held for long-term wealth preservation and capital appreciation,” said Knight Frank Singapore’s Executive Director of Capital Markets Mary Sai.

The GCB market had a fantastic year in 2021, with prices and volumes reaching new highs. In 2022, the GCB market is expected to remain robust, with prices likely to remain on the rise. Despite the continued interest in GCBs, the restricted supply is expected to slow sales volume in the coming year.


7) Renovation industry gets new guide on fair trading practices

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) has published a new guide on fair trading practices for the renovation industry, reported Channel News Asia.

This comes as the renovation industry has one of the highest complaint rates with the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE).

Notably, the guide recommended that contractors provide consumers with clear deadlines, transparent pricing as well as a clear exchange, repair and refund policy.

“The guide is intended to raise contractors’ awareness of good practices that they should adopt to enable consumers to make well-informed decisions as well as conduct which may constitute unfair practices under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act 2003,” said CCCS and CASE.

CCCS Chief Executive Sia Aik Ko explained that adopting transparent and fair trading practices would not only help contractors build trust, but also help them maintain a good business reputation within the industry and attract more customers.

Aside from that, HDB also regulates what kinds of renovation works can be done in HDB flats. Breaching these regulations can result in prosecution from the Government.

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8) Singapore landed home prices rise at the fastest pace in 2021

Singapore’s landed home market posted its fastest price appreciation over the last 10 years in 2021 as prices jumped 13.3% year-on-year compared to the 1.2% increase in 2020, reported The Business Times citing ERA Realty Network.

From 2018 to 2021, landed home prices also increased faster than non-landed home prices. During this four-year period, capital values of landed homes rose 28.8%, which is higher compared to the 24.2% hike registered for non-landed housing.

Notably, capital values of landed homes rose at a faster pace during the first two years of the pandemic compared to the two years prior to COVID-19, with landed home prices growing at a compound annual growth rate of 7.1% on average in 2021 and 2020 versus the 6% annually in 2019 and 2018.

In Q1 2022, the landed housing price index grew by another 4.2% quarter-on-quarter despite the cooling measures introduced in December 2021.


9) Colliers unveils two new senior appointments

Colliers has announced the immediate appointments of Edmund Lee as Executive Director of Industrial Services for Singapore as well as Thomas Wong as Head of Asset Management for Singapore.

Lee will report to Lynus Pook, Head of Industrial Services for Singapore at Colliers and will be responsible for investing in client relationships, developing new business opportunities and identifying potential clients with the propensity to resize or relocate.

Wong, on the other hand, will be reporting to Stephen Bruce, Colliers’ Executive Director and Head of Real Estate Management Services for Singapore.

“We are excited to welcome two industry veterans to Colliers. With their wealth of expertise and rich experience, Edmund and Thomas will be able to accelerate the success of both our clients and people, and drive growth for the Singapore business,” said WeiLeng Tang, Managing Director for Colliers in Singapore.


10) Singapore industrial occupancy drops to 89.8% in Q1 2022

Singapore’s industrial property market saw the overall occupancy rate drop 0.4 percentage points to 89.8% in the first quarter of 2022 from the previous quarter, reported Singapore Business Review citing JTC data.

JTC attributed the decline to “new completions picking up significantly, and increase in supply exceeding new demand”.

A decline in occupancy rate was also witnessed across all property types except for business parks, which registered an increase of 1.1 percentage points to 85.6%.

Despite the decline in occupancy rate, the industrial property market saw prices increase 2.1% in Q1 2022, while rentals climbed 1% during the quarter.


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Cheryl Chiew, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this story, email: cheryl@propertyguru.com.sg.


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