Impose stamp duty on third flat

I READ with interest Monday’s report, “HDB review: Findings out next month”.

I greatly commend the Government’s timely and wise measures to curb speculation in HDB flats. There are clear signs of market exuberance and that could result in a real estate bubble at some unpredictable time.

People now have to pay a new stamp duty of about 3 per cent if they sell their properties within a year of buying them. Plus, financial institutions like banks can now grant housing loans of up to only 80 per cent of a property’s value, compared to 90 per cent previously.

I suggest that flat owners who have sold their homes twice also pay the 3 per cent stamp duty when they make their third sales transaction, even if they had lived in their last flat for more than three years.

Simultaneously, when these flat owners buy another flat from the resale market, they should also pay the 3 per cent stamp duty.

The authorities must also be aware of and take action against unprofessional market practices common among property agents, sellers and buyers. This includes intentional under-declaring of the value of flats for sale. Such actions could further spur market speculation in HDB resale flats.

Teo Kueh Liang

Source : Straits Times – 24 Feb 2010

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