Tag Archives: residential property

De Souza once again calls for removal of ABSD for Singaporeans

The ABSD is making it difficult for Singaporeans to buy residential property.

The government should consider the gradual and calibrated approach of lifting the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) for Singaporeans, as it makes it harder for them to buy a home, said MP Christopher de Souza in Parliament recently, reported The Business Times.

He first put forward this suggestion in January (MP urges removal of ABSD for Singaporeans).

On the other hand, the ABSD for foreigners should remain to deter speculative activity.

Similarly, the authorities should keep the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework in place for local and overseas buyers, to ensure they only purchase homes that they can afford.

“This should allay any concerns that easing the property cooling measures will cause a surge in Singaporeans purchasing second properties when they may not be able to,” he explained.

Following the introduction of the ABSD in 2011 and the TDSR framework in 2013, construction activity in the private housing and industrial segments have slowed down significantly.

The construction industry’s growth softened from 3.5 percent in 2014 to 2.5 percent last year. In turn, the Ministry of Trade and Industry warned that the construction sector’s lacklustre performance is among the factors that would negatively affect the economy in 2016.

However, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in his recent budget speech that it’s still too early to ease the property cooling measures, based on their assessment of current home prices and prevailing market conditions.

Meanwhile, de Souza urged the government to look at Australia’s approach in bringing down home prices. Under recently enacted policies there, foreigners can only buy new homes and they cannot sell them to other overseas buyers.

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Residential properties dominate Q1 mortgagee listings

15 landed homes were put up for mortgagee sale in Q1 2016.

Out of the 70 properties that banks placed on the auction block in Q1 2016, 48 were residential units consisting of 15 landed properties and 33 non-landed homes, according to a Colliers International report.

“Many homeowners found it tough to secure their own buyers due to the weak buying sentiment, following multiple rounds of government cooling measures, loan curbs, as well as the generally uncertain economic conditions and interest rate risk,” said the report.

“There was also a wide gap in the price expectations between sellers and buyers.”

In particular, 15 units or 45 percent of the non-landed homes, were larger than 1,500 sq ft. Of this, five are located in prime districts 9, 10 and 11.

Large apartments and condos that lenders placed under the hammer in Q1 included units at The Serenade @ Holland in Holland Road, Prestige Loft in Telok Kurau, Turquoise at Sentosa Cove, Tan Tong Meng Tower in Thomson Road and The Sail @ Marina Bay.

Meanwhile, the number of landed homes among the mortgagee listings during the first quarter remained high at 15.

Many were detached houses, semi-detached homes and corner terraces with huge built-up areas or land areas in the range of 3,000 sq ft or above, and costing more than $3 million. These included two large detached houses at Woo Mon Chew Road and Branksome Road.

For the whole of 2015, the number of landed homes placed on the auction block more than doubled to 50 units compared to 19 in the previous year, noted Colliers.