REDAS says measures will discourage property speculation

The Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS) has said the latest measures taken by the government to further cool the residential property market will discourage speculative demand.

It said in a statement that the measures which impact Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) and Loan-To-Value limits on housing loans will also encourage longer term holding of properties, which will contribute to the stability of the market.

From January 14, the holding period for the Seller’s Stamp Duty will be raised to four years from the current three.

The SSD rates will also be raised to 16 per cent for properties sold in the first year, 12 per cent for those in the second year, 8 per cent in the third year, and 4 per cent for properties sold after four years.

Meanwhile, those with existing home loans will have to pay more cash upfront for taking out new mortgages.

The Loan-to-Value limit for such buyers is being lowered to 60 per cent for individuals and 50 per cent for property buyers who are not individuals – such as trusts and companies.

REDAS said that it is confident that Singapore’s property market will continue to be underpinned by sound economic fundamentals and a favourable business environment.

Prospective buyers Channel NewsAsia spoke to welcomed the measures to cool the market and added they would be more cautious about their home purchase.

34-year-old Hemanta Kumar Banka, an IT professional, said: “People will try to hold back as much as possible until there is a real need because the amount of tax which is there is not a small amount – it’s a big chunk …

“Spending like a 10 per cent, a 12 per cent is not a small amount, so those are good cooling measures which are going to help bring the property market down.”

Account executive Lim Nyuk Khim, 24, said: “Definitely good for us, especially for first time buyers. Because for investment purposes, if I am going in for a fast buck, I actually would have to pay more.”

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 13 Jan 2011

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