Some rush to close property deals, some back out

The latest round of cooling measures introduced by the Government, which kicked in today, appears to have created some knee-jerk reaction in the private property market.

MediaCorp understands that some sellers rushed to close deals before midnight to avoid the new rules. Others have pulled their properties from the market.

Property firms told MediaCorp that they have received many enquiries from prospective buyers and sellers after news of the new restrictions broke on Thursday.

First-time private property buyer Christopher Ng, 36, was rushed by his agent into making an offer for a house last night, as the seller wanted to close the deal quickly. However, Mr Ng was pipped to the deal by another buyer.

Mr Ng added: “My other agents actually called me and said that most of the listings have been delisted and so the supply has shrunk.”

Dennis Wee Group director Chris Koh said he knew of a buyer who immediately exercised the option to purchase, once the news of the new measures were announced.

The seller’s stamp duty has been raised to a maximum of 16 per cent on property sold within the first year, a steep jump from the previous 3 per cent.

Banks will also reduce the maximum loan they extend to those who already have one or more mortgages to 60 per cent of the property value.

While other property analysts felt it was premature to assess the full impact of the measures, Propnex CEO Mohd Ismail said he expects 20 per cent of buyers who had bought properties recently to rethink their transactions.

Buyers who have paid a deposit but do not exercise the option to purchase might forfeit the fees – amounting to 1 per cent of the property’s value – which they have paid.

Source : Today – 15 Jan 2011

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