‘Tweaks’ to property cooling measures worth exploring, say industry players

While real estate industry players understand the Government’s intention in keeping the property cooling measures intact, it is still worth reviewing the curbs as some may have become “redundant” given how effective the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) has been in keeping prices in check.

That was the takeaway from a discussion at the annual National Real Estate Congress on Tuesday (Aug 12), where the panelists singled out the Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) and Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) as measures worth reviewing.

“No one questions the implementation of TDSR, but it has been in place for a year now, I think the Government should look at the earlier measures and review whether there’s any redundancy,” said Mr Dennis Yeo, managing director of property consultancy Colliers, who was one of the panelists.

ERA’s key executive officer Eugene Lim singled out the SSD as a measure that has become unnecessary given that speculative activity in the local property market has declined.

The panelists also suggested that ABSD for local buyers be either lowered or removed to allow Singaporeans to own their second properties.

“Since TDSR is already preventing people from over-gearing, I don’t think tweaking ABSD for local buyers will cause prices to shoot up again. Developers also have a lot of stock to clear, so prices can’t shoot up,” said Mr Lim.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 1 Aug 2014

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