Property Cooling Measures: New Property Cooling Measures 2021 Summary

Property cooling measures
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Property Cooling Measures: New Property Cooling Measures 2021 Summary

New Property Cooling Measures for 2021 has been announced by the Government on Wednesday (Dec 15) through which a package of new housing cooling measures designed to cool the private residential and HDB resale markets will be introduced.

With effect from 16 December 2021, the following new property cooling measures will start:

  1. Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates: Increased by 5% to 15% (quantum differs across groups) 
  2. Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) threshold: Tightened from 60% to 55%
  3. Loan-to-Value (LTV) limit for HDB loans: Lowered from 90% to 85%

The new Property Cooling Measures 2021 was announced by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of National Development and the Monetary Authority of Singapore in a joint press release. 

Property Cooling Measures 2021: Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) Rates Increase

Under the new Property Cooling Measures, additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty rates for 2nd or subsequent properties will be increased by 5 to 15% as follows:

cooling measures table

Singapore Citizens:

  • 2nd residential property purchase: Raise ABSD rate to 17%
  • 3rd and subsequent: Raise ABSD rate to 25% 

Singapore PRs:

  • 2nd residential property purchase: Raise ABSD rate to 25%
  • 3rd and subsequent: Raise ABSD rate to 30%

Foreigners

  • Any residential property: Raise ABSD rate to 30%

Entities / Property Developer:

  • Entities: Raise ABSD rate to 35% for entities purchasing any residential property 
  • Property Developer: Raise ABSD rate to 35% for developers purchasing any residential property. This 35% may be remitted under the Stamp Duties (Non-licensed Housing Developers) (Remission for ABSD) Rules and the Stamp Duties (Housing Developers) (Remission of ABSD) Rules, subject to conditions. In addition to this 35% ABSD rate, the non-remittable component remains unchanged at 5%.

The current ABSD rates for Singapore Citizens (SCs) and Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs) purchasing their first residential property will remain at 0% and 5% respectively.

Property Cooling Measures 2021:Total Debt Servicing Ratio Threshold (TDSR) Tightened from 60% to 55%

The TDSR threshold will be tightened by 5%-points from 60% to 55%.

The revised TDSR threshold will apply to loans for the purchase of properties where:

  • OTP is granted on or after 16 December 2021, and
  • for mortgage equity withdrawal loan applications made on or after 16 December 2021.

Borrowers with existing property loans granted before 16 December 2021 will not be affected by the revised TDSR threshold when refinancing their loans.7

Note: TDSR is applicable to both residential and non-residential property loans granted by financial institutions to individuals, sole proprietors and vehicles with no substantive genuine commercial business, set up for the purchase of properties held by individuals.

7 TDSR is currently waived for borrowers who refinance their owner-occupied housing loans. For borrowers refinancing their existing investment property loans, MAS has provided for a temporary TDSR waiver for borrowers affected by COVID-19. Otherwise, the previous 60% TDSR will apply.

Property Cooling Measures 2021: Loan-to-Value (LTV) Limit Tightened from 90% to 85%

The LTV limit for HDB housing loans will be tightened by 5%-points from 90% to 85%.

  • The revised LTV limit does not apply to loans granted by financial institutions, for which the LTV limit remains at 75%.
  • The LTV limit of 85% will apply to new flat applications for sales exercises launched after 16 December 2021, and complete resale applications8 which are received by HDB from 16 December 2021 onwards. 8A complete application is one where HDB has received both sellers’ and buyers’ portions of the resale application.

Property Cooling Measure: Reasons for Introducing New Property Cooling Measures

As per the official press release by the government, the latest property cooling measures were announced because of:

“The Government has been closely monitoring the property market for several quarters. The private residential and HDB resale markets have been buoyant, despite the economic impact of COVID-19. Private housing prices have risen by about 9% since 1Q2020. HDB resale flat prices are also recovering sharply after a six-year decline,1 rising about 15% since 1Q 2020. Even though House Price-to-Income ratios remain below their historical averages, there is clear upward momentum. Amid the low interest rate environment, transaction volumes in the private housing market and HDB resale market have also been high despite the COVID-19 situation.” 

If left unchecked, prices could run ahead of economic fundamentals, and raise the risk of a destabilising correction later on. Borrowers would also be vulnerable to a possible rise in interest rates in the coming years.

The Government has therefore decided to implement a set of measures to:

  • cool the private and public housing markets, to promote continued housing affordability.
  • Private residential measures are calibrated to dampen broad-based demand, especially from those purchasing property for investment rather than owner-occupation.
  • Measures to tighten financing conditions for both public and private housing will encourage greater financial prudence. The Government will also be ramping up the supply for both private and public housing

The Government will also increase the supply of both public and private housing to meet housing demand. Details will be provided on 16th December 2021.

The measures undertaken in this cooling package will help promote a stable and sustainable property market. The Government remains vigilant to the risk of a sustained increase in prices relative to income trends.

Check out the official press release for full details on the new Property Cooling Measure for 2021.

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