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Singapore impose 35% ABSD on residential property transfers into living trust

May 09, 2022 0 0

Additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) of 35 per cent will apply on any transfer of residential property into a living trust occurring from 9 May 2022 according to the Ministry of Finance (MOF). The announcement from MOF was released on late Sunday night and will take immediate effect on the following day. Prior to this change, where the living trust is structured such that there is no identifiable beneficial owner at the time when the residential property is transferred into the trust, ABSD currently does not apply. Only buyer’s stamp duty (BSD) is payable when a residential property is transferred into a living trust.  With effective from 9 May 2022, 35% ABSD will be payable upfront even if there is no identifiable beneficial owner at the time the residential property is transferred into a trust.  ABSD aims to promote a "stable and sustainable residential property market", it should apply to transfers of residential properties into all living trusts, MOF said.  As a concession, a trustee may apply to IRAS for a refund of ABSD (Trust), provided that the following conditions are met:  a) All beneficial owners of the residential property are identifiable individuals; b) Beneficial ownership of the residential property has vested in all of these beneficial owners at the time of property transfer into the trust; and c) The beneficial ownership cannot be varied or revoked, or be subject to any condition subsequent, under the terms of the trust.  The refund amount will be based on the difference between the ABSD (Trust) rate of 35% and the ABSD rate corresponding to the profile of the beneficial owner with the highest applicable ABSD rate. The application for the refund must be made to IRAS within six months after the instrument is executed. The overwhelming new property launches might be a result of buyers and investors making purchases via trusts and avoid paying ABSD.  This 35 per cent ABSD payable on trust is is part of the ABSD regime. It arose from Singapore Government's periodic policy review to address and close this loophole. Case Study I plan to buy a freehold two-bedrooms condo at a new launch project for $2,000,000 under trust for my child who is currently 10 years old and his interest in the private property will only be benefically vested at the age of 21 years old. Can I apply for ABSD remission from IRAS? No. The remission condition is based on vested benefical ownership at the time the residential property is transferred into the trust. Deferred benefical ownership that would only vest in the future do not meet the condition for ABSD (trust) remission.    How much cash must I set aside for buying a residential property of $2,000,000 under trust for my child? Parents must pay in full cash if they wish to use trusts to buy a house for their child who is a minor. Banks and financial institutions will not extend a home loan for this scenario.  In addition, you must pay IRAS a sum of $64,600 for buyer stamp duty (BSD) and $700,000 for additional buyer stamp duty (ABSD) in a living trust. 

By, Chief Editor img

Keppel Club land parcel to develop into 6,000 HDB BTO flats and 3,000 private condo units

April 15, 2022 0 0

The prime site of Keppel Club will be developed into 9,000 residential units including 6,000 BTO flats and about 3,000 private residential units. The massive 48-hectare site of Keppel Club on Singapore's southern waterfront had a 30-year lease which ended in 31 Dec 2021. The URA had granted several extensions to Keppel Club with the latest unti 31 Mar 2023, to facilitate clearance and reinstatement of the site. According to the URA 2019 Master Plan, the Keppel Club land site at Bukit Chermin Road was zoned under Residential. Nearby in Telok Blangah Street 31 HDB resale prices of 4-room HDB flat was transacted at S$815,000 in March and a 3-room flat was sold in the resale market for S$646,000 with remaining lease of 90 years. In the private residential market near the Greater Southern Waterfront, Skyline Residences, a freehold condo at Telok Blangah road has been transacted at S$2,171 per square foot (psf) for a 828 sqft two bedrooms unit. It is being developed by UOL Group, its subsidiary, United Industrial Corporation (UIC), and Kheng Leong Company. The BTO flats at Keppel Club are expected to be heavily over-subscribed due to Singaporeans preference for flats in a very good locations. With close proximity to two MRT stations nearby - Labrador Park MRT and Telok Blangah MRT - the residential development is likely to be car-lite and residents will be able to get around by walking or cycling.  Leasehold condo Reflections at Keppel Bay resale prices were not uniformed. A 2 bedrooms of 1,011 sqft was transacted at $1,709 PSF in March this year. The remaining lease is coming to 80 years soon.  It remains to be seen if HDB will classify Keppel Club as a Prime Location Public Housing model.  HDB had intented to apply the Prime Location Public Housing model to selected public housing projects in prime and central locations such as the city centre and surrounding areas, including the Greater Southern Waterfront, that have very high market values and would require significant additional subsidies to keep flats affordable.

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SERS in Ang Mo Kio HDB flats Blocks 562 to 565

April 07, 2022 0 0

Housing and Development Board (HDB) has announced that Blocks 562 to 565 in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 will be renewed Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS). This is the first such announcement in almost four years. HDB said that more than 600 households will be affected by the move. The four blocks comprise mainly three-room and four-room HDB flats which are 15-minutes walk from Ang Mo Kio MRT station. The affected flats are about 43 years old and flat owners will be offered new replacement flats ranging from two-room flexi to four-room units at Ang Mo Kio Drive. The replacement flats come with a fresh 99-year lease, and eligible flat owners may receive a SERS grant of up to S$30,000. They can also apply for a housing loan from HDB for the purchase of their replacement flat. Construction of the replacement flats at Ang Mo Kio Drive will commence in the third quarter of 2023 and is estimated to be completed by the third quarter of 2027. The last SERS project was in MacPherson, announced on May 31, 2018. HDB flat owners will be compensated based on the market value of their flat as assessed by a professional private valuer appointed by the statutory board. In addition, HDB will also pay flat owners a S$10,000 removal allowance, as well as the stamp and legal fees for the purchase of a comparable replacement flat. "The latest SERS announcement in Ang Mo Kio will enable existing residents of the four blocks to move into new homes nearby, and also offer opportunities for other flat applicants to apply for the surplus flats at the replacement site," HDB said. Generally, SERS is offered to HDB blocks located in sites with high redevelopment potential. "First-time home-buyers are advised to do their due diligence by checking HDB resale price and choosing a flat with a sufficient lease to last them a lifetime if they do not plan to move again. The average life expectancy of Singaporeans is 85 years so they should buy flats with leases that cover them until the age of 95," said ERA Associate Division Director, Andy Chia Jin Tai. If the remaining lease of the HDB flat is at least 20 years and it can cover the youngest buyer to the age of 95, the buyer can use CPF to pay for the property up to the Valuation Limit. 

By, Chief Editorimg

HDB flat owners to receive GST Vouchers in April

April 01, 2022 0 0

HDB households with at least one Singaporean as the owner, occupier, or tenant of the HDB flat, and whose household members do not own more than one residential property will be eligible for GST Vouchers U-Save.  Under the Budget 2022 Household Support Package (HSP), these HDB households will receive additional GSTV – U-Save rebates in April 2022, July 2022, and October 2022, and under the Assurance Package (AP) for GST from January 2023 until January 2026. The U-Save rebates will be credited directly into your household’s utilities account managed by SP Services. The GST Voucher – U-Save cannot be encashed because it is only meant to directly offset your HDB utility bill and not other expenses. Any unused U-Save rebates will be rolled over to help offset your household’s utility bills for the following months. HDB Flat Type Apr 2022 Jul 2022 Oct 2022 Jan 2023 Total GSTV U-Save for FY2022 Reg HSP Reg HSP Reg HSP Reg AP 1- and 2-Room 95 95 95 95 95 95 95 95 $760 3-Room 85 85 85 85 85 85 85 85 $680 4-Room 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 $600 5-Room 65 65 65 65 65 65 65 65 $520 Executive / Multi-Generation 55 55 55 55 55 55 55 55 $440 Households with no Singapore citizen flat owner or occupier in the HDB flat, whose flat owner(s) or essential occupier(s) own or have any interest in a private property, or have rented out the entire flat, are not eligible for the Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC) rebates. Eligible Singaporean households living in HDB flats will receive rebates to offset between 1.5 and 3.5 months of S&CC over FY2022. HDB Flat Type No. of months of S&CC Rebate in FY2022 April 2022 July 2022 October 2022 January 2023 Total for FY2022 1- and 2-room flat 1 1 1 0.5 3.5 3- and 4-room flat 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 2.5 5-room flat 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 2.0 Executive / Multi-Generation 0.5 0.5 0.5 - 1.5 Approximately 950,000 Singaporean households living in HDB flats will receive their quarterly GST Voucher - U-Save and GSTV - Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC) rebates in April. The Ministry of Finance (MOF) aims to defray the GST and other living expenses for lower- to middle-income Singaporean households. The Government will issue another set of $100 CDC vouchers to all Singaporean households this year. These vouchers will help all Singaporean households with their daily expenses, and can be used at hawker centres and participating heartland merchants such as confectionary shops and hair salons. HDB flat owners may check their eligibility of the GSTV - S&CC rebate by logging into My HDBPage with their Singpass. 

By, Chief Editorimg

Singapore rental market outlook 2022

March 30, 2022 0 0

From 1 April 2022, a fully vaccinated traveller will be allowed to make trips between Singapore and Malaysia without the need for quarantine or COVID-19 testing. The Government will do away with the pre-departure and on-arrival tests.  Both Singapore and Malaysia Prime Ministers made the announcements on 24 March and it applies to all modes of transport including air and land. Malaysians who work in Singapore will be able to travel back and forth without restrictions, so they may give up their rental units when their contract is due for renewal and the landlord does not budge in the asking rent. Most of the Malaysians work permit holders rent a 3-room or 4-room HDB flat together with their friends. Each HDB flat can accomodate up to six tenants with a minimum six months lease. Should some of them decide to return to Malaysia, it would not make economic sense for two persons to continue renting the entire flat.  However, there is a minority group of Malaysians whom are used to living in Singapore and they do not want to spend a few hours everyday to travel across the border considering that the petrol price has went up substantially.  ERA Realty associate division director Andy Chia JT predicts that HDB rental price will be curbed in the second half of this year as the border reopens. Whereas the private residential rental will remain strong as the expatriates return to Singapore. There will be a surge in employment pass (EP) holders as most companies will resume hiring. ERA Realty's head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said that tenants will lose their security deposit if they terminate the contract prematurely. As per standard tenancy agreement, tenants are required to pay one month rent as a security deposit for one year lease. 

By, Chief Editorimg

New private home sales plunge 22.5% in February

March 17, 2022 0 0

New private home sales plunged in February due to several factors including Singapore property cooling measures, lack of new project launches as well as the Lunar New Year lull period. The recent Russia invasion in Ukraine caused a major upset in the global stock markets.  Singapore property developers sold 527 new private homes in February, down 22.5 per cent from January's 680 units, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).   Notably, it is 18.3 per cent lower than the 645 new private homes sold in February 2021. The 32-unit Royal Hallmark was the only new project launch last month. Royal Hallmark is a freehold boutique development in District 15 which sold 10 units at a median price of S$1,905 per square foot (psf) during its launch on Feb 26. The best selling project was Normanton Park. The developer of 1,862-unit development, Kingsford Huray Development Pte Ltd, sold 84 homes at a median price of S$1,853 psf. This was followed by UOL's Avenue South Residence, which moved 31 units at a median S$2,364 psf. Core central region (CCR) sales also dropped to a one-year low with 93 units which took up 19 per cent of February's sales. Because the luxurious projects in District 9, 10 and 11 tend to attract investors and foreign buyers. This group of buyers are adversely affected by the hike in additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) rates. Outside Central Region (OCR) registered one of the weakest transaction volumes since April 2020. Property analysts had predicted that February will be a slower month than January due to the Chinese New Year. "Geopolitical tensions, high energy prices and rising interest rates will continue to weigh on the real estate market sentiment," said ERA Associate Division Director, Andy Chia Jin Tai. "New project launches will remain muted in March," said Mr Chia.  Property developers and realtors can take solace that the capacity limits on project show flats will be eased to 1,000 persons at any one time with effective from 15 March 2022.

By, Priscillaimg