Still too early to remove cooling measures: Wong

It is premature to lift the property cooling measures as it could undo the government’s efforts to make home prices affordable, revealed National Development Minister Lawrence Wong during a parliamentary session on Monday (29 Feb), and reported Channel NewsAsia.

He was responding to a query from Holland Bukit-Timah GRC MP Christopher de Souza, who asked if the authorities would consider scrapping the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) for Singaporeans, but keep it for foreigners.

Mr de Souza first proposed the idea in Parliament in January this year.

“The ABSD was introduced to moderate the demand for residential property from investors, non-citizens and corporate entities,” said Mr Wong in a written reply.

“Singapore citizens who do not own any residential property do not need to pay (any) ABSD,” he added.

Currently, Singaporean citizens need to pay a stamp duty of seven percent when they buy a second home. This rises to 10 percent for their third and subsequent purchases.

On the other hand, foreigners have to fork out a heftier ABSD of 15 percent, regardless of whether they are first-time buyers or landlords with multiple properties in Singapore.

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg

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