The Government will lower the Seller's Stamp Duty rates and holding period for residential properties bought from March 11, 2017. The new SSD rates will be 12%, 8% and 4% for properties sold within the first, second and third year of purchase. Currently, SSD rates stand at 16%, 12%, 8% and 4% for homes sold within the first, second, third and fourth year of purchase. The SSD was first introduced in 2010 to clamp down speculations.
In addittion, the Monetary Authority of Singapore will relax the Total Debt Servicing Ratio framework for retirees. With effect from March 11, TDSR will no longer apply to mortgage equity withdrawal loans with loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 50% and below. This follows the feedback that the TDSR framework has limited retirees' flexibility to borrow against their properties.
The existing Additional Buyers' Stamp Duty and LTV framework remain unchanged.
Separately, a bill has been tabled in Parliament to levy stamp duties for property purchases via transfer of equity interest. Recent bulk purchases of residential properties have involved the transfer of share of the company that owns the property. Currently, such transactions will attract a tax of only 0.2% of the NAV of the holding company, instead of the usual buyer's stamp duty of 3% and 15% ABSD. If passed, the law will also take effect on March 11.