Effective from eleventh March 2017, changes on the government property cooling measures of Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) and Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework will be implemented. The current Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty rates and loan-to-value (LTV) limits, however, will remain unchanged. This was announced in a joint statement by Ministry of National Development and the Ministry of Finance.
Any person who sells his or her property within four years of the said property purchase, the SSD has to be enforced at the prevailing rates of between four percent to 16 percent of the value of the property value. This SSD was introduced to discourage speculation and when this SSD policy was implemented in January 2011, the number of property sales of new launch condo or any other properties has significantly reduced and thus fulfilling the intended consequences of curbing property speculations.
With the new changes to TDSR requirement, the holding period within which the SSD takes effect will be reduced from four years to three years. Likewise the SSD rates has also been reduced by four percentage points for each year within the holding period resulting in new rates of four percentage and twelve percentage from new condominium, new condo, new strata landed properties sold on the third year and first year from the date of purchase respectively.
As for the TDSR framework, it will no longer be applicable for any mortgage equity loans with LTV ratios of fifty percentage and below. This was a result of the many feedback from some borrowers that their ability to monetise their properties towards their retirement years has been highly restrictive by the TDSR policy.