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4 Key Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Private Property for the First Time

Posted by Jayson Ang on August 27, 2023
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TLDR

When considering buying or selling property in Singapore, it’s crucial to understand factors like Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty, Loan-To-Value rates, Total Debt Servicing Ratio, and Property Tax changes. Recent updates include new laws on living trusts and increased property tax rates. To navigate the market effectively, seek strategic real estate advice and connect with the right buyers. Stay informed about market trends through expert insights and data-driven approaches for a successful real estate journey.

If you’re planning to purchase your first private property or build a new home in a condominium with your partner, there are important factors to consider before entering Singapore’s private market.

As a professional advice, we recommend that you take some time to carefully evaluate these aspects before making any decisions.

1. Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty

The ABSD rates have been a source of discontent for second-time home buyers, with the rates increasing to 17% after the 2021 property cooling measures.

However, if you are a first-time private homeowner, you will still have to pay ABSD temporarily. The good news is that you can get a refund once you sell your previous property within the 6-month window.

Effective May 9, 2022, new laws have been implemented with regard to residential properties that are transferred into a living trust.

A new ABSD rate of 35% will be applicable on any transfer of residential property into a living trust. This new rule applies even if there is no identifiable beneficial owner at the time of the transfer.

This change has been made to close a loophole, and the ABSD (Trust) will now be paid upfront during the transfer.

2. Loan-To-Value

The government’s property cooling measures have also affected the Loan-to-Value (LTV) rates. For first-time home buyers or those with fully paid existing home loans, the LTV rate has been lowered from 80% to 75%.

This means that borrowers now have less flexibility in obtaining financing from banks to purchase their homes.

Additionally, a decrease in the LTV rate translates to a higher down payment, which can be made through cash or CPF.

3. Total Debt Servicing Ratio

The purpose of TDSR is to safeguard home buyers from taking on a mortgage that they cannot afford. To ensure this, you can only dedicate up to 55% of your monthly income towards repaying your loan every month.

4. Property Tax

If you’re planning to buy a private home for your own use, you can find the property tax rate by using the IRAS e-Service.

The Singapore government recently announced that property tax rates for both owner-occupied and non-owner-occupied residential properties will increase in two phases from 2023 onwards.

For homes with an annual value exceeding $30,000, taxes will be increased from 5-23% in 2023 to 6-32% in 2024. Investment properties will also face higher taxes: from the current 10-20%, to 11-27% in 2023, and 12-36% in 2024.

Despite these measures, experts predict that there will still be strong demand for private property, as demonstrated by the popularity of last year’s launches like Affinity at Serangoon, which constituted a significant portion of private property sales in January 2019.

Should You Buy, Sell or Wait?

If you’re reading this, you must be trying to figure out the best course of action right now: is it the right time to buy or sell?

It’s difficult to give an exact answer since everyone’s situation is unique and what works for one person may not necessarily work for you.

I can bring you a wealth of on-the-ground experience and a data-driven approach to provide clarity and direction. From beginners to experienced investors, our top-down, objective approach will help you on your real estate journey.

I can help you by:

  1. Offering Strategic Real Estate Advice – I can help create a comprehensive plan to guide you through your property journey.
  2. Connecting Your Home with the Perfect Buyers – Through stunning visuals, an effective communication strategy, and an in-depth knowledge of the market, we’ll ensure your home is presented in the best possible way to fulfill your goals.

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