SINGAPORE: Singapore has imposed three sets of property cooling measures in less than 18 months – all aimed at bringing prices down in a red-hot market.
But while the quarterly number of Housing Board (HDB) resale transactions has fallen since its peak in 2021, prices have continued to rise, albeit slower than before.
In the first quarter of 2023, the HDB resale price index grew 1 per cent from the preceding quarter – slower than the 2.3 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of 2022. However, it was also the 12th consecutive quarter that the resale price index has increased.
Cooling measures were implemented in December 2021, September 2022 and April 2023. While the latest tranche this year was firmly aimed at the private housing market by raising additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD), measures in the previous two sets targeted the public housing market.
“We think the HDB resale market is finding its footing and likely stabilising after the introduction of new cooling measures in September 2022,” said Ms Wong Siew Ying, head of research and content at PropNex.
How median prices for HDB resale flats have changed in every Singapore town:
While the two rounds of cooling measures in 2021 and 2022 suppressed market activity, they failed to effectively dampen prices in the public resale housing market, said Professor Qian Wenlan from the Institute of Real Estate and Urban Studies at the National University of Singapore.
“In the wake of the pandemic, residents need more space to work from home. Young couples living with their parents also like to move out and have their own space,” she said.
“Due to Singapore's reputation as a safe haven, both local and foreign investors are interested in investing in residential properties in Singapore. Rising prices in the private housing market will also push up the prices of resale HDB flats to some extent.”
What were the cooling measures?
April 2023’s cooling measures saw ABSD doubled for foreigners and raised for some other buyers. Described as a “pre-emptive measure” by National Development Minister Desmond Lee, the ABSD increases were targeted at private housing.
In September last year, the government imposed cooling measures aimed at the public housing market, with tighter lending limits and a 15-month wait-out period for private property owners who want to buy a non-subsidised resale HDB flat.
The loan-to-value limit for HDB loans was lowered to 80 per cent from 85 per cent, and potential buyers were assessed for such loans using a new 3 per cent rate – above the prevailing HDB loan interest rate of 2.6 per cent.
In December 2021, the ABSD rates were raised. Other measures included tightening the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) threshold and lowering the loan-to-value limit for HDB loans.
A tighter TDSR means new mortgages cannot cause borrowers’ total monthly loan repayments to exceed 55 per cent of their monthly income. The loan-to-value limit for HDB loans was lowered to 85 per cent from 90 per cent.
HAVE COOLING MEASURES WORKED?
The government said in April that the property cooling measures in 2021 and 2022 have had a "moderating effect".
Analysing sales volume and prices in the two quarters before and after cooling measures were imposed, Prof Qian found that HDB quarterly resale transactions fell by 6.3 per cent after the cooling measures in 2021, but prices rose by 2.6 per cent over the same period.
After cooling measures in September 2022, the average quarterly resale volume of HDB flats fell by 3.6 per cent, but prices rose by 1.6 per cent.
Prof Qian said those two rounds of cooling measures in December 2021 and September 2022 have reduced market transaction volume and slowed the growth of prices in the private and HDB resale market, although price levels continue to rise.
Analysts also pointed out that there were other factors affecting the HDB resale market, including the rise in loan interest rates and increasing supply.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, interest rates stayed low. Floating interest rates – most of which are pegged to the Singapore Overnight Rate Average – mostly stayed below 1 per cent.
But as the economy reopened, interest rates shot up, with floating rates in recent months above 4 per cent.
Construction delays during the COVID-19 pandemic also saw some people turning from Build-to-Order (BTO) flats to resale flats, pushing up demand.
Prices may start to moderate as supply catches up. The government is "committed to launch" about 23,000 BTO flats in 2023.
Analysts also pointed to an increase in CPF Housing Grant amounts for eligible resale flat buyers as potentially pushing up demand. Ms Christine Sun of OrangeTee & Tie called this a “confounding factor”.
The increase in housing grants for first-timers may have spurred demand and price growth for some types of flats, said Ms Sun, the senior vice president of research and analytics.
“Such a policy change done within six months of property curb may mask the true effectiveness of the cooling measures,” she added.
RESALE PRICE RISES AND WAGES
Prof Qian said: “Property prices have risen faster than wages over the past three years, raising concerns about reducing housing affordability and the ability of residents to repay loans.”
She added that the median price-to-income ratio multiple in 2022 was 5.0 for a four-room HDB resale flat.
The house price-to-income ratio measures the affordability of homes by comparing median property prices with median household income.It is expressed as a multiple, so a ratio of 15 would mean that a home costs 15 times the annual household income of the buyers.
The annual Demographics International Housing Affordability Survey – published by the Urban Reform Institute and the Frontier Center for Public Policy – ranks Singapore 47th for housing affordability, out of 94 surveyed market areas.
Analysts expect a one-digit hike in HDB resale prices in 2023, with forecasts ranging from 2 per cent to 8 per cent, unlike 2022, which saw a 10.4 per cent rise. HDB resale prices grew by 12.7 per cent in 2021.
Huttons Asia’s senior director of research Lee Sze Teck said the cooling measures in 2021 and 2022 that were targeted at the HDB resale market encouraged “financial prudence” and reduced demand.
“The tighter loan-to-value and higher stress test interest rate ensured that buyers factor in a bigger safety net and that has made the property market more sustainable,” he said, adding that price gains of HDB resale flats have moderated in 2022.
RAISING ABSD AND THE INDIRECT EFFECT ON HDB PRICES
The government raised ABSD last month. While the increase was the greatest for foreign buyers, Singaporeans buying their second property also face a 3 percentage point increase, from 17 per cent to 20 per cent.The rate went up from 25 per cent to 30 per cent for third and subsequent properties.
Permanent residents now have to pay 30 per cent ABSD for a second property and 35 per cent for third and subsequent properties.
The latest cooling measures in April may have an indirect effect on HDB resale prices, said Prof Qian.
These measures raise the overall transaction cost for Singaporeans or permanent residents who are thinking of buying private properties, making them less attractive compared with public housing, she added. As a result, part of the demand may potentially shift to HDB resale flats.
Ms Sun said that the latest cooling measures affect HDB homeowners looking to upgrade to private housing.
Some buyers may hold back their upgrading plans for the moment, she added.
"For those who choose to pay the ABSD upfront and later apply for remission when they sell their flats later, some may find difficulty raising funds now as the ABSD has been increased," she explained.
"For instance, an HDB upgrader buying a S$2 million (US$1.49 million) condominium (unit) needs to pay S$400,000 ABSD upfront (20 per cent for a second property) now and some may find this sum to be hefty."
It might mean more flat owners may sell their flats first before buying a new unit, and rent in the interim, said the analyst.
If more people hold back and stay put in their flats, then there will be fewer flats put up for sale. But if people decide to sell and rent in the meantime, this may lead to a greater flat supply in the market but may increase demand in the rental market.
“The net effect will then depend on which is the bigger affected group,” said Ms Sun.
Interactive map by Clara Ho.
What is the effect of property cooling measures in Singapore? ›
On 27 April 2023, the latest round of cooling measures went into effect, which saw raised Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates for Singaporeans and PRs who were buying their second and subsequent purchases, as well as for foreigners, entities, and trustees.What are the cooling measures for Singapore real estate? ›
Singapore citizens buying their second residential property now must pay 20 per cent ABSD, up from 17 per cent. They will pay 30 per cent ABSD, an increase from 25 per cent, for their third and subsequent properties.What is the resale HDB price trend in Singapore? ›
SINGAPORE - Prices of Housing Board resale flats grew at a slower pace of 0.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2023, compared with the 2.3 per cent increase in the previous quarter, with some analysts citing this as a sign of price resistance setting in.What are the new property cooling measures in Singapore 2023? ›
The new measures takes effect from 27 April 2023. - Raise ABSD rate from 35% to 65% for entities or trusts purchasing any residential property, except for housing developers. It was disclosed that based on 2022 data, the above ABSD rate increases will affect about 10% of residential property transactions.How many rounds of cooling measures are there in Singapore? ›
Introduction. On 26 April 2023, the Government announced increases to the Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates, which marks a third round of property cooling measures since December 2021.Will property prices continue to rise Singapore? ›
In 2022, it was reported that private residential property prices rose by 8.6%, a slight decrease from the 10.6% increase observed in 2021. While experts say that private property price in Singapore will continue to grow in 2023, they have also noted that it will be a much slower growth as compared to previous years.What is cooling period for HDB? ›
To grant an Option to Purchase (OTP) to a potential buyer, you need to have a valid Intent to Sell registered on the HDB Flat Portal and meet the 7-day cooling-off period after registration.What is the trend in housing prices in Singapore? ›
Private home prices in Singapore increased by 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2023, according to official flash estimates.What is the cooling period for private property in Singapore? ›
As part of the property cooling measures introduced on 30 Sep 2022, private residential property owners (PPOs) and ex-PPOs are required to serve a wait-out period of 15 months after the disposal of their private properties before they are eligible to buy a non-subsidised resale flat.What affects HDB resale prices? ›
First, HDB establishes the market value of the flat by looking at the prices of comparable resale flats nearby, which is influenced by prevailing market conditions, as well as the individual attributes of the flats. Projects with locational advantages will have higher prices: Proximity to city or town centre.
Is resale HDB worth it? ›
Thus, HDB resale flats are a good option if you don't want to waste time waiting or renting. However, with prices at a record high, do consider if the price you're paying is worth it based on the remaining years left on the lease.Why are property prices so high in Singapore? ›
Singapore's property sector has remained buoyant even as countries elsewhere face slowdowns due to soaring interest rates and inflation. The government raised taxes for buyers of high-end properties in February, just months after introducing cooling measures, highlighting its confidence in the market.When did cooling measures started in Singapore? ›
Cooling measures were implemented in December 2021, September 2022 and April 2023. While the latest tranche this year was firmly aimed at the private housing market by raising additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD), measures in the previous two sets targeted the public housing market.Is it a good time to buy property in Singapore 2023? ›
The semi good news is that prices will not rise as sharply as they did in 2022; due to one reason: a ramped up supply of BTO flats and private housing which ultimately helps to moderate property prices. To continue to meet the surging demand for BTO flats, up to 23,000 BTO flats will be launched in 2023 alone.Will HDB prices drop in 2023 Singapore? ›
2 HDB's flash estimate of the 1st Quarter 2023 Resale Price Index (RPI) is 173.4, an increase of 0.9% over that in the 4th Quarter of 2022 (see Annexes A1 and A2). This is a slower increase than the 2.3% increase in the 4th Quarter of 2022, and is the smallest quarterly increase compared to the last 10 quarters.What is the new ABSD in Singapore? ›
Raising Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) Rates
Raise ABSD rate from 35% to 65% for entities or trusts purchasing any residential property, except for housing developers. 5 Based on 2022 data, the above ABSD rate increases will affect about 10% of residential property transactions.
ABSD rates: Introduced for Singaporeans purchasing their second property, at 7%. For third and subsequent property, this was raised from 3 to 10% Introduced for PRs at 5% for their first property; raised from 3 to 10% on their second property and from 3 to 10% on their third and subsequent property.When did absd start in Singapore? ›
The Government introduced ABSD on 8 December 2011.What is the latest news about property prices in Singapore? ›
Private home price growth slows to 0.4% in Q4 2022, HDB resale prices rise 2.3% in Q4, slowest growth in 2022, and more. Private home prices rose at a slower pace in Q4 2022. Meanwhile, HDB resale prices logged their slowest quarterly growth for 2022.Is it a good time to sell property in Singapore? ›
Best time to sell your property based on historical statistics. Sale transactions typically peak during the second and third quarter of the calendar year. As seen from figure 1, there is generally a higher volume of resale HDBs transacted in the second half of the year, compared to the first half of the year.
What is the average property price growth in Singapore? ›
Key information about House Prices Growth
Singapore house prices grew 11.4% YoY in Mar 2023, following an increase of 8.6% YoY in the previous quarter. YoY growth data is updated quarterly, available from Mar 1976 to Mar 2023, with an average growth rate of 4.9%.
The cooling period in the bank is defined as the time taken by banks during which a remitter cannot transfer funds to a newly added beneficiary. Here, a beneficiary is the person that receives the payment & remitter is the one that sends the payment. The cooling period in the bank can be between 30 mins to 4 hrs.What is cooling period for? ›
Cooling-off period (consumer rights), a period of time during which the purchaser may cancel a purchase. Quiet period, the time which a company making an IPO must be silent about it, so as not to inflate the value of the stock artificially.What is cooling period limit? ›
Cooling period is the time set by the bank during which fund transfer is not allowed to a newly added beneficiary.What are the factors affecting housing prices in Singapore? ›
Singapore's residential property market is very much influenced by the state of her economy, population growth, availability of mortgage and interest rates, which determine the demand for property.Why are rental prices increasing in Singapore? ›
In addition to the rise in demand, labor shortage in the construction industry during the pandemic also contributed to delays, exacerbating inventory issues in the housing market. “On the supply side, the pandemic induced delays in new completions had resulted in a tight stock of rental housing units,” Cheong noted.What is the property price trend in Singapore 2023? ›
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released the flash estimate of the price index for private residential property for 1st Quarter 2023 today. Overall, the private residential property index increased by 6.0 points from 188.6 points in 4th Quarter 2022 to 194.6 points in 1st Quarter 2023.Can non citizens own property in Singapore? ›
Foreigners can only buy landed property in Singapore with approval from the Land Dealings Approval Unit (LDAU). Landed properties in Sentosa Cove are an exception to the rule and are available for sale to foreigners.Can I buy resale HDB after selling private property? ›
After selling your private property, you are allowed to buy a resale HDB flat. Note this caveat, though: You will have to wait 15 months before you are allowed to buy a HDB flat.Can foreigners own private property in Singapore? ›
Under the Residential Property Act, a foreigner can buy both public housing and private properties.
What factors affect the selling price of a home? ›
A home's value is affected by local real estate trends, the housing market, the home's condition, age, location and property size.How important is resale value in house? ›
In general, a home with good resale value is typically a good investment, while a home with bad resale value may not be worth your time or money.What determines resale value? ›
The resale value of a car is a projection of its market value. Model type, age, and condition are primary factors determining market value, with mileage, rarity, and equipment levels also contributing.Why buy resale HDB? ›
While resale flats may be considerably more expensive than BTO flats, an upside to getting a resale flat would be being eligible for more grants from the government. For BTOs, you will only be able to apply for the Enhanced Housing Grant (EHG).Can a foreigner buy HDB in Singapore? ›
Foreigners may not purchase HDB flats, but they can buy Executive Condominiums (ECs) that are at least 10 years old. Can foreigner buy private condo in Singapore? Under the Residential Property Act (Chapter 274) of the Singapore Law, foreigners are eligible to buy a condominium in Singapore.How much is HDB Resales fees? ›
Resale application fee
You must pay an administrative fee of $80 (or $40 for 1- and 2-room flats), when you submit your portion of the resale application via the HDB Flat Portal.
Singapore is the second most expensive city in the world, according to the EIU Cost of Living 2021 survey. Singapore is the second most expensive city in the world, according to the EIU Cost of Living 2021 survey.Is housing unaffordable in Singapore? ›
SINGAPORE has a high level of homeownership, and housing affordability appears to be good.How does inflation affect property prices in Singapore? ›
The most straightforward way inflation can affect homeowners is the fact that property prices generally rise with the inflation rate.What is buyer stamp duty Singapore? ›
What Is Buyer's Stamp Duty in Singapore? Buyer's Stamp Duty, or BSD for short, are taxes on documents related to either the purchase or lease of a property. BSD is a tax levied on all property purchases, even HDB flats, within Singapore. The tax applies only to the buyer.
What is stamp duty Singapore? ›
What is stamp duty? Stamp duty is a tax on documents that effect a transfer of interest in any immovable property ("property") in Singapore, and any stock and shares. 2. Who should pay stamp duty? Check the terms of the document (e.g. tenancy agreement) to determine who is contractually required to pay the Stamp Duty.What is the history of Tdsr in Singapore? ›
In a nutshell, the TDSR limits the amount that you can spend on your monthly debt repayments (student loans, car loans, personal loans, etc) to 55% of your gross monthly income. The TDSR was introduced by the Singapore government in 2013 to make sure individuals borrow responsibly, and not end up drowning in debt.Will rents drop in 2023 Singapore? ›
“Incremental demand is lower due to companies slowing their hiring plans in view of economic uncertainties," he said, predicting that private and HDB rents are likely to increase at a slower rate of 10 to 15 per cent in 2023.How much will property cost in Singapore by 2030? ›
Singapore's median property price is expected to cost between SGD 1.9 million (US $1.4 million) and SGD 2.5 million (US $1.9 million) by 2030.What is the all time high for property in Singapore? ›
Housing Index in Singapore averaged 85.64 points from 1975 until 2023, reaching an all time high of 194.80 points in the first quarter of 2023 and a record low of 8.90 points in the first quarter of 1975.What is the lifespan of HDB? ›
HDB flats are sold on 99-year leases and flat buyers are informed at the time of purchase. The 99-year lease serves the needs of the owners and their children, while ensuring that land can be recycled to house future generations.What is the new all time high HDB resale? ›
HDB resale prices jumped 12.7% in 2021, record 259 million-dollar flats sold. SINGAPORE - The Housing Board resale market ended 2021 on a fresh high as prices rose 12.7 per cent, the steepest full-year climb since 2010.Can I buy HDB 3 times? ›
While most adult Singaporeans are well aware that they can purchase a new flat directly from the Housing Development Board (HDB) directly two times during their lifetime (a second bite at the cherry), some may not be aware that they can yet apply for another new flat for a third time in their senior years.What is the district cooling capacity in Singapore? ›
Singapore's largest industrial district cooling project. In partnership with STMicroelectronics (ST), SP Group (SP) will design, build, own, and operate Singapore's largest industrial District Cooling System (DCS) with a cooling capacity of up to 36,000 refrigeration tonnes.Is property market slowing down in Singapore? ›
Singapore's housing market is now cooling again, amidst falling property demand. The nationwide real house prices rose by 2.05% year-on-year in 2022, a slowdown from an annual increase of 6.4% in 2021.
How can I make my room cooler without AC in Singapore? ›
On sun-facing parts of your house, put up trellises covered with greenery. Plants can cut down the amount of heat exposure by as much as 50% and further cool your home through envirotranspiration (moisture evaporating from the leaves, stems and flowers of plants).What is the housing typology in Singapore? ›
The different kinds of landed housing in Singapore include semi-detached houses, terraced homes, cluster houses, townhouses, shophouses, bungalows and Good Class Bungalows (GCB).What is cooling Singapore? ›
The Cooling Singapore project addresses the growing risk from extreme heat in Singapore as the city develops. It has created a roadmap for reducing heat by tackling the urban heat island effect in a tropical climate, which is presented in Strategies for cooling Singapore.What percentage of households have air conditioning Singapore? ›
Air-conditioning is ubiquitous in tropical Singapore. According to the Department of Statistics, about 80 per cent of Singapore households own air-conditioners, and from NEA household electricity consumption profile, air-conditioning contributes about 24 per cent of the average household electricity consumption.What is the largest cooling capacity of residential systems? ›
Residential air conditioners usually range from 1.5 to 5 tons (or, 18,000 – 60,000 BTUh). Anything with larger cooling capacity would be considered light commercial.Is it a good time to sell property in Singapore 2023? ›
The semi good news is that prices will not rise as sharply as they did in 2022; due to one reason: a ramped up supply of BTO flats and private housing which ultimately helps to moderate property prices. To continue to meet the surging demand for BTO flats, up to 23,000 BTO flats will be launched in 2023 alone.How do I keep my HDB flat cool? ›
Studies on HDB flats have found that opening doors in the flat improves airflow around the space. Block the sun with blinds, window shades and curtains to prevent a mini greenhouse effect from forming inside.How do you cool down a HDB room? ›
- Switch your ceiling fans to an anti-clockwise rotation. ...
- Keep doors or windows on opposite ends open to aid air circulation. ...
- Use LED bulbs or compact fluorescent lamps instead of incandescent ones. ...
- Use a dehumidifier to keep the stickiness at bay. ...
- Switch off and unplug electrical appliances when not in use.
In 1968, to help more become home owners, the government allowed the use of Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings for the downpayment and to service the monthly mortgage loan instalments. This, together with other schemes and grants introduced over the years, has made home ownership highly affordable and attractive.How does Singapore have affordable housing? ›
Under Singapore's housing leasehold ownership programme, housing units are sold on a 99-year leasehold to applicants who meet certain income, citizenship and property leasehold ownership requirements. The estate's land and common areas continue to be owned by the government.
Is Singapore facing housing shortage? ›
The Singapore government is on track to ramp up the supply of public housing, which is available for sale only to Singaporeans and permanent residents. The Housing Development Board said it was building 100,000 flats between 2021 and 2025. On an annual average, that would surpass the 14,600 units built in 2019.