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Parliamentary Replies

Extending Remission of Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty to Singles Purchasing Second Property vis-a-vis Married Couples

05 Oct 2020
Parliamentary Question by Mr Sitoh Yi Pin:

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (a) what is the reason why purchasers of a second property who are single do not qualify for the Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty remission even if they meet the same conditions that married couples do to facilitate their changing of homes; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider extending the remission to singles who meet the same conditions in the future.

Parliamentary Reply by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat:

The policy intent for Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) is to moderate demand, and to ensure a stable and sustainable residential property market. This in turn will help both existing and aspiring homeowners by keeping price increases in line with economic fundamentals. 

ABSD is applicable on the second and subsequent residential property purchases of all Singaporeans. This applies regardless of whether they dispose of their first property subsequently. This is because even if the first property is eventually disposed of, the purchase of the second property adds to the demand for residential properties at the time of purchase. 

We have made one exception, namely for Singaporean married couples. A Singaporean married couple may need to change home due to changing family needs, such as when they have children or when their children are growing up. It is in this context that we have an ABSD concession for Singaporean married couples buying a second property. Under the concession, we allow Singapore married couples to claim a refund of the ABSD paid on their second property, provided they sell their first property within 6 months after the purchase of a completed property, or the TOP date of an uncompleted property. 

This ABSD concession is not available to other groups of property buyers, as our overall key objective remains to moderate the demand for residential properties including that for second residential property of Singaporeans. Buyers who do not wish to incur the higher ABSD on second residential properties may wish to consider selling their first property before purchasing their second property.