Singapore Expats Targeted in Attempt to Cool Property Market

Expat Globe

Singapore is the latest Asian country to move to place restrictions on expat property buying in order to put a downward pressure on prices designed to benefit the local population at the expense of the Singapore expat community.

Singapore introduced a 10% Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty only for expats a year ago to dampen down rising property prices but has not been as successful as hopes. Now the authorities have decided to raise the tax to 15% which is paid only by expats on top of existing property taxes paid by the domestic population.

In an additional move the Singapore government will levy a 5% charge on foreigners with Permanent Residence passes. Singapore’s Asian contemporary Hong Kong as introduced a similar tax for the same reasons.

Experts predict property price falls of up to 10% as a result of new tax as well as an increase in the supply of popular condominiums.

Steve Melhuish, CEO of Singapore-based property portal PropertyGuru, said, “The government will need to maintain a sharp focus to ensure these measures do not send the market into a downward spiral.

“Many analysts and market-watchers were predicting the introduction of further cooling measures but we think the severity of what has been introduced will surprise many, including the introduction of the stamp duty for industrial property sellers which will certainly impact speculative buying.”