Real News‎ > ‎2012‎ > ‎August 2012‎ > ‎

06 August 2012

6th August, Monday




50-year home loan a 'gimmick', says Khaw

Source: The Straits Times

In the midst of global economic uncertainties, Singaporeans should stay focused, be prudent and spend within their means, said Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan Sunday.

He also advised Singaporeans against taking up 50-year housing loans, which at least one bank here has recently started offering.

Calling it a "gimmick", Mr Khaw said: "Please don't fall for that, it doesn't make sense."


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Chinese foreigners buy fewer homes here

Source: The Straits Times

Hefty new stamp duty and a slowing economy at home are deterring Chinese nationals from buying property here, according to new sales figures.

Once the biggest group of foreign buyers, the Chinese fell to second in the first six months of the year, purchasing 259 homes behind the 372 bought by Indonesians, according to caveats lodged with the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Additional buyer's stamp duty has dampened foreign home demand, with overseas buyers accounting for just 7 per cent of the deals in the first half of the year, down from 20 per cent in the same period last year.

Agents say some Chinese buyers might now be turning to the non-residential sector to avoid paying the 10per cent additional buyer's stamp duty.

A developer said that foreigners seem to be more cautious now and are sitting on the sidelines, possibly waiting for the extra stamp duty to be lifted.


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Obscure rule may trip up condo developers

Source: The Straits Times

Most aspects of the real estate market here get long and loud discussion in a nation in love with bricks and mortar.

But one issue, mainly affecting the top end of the market, has been bubbling away quietly, attracting little attention so far.

It relates to the fact that developers with foreign shareholders are required to sell all units in new residential projects they develop within two years of completion - or face stiff penalties.

But faced with a slow take-up rate in the upmarket condo sector, as demand from foreign buyers slackens, these developers have lobbied the Government for an extension beyond the two-year period.

Since January last year, a developer is given the option to pay an "extension charge" if he cannot meet the five years' deadline from the issue of the QC to complete his project. This works out to 8 per cent, 16 per cent and 24 per cent of the property purchase price for the first, second and third extra years respectively.

And since December last year, foreigners have had to pay an extra 10 per cent stamp duty when they buy a house here, and this has dampened the buying fervour for upmarket condos.

An estimated 1,374 foreigners bought residential properties in the fourth quarter last year. But after the extra stamp duty was imposed, this number fell to 345 in the first quarter of this year and then to 334 in the second quarter.

So other than the usual supply and demand, an obscure government regulation may also be having a bearing on how the top-end condo market is faring.


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