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Singapore Imposes More Measures to Curb Property Speculation

“Singapore added more measures to curb speculation on residential and industrial properties after home prices climbed to a record and the value of logistics buildings doubled over the past three years.

The stamp duty for homebuyers will increase as of tomorrow by between 5 percentage points and 7 percentage points, the government said in an e-mailed statement today. Permanent residents will have to pay the additional tax when they buy their first home, while Singaporeans will have the levy starting with their second purchase, according to the statement.

The government has tried to rein in residential property prices since 2009. Before today’s measures, it barred interest- only loans for some housing projects, stopped allowing developers to absorb interest payments, imposed additional taxes on foreigners and companies buying properties, and moved to curb the trend of so-called shoebox apartments. In October, it also restricted home-loan maturities to 35 years and required tighter loan-to-value limits for loans exceeding 30 years.

“The reality we face is that interest rates are extraordinarily low, globally and in Singapore and continue to add fuel to our property market,” Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s deputy prime minister, said in the statement. “We have to take this further round of measures now to check recent market trends and avoid a more serious correction in prices further down the road….”

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