Singapore's New Property Market Cooling Measures, Latest Updates 2023

Below is a comprehensive view of the latest government policies related to the residential property market. These policies are often referred to as the 'Property Market Cooling Measures'.
A Brief Summary of Cooling Measures
1. Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD)
ABSD was first introduced on 7 December 2011 to cool the residential market and revised upwards on 12 Jan 2013 due to further acceleration in the escalation of residential property prices, and again on 16 December 2021. The latest round of ABSD rate revision was introduced on 27 April 2023.

The ABSD rate will depend on the buyer profile as at the date of purchase or acquisition of the residential unit. Hide
Note: 1Citizens of the USA, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland will be treated the same as Singapore Citizens due to FTA agreement.
2. Sellers' Stamp Duty (SSD)
SSD is payable on all residential properties and residential lands that are bought on or after 20 Feb 2010 and sold within the holding period. Hide
3. Loan-to-Value (LTV) Ratio
Loan to value (LTV) is the housing loan quantum a bank or financial institution is willing to offer as a percentage of the property's valuation. Hide
Source: SRX Property

With effect from 30 September 2022, the LTV limit for HDB housing loans was lowered by 5% from 85% to 80%. The revised LTV limit does not apply to loans granted by financial institutions, for which the LTV limit remains at 75%.
Policy Details
Effective Date Major Cooling Measures that Affect Residential Property Market
27 April 2023 1. ABSD rates for Singaporeans increased from 17% to 20% for purchasing their second residential property and from 25% to 30% for third and subsequent properties; ABSD rates for SPRs increased from 25% to 30% for purchasing their second residential property and from 30% to 35% for third and subsequent properties; ABSD rates for Singaporeans and SPRs purchasing their first residential property will remain unchanged at 0% and 5% respectively; ABSD rates for foreigners increased from 30% to 60% for the purchase of any residential property.
15 February 2023 1. BSD rates increased for higher-value properties; the portion of a property's value in excess of S$1.5 million and up to S$3 million will be taxed at 5%, while those in excess of S$3 million will be taxed at 6%.
30 September 2022 1. Higher medium-term interest rate floor for bank and HDB housing loan eligibility. From 30 September 2022, banks will calculate applicants' TDSR and MSR from a new medium-term interest rate - such as the higher 4% per annum floor or thereafter interest rate (for residential property purchase loans and mortgage equity withdrawal). For housing loans granted by HDB, HDB will introduce an interest rate floor of 3% for computing eligible loan amounts.
2. Lowered LTV limit for HDB-granted loans from 85% to 80%.
3. 15-month wait for Private Property Owners (below 55 years old) buying non-subsidised HDB resale flat.
16 December 2021 1. ABSD rates for Singaporeans and SPRs purchasing their first residential property will remain unchanged at 0% and 5% respectively; For foreigners, their ABSD will be 30% for the purchase of any residential property; The rates for Singaporeans and SPRs buying their second and subsequent properties will be raised by 5% and 10% respectively while that for corporate entities will be increased by 10%.
2. Tightened Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) threshold from 60% to 55%.
3. Reduced LTV limit for HDB-granted loans from 90% to 85%.
06 July 2018 1. ABSD rates for Singaporeans and SPRs purchasing their first residential property will remain unchanged but their second and subsequent properties will be raised by 5%. Foreigners have to pay 5% more now which makes it 20% for any property purchase. For corporate entities, the rates increased by 10% and there's a new, non-remittable 5% ABSD for developers.
2. LTV limits tightened by 5% for all housing loans granted by financial institutions.
11 March 2017 1. Seller Stamp Duty (SSD) reduced by 4% for each tier. With this change, SSD will only apply to properties sold within 3 years of purchase, down from 4 years previously.
2. TDSR will not apply to mortgage equity withdrawal loans with Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio equal or below 50%.
3. Introduced Additional Conveyance Duties (ACD) for Property Holding Equity (PHE). ACD plugs a loophole which exempted companies from paying ABSD and BSD in the past. A PHE is a company whose primary (i.e., > 50%) tangible assets are Singapore residential properties.
9 December, 2013 1. Reduction of Cancellation Fees From 20% to 5% for Executive Condominiums.
2. Resale Levy for Second-Timer Applicants
  - Formerly second timers are not required to pay a levy. This is applicable to only new EC land sales which are launched on or after 9th December 2013.
3. Revision of Mortgage Loan Terms
  - The MSR cap will apply to EC purchases from 10th December 2013 onwards.
27 August, 2013 1. Singapore Permanent Resident Households need to wait three years from the date of obtaining SPR status, before they can buy a resale HDB flat.
2. Maximum tenure for HDB housing loans is reduced from 30 years to 25 years. The Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) limit is reduced from 35% to 30% of the borrower's gross monthly income.
3. Maximum tenure of new housing loans and re-financing facilities granted by financial institutions for the purchase of HDB flats (including DBSS flats) is reduced from 35 years to 30 years. News loans with tenure exceeding 25 years and up to 30 years will be subject to tighter LTV limits.
29 June, 2013 1. TDSR*: Financial institutions are required to consider borrowers' other outgoing debt obligations when granting property loans. His total monthly repayments of his debt obligations should not exceed 60 per cent of his gross monthly income.
2. In particular, MAS requires:
  -borrowers named on a property loan to be the mortgagors of the residential property for which the loan is taken;
  -"guarantors" who are standing guarantee for borrowers otherwise assessed by the financial institutions at the point of application for the housing loan not to meet the TDSR threshold for a property loan to be brought in as co-borrowers; and
  -in the case of joint borrowers, that financial institutions use the income-weighted average age of borrowers when applying the rules on loan tenure.
12 January, 2013 1. ABSD: Citizens pay 7/10% on second/third purchase (from 0/3%); Permanent Residents (PR) pay 5/10% for first/second purchase (from 0/3%); foreigners and non-individuals now pay 15%.
2. LTV for second/third loan now 50/40% from 60%; non-individuals' LTV now 20% (from 40%).
3. Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) for HDB loans now capped at 35% of gross monthly income (from 40%); MSR for loans from financial institutions capped at 30%.
4. PRs no longer allowed to rent out entire HDB flat.
6 October, 2012 1. Mortgage tenures capped at a maximum of 35 years.
2. For loans longer than 30 years or for loans that extend beyond retirement age of 65 years: LTV lowered to 60% for first mortgage and to 40% for second and subsequent mortgages.
3. LTV for non-individuals lowered to 40%.
8 December, 2011 1. ABSD introduced for further cooling measures:
  -Foreigners and non-individuals pay 10%, PRs buying second and subsequent property pay 3%, Singaporeans buying third and subsequent property pay 3%.
2. Developers purchasing more than four residential units and following through on intention to develop residential properties for sale would be waived ABSD
  -To qualify, developers have to produce proof of development and sale within five years.
14 January, 2011 1. Holding period for imposition of SSD increased to four years from three.
2. SSD rates raised to 16%, 12%, 8% and 4% of consideration.
3. LTV lowered to 60% from 70% for second property.
4. LTV for non-individual residential purchasers capped at 50%.
30 August, 2010 1. Holding period for imposition of SSD increased to three years from one.
2. Minimum cash payments raised to 10% from 5% for buyers with one or more outstanding housing loans.
3. LTV lowered to 70% from 80% for second properties.
20 February, 2010 1. Introduction of SSD for residential property and land sold within one year of purchase.
2. LTV lowered to 80% from 90% on all housing loans except HDB loans.
14 September, 2009 1. Interest absorption scheme (deferment of instalments until TOP) and interest-only housing loans (interest payment only until TOP) were scrapped for all private properties.
*wef Mar 2017, TDSR no longer apply to mortgage equity withdrawal loans with LTV ratios of 50 per cent and below.
Source: Ministry of National Development (MND), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Housing Development Board (HDB)

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What is TDSR?
The Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) is a framework to ensure that people borrow, and banks lend, responsibly. TDSR limits the amount borrowers can spend on debt repayments to 60 percent of their gross monthly income.
TDSR Calculator Find out the minimum household income you need to have to own your dream home.
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Note: Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) cannot exceed 60% of your net income. Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) cannot exceed 30% of your income. Calculations are done at 3.5% Interest Rate.


Please contact your mortgage banker for TDSR requirements pertaining to joint borrowers.

Unlike other cooling measures, which are expected to be temporary, the TDSR is a permanent structural reform that all banks and financial institutions must follow when assessing:
  • housing loans,
  • the refinancing of housing loans, and
  • loans secured by property.

The TDSR was introduced to strengthen credit underwriting practices by financial institutions. Loans are only issued to borrowers who can afford them.
How does the TDSR affect you? The TDSR limits the amount you can borrow (your loan quantum) by ensuring your monthly repayments account for less than 60 percent of your income.

For HDB flats and ECs, mortgage repayments must not account for more than 30 percent of a borrower’s gross monthly income, even if they have no other debt obligations. (See Mortgage Servicing Ratio)