Singapore stamp duty succeeds in curbing foreign interest

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Foreign purchases in Singapore’s private property market have dropped dramatically following cooling measures brought into force in December.

Foreign purchases accounted for 18% of the private property market over the whole of last year, but according to consultancy DTZ, this has fallen sharply as the effects of the cooling measures continue to deter foreign investors.

In the three months to September, foreign purchases made up just 7% of the private market.

The downward trend was also clear over the first nine months of the year, with only 6% of purchases being made by foreigners.

In the third quarter, just 504 purchases were carried out by non-permanent resident foreigners.

An additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD), set at 10% for foreign buyers, was enforced in Singapore last December.

The move was prompted by a flurry of interest in residential property from foreign buyers last year, which was concentrated on the mass-market segment.

The fresh injection of interest was the likely motive behind the ABSD, which was designed to reduce foreign investment demand for Singapore property.

While it has successfully cut back demand – the ABSD sparked an initial sharp pullback – overseas investors from certain countries have put Singapore back on their radar.

The additional stamp duty has failed to keep Chinese investors at bay, with the market share of mainland buyers, including permanent residents, climbing once again.

In the three months to September 30, Chinese buyers made up 22% of all purchases made by non-Singaporeans, which saw them overtake Indonesians to secure second place, leaving the Malaysians sitting tight in the top spot.

Transferring money to Singapore

Those who need to transfer money to Singapore might want to review their options and find the best way to send money abroad.

If you are looking to invest in Singapore, it is worth thinking carefully about how you will send money there. There are many different options available, so it is necessary to compare the market beforehand to ensure you get the best deal when it comes to transferring money abroad.

For instance, foreign currency exchange rates quoted by banks are almost always worse than the exchange rates available through specialist currency dealers.

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