New property cooling measures announced

New cooling measures for the property market have been announced. 

The government will be raising the additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) between 5 and 7 percentage points across the board. 

This ABSD will now be extended to permanent residents buying their first residential property and on Singaporeans buying their second residential property. 

Potential buyers who already have at least one existing loan will also have to pay more cash upfront for their purchases and face tighter loan-to-value limits. 

To further moderate the demand for HDB flats, the government has introduced several new measures. 

It will tighten eligibility for loans to buy HDB flats. 

Permanent residents who own a HDB flat will also not be allowed to sublet their entire flat. 

Permanent residents who own a HDB flat must sell their flat within six months or purchasing a private residential property in Singapore. 

There are also new measures to ensure that executive condominiums (EC) remain affordable for middle-income Singaporean families. 

The maximum strata floor area of new EC units will be capped at 160 square metres. 

Sales of new dual-key EC units will be restricted to multi-generational families only. 

Developers of future EC sale sites from the Government Land Sales programme will only be allowed to launch units for sale 15 months from the date of award of the sites or after the physical completion of foundation works, whichever is earlier. 

Private enclosed spaces and private roof terraces will be treated as gross floor area (GFA). The GFA of such spaces in non-landed residential developments, including ECs, will be counted as part of the 'bonus' GFA of a residential development and subject to payment of charges. 

The following measures will take effect on 12 January 2013.

For the first time, the government will also be introducing Seller's Stamp Duty (SSD) on industrial property to discourage short-term speculative activity. 

It will apply to industrial properties and land bought and sold within three years of purchase. A rate of 15 percent will be applied for properties sold within the first year of purchase. 

This will go down to 10 percent for those in the second year of purchase, and 5 percent for those sold in the third year. 

All measures to be effective 12 January.