Why The Cooling Measures hasn’t Brought Down the Price

Cooling measures kai hub

The residential market in Singapore is growing rapidly. The pandemic impacted the Singaporean residential market. However, it was not enough of an impact to deter people from buying the property of their dreams or moving towards asset progression. A consistent spike in prices was seen, and the Singaporean Government introduced the cooling measures 2021 to slow down the market and keep the prices stable. 

Market analysts and experts expected the cooling measures 2021 to have an immediate impact on the market. Their first guess was that the real estate market would move into a wait-and-see mode as an immediate reaction to the cooling measures. That, however, didn’t happen, and it surprised many pundits and experts. 

So, what are the Singapore property cooling measures, and why haven’t they impacted as per expectations? Keep reading to know more. 


The Singapore property cooling measures 2021


The government of Singapore introduced Singapore property cooling measures 2021 on 15th December 2021. These cooling measures were to be put into effect from 16th December 2021. The prime objective of introducing these measures was to cool down the Singapore real estate market and make housing accessible for everyone. So, what are these cooling measures? Let’s have a look. 


  • The additional buyer stamp duty was raised. 
  • The total debt servicing ratio threshold will be tightened.
  • Tighten LTV limits for loans for HDB (90% down to 85%). 
  • An increase in public and private housing supply to cater to demand. 


An increase in any kind of price wasn’t the first expected impact of the cooling measures. However, it happened. Estimates showed that the prices of HDB increased by just over 1% in January. An interesting fact is that the resale transactions also observed an increase along with the increase In the HDB price. 

It has been observed that 2,428 resale units were sold in December 2021. 2,442 units were sold in January after the announcement of the cooling measures. The only point of relief, if any, for the buyers is that the sale volume is lower when compared to the same time last year. Last year, 2432 units were sold in January. The difference isn’t much, but it is still there. 

HDB performance sales vs Volume 10 years

On the contrary, the million-dollar flats witnessed a decrease in sales from 38 transactions in December to 27 transactions in January. The flat resale prices have been on a non-stop increase since 2019, and the trend doesn’t seem to stop. The introduction of cooling measures in Singapore Real Estate hasn’t had an impact on the price increase. 


Impact of cooling measures on Condo Buyers 


Many experts have commented that the major targeted area of the cooling measures is the private property market. An increased ABSD rate along with a tightened TDSR limit is going to majorly impact condo buyers. We can take an example to understand that in detail. Singapore citizens opting to buy their second property will have to give an ABSD of 17% of the property price. They can apply to have ABSD remission later. Still, they will have to pay upfront a big chunk of the cost that adds stress to an already stressful process. A typical condo price in Singapore is anywhere from 1.5 million and more. 17% of 1.5 million is more than $200k. It’s a big chunk to be paid upfront. Hence, many people who were initially planning to buy condos are showing their interest in upgrading to larger flats instead of private property. 

Updating from a flat to a bigger one or an executive condominium is still a better option as there are no ABSD charges on such purchase. 


The decrease in the loan on HDB properties 


The Singapore property cooling measures have decreased the HDB concessionary loan from 90% to 85%. The experts agree that this is a minimalistic decrease that will not have a major impact on buying HDB flats in the long run. HDB flats cost around $500,000, and the minimum down payment for the flats with this worth is $75,000. 

ABSD New Rates -Kai Hub

Most people who are looking to buy these HDB Flats are couples in their 30s. The majority of these couples have combined CPFs worth $100,000. So, it is safe to assume that they can pay 15% of the down payment instead of paying the traditional 10%. Another aspect of the cooling measure – The tightened TDSR threshold has increased the income requirements for people planning to buy homes. On the contrary, TDSR changes have no impact on HDB flats. 


BTO Flats and people with access to buying them 


BTO flats are brand new HBD flats, and they come with a 99-year lease. These are booked before construction, and then the buyer must wait between 2.5 to 4 years till the construction is completed. A great point about BTO flats is that they’re the same size as resale HBD flats but are cheaper. 

There is a big demographic in the Singapore real estate market that can’t afford private property; yet, they don’t qualify for a BTO flat. There is a 30-month waiting after selling off a private property before balloting for a BTO flat. A most common scenario would be a husband and wife where both are permanent residents cannot qualify to buy a BTO flat. An unmarried couple can only secure their hands on a two-bedroom BTO. It goes without saying, but the BTO flat might not be big enough to accommodate the requirements of the family. 

There is another factor that indicates the increase in demand for resale flats will continue despite the cooling measures. People selling their private properties while looking to buy a larger flat or executive condominium will enter the market with huge chunks of cash. It can provide them with an edge and make it even more competitive for first-time homebuyers to buy an executive condominium. 

There is a huge and consistent increase in the Singaporean real estate market for immediate housing. Many people are moving towards renting properties. The rental rates are at a six-month high, and from the looks of it, they will continue to increase further in the future. 

Rental Transactions Singapore Kai Hub

The cooling measures with the increased ABSD rates can impact people looking to buy their second or third properties. It might move them to sell the previous property before obtaining the next one to stay away from the increasing ABSDs. However, these cooling measures don’t have much impact on the prices of HBD and the demand for resale flats. 

People are making more informed choices about managing their money. Many are opting for leveraging as it’s an option that will allow them to buy their desired property while still having the capital to invest and for contingency plans. You can read this blog to know more about leveraging and how it works. 

It can be speculated that we might see the long-term effects of the Singapore property cooling measures sometime down the road. As of now, people are looking for housing who can’t afford resale flats and condominiums as well. 31,325 units of HDB flats are expected to reach their MOP in 2022. Additionally, the government is in plans to launch and release a huge number of BTO flats. The pandemic played its due role in obstructing the development of new property for quite some time. But the negative effects are winding down, and construction is now in full swing. 

It can be said that all these above-mentioned factors will play a positive role in sustaining the price and demand of real estate in Singapore. The first-time homebuyers can be seen confused in opting for an old resale flat or buying a brand-new property as their first property. A pro-tip would be to start looking in some non-mature areas that indicate growth in the future. Some of these areas are Sengkang or Yishun. These areas offer a range of basic amenities while also holding the temptation of a better future. A first-time home buyer can’t expect yields as early while buying in these areas. However, they can realize gains given the promising future of these places. 

Being informed and updated is always helpful when you have plans to buy, invest, or even resale a property. Keeping up with the latest trends can keep you one step ahead of those that don’t keep up. Here, take a look at this article to know more about the expected trends of Singapore Real Estate for the year 2022. 

The property market in Singapore is an interesting and ever-updating one to watch. The cooling measures might have failed to implement the desired consistency and prevention in the hike of the prices as planned. However, their impact on the near future of the real estate market can’t be accurately predicted as time will only tell. 

It is still important to keep tabs on the market and stay informed about all the latest changes, offerings, and updates in the real estate market. Kaihub is your one-stop to get all the latest details about Singapore Real estate. So you can make informed and timely decisions. 

If you need some help navigating Post Cooling measures, we’d love to help! Contact us here

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