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Bulk purchases of private property 'uncommon', market impact unlikely: Desmond Lee

·Finance Editor
·2-min read
Modern and luxury smart homes in Singapore, seen from above during a hot summer day at the Keppel Bay Yacht Marina area in the city centre.
Despite making headlines, bulk property purchases, where buyers purchase more than one unit in a single development, are uncommon in Singapore. (PHOTO: Getty)

SINGAPORE — Despite making headlines, bulk property purchases, where buyers purchase more than one unit in a single development, are uncommon in Singapore.

Among all private residential property units transacted so far this year, units involved in such multiple-unit purchases accounted for about 1 per cent. This was disclosed by Minister for National Development Desmond Lee in his written reply to a Parliamentary question on Monday (12 September). Additionally, "units involved in multiple-unit purchases of more than two units are even lower, at about 0.2 per cent".

Member of Parliament for Yio Chu Kang Yip Hon Weng had asked the minister if the ministry will consider creating a separate and higher tier of Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) for property buyers who purchase more than a certain number of units in a single development across a period of time. He also asked if the benefits from purchasing property in bulk, such as bulk-purchase discounts, will negate or cushion the impact of previous ABSD increases.

In view of the low percentage of such bulk property purchases, "bulk property purchases are unlikely to have a significant impact on the property market", Lee said. "We will monitor developments in the property market closely and adjust our policies as necessary to promote a stable and sustainable property market."

Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty last raised in Dec 2021

Lee added that the ABSD discourages the purchase of multiple units, as higher rates generally apply to purchases by those who already own at least one residential property. Higher rates also apply to buyers who are not Singaporeans.

"In December 2021, we raised ABSD rates across all buyer profiles, except for Singapore citizens and permanent residents purchasing their first residential property."

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