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1,000 units sold in eleventh-hour property launches as cooling measures trigger panic buying

SINGAPORE – About 1,000 units across three high-profile sale launches were sold in under five hours on Thursday (July 5) evening, following a frenzy among home buyers rushing to meet the midnight deadline to avoid higher Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates announced by the Government.

1,000 units sold in eleventh-hour property launches as cooling measures trigger panic buying

Visitors at the Stirling Residences showflat on the evening the Government increased the Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty rates and tightened Loan-to-Value limits to cool the property market on July 5, 2018.

SINGAPORE – About 1,000 units across three high-profile sale launches were sold in under five hours on Thursday (July 5) evening, following a frenzy among home buyers rushing to meet the midnight deadline to avoid higher Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates announced by the Government.

On Thursday afternoon, the Government raised ABSD rates and tightened the Loan-to-Value (LTV) limits for Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and foreigners in a bid to "cool the property market and keep prices in line with economic fundamentals".

More than 500 units at Riverfront Residences at Hougang, and about 200 units at Stirling Residence in Queenstown were sold, said property agents and one real estate agency, which was the marketing agent for both projects.

Park Colonial's developer, CEL Development, confirmed to TODAY that about 300 units at its project in Woodleigh were sold, while Riverfront's developer did not want to confirm sales numbers.

These figures are not final as the developers of these two projects are still in the midst of collating the applications received from home buyers.

The developers of the three projects had brought forward their launch dates to Thursday evening so that interested buyers could avoid paying the additional ABSD rates. The move saw their showrooms packed with crowds between 7pm and midnight on the day.

According to industry sources, about half of the deals signed were from first-time home buyers, while about 30 to 35 per cent were previous or current owners of a Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat.

With the new measures, LTV limits for those applying for their first housing loan will be reduced from 80 per cent to 75 per cent. This means that home buyers have to fork out 5 per cent more in deposit when they buy properties, whether in cash or Central Provident Fund monies.

This does not apply to those applying for a housing loan from the HDB.

A number of property agents told TODAY that they had to rush down to the showrooms after the developers decided to launch their projects one hour after the cooling measures were announced. They described the night at the showrooms as "hectic", and "crazy."

Mr Hector Tan, 31, who heads communications and marketing at Huttons Asia, said the "turnout was crazy" at the Park Colonial showroom.

"(I think) never before in Singapore history have we had three private properties launched in one night," he added.

While the mood in the showroom was generally good as everyone was excited, Mr Tan also said that tensions rose as the night wore on, as the huge crowds meant that property hunters had to wait for a long time in the queue.

When TODAY visited Park Colonial's showroom on Friday afternoon, CEL Development's staff – who had worked through the night – were still busy sorting out the deals signed the night before.

At Stirling Residences, Huttons property agent Alan Lin, 26, said that one of his clients bought a unit even though he did not attend the preview of the development.

"He went to view other projects with me before. But he decided to buy one (at Stirling Residences) last night without having a look at the showroom earlier," Mr Lin added.

 

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