S’porean man’s comeback response sums up new ABSD situation

We love a good complaint.

By Tan Xing Qi | 24 hours

If you are a Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident buying your first residential property, the new Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates that took effect on July 6, 2018 won’t affect you.

Here are the changes at a glance:

As you can see, the 5 per cent hike only affects:

  • Singapore citizens buying second (now 12 per cent), third and subsequent residential property (now 15 per cent);
  • Singapore permanent residents buying second and subsequent residential property (now 15 per cent)
  • Foreigners buying any residential property (20 per cent)

But anyhow, people were still spooked.

Which led to this:

Massive queues at showflats as potential buyers try to beat ABSD adjustments deadline

Which honestly was quite a scene. We’ve never seen condominium units sold with such Hello Kitty-esque queues.

Back to the new ABSD rates.

As with any rates that are going north, people are bound to get triggered, because it conveniently fits into the narrative of hard times and how rising prices are hurting the hardworking people of Singapore looking for a better life.


Bring out the small violins

Enter one Ervin Tan.

Probably tired of all the whinging online, he set the record straight with this gem of a response.

Source: Straits Times Facebook Page.

This was what the comment said:

“Those not able to reach the second paragraph of an article:

There is no change for Singapore citizens and Singapore permanent residents buying their first residential property with rates remaining at 0 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively.

If you’re buying a second property and still bitching about how hard life is please make that clear so we can get out the small violins.”

Why the outrage?

So the question is: Why are people riled up over a measure that penalises only:

  • Speculators
  • People with more than one property
  • Rich people
  • Foreigners (NS for Sinkies, remember?)

Because, to reiterate, Singapore citizens and Singapore permanent residents looking to buy their first residential property are not affected.

Economic fundamentals

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong wrote on his Facebook page that the reason for the hike is because the government is concerned that prices are running ahead of economic fundamentals.

He further explained that there is a large supply of residential property units coming and with raising interest rates, the government wants to avoid a severe correction later on — which, in all likelihood, would be more difficult for all and sundry.

Top photo by Joshua Lee


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This letter to our writer’s young self makes you think about your many regrets in life. Like posting embarrassing posts on Facebook that your RELATIVES saw.

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About Tan Xing Qi

In between episodes of Breaking Bad and The Sopranos, Xing Qi deals T-Shirts to unsuspecting Singaporeans through a roadside stall, which, ironically, is not a physical stall.


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