Singapore highest globally for total stamp duty on foreigners

The market recently put a 100% increase in the ABSD rate for foreigners.

A real estate expert’s study showed that Singapore ranked highest worldwide for total stamp duty rates for a foreign national who is seeking to buy a residential property, with about 64% of the selling price.

This as the recent Singapore government’s pronouncement of the 100% increase in Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rate for foreigners purchasing residential property from 30% to 60% to moderate investment demand.

Savills said the foreign property purchases account for 5% to 7% of the total sales with the investment value for residential sites and properties valued at $1.58b (US$1.18b) in the first quarter of 2023. This made up for 28% of overall investment sales.

At second place, Hong Kong is at 31.3% followed by Cape Town at 13.5%. Next are cities of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami, which are all at the lowest end of the chart with the stamp duties for property purchase at 4%, 1.1%, 0.9%, and 0.5%, respectively. 

Whilst 2022’s sale volumes in the luxury market in the first quarter were lower than in 2021 when the market saw the results of pent-up demand, it is still relatively higher than 2019. The strong sales in the luxury market in the first half of 2022 seem to slow down in the second half of the year, which was largely due to rising interest rates.

“Although Singapore has the highest stamp duty payable by foreigners buying private residential properties, it is a testament of Singapore’s attractiveness as a safe haven pad for the ultra-high-net worth individuals,” said Alan Cheong, Executive Director of Research & Consultancy, Savills Singapore.

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