As of July 6, 2018, the ABSD rate is non-refundable. If you are looking to purchase property in Singapore, be aware that this additional tax may apply. This was a hard pill for me to swallow when I was first looking to buy property here. I had already found my dream home and everything was going smoothly until I learned about the ABSD rate. It added an extra cost to my purchase that I wasn’t expecting and it put a damper on things for sure. Thankfully, I was still able to make the purchase and move into my new home but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re thinking of buying property in Singapore.

What is the ABSD Rate?

The Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) is a stamp duty paid on your property. The cost is a percentage of the property value or price, whichever is higher.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re purchasing a house worth $2 million dollars. However, the seller is asking $2.1 million.

As a Singaporean, if this is your second property purchase, you will be subjected to an ABSD rate of 17%. This means that you would need to pay a stamp duty $357,000.

The amount of money you pay depends on:

  • Your citizenship or residency status
  • The number of properties you already own
  • Whether you’re an individual, an entity, or real estate developer

First-time homebuyers who are Singaporean citizens don’t have to pay the ABSD for purchasing a private residential home. Second-time buyers have to pay 17%, and 25% for a third property.

Permanent residents are required to pay 5% ABSD on their first residential property purchase. Subsequently, they have to pay 25% ABSD for a second residential property and 30% for a third residential property.

Foreigners are required to pay 30% ABSD on their first residential property purchase.

Raising Stamp Duty Rates and Tightening Loan-to-Value Limits

The Singapore government has announced an adjustment to its Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates and Loan-to-Value (LTV) limits on residential property purchases in order to cool the property market and keep price increases in line with economic fundamentals.

Status of the Private Housing Market

After falling for four consecutive years, home prices finally began to rise in the third quarter of 2017.

Prices for private residential property have increased by 9.1% over the past year, and demand for such property has seen a strong recovery, as transaction volumes continue to rise.

The government has decided to take action in order to prevent a sharp increase in prices which could lead to an unstable market correction. This is especially important with rising interest rates and a strong pipeline of housing supply.

The government has decided to raise ABSD rates and tighten LTV limits for residential property purchases in order to cool the housing market.

The current Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates for Singapore Citizens (SC) and Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) purchasing their first residential property will remain unchanged at 0% and 5% respectively.

The government will make changes to ABSD rates for first-time homebuyers.

The ABSD rate for all other individuals will be raised by 5% points.

Raise ABSD by 10% points for all entities.

The government has introduced a new ABSD of 5% for developers purchasing residential properties for housing development. This ABSD is non-remittable under the Remission Rules 1 and is payable on the purchase price or market value, as applicable.

The ABSD rate for entities and developers is 25%. This can be remitted if the developer has completed and sold all units in 3 or 5 years of the project’s completion.

Details regarding the ABSD are provided under the Stamp Duties Rules.

Developers are entities that engage in the business of construction and sale of housing units.

The new 5% ABSD for developers is in addition to the existing 25% ABSD. This additional tax is not eligible for remission and must be paid upfront at the time of purchase.

If you are purchasing a property jointly with another person or persons, the ABSD rate that applies to the individual with the highest applicable ABSD rate will apply to the entire purchase.

However, full ABSD remission will continue to be provided for joint purchases of the first residential property by married couples with at least one SC spouse. This means that you won’t have to pay any ABSD if you’re buying your first home with your SC spouse.

As long as married couples with at least one SC spouse sell their first residential property within six months of purchasing their second home, they will be eligible for a refund on the ABSD. This applies to properties that are completed or uncompleted at the time of purchase, and the refund period begins from either the date of purchase or when the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) is issued.

There will be a transitional period for cases when Options to Purchase (OTPs) are granted by the seller to the buyer on or before 5 Jul 2018, and this OTP has not been altered on or after 6 Jul 2018.

For such cases, the current ABSD rates will apply if the OTP is exercised within 3 weeks of this announcement or the OTP validity period, whichever is earlier.

All housing loans granted by financial institutions will have a 5% point LTV limit increase.

These revised LTV limits do not apply to loans granted by HDB.

The tighter loan-to-value (LVR) restrictions for property purchases will only apply to mortgages granted on or after 6 July 2018.

In line with the tightening of LTV limits for housing loans, LTV limits for mortgage equity withdrawal loans (MWL) will be 75% for borrowers with no existing home loans and 45% for borrowers with outstanding housing loans.

The government will continue to monitor the property market closely and make adjustments to policies as needed in order to maintain a stable and sustainable market.

ABSD for Converting Property Into a Living Trust

If you’re thinking of setting up a living trust, there are a few things you should know about the process. First, you’ll need to transfer your residential property into the trust. This may incur additional costs in the form of Buyer’s Stamp Duty and Additional Conveyance Duty. You should also be aware that setting up a living trust can be a complex process, so it’s important to seek professional advice before proceeding.

ABSD – Is It Really That Important?

Most homeowners focus on the negative effects of ABSD, and forget its main purpose.

ABSD has been around for a while now, and it’s important to understand the history of this cooling measure and why it plays such a pivotal role in the Singapore property landscape.

In 2011, ABSD was introduced to deter foreign buyers from overbuying properties.

Singapore is a well-known destination for foreign property investment. The city-state offers a variety of appealing factors to investors, such as government stability and continuous infrastructure improvements. Despite the introduction of the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) in 2011, foreigners are still interested in purchasing residential properties in Singapore.

To combat the alarming rise in foreign property ownership, ABSD was introduced to limit the number of properties that non-Singaporeans can purchase.

The ABSD rates have been increased 4 times over the years to be in line with the profiles of the new buyers.

If you’re a homeowner in Singapore, you may be asking yourself – Is it really necessary to keep tabs on foreign investors?

According to industry analysts, home values would be much higher if ABSD wasn’t in place.

Like in most countries, the property market in Singapore is driven by the balance between demand and supply.

ABSD helps to moderate property price growth in Singapore, as without this, the market could overheat.

ABSD may not be the most popular policy, but it is effective in keeping home prices from getting out of control. Without ABSD, demand would be much higher and prices would spiral out of control. Even though it may seem unfavorable at first, ABSD is actually a vital cooling measure.

However, it is undeniable that compared to before the ABSD, Singaporeans now need to pay more to secure a second or third home.

If you’re a homeowner or a property investor, you probably already know that ABSD rates were raised during December 2021.

This marks the fourth time in 2 years that ABSD rates have been adjusted.

The sudden increase in house prices was worrying for home owners who were intending to upgrade to their second (or more) properties.

With the implementation of the ABSD, are Singaporean property prices worth it?

Before we answer this question, let’s take a look at the historical context of ABSD, and why it is a necessary policy despite rising property prices.


Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD): What is ABSD in Singapore & What Are the Rates?

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Can you avoid the ABSD?

Technically, no, you can’t avoid the ABSD. However, there are a few ways to get around the ABSD legally.

There are a few ways to avoid the ABSD, including decoupling and buying a property in a trust. However, there are some potential drawbacks to these strategies.

When decoupling, you need to factor in legal fees as these can sometimes be more expensive than the ABSD itself. Be sure to do your research so you are fully aware of all potential costs before making any decisions.

Your partner will also need to pay the BSD when they purchase your share of the property. Therefore, it is important to calculate the costs beforehand to avoid any surprises.

Putting a property under a child’s (or grandchild) name means you’ll have to fork over cash, as opposed to financing it.

If your child decides to purchase a property in the future, they will be required to pay the ABSD.

If you’re looking to avoid the ABSD, you can do so by buying a new EC or commercial property. Keep in mind that you’ll need to dispose of your existing property first in order to be eligible for this exemption.

How do you calculate Absd?

There is no definitive answer to this question as the calculation of Absd will vary depending on the specific situation and context in which it is being used. However, some methods for calculating Absd include using the average absolute deviation or median absolute deviation from a set of data, or by using a formula that takes into account both the mean and standard deviation of a data set.

When should I pay Absd?

You should pay your Absd bill on the date it is due. If you are unable to pay the full amount, you should contact Absd and arrange a payment plan.

How can I avoid paying Absd?

There is no surefire way to avoid paying Absd, but there are a few things you can do to minimize your chances of having to pay the tax. First, make sure that you are accurately reporting your income and expenses on your tax return. If you have any questions about what is considered taxable income or deductible expenses, speak with a tax professional. Additionally, stay up-to-date on changes to the tax code and be sure to file your taxes on time. If you owe money when you file your return, consider making estimated tax payments throughout the year to help reduce the amount of interest and penalties you may owe.

Is Absd refundable?

No, Absd is not refundable.


The ABSD rate is non-refundable as of July 6, 2018. If you’re looking to purchase property in Singapore, be aware that this additional tax may apply. This was a hard pill for me to swallow when I was first looking to buy property here. Thankfully, I was still able to make the purchase and move into my new home but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re thinking of buying property in Singapore.”

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was generated for LeadFuze and attributed to Justin McGill, the Founder of LeadFuze.