Latest Singapore Property Cooling Measures: New ABSD Rates

Singapore Property Cooling Measures

After the past few years of a red-hot residential property market in Singapore, the government finally introduced the latest round of Singapore property cooling measures on 26 April 2023. The Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) was increased for the second and subsequent property purchases. Here is the summary of the new ABSD rates:

Before 27 Apr 2023 After 27 Apr 2023
Singapore Citizens First residential property 0% 0%
Second residential property 17% 20%
Third and subsequent residential property 25% 30%
Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) First residential property 5% 5%
Second residential property 25% 30%
Third and subsequent residential property 30% 35%
Foreigners Any 30% 60%
Entities / Trustees Any 35% 65%


Why increase the ABSD?

Singapore residential property has been red hot in the past few years. The market has been remarkably resilient despite the various cooling measures introduced in recent years.

Singapore residential property price index
Singapore residential property price index over the years

The chart shows how the residential property price has increased in the past twenty years. In the past five years alone, the rise has been astonishing. In the first quarter of 2023, there has been renewed interest from foreign investors in acquiring Singapore residential properties. This may further increase the price way faster than income and economic growth.

That’s good for some of you who already own a home, but for many younger generations, this, if left unchecked, will cause them to be priced out of the housing market in the future.


What is the impact of this new ABSD?

As with the previous Singapore property cooling measures, the impact may not be apparent at the time of the introduction. The past years’ cooling measures don’t seem to work too well to curb the property price increase. How about this new ABSD increase?

First, this new measure does not impact the first residential property purchase. It only affects second and subsequent residential property purchases.

Second, this new measure only impacts residential properties and not commercial properties.

Because of this limited scope, this new measure is expected to impact roughly 10% of residential property purchases. The government policy is still very supportive of property purchases for its residents’ own stay.

Impact on second property local buyers

Many Singapore households purchase their first property using only one name, let’s say the husband’s name. When they buy their second property, they use the wife’s name. In this case, they are not impacted by this new cooling measure.

However, if they want to buy another investment property, they will be hit with the new ABSD rate. It will be 20% for Singapore citizens, and for PRs, it will be 30%. In our opinion, the increase here is welcomed but not significant enough to deter most locals from buying the property. Only a portion of them will reconsider their purchase. If they have considered purchasing at 17% ABSD, the additional 3% will probably not stop them from buying. But generally, there should be slightly less demand due to the marginally higher ABSD rates.

Impact on foreign buyers

Here is where the impact will be felt the most. All residential property purchases by foreigners will incur 60% ABSD. This will undoubtedly collapse the foreign demand for Singapore residential properties.

Impact on residential property prices

This new measure seems to target foreign purchases the most. How many percent of residential property purchases in Singapore are by foreigners? Based on 2022 data, the number is minimal at 3-5%. Furthermore, these purchases tend to be for luxury properties in the core central region. With this foreigner purchases profile, we do not expect the new cooling measure to impact the mass market residential property prices too much. The majority of the property transactions will not be affected by the new measure.

Impact on residential property rental

For foreigners who can no longer afford a residential property with the new ABSD, they have only one choice: renting. How will then the new measure impact the rental market? We believe this new measure will indeed provide small support to the rental market. The rental price will stay strong as more foreigners may need to rent with the new measure. That said, the impact will likely be minimal.

Impact on commercial property

Singapore property cooling measures - residential vs commercial

With foreigners priced out of residential properties, where will they invest their extra cash? A strong candidate is the Singapore commercial properties. These include shophouses, offices, retail, etc. The new Singapore property cooling measures do not apply to commercial properties. Yay! Additionally, unlike residential property prices, commercial property prices have been moderating in recent years.

Singapore commercial property price index

This new 60% ABSD and the moderating commercial property prices will further incentivize foreign investors to invest in commercial properties.



The new Singapore property cooling measures are a welcome policy addition to the residential property market that has been running ahead of the Singapore economic fundamentals. The new ABSD measure will impact only a limited portion of the overall property transactions; therefore, we expect only a slight impact on Singapore’s overall mass-market residential properties. Even with the new measures, we can see that the government policy still supports home ownership for their residents.

With foreigners being impacted the most by these new ABSD rates, we expect them to switch to the rental market, thus, providing some support to the residential rental market. Foreign investors will also likely consider commercial properties going forward as they are unaffected by the new 60% ABSD.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice, or any other advice or recommendation of any sort.

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David Ang

About David Ang

A long-term investor with a portfolio across the United States and Asian equities, REITs, commodities, and fixed incomes. After over a decade of hands-on investing (and making countless mistakes), I'm excited to use this platform to share what I've learned over the years. And let's continue to learn together. Writing about macro economy, equities, personal finance, web3. Follow me on Twitter: @danggaku