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Too early to lift property cooling measures: MND

IT is still too soon to lift property curbs, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said in a written reply on Monday to a question posed in Parliament.

"The property market cooling measures are intended to keep the market stable and sustainable. It is too early to relax the measures now. Doing so could result in a market rebound," it said.

"The additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) was introduced to moderate the demand for residential property from investors, non-citizens and corporate entities. Singapore citizens who do not own any residential property do not need to pay ABSD."

The ministry was responding to a question from Christopher de Souza, MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, who had asked the minister for national development whether he would "consider reviewing the property market cooling measures" by removing ABSD for Singaporeans but retaining ABSD for foreigners.

As the Singapore property market continues to languish, real estate developers have been calling on the government to relax some of the property curbs in place.

ABSD was introduced in 2011 to rein in surging home prices. Singaporeans do not have to pay ABSD on their first home purchase, but incur a 7 per cent ABSD when buying a second home.

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