Help genuine HDB upgraders with ABSD remission, UOL chief urges

HDB upgraders - Clavon

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – There has been another plea to allow genuine first-time HDB upgraders to a private condo to concede payment of the additional purchaser’s stamp obligation (ABSD), this time from UOL bunch CEO Liam Wee Sin.

“It is our expectation that the government will grant ABSD remission – similar to EC (chief condominium) purchasers – giving them an opportunity to sell their HDB home six months after collecting their keys,” said Mr. Liam on Wednesday (Nov 25) during a media briefing at the launch of the company’s latest residential undertaking.

Demand for the private residential market is genuine, and substantially from HDB upgraders who have higher aspirations of living in a condo, said Mr. Liam.

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“It makes logical sense to promoting the aspirations of Singaporeans,” he said.

“A tweak to this ABSD strategy to align with what is already in place for EC purchasers can help genuine HDB upgraders to transition to a private property,” he said.

HDB upgraders buying a private home

In the event that the remission is given, HDB upgraders buying a private home would not face the weight of having to pay up the ABSD within 14 days of signing the sale and purchase agreement.

Based on the current ABSD regime, an HDB owner would need to pay a 12 percent ABSD within 14 days from signing the sale and purchase agreement when they commit to private property in the event that they have not sold their existing home.

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“The 12 percent is a substantial amount to pay,” said Mr. Liam.

As such, the Government ought to consider allowing HDB upgraders buying private property to get ABSD remission similar to what is currently applicable for HDB upgraders buying an EC, he said. ECs are a public-private housing mixture. This gathering is given six months to dispose of their HDB flats after having gathered the way into their new EC home.

What this translates to is that the HDB upgraders would now be given six months to sell their HDB flat after collecting their keys to their new condominium, as against the current prerequisite of having them to sell their HDB flat six months after buying the private property, he said.

“This is logical in many aspects. Other than easing their cash stream, this also addresses other considerations that purchasers have to contend with, for example, the logistics of finding interim accommodation while as yet waiting for the new private property to be finished,” said Mr. Liam.

In September, the head of the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore also encouraged the Government to earnestly consider allowing first-time upgraders from an HDB flat to private property to concede payment of the ABSD till six months after the completion of the private property.

UOL is quite optimistic about selling its latest undertaking as costs are “realistic and affordable”, said Mr Liam.

Called Clavon, it is in Clementi Avenue 1 and integrates work and living trends, and features adaptable spaces, smart home amenities, and innovative solutions for a safe living environment.

Pricing of the 640-unit condominium comprising two 37-story towers on a for every sq ft basis (psf) starts from $1,475 psf.

Comparable ventures Parc Clematis has a median unit cost of $1,634 psf, while Kent Ridge Hill Residences’ median unit cost was $1,770 psf for the January to October 2020 period, according to Ms. Christine Sun, OrangeTee and Tie head of research and consultancy.

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An 80:20 joint endeavor among UOL and subsidiary United Industrial Corporation Limited, Clavon comprises a blend of one-to five-room units ranging from 527 sq ft to 1,690 sq ft. About 56 percent or 356 units at the improvement are one-and two-room units estimated between 527 sq ft and 764 sq ft.

The greater part of the improvement’s units is estimated beneath $1.5 million. A one-room unit starts from $800,000, a two-room unit from $1 million, a three-room unit from $1.45 million, a four-room unit from $1.9 million, and a five-room unit from $2.5 million.

Asked about the overall new private new home sales market for 2020, Mr. Liam said the market is stable and he trusts it will continue to move in a “sustainable manner”. Year to October, new home sales were 8,021 units.

Mr Liam estimates total new home sales of 9,000 to 10,000 units for the year. In 2019, total new home sales were 9,912 units.

Midtown Modern is an upcoming remarkable launch in far future.


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