$500m in taxes collected from property cooling measures

$500m in taxes collected from property cooling measures

SINGAPORE - More than half a billion dollars have been collected from the additional stamp duties imposed as part of property cooling measures.

Out of these half a billion dollars, $450 million were collected from the additional buyer's stamp duty between Dec 8 last year and the end of last month.

The remaining $51 million come from the seller's stamp duty ever since it was implemented in February 2010, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) told The Straits Times.

It collected about $2.5 billion in stamp duty from sale and purchase agreements in the financial year ended Mar 31, 2011.

About $261 million of the ABSD take came from foreigners who are not permanent residents (PRs).

They bought 1,400 homes in the nine months leading up to the end of August. They make up a quarter of the buyers who have paid the additional tax.

The English daily said these figures reflect foreigners' warming sentiment towards local property after the market's initial cooling.

The Straits Times said foreigners paid $66.2 million in ABSD on the purchase of 369 private homes within the first four months of the tax being implemented.

The tax take and transactions later peaked to about $200 million collected in the next five months on more than 1,000 homes bought.

A property executive said Singapore remains high on foreigners' list of considerations amidst the continued uncertainty in the global economy as the republic is still a safe haven for high-networth individuals looking to preserve their wealth.

paullim@sph.com.sg

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