Singapore raises property tax to curb property speculation

Singapore plans to raise property levies for luxury homeowners as it seeks to tax the wealthy residents in the island state after the government imposed more measures to curb property speculation last month.

Singapore will raise tax rates for vacant investment properties or those that are rented out, Singapore’s Finance Minister  said in his budget speech in Parliament yesterday. It will also impose higher taxes on luxury property owners who live in their own residences, making up 1 percent of such homeowners, he said.

The higher taxes come after Singapore last month rolled out its latest set of housing measures including an increase in levies for home buyers since it started cooling the market in 2009. Residential prices climbed to a record in the fourth quarter amid low interests and as an increase in the number of millionaires drove up demand.

The latest effort by Singapore follows Hong Kong in increasing taxes. The Hong Kong government last week doubled sales taxes on property costing more than HK$2 million ($258,000) and targeted commercial real estate for the first time as bubble risks spread in the world’s most expenstive place to buy an apartment.

Luxury apartment in Singapore with ‘sky garage’