As the Budget debates continue, Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan announced in Parliament yesterday new public housing measures for first-timers, second-timers, divorcees, singles, and the elderly.
Need the details to the above mentioned housing measures? Read more.
In line with the expressed concerns on the affordability of housing (see previous post) for Singaporeans, the following Budget initiatives were introduced.
1. Revised property tax structure (starting from 1 January 2014)
As the revised property tax structures are progressive in nature, you may wish to refer to analysts' comments on the implications of these measures on future investments.
(a) For owner-occupied residential properties
(b) For non-owner-occupied residential properties (including let out or vacant properties)
2. Removal of property tax refunds for vacant properties (w.e.f 1 January 2014)
Following the principle that property tax is a tax on ownership of properties, whether occupied or otherwise, previously available tax concessions for property that was continuously vacant for at least 30 days or a calendar month have been removed.
Home owners may wish to note the following exemptions:
(a) For residential properties undergoing repairs or building works
(a) For vacant land undergoing a housing development
Concessionary owner-occupied tax rates applications can be made to IRAS, and refer here for more information.
The FY2013 Budget Statement will be delivered by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, in Parliament on Monday, 25 February 2013, at 3.30pm. Public would be able to view the live webcast of the hour-long Budget announcement here.
As part of the Budget Process, feedback was gathered from Singaporeans on their concerns via a consultation exercise by REACH. The top 3 feedback topics received were on employment, transport and housing.
On the affordability of housing, contributors who provided their feedback (from 3 Dec 2012 to 8 Feb 2013) requested to curb investments in the property market, and to tighten rules of subletting of public housing by PRs. Other related concerns include singles' eligibility for HDB flats, Executive Condomoniums (ECs) being priced out of reach for the middle income group, and elderly who were still servicing their HDB loans.
Similarly, Yahoo news found that the biggest Budget hope was to reduce the cost of living in Singapore. Drawing from comments on their Facebook post, netizens wanted "bigger BTO 3-room flats for the young and old at (an) affordable price" and a call to "look into COV prices...(and) abolish levy for 2nd time buyer for BTO".
A wish list or valid suggestions for social change? We await good news in the release of the Budget Statement.