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Fewer HDB dwellers buy private properties

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Recent property measures have put a squeeze on the number of Housing Board dwellers buying private properties.
According to the latest early figures, buyers with HDB addresses picked up 3,700 new private homes in the first six months of the year. This seems to mark a slowdown from last year, which saw 9,985 such transactions across 12 months.

A similar trend has been seen in the private resale market. HDB upgraders bought just 1,550 homes in the first half of this year, compared to 5,261 for the whole of last year.

Not only must buyers borrow less on their second housing loan, they also need to stump up 25 per cent of the property's value, up from 10 per cent. Stamp duty for second property purchases also rose to 7 per cent, from none in the case of citizens.

There were 21,000 private property units launched last year, compared to 10,000 so far in the first half of this year.

The latest figures on HDB upgraders were culled from caveats lodged voluntarily with the Urban Redevelopment Authority. They do not take into account whether buyers own or rent their HDB flats, or if they were buying their first or second private property.

Analysts predict that the number of HDB upgraders will continue to shrink over the next two years.

This is partly because of new rules issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore last month, which cap a person's total monthly debt repayments at 60 per cent of his gross monthly income. That means that even car loans will be factored in when calculating how much a person can borrow to finance a property purchase.

Credit from The Straits Times - 20 July 2013
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