2 min read

Senior Singles no ABSD when right sizing

Senior Singles no ABSD when right sizing

In Budget 2024, the Government released a surprisingly news.

The additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) concession for Singaporean married couples will be extended to single Singapore citizens aged 55 and above. This is to better support seniors who wish to right-size.

From Feb 16 (TODAY !), these seniors will be able to claim a ABSD refund paid on their replacement private property if they sell their first property within six months of purchasing a lower-value replacement private property.

Currently, an Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) concession is granted to married couples with at least one Singapore citizen spouse, who jointly purchase a replacement private residential property. 

Each first residential property should be solely owned by a single Singaporean aged 55 and above, or with single Singaporeans aged 55 and above who are immediate family members.

The buyers must also not own more than one property each at the point of purchasing the replacement property; they must also have not purchased or acquired other residential properties since.

There are several key words in this short information and we have the MND press release which is even shorter :)

(1) Senior : Apply to more than 55 years old Singapore Citizens only

(2) Single : Only if you are single (widowed, divorced or single)

(3) Lower-value replacement private property : That means you are really "right sizing" to a cheaper private property. Not upgrading okay.

(4) The six months rule apply : They must also sell their first property within six months from buying the replacement, or from when the replacement unit is completed.

(5) It is a Refund. Not a Waiver. You still need to pay first and get a refund.

(6) Each first residential property : This one is quite funny. The single elder must also have not purchased or acquired other residential properties since. Means this is his first and only home so far ?

This really is quite similar to the "15 months wait to buy HDB resale" rule when any one sells a private property.

Update on 17th Feb 2024 : IRAS has released its “ ABSD Concession for Single Singapore Citizen (SC) Seniors “ rules so please read it carefully. They are the boss so everything they say is the law 😀

What is this rule for ?

You may wonder why this rule of "no ABSD for elder singles who downgrade" for ?

It probably affects a very minor group of sellers who want to sell their property but also want the security of purchasing another (smaller) property but no desire to pay for the ABSD.

And also this is their first property.

You can almost imagine a case of a sweet old couple. Whose husband passed away. Their first home is a landed property or a private condo. And now the widower wife wants to right size. And she will be able to buy a smaller private condo without incurring ABSD as she can buy first, move into the right size property and then sell within 6 months. She could have sold the first house and then buy a second house but then where will she be staying in the meantime. It is quite traumatic and stressful to be renting etc.

I can only think of the above scenario. The rule feels so so targeted. To me.

Perhaps more information and more on the ground experiences are needed to see the usefulness of this rule.

What do you think ?