Those who cut their ties with Singapore should not expect to own the city’s scarce land resources.
That, according to analysts, is the message that the Government is sending through its Bill to amend the Residential Property Act, which was tabled in Parliament on Monday.
However, permanent residents whom MediaCorp spoke to said they were unperturbed by the new rules.
“I’m not concerned,” said Indian hedge fund manager Samir Arora, who owns a house in upscale Sentosa Cove. “I have no plans to leave Singapore anyway.”
Individuals who give up their citizenship or PR status in Singapore will now have to dispose of their landed properties within two years.
The Bill, which is expected to be debated in Parliament next month, could be passed by the end of the year. It seeks to impose a penalty of $20,000 or a three-year jail term for failure to adhere to the rules.
Foreigners inheriting landed property will have to sell it in five years instead of the current 10.
The new rules will be able to better respond to challenges presented by a population that is more mobile than in 1973, when the existing law came into force, analysts noted.
“Perhaps it will be a bit harsh for those PRs or citizens who inherited properties or who have since moved because of work or because of social reasons,” said Dr Chua Yang Liang, head of research and consultancy at Jones Lang LaSalle. “But the issue is, if they have given up their citizenship or permanent residency, then they should be treated like a foreigner.”
According to analysts, the impact on the market is expected to be minimal, as PRs currently own only 3 per cent of landed homes and landed housing makes up just some 5 per cent of Singapore’s total real-estate market.
But rules are also being tightened for foreign property developers – developers with foreign directors or any amount of foreign ownership – who may feel the squeeze.
Developers who fail to complete and sell developments within the current stipulated period will now have to pay for any extension of their time frames.
Said Cushman and Wakefield managing director Donald Han: “I think the measures are being updated to create more of a ‘hurt aspect’ so that developers will be incentivised to use the two-year period to fully sell off their units.”
Source: Today Singapore
Will this affect the way foreigners invest in Singapore? We will see… Awesome!