Though Dec 2015 recorded half of the number of new private homes sold compared to the preceding month, this was not surprising as Dec is traditionally a lull period for property sales. For the whole of 2015, the sales of new private homes rose 2.9% compared to those in 2014, resulting in 7529 sales figures. This is despite that the number of new launches were fewer in 2015. This could signal a possible return of buyer interest to the primary sales market. However one may note that in 2013 a total of 14948 new homes were sold.
One in four private home owners will pay less property tax next year after the taxman marked down the annual values of about 73,300 homes. This comes on the heels of property tax relief for many owners of Housing Board flats, who saw their annual values cut by about 3 per cent earlier this week (annual values: property values every year using a mass appraisal system that bases the annual value on rents paid for similar homes nearby).
The slowing rental market has led it to reduce the annual values for 25.7 per cent of private homes, in contrast to the 2014 levy when only 2 per cent of private homes had their annual values reduced.
Some home owners said their annual values were skewed higher by neighbours who renovated their properties, raising the annual values for the rest of the street. Property taxes are also a sore point for some private home owners at the higher end of the rental market. This group says it has been paying higher levies since the Government introduced a more progressive property tax schedule at the start of this year.
Higher annual values should be a result of higher annual rents, but such properties are also more difficult to rent out in the soft real estate market. There are about 70,000 landed residential properties and 215,000 private high-rise flats here.
In the 12 months to March 31, property tax contributed $4.2 billion – 10 per cent of total tax revenue. Of that, taxes on private residences contributed $720 million, and Housing Board flats contributed $150 million.
For those who are considering to lease a property in Singapore, you may want to know the following:
1. Room Rentals
For those who want to have affordable rentals, the prices ranges fr $200 per person (based on room sharing basis) or cosy master bedrooms with ensuite at $1000+ per room per month. The contract usually starts from 6months to a year. A month’s deposit applies, with utilities such as aircon and electricity included usually. There are many direct tenants and landlords via online portals but be careful that all leases comes with a contract with payment and clauses spelt out carefully.
2. Whole apartments
For those who want to rent a whole unit for your family or as a group of friends, the options include renting HDB flats for the budget conscious or private housing. For HDB flats which are public housing, one must keep note as there are many rules regulating the rental of the place. It includes the profiles of the tenants as well as the landlords, as well as the duration of the lease. The contract usually is longer and more comprehensive. Stamp Duties need to be paid as well by the tenant. It is essential to engage a trusted realtor or consult a friend who is versed in the terms and conditions. Rentals for HDB flats ranges from $1.5K to $3K+ in prime districts.
For those who have a better budget, renting a private apartment or condominium with facilities is actually an ideal option for the well-traveled and the busy executive. The usual facilities include a pool and a gym, with tennis courts and squash courts in bigger and older developments. If one engaged a trusted and competent realtor, most of the issues involved in a lease agreement can be settled with easily. If one decide to go on his own, be sure to note the terms in the lease duration, the terms and conditions as well as the handover date. One may also note that in Singapore, co-broking is common in leasing. Thus it will be preferred to have a realtor to represent the tenant in case of any clash of interests of the leases.
To be continued…