Navigating the maze: Avoiding property pitfalls in light of ABSD changes

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In a city where every square foot counts, the recent incident of two parents losing their properties after a law change, planning to avoid Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), has surfaced as news. This article delves deep into the world of property pitfalls and ABSD, offering insights and guidance for potential buyers.

The ABSD dilemma

ABSD, a tax paid by property buyers, recently underwent significant changes. These alterations caught many off-guard, including two parents who found themselves in a property predicament, leading to the loss of their properties.

Complexities of property ownership

property pitfalls and absd
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Owning property in Singapore is akin to navigating a labyrinth. The nation’s land scarcity and high demand for property have led to a plethora of rules and regulations designed to manage and moderate the property market. ABSD is one such regulations, imposed to cool the property market by taxing subsequent property purchases.

The recent changes in ABSD have added another layer of complexity, making it imperative for potential buyers to be well-versed with the intricacies of property ownership in Singapore. Understanding the eligibility criteria for various types of properties, the different types of housing loans available, and the legal obligations of property ownership is crucial to avoid unexpected pitfalls.

Read more: How does the ABSD affect home purchases by SC/PR or SC/Foreigner buyers?

Real-life consequences

The case of the parents losing their properties is not just a story; it’s a harsh reality that underscores the financial and emotional turmoil that can ensue from a lack of understanding and preparation. So, what actually happened?

The Straits Times highlights a real-life scenario where two parents found themselves in a precarious situation. Attempting to dodge (ABSD), they purchased properties under a legal trust for their children. This strategy, prevalent before a significant law change in May 2022, allowed families to buy extra properties under their children’s names without the burden of ABSD. This duty is typically applicable to Singaporeans purchasing second and subsequent properties. The parents’ intention was to legally safeguard the properties for their children’s future while avoiding additional costs.

Unfortunately, their well-intended plan disastrously unraveled. The law change in May 2022 turned their financial planning upside down, leading to the loss of property ownership. The properties, bought under the children’s names, were no longer under the parents’ control, leaving them in a financial and legal quandary. This case underscores the potential pitfalls of attempting to navigate around property regulations, highlighting the importance of understanding and adhering to the legal frameworks surrounding property ownership in Singapore.

The incident serves as a stark reminder of the potential repercussions of navigating the property market without adequate knowledge.

Navigating around regulations: A risky endeavour

The allure of finding loopholes and navigating around regulations to save money is tempting but fraught with peril. The recent incident of the parents losing their properties is a glaring example of the risks involved. Attempting to evade ABSD by transferring property ownership to their children, the parents found themselves entangled in a legal and financial quagmire.

The government’s stringent enforcement of the ABSD regulations led to not only the loss of their properties by also significant financial repercussions. This incident highlights the importance of compliance with property regulations and the potential consequences of attempting to circumvent them. It underscores the necessity of understanding and adhering to the legal frameworks that govern property ownership and transactions in Singapore.

Making informed decisions to avoid property pitfalls

property pitfalls and absd
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Navigating the property market is akin to navigating a minefield, especially when it comes to understanding and adhering to the myriad of laws and regulations. The case of the two parents who lost their properties after a law change by planning to avoid ABSD is a stark reminder of this. They transferred their properties to their children, believing this would exempt them from ABSD. However, the law change in May 2022 left them in a lurch, as the properties were deemed disposed of, leading to significant financial loss.

The lesson here is clear: trying to evade or navigate around property regulations can lead to severe consequences. The law is explicit in its stance against property owners who attempt to transfer their properties to their children to avoid the ABSD. The penalties for such actions can be severe, leading to the loss of the property and substantial financial losses. It’s crucial for property buyers and owners to stay updated on the latest regulations and ensure they fully understand the implications of these laws on their property transactions.

In the light of these events, it’s essential to approach property transactions with caution, ensuring all actions are within the bounds of the law. Engaging a legal professional to guide through the process can provide valuable insights and help avoid potential pitfalls, ensuring a smooth and legally compliant property transaction.

Read more: A 5-minute explanation on how ABSD for developers may be worsening the supply glut

Government’s stance and future predictions

The government’s firm stance on ABSD and property ownership aims to ensure a stable and sustainable property market. Future changes may be on the horizon, and staying informed and prepared is essential for prospective property buyers to navigate the evolving landscape successfully.


In conclusion, the world of property buying is filled with complexities and potential pitfalls. Staying informed, understanding the regulations, and making well-thought-out decisions are crucial to avoiding similar scenarios as the parents who lost their properties.

As we navigate the property maze, let’s tread cautiously, arming ourselves with knowledge and insight to make wise property decisions and secure our financial future.

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