28 November to 4 December 2023
The government will hand out a one-off property tax rebate of up to 100% for owner-occupied homes next year to cushion the expected hike in property taxes. Meanwhile, Singapore will embark on a decades-long project to integrate coastal protection with future reclamation along its east coast.
1. Government to give a one-off rebate to cushion the impact of the 2024 property tax hike
The government will hand out a one-off property tax rebate of up to 100% for owner-occupied homes next year to cushion the expected hike in property taxes, reported CNA.
Property taxes will increase as annual values and market rents for most residential properties have gone up, while property tax rates for higher-value private homes have also increased, said the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and the Ministry of Finance (MOF).
They noted that the rebate will be tiered “to ensure that our property tax regime remains progressive, and those with greater means pay their fair share of taxes”.
With this, there would still be no property tax payable for owner-occupiers of 1-room and 2-room HDB flats.
Owner-occupiers of other HDB flat types and private homes will see their rebate being automatically offset against their property tax payable
Dr Lee Nai Jia, Head of Real Estate Intelligence, Data and Software Solutions, PropertyGuru Group said, “Without the one-off rebate, HDB flat owners and owner-occupiers of (lower-value) private homes will likely see a steep increase in property tax”, reported The Straits Times.
The government will also adjust the eligibility limits for social support schemes to address the impact of rising rents and ensure continued support for Singaporeans with greater needs, reported TODAY.
This comes as these social support schemes, which include the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Vouchers and MediShield Life insurance premium subsidies, consider factors such as the annual value of residential properties and income.
Related article: Property Tax Singapore: Property Tax Calculator for HDB Flats and Private Properties (2023)
2. Singapore to reclaim land to create “Long Island” off East Coast
Singapore will embark on a decades-long project to integrate coastal protection with future reclamation along its east coast, reported CNA.
The proposed “Long Island” concept involves reclaiming 800ha of land, about twice the size of Marina Bay, creating an enclosed waterbody that would be transformed into a freshwater reservoir.
National Development Minister Desmond Lee said technical studies into the “Long Island” concept will be carried out over the next five years.
“The concept of Long Island is to project coastal protection seawards, by reclaiming three new tracts of land, at a higher level, away from the current coastline. This will allow us to retain the existing East Coast Park, largely as it is,” explained the minister.
The studies will involve extensive environmental and engineering studies that will assess the feasibility of the reclamation concept as well as explore cost-effective nature-based solutions.
Meanwhile, analysts expect a mix of private and public properties to be built on the Long Island reclaimed site, said CNA.
Dr Lee Nai Jia, however, expects the government to impose some height limit on the developments, taking into account the skyline and not adversely affecting the sea views, which makes the residential area there attractive, said TODAY.
Related article: Bayshore BTO 2024 Projects, Airport Terminal 5, and More: How the East of Singapore is Redeveloping
3. Singapore to roll out ‘long-stay’ serviced apartments
Minister for National Development Desmond Lee announced that a new category of serviced apartments, which require a longer minimum stay of three months, will be rolled out to better address rental demand, reported The Business Times.
Currently, tenants in serviced apartments are required to stay for a minimum of seven days.
The new category will be piloted at two state land sites – in Zion Road and Upper Thomson Road – featuring around 535 units. The sites are set to be offered for sale in December under the Confirmed List of the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme H2 2023.
“Should this testbed of two pilot serviced apartment GLS sites prove relevant for the domestic market and foreign professionals working in Singapore, then more sites will likely be released to cater for a more “build-to-rent” model moving forward, bringing equilibrium and stability to the leasing market,” said Dr Tan Tee Khoon, Country Manager – Singapore, PropertyGuru.
Meanwhile, Dr Lee Nai Jia, said the pilot run is timely given the evolving work arrangements.
“The rise of digital nomads and the competition for global talents mean that a sustainable supply of rentable homes is needed.”
4. 250 assisted living flats in Bedok to be offered in December 2023 BTO exercise
About 250 assisted living flats or Community Care Apartments (CCA) in the Bedok December BTO 2023 exercise, reported CNA.
Aimed at supporting seniors to age independently within the community, the 32 sq m flats will be part of the Chai Chee Green development, boasting senior-friendly features such as wheelchair-friendly main doors and bathrooms, which also come with slip-resistant flooring and grab bars.
Residents at these apartments will subscribe to a Basic Service Package, that includes basic health checks as well as 24-hour emergency monitoring and response.
Notably, the Bedok flats are part of the third CCA project following the positive response seen at the first two projects at Harmony Village @ Bukit Batok and Queensway Canopy.
“If the model of care provision proves to be effective and scalable, we will ramp up the supply of CCAs, and launch up to 30 CCAs in different locations across Singapore by 2030,” said the Housing and Development Board (HDB), Ministry of National Development (MND) and Ministry of Health (MOH).
5. Dairy Farm Residences’ maintenance fees slashed by 40% following unit owners’ complaints
Dairy Farm Residences condominium has slashed its monthly maintenance fees by about 40% after property owners complained that the fees were more than doubled from the amount advertised, reported TODAY.
Project developer United Engineers Limited (UEL) said the fees now range from $427 to $513, down from the previously announced figures of $713 to over $800.
However, the fees are still way higher compared to the advertised monthly charges of $260 to $350.
Since some property owners have already made down payments, UEL’s representatives had offered to refund or offset their excess payments.
In a letter sent to property owners, they noted that UEL had sought ways to reduce the fees after realizing that they were higher than projected during launch.
Most of the residents were “happy” and “relieved”, saying that the revised fees are “more in line with the market rate”.
6. HDB launches two EC sites
An executive condominium (EC) site at Plantation Close has been launched for sale by HDB under the Confirmed List of the GLS H2 2023 programme.
Another EC site at Tampines Street 95 was also made available for application under the Reserve List.
Spanning 20,038.2 sq m, the Plantation Close site has a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 56,107 sq m and is expected to yield 560 housing units.
The site at Tampines Street 95, on the other hand, has an area of 22,492 sq m and a maximum GFA of 56,230 sq m. It could also yield 560 housing units.
Both sites come with a leasehold tenure of 99 years.
The tender for the Plantation Close site will close on 1 February 2024. It will be batched with the site at Orchard Boulevard which was launched on 17 October 2023.
7. Government to lift ban on cat ownership in HDB flats
Cat ownership may soon be allowed in HDB flats as the government has proposed to lift the 34-year-old ban.
Under a proposed framework on cat management, two pet cats will be allowed per HDB flat and three per private residence reported The Straits Times.
Senior Minister of State for National Development Tan Kiat How revealed that pet cats would need to be licensed and microchipped to ensure that they are traceable, with cat owners held to greater account once their pets are found neglected, abandoned or abused.
The proposed changes are subject to further public input for two months, with the implementation set in the latter part of 2024.
A two-year transition period would enable cat owners to meet licensing requirements, which would be offered for free during such a period.
Those who fail to license their pet cats following the effectivity of the changes would be subject to penalties similar to dog owners’ fines.
8. 13 shophouses at Smith Street are up for tender to the single master tenant
A row of 13 shophouses located along Smith Street – from 11 to 37 Smith Street – has been put up for tender to a single master tenant as part of plans to rejuvenate the historic Chinatown conservation area.
The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) revealed that the rejuvenation project “aims to inject vibrancy and drive greater footfall to the area with community programmes and more diverse offerings such as creative lifestyle, retail and co-living/co-working concepts while preserving the area’s cultural and architectural heritage”.
It noted that the master tenancy will cover a total land area of about 3,166 sq m, with an estimated gross floor area of 3,073 sq m. The lease is for five-plus-four years.
Dr Lee Nai Jia told CNA that the longer lease period will provide the master tenant with some comfort level to invest more.
When asked about the advantage of having a master tenant, he explained that having a master tenant ensures that certain spaces are utilized well, the tenant mix is coherent and there is a certain level of maintenance of the area – helping bring up the area.
9. SRI appoints Thomas Tan as the new CEO
SRI, one of Singapore’s top five real estate agencies, has named Thomas Tan as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective 1 December 2023.
Boasting an impressive career in real estate, Tan has evolved from a dedicated salesperson to a successful entrepreneur who established and managed his agency. He also held key roles in major listed real estate firms within the city-state, contributing to his wealth of industry-specific experience and expertise.
He is also recognised for his commitment to education. Since 2011, Tan has guided and imparted knowledge to more than 12,000 learners in Real Estate Salesperson and Continuing Professional Development courses.
He also served as president of the Singapore Estate Agents Association (SEAA) from 2017 to 2021, where he contributed to various committees including the Council for Estate Agencies, CEA Digital Property Transaction Workgroup and Alliance for Action.
“TeamSRI is excited to welcome Mr. Thomas Tan as our CEO. His extensive experience, passion and leadership track record will undoubtedly lead SRI to even greater success,” said SRI Co-founder Bruce Lye.
Looking for a property in Singapore? Visit PropertyGuru’s Listings, Project Reviews and Guides.
Marcus Lee, Content Executive at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email: email@example.com.