Singapore takes new steps to cool property market

SINGAPORE Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:07am EST

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SINGAPORE Jan 11 (Reuters) - Singapore on Friday announced a series of measures to cool its housing market, which has continued to see strong demand despite the weak economy and previous stabilisation measures.

The government also introduced, for the first time, a seller's stamp duty on industrial properties such as warehouses and factories to discourage speculation. The seller's stamp duty of 5 to 15 percent will affect those who buy and then sell their properties within three years.

"Interest rates are extraordinarily low, globally and in Singapore, and continue to add fuel to our property market. We have to take this further round of measures now, to check recent market trends and avoid a more serious correction in prices further down the road," said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

The new measures affecting the housing market include an additional stamp duty on citizens buying their second homes and foreigners with permanent residency status buying their first homes. (Reporting by Kevin Lim; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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