* Slight easing of property curbs imposed since 2009
* Volume of private residential transactions healthy
* Keeps additional buyer's stamp duty rates, loan-to-value
(Adds details on measures, analyst comment, share prices)
SINGAPORE, March 10 Singapore is cutting stamp
duties sellers are required to pay on residential properties and
easing some rules on borrowing thresholds, as part of a slight
relaxation of property curbs imposed since 2009 to rein in the
Volumes of transactions in the private residential property
market were healthy, with firm demand for private housing, the
government said, however, so it would retain the current rates
of additional buyer's stamp duty and loan-to-value limits.
"The current set of property market measures remain
necessary to promote a sustainable residential property market
and financial prudence among households," Singapore's ministry
of national development, finance ministry and the central bank
said in a joint statement on Friday. (bit.ly/2mprTTa)
The measures take effect from Saturday.
Shares of Singapore real estate developers, including City
Developments Ltd and CapitaLand Ltd, rose on
the news. The real estate index was up 1.7 pct at
Stamp duty is a tax on documents relating to property, which
has to be paid by both buyers and sellers.
Singapore said it would cut by 4 percentage points across
each category the stamp duty now imposed on sales of residential
property within 4 years of purchase. It will also cut the
holding period to 3 years.
Rules on the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) framework
will also be relaxed, the authorities added, reflecting feedback
from some borrowers that the measure limited flexibility to
borrow against the value of their properties and raise cash.
"It shouldn't be viewed as a broad-based easing, but it
should help support the property market a bit," said Michael
Wan, an economist at Credit Suisse.
Singapore has adopted several rounds of property cooling
measures since 2009, including higher stamp duties and tougher
mortgage conditions, to clamp down on speculative buying.
The measures helped drive down private residential property
prices by 3.1 percent last year, after a drop of 3.7 percent in
(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan and Masayuki Kitano; Editing
by Anshuman Daga and Clarence Fernandez)