Part Purchase Property Singapore –  Minimise ABSD

Part Purchase Property Singapore

Table of Contents

Introduction

The fact that you are researching the term “ Part Purchase Property”. There is a high chance that you are exploring ways to purchase your 2nd property without ABSD. 

While there are a myriad of ways on how to avoid ABSD on your 2nd property purchase, Part purchase is one of the most frequently used and effective methods. 

How is Part Purchase of a property related to decoupling ?

To set proper context, Part Purchase can be seen as one of the methods to decouple a property in Singapore

To decouple a property, i.e the removing or the separating of a party’s name from a jointly owned property, can be achieved by the following means. 

What is Part Purchase Property ?

Part purchase, as the name suggests is the purchase of a part / percentage of share in a property, instead of purchasing the property as a whole. 

It entails one party selling a percentage of shareholding in a property to another party. The execution of the transaction is no different from the usual buy and sale transaction for a property between owner and seller. 

Different situation in which part purchase is utilised. 

  • Decoupling – when one owner buys over the other owner’s share 
  • Divesting of share in a co-investment scheme – an investor selling his share to another investor for a property structured under a tenancy in common manner of holding. 
  • Addition of name into a property – for succession planning purpose

For the purpose of this article we will focus the next part of discussion on how part purchase under the context of decoupling. 

Quick intro – Decoupling Expertise

Before you commit the next 5 mins of your time reading this article. It helps to know who’s behind the pen. 

Decoupling Expertise, is a team of specialised realtors, providing tailored decoupling consulting service. Our goal is to provide a simple, assuring turn key solution for Singaporean property owners to purchase their second property without ABSD. 

Our suite of solutions include

  • Decoupling lawyer recommendation
  • Decoupling timeline advice and management
  • Decoupling cost and budget calculation
  • 2nd Property research and selection
  • 2nd Property price negotiation and purchase

Drop us a note on whatsapp to answer any question you have got with regards to decoupling. 

How can Part Purchase help you legally avoid ABSD on your 2nd property purchase ?

The root issue resulting in ABSD is due to the fact that both you and your spouse name are locked into the title deed of the property. 

In order to address that, a part purchase transaction can be initiated with one party buying the share of the other party. 

This is executed via a sale and purchase transaction, conveyed by two independent law firms, independently representing buyer and seller.

As soon as the contractual sale and purchase agreement is being signed by both parties, the “leaving” party that has sold shares is now deemed to be free from any property ownership and is eligible to purchase the 2nd investment property without ABSD. 

Who should be the “staying/buying” party and the “leaving/selling” party ?

A commonly asked question is who should be the sole owner of the current property and who should be the party purchasing the new investment property. 

There is no hard and fast answer to this. 

The variables to consider includes the following 

  • The valuation of your current property 
  • The intended purchase price of your 2nd property 
  • The earning power of spouse 1 
  • The earning power of spouse 2 
  • Age of spouse 1 and spouse 2 (affects loan tenure) 

Now consider the following examples. 

Scenario #1 

Current property is a 5 bedroom private condo valued at 2.5 mil dollars. 

And the intend is to purchase another 2 bedroom private condo at a price of 1.6mil dollars.

In this case, the higher earning spouse should be the one taking over the ownership of the existing property, as he/she is able to shoulder a bigger loan. 

Scenario #2 

Current property is a 3 bedroom private condo valued at 1.4 mil dollars.

And the intend is to purchase another new launch 3 bedroom private condo valued at 2.0 mil dollars.

In this case, the spouse with lower income power should be taking up full ownership of the existing property and the higher earning spouse use her higher income to leverage and purchase a higher quantum investment property. 

Different restriction on Part Purchase for different property type 

Unfortunately not every property type is permitted to execute a part purchase / sale transaction. 

Property type not eligible for Part Purchase / Sale 

  • HDB / BTO – HDB decoupling for investment purposes has been restricted since 2016
  • EC – EC that have yet to achieve its 5 year minimum occupation period

Property type eligible for Part Purchase / Sale

  • All private condo 
  • All private landed property 

Cost involved in Part Purchase and sale of Property in Singapore

Similar to a typical property buy and sell transaction, there are transactional costs involved.

Cost includes

  • Buyer stamp duty
  • Seller stamp duty
  • Additional buyer stamp duty 
  • Decoupling legal fee
  • Valuation fee
  • Early loan redemption penalty

For details on how to minimise the cost of part purchase / sale refer to article inline. 

Buyer stamp duty

Buyer stamp duty will be levied on the valuation of the shared to be transferred.

For a 1.0 million dollar property, held in a 50-50 share ownership.

Buyer stamp duty will be levied on the $500k, (50% x 1 mil) in accordance to the following BSD rate table

Purchase price/ Market ValueRate in percentage for residential properties
First S$180,0001%
Next S$180,0002%
Next S$640,0003%
Next S$500,0004%
Next S$1,500,0005%
Amount exceeding S$3,000,0006%

Seller Stamp Duty

Similarly, if property is not held for more than 3 years, seller stamp duty will be levied on the 50% share value to be part purchase.

Seller stamp duty rates as follow

Duration in which property have been heldSSD rate
Up to one year12%
More than one year and up to two years8%
More than 2 years and up to 3 years4%
More than 3 yearsNo SSD payable

Additional Buyer Stamp Duty

Additional buyer stamp duty will be applicable if you are a PR or foreigner, referencing the first property purchase tax rate of 5% and 60% respectively.

Latest ABSD ratesRates
ABSD for 2nd property, Singapore Citizen20%
ABSD for 3rd and subsequent properties, Singapore Citizen30%
ABSD for PR, 1st property5%
ABSD for PR, 2nd property30%
ABSD for PR, 3rd and subsequent properties35%
ABSD for foreigners, any and all properties60%

Decoupling Lawyer fee

Decoupling requires 2 sets of lawyer to ensure independent representation of the buying and selling party.

Decoupling lawyer fee typically range from $5,000 to $6,000.

Refer to our article on best decoupling lawyer in SG to learn more.

Valuation fee

A valuation fee of $600 to $1000 will be required to assess your current property value

Early Loan Redemption Penalty

If your loan is still within its locked in period, may need to incur a 0.4% Early loan redemption penalty on your outstanding loan.

For property owner with existing mortgage and is looking to refinance, it is advisable to first complete your part purchase and sale transaction first before refinancing and getting locked into your new loan package.

Check with your bank if the amount can be waive if you refinance with them, when necessary.

What will happen to the existing mortgage during the part purchase process ?

The existing mortgage will be restructured. The current mortgage will have to be fully redeemed and replaced with a enlarge mortgage comprising of “staying” party share of the existing mortgage plus the loan used to finance the purchase of the “leaving” party share.

Assuming outstanding mortgage on current property is 1.0 mil.

And a new loan amt of 500k is required to finance the leaving party’s share.

The new restructured loan quantum will amount to 1.5 mil and the staying party must be able to afford this.

What will happen to the CPF of the leaving party during the part purchase process ?

Given the party that sold his or her share via the part purchase process. His name will no longer be under the ownership of the property.

Hence the CPF previously utilised, together with the accrued interest will have to be refunded back into the leaving party’s OA account.

This can then be used for the 2nd property purchase.

Calculating the cost of part purchase property 

With the cost elements all set out, feel free to calculate the cost of part purchase property and funds required to execute part purchase of property using the decoupling calculator

Example illustrating Part Purchase of a property in Singapore

Context

John and Sally jointly owned a private condo valued at $1.0 mil.
It is held in a 50-50 joint tenancy.
Their current outstanding loan in the property amounts to $500,000.
John have utilised CPF, including accrued interest amounting to $100,000.

Sally will be the “staying” party buying out John’s share.
John will be the “leaving” party selling shares to Sally.

Calculation – Sally’s Part Purchase Transaction

Sally purchasing John’s share valued at $500,000 (50% of $1.0 mil)
She will fund it with 5% cash and 20% cash or CPF, this amounts to $125,000
The remaining 75% of John’s share will be finance by the new loan to be taken, it amounts to $375,000 (75% of $500,000).

New restructured loan

Sally will have to take up a new loan comprising of 1) her share of the current loan $250,000 (50% of $500,000) plus 2) new loan to finance the purchase of John’s share $375,000.

The new restructured loan quantum amounts to $625,000.

Calculation – John’s Part Sale Transaction

John will receive a total proceed of $500,000 for the part sale of his share to Sally.

Of this amount, John will have to return the bank his share of the current outstanding mortgage, deducting $250,000 (50% of $500,000) from the proceed.

Next, John will have to refund the CPF utilised with accrued interest for the current property. Further deducting $100,000 from the sales proceed.

The final cash proceed John will receive amounts to $150,000, after making the 2 deductions above.

He will have $150,000 in cash and $100,000 CPF, adding on any other cash, CPF savings on hand.

This will form John’s final cash and CPF funds available for the purchase of the family’s 2nd investment property.

Calculation – Cost of part purchase / sale transaction

Buyer stamp duty amounts to $9,600
Decoupling legal fee amounts to $6,000
Valuation fee amounts to $600

Total cost of part purchase / sale amounts to $16,200

Timeline for part purchase of property

The sequence of event will be as follow

Time – 7 days

  • Engagement of decoupling lawyer
  • Submission of necessary documents to law firm
  • Appointment at law firm to sign sale and purchase document 
  • Leaving party us free to make second property purchase without ABSD at this point, but note proceeds from part sale of share has not been paid out yet

Time – 8th weeks 

  • Existing loan to be fully redeemed
  • New restructured loan to be in place

Time – 12th week

  • Part purchase / sale transaction to be completed
  • Cash sales proceed to be disbursed as cheque to leaving party

Time – 14th week

  • CPF proceeds from part sale to be refunded back into leaving party’s OA account 

Part Purchase vs Gifting of Share

One consideration that many property owner considering part purchase would be “why don’t I just transfer my share as a gift to my spouse instead of selling it”.

In summary there several disadvantage that comes with this, check out our separate article on transfer of property ownership to find out more.

In essence

  • You can only transfer property as a gift if your property is fully paid up
  • And after transfer your property is liable to debtor claw back under bankruptcy act
  • And you will still incur buyer stamp duty doing so

Legality of part purchase property in Singapore 

For details on IRAS investigation into the tax evasion involving the 99-1 ABSD loophole refer to the article inline.

There are no current regulation restricting part purchase and sale of Property for private property in Singapore.

For latest updates on IRAS 99 1 investigations into tax avoidance cases, refer to article link inline.

For legal assistance related to part purchase refer to the following article 

Drop us a text and we can refer you a experience decoupling lawyer.

More reads, more gains ?

Kudos on making it this far. The fact that you have invested the last 5 mins reading this article. We believe you are a like minded real estate investor looking to beat the rat race by getting more out of your real estate investment.

If so, do check out the following articles.


Author

  • Jue Wen

    Jue Wen is the content marketing lead. This means he spend his waking hours researching and writing all things real estate. He believes life is a hustle and there is no joy in grinding away daily in our little rat races. He believes making wise moves in real estate investment can be a game changer. Aside from writing all things real estate, you can find him in your nearest bouldering gym.

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Jue Wen

Author

Jue Wen is the property analyst and content marketing lead at decoupling expertise.
He specialises in helping clients overcome the complexities involved in owning their second private property in Singapore.
He had over 10 years of experience in real estate investing and have written over 40 detail guides on decoupling and minimising ABSD. He is a licensed real estate consultant and holds a Bachelor degree in Business Management from the Nanyang Technological University.

Kenji

Co-Author

Kenji is the Group Division Director of ERA Realty Network.
He have got over 20 years of experience in real estate and have successfully helped over 50 couples purchased their second property. He specialises in helping client achieve the best approach towards acquiring their ideal investment properties while minimising ABSD.