Home prices have been on the rise in the last couple of years, with prices of new launch condos up by 39.69% from 2020 to 2023 (as of year-to-date, according to 99.co Researcher data).
Unlike last year, which saw less than 20 new launches and a tight new home supply, around 10,000 units are expected to enter the market this year across around 40 new launches.
Despite all these, there’s still some potential bargain to look out for among the new launch condos approaching their ABSD deadlines in 2023 and 2024.
What’s the hype around new launch condos with approaching ABSD deadlines?
The thing about the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) is that they aren’t just paid by Singaporeans buying their subsequent residential properties (or any home bought by PRs and foreigners).
Developers will also need to fork out the ABSD when buying land, whether it’s through an en bloc sale or GLS. After the December 2021 cooling measures, the rate has increased from 25% to 35%, on top of the 5% that is non-remissible. The 35% ABSD (or 25% before the increase) can only be remitted if the developer manages to sell off all the units of the project within five years, regardless of the size of the development.
Because of this, there’s a chance that new condos with upcoming ABSD deadlines and unsold units will offer developer discounts.
With that, our data team has crunched the numbers and compiled the full list of such new launch condos with ABSD deadlines in 2023 and 2024.
Full list of new launch condos with unsold units and approaching ABSD deadlines in 2023 and 2024
(Note: This list was first compiled on 19 April 2022, and has been updated as of 11 August 2023.)
|Project name||Estimated TOP date||Estimated ABSD deadline||Total units||Take-up rate|
|Pullman Residences Newton||Dec-23||Q4-2023||340||89%
|One Holland Village Residences||Dec-24||Q4-2023||296||98%|
|One Pearl Bank||Dec-23||Q3-2023||774||95%
|15 Holland Hill||Dec-22||Q4-2023||57||96%
|Hyll on Holland||Jun-25||Q4-2023||319||97%
|Ki Residences at Brookvale||Jun-24||Q3-2023||660||98%
|Kopar At Newton||2023||2024||378||97%|
Which new launch condos will have discounts?
Here’s a disclaimer: while there’s a possibility that some of these new launch condos will offer discounts, we can’t guarantee them.
Some developers may even decide not to give out any discount as doing so may upset buyers who have bought the units earlier at a premium.
But based on what happened to older condos that were approaching their ABSD deadlines in the past few years, we can roughly list situations in which you can expect developer discounts.
1. Fire sale for condos with a small number of unsold units
Usually, these new launch condos have a take-up rate of around 80 to 90% (or a small number of units left unsold) when they’re close to the ABSD deadline. After all, paying the exorbitant ABSD doesn’t make any financial sense just because the developer couldn’t sell off a few more units by the deadline.
So to clear the remaining stock, the developer may give out discounts to sell these units. This is usually called the fire sale.
One thing to note about these units is that they’re most probably leftovers, so they may not be as desirable. They could be west-facing, have a bad layout or are just too expensive (eg. a penthouse).
An example of a fire sale is when the developer of 38 Jervois gave out 13 to 24% discounts to sell off 16 units in 2020. This was hugely successful as they managed to sell off these remaining units within three days.
Besides fire sales, there have also been instances where the developer offers a stay-then-pay plan, a type of deferred payment scheme. CapitaLand introduced it back in 2016 to sell the remaining units of d’Leedon and The Interlace.
Through the scheme, not only did buyers enjoy a discount, but were also allowed to move in after exercising the Option to Purchase (OTP). They could then make the downpayment within eight weeks and pay the balance one year later.
New launch condos TOP-ing soon
2. Discounts on renovation, furniture, stamp duty, etc.
Besides discounts on the units, some developers may also offer discounts on renovations and furniture. Another promotion entails selling the unit with the interior design.
Aside from fittings and furnishings, we’ve also heard of discounts on the Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD).
With effect from 15 February 2023, the marginal BSD rate for residential properties has been increased for properties above S$1.5 million.
Here’s the new BSD rate:
|Purchase price or value||BSD rate|
|Next S$1.5 million||5%|
3. Bulk discounts for condos with a low take-up rate
The developer may also offer bulk discounts, but to investment firms instead of individual buyers.
An example of this is the bulk sale to UOB’s chairman emeritus Wee Cho Yaw back in 2017 when he bought 45 unsold units of The Nassim through his real estate arm Kheng Leong. The deal amounted to S$411.6 million, translating to a bulk discount of around 18%. The condo has a total of 55 units.
The deal helped developer CapitaLand avoid the Qualifying Certificate (QC) penalties, which they would have to pay if they could not finish building the project within five years and sell all units within two years of TOP.
(The rule has since changed in 2020, allowing listed developers with a substantial connection to Singapore to be exempted from the QC rules.)
But the same strategy can also be applied to avoid paying the ABSD. Developers can sell the units in bulk to investment firms, after which they can simply rent them out for rental income.
And unlike the developer, these firms have no deadline to sell off the units. So they can hold on to them for capital appreciation before offloading them a few years later.
Or, if there are just too many unsold units and there aren’t enough bulk sales to sell out the project, the developer may just end up paying the ABSD.
Planning to sell your condo soon? Let us help you get the right price by connecting you with a premier property consultant.
If you found this article helpful, 99.co recommends Actress Hong Ling snags freehold Balestier condo in stunning fire sale and Pros and cons of buying auction properties.
About Virginia Tanggono
Virginia covers the property news in Singapore, from record sales to profile stories on home ownership. In her free time, she occasionally searches for spoilers of movies and TV shows.
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