A few months ago, it was reported that a foreign investment firm was taking a Singapore developer to court over poor finishing of condos it purchased in Singapore. After the property bubbles in western countries burst, global speculative funds look for opportunities in Asia and they speculate with "cheap money" thanks to the low interest rates in the US and successive rounds of quantitative easing by the US Fed. We also know that if nothing is done, and the day of reckoning comes when the economy falters, this speculative money that flowed into Singapore bolster our property market will flee like Chicken Little and exacerbate the downside of our property sector. The latest measures by the govt, I believe, is late but it is still effective and better than nothing. 10% stamp fees for foreigners buying property will immediately stop all speculative buying of Singapore property by foreigners.
There is an interesting rule in Australia that a foreigner can buy a property from a local but has to sell the property to a local and not another foreigner. Wonder if the govt has looked at that idea?
As with all policies, there are unintended consequences like this case of a foreign national who works in Singapore and plans to buy a condo. He has to now wait until he gets his PR which may not be a bad thing since property prices are likely to soften and it is better to make a big commitment only when one is certain he can commit to staying in Singapore. His expectation of "equal treatment" and expressed disappointment is unusual for a foreigner in a host country. If you, as a Singaporean, were to go another country to work, you wouldn't expect laws and rules not to bias towards citizens of the host country. In Singapore where citizens have to serve national service and are expected to fight and die to defend our country and homes - the difference in commitment is huge. While Singaporeans may find such attitude somewhat arrogant and feel some dismay at this foreigner's expanded sense of importance, I actually don't blame the foreigners for their attitude. Lets not forget the PAP's frequent rhetoric to support its foreign labor influx policy - that Singaporeans "cannot punch above their weight" and how critical foreigners are to our economy. Since the 90s our govt has been aggressive in bringing foreigners to fill jobs and giving scholarships to fill places at our universities. To attract so many foreigners, it has to raise expectations on what Singapore govt will do for them. We cannot blame foreigners for their expectations and disappointment because these ideas have been sold to them.