Case Studies: Successful Decoupling Property Strategies in Singapore

Decoupling property ownership has emerged as a powerful strategy for property owners in Singapore, offering significant financial benefits. This involves restructuring the ownership of a property so that it is held by only one spouse instead of jointly. Here, we delve into several case studies to illustrate how different families have successfully implemented decoupling strategies to optimize their financial outcomes.

Case Study 1: Avoiding ABSD for Investment Property

Mr. and Mrs. Tan owned a condominium unit jointly and were considering purchasing an investment property. As Singapore citizens, they faced a 12% Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) on the second property. To avoid this hefty tax, they decided to decouple their current ownership.

Mr. Tan transferred his share of the condo to Mrs. Tan. This transfer incurred a stamp duty based on the value of his half share but was considerably lower than the ABSD for the new property. As a result, Mrs. Tan became the sole owner of their current home. Mr. Tan, now free of any property under his name, purchased the new investment property without incurring ABSD. This strategic move saved the Tans approximately S$120,000 in ABSD and enabled them to diversify their investment portfolio.

Case Study 2: Strategic Use of CPF Funds

The Lee family faced a dilemma when they wanted to buy a larger home while maximizing their CPF (Central Provident Fund) savings. They owned a Housing & Development Board (HDB) flat jointly and planned to upgrade to a private property. However, utilizing their CPF funds efficiently was a concern.

To address this, Mr. Lee transferred his share of the HDB flat to Mrs. Lee. This transfer refunded his CPF Ordinary Account with the used funds, which could then be redeployed for the new property purchase. With Mrs. Lee as the sole owner of the HDB flat, Mr. Lee bought the private property using his refunded CPF savings. This decoupling strategy enabled the Lees to make the most of their CPF resources, ensuring a smoother transition to their new home without financial strain.

Case Study 3: Optimizing Loan-to-Value Ratios

Mr. and Mrs. Wong, both permanent residents, aimed to buy a second property for rental income. They knew that owning multiple properties would restrict their Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio, making financing the second property challenging.

To optimize their financing options, the Wongs decided Decoupling property singapore to decouple their current property. Mrs. Wong transferred her share of their existing condo to Mr. Wong. This transfer allowed Mrs. Wong to become a first-time buyer for the second property, thereby qualifying for a higher LTV ratio and a better mortgage deal. The Wongs successfully secured a higher loan amount with more favorable terms, which made the acquisition of their rental property feasible and financially advantageous.

Case Study 4: Estate Planning and Wealth Distribution

The Chua family wanted to ensure a clear and equitable distribution of their assets to their children. They owned multiple properties jointly and sought to simplify their estate planning process.

By decoupling ownership, Mr. Chua transferred his shares of the properties to Mrs. Chua and their children, each receiving specific properties solely. This clear delineation of ownership helped avoid potential disputes and facilitated smoother succession planning. The Chuas also took advantage of stamp duty remission benefits available for transfers between family members, reducing their overall costs. This strategy ensured that each family member’s inheritance was clear and legally binding, providing peace of mind for the Chuas regarding their legacy.


These case studies highlight the diverse benefits and applications of decoupling property ownership in Singapore. Whether it is avoiding ABSD, maximizing CPF usage, optimizing financing options, or ensuring smooth estate planning, decoupling can significantly enhance financial strategies for property owners. However, it is essential to consult with legal and financial professionals to navigate the complexities and ensure that the strategy aligns with individual financial goals and regulatory requirements. With thoughtful planning and execution, decoupling can be a powerful tool for achieving financial efficiency and growth in Singapore’s competitive property market.