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COVID-19: Temporary relief measures for property developers affected by disruptions

SINGAPORE: Temporary relief measures have been announced for property developers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the "circuit breaker" period, the Government announced on Wednesday (May 6).

The relief measures aim to help property developers and individuals affected by the disruptions to construction timelines and sales of housing unit as a result of the pandemic.

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"The Government will continue to ensure that prices for private residential properties remain broadly consistent with economic fundamentals," said a joint press release by the Ministry of National Development, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Trade and Industry.

"Hence, these temporary relief measures do not alter the other existing residential property market cooling measures."

READ: COVID-19: Stay-home notice period extended for work permit and S Pass holders in construction sector

PROJECT COMPLETION PERIOD EXTENDED

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The Project Completion Period (PCP) for qualifying residential development projects on Government sale sites will be extended by six months.

This includes land that was directly alienated or had their lease renewed by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

READ: HDB resale transactions down 7% in Q1, prices remain flat

READ: March private home sales plunge 32% amid COVID-19 situation

To qualify for the extension, the land has had to be awarded, directly alienated or had their lease renewed by SLA on or before Jun 1 2020, with the original timeline for the project to be completed on or after Feb 1, 2020.

No application is necessary, as eligible developers will be notified by the respective agencies.

ADDITIONAL BUYERS STAMP DUTY (ABSD)

The temporary relief measures extend the specified commencement, completion and sale timelines by 6 months for qualifying residential property developments.

Under the ABSD regime, developers have to start and complete the residential development, and also sell all units within specified timeline. If they do not do so, they will be subject to the ABSD on the purchase of the land.

READ: COVID-19: Construction projects could be delayed months, as contractors fear manpower crunch when clearing backlog

To qualify for the extension of specified timelines for both commencement and completion of residential developments, the land has to be purchased on or before Jun 1, 2020; and the the respective original timelines for commencement, completion and sale of housing units in a residential development has to expire on or after Feb 1, 2020.

No application is necessary, as eligible developers will be granted the extension automatically.

QUALIFYING CERTIFICATE (QC) REGIME

Under the temporary relief measures, developers applying to extend their existing completion and/or disposal deadline will be granted a waiver of extension charges of up to 6 months.

This will also apply to other SLA approvals requiring the completion and sale of all units in the residential development.

Under the QC regime, developers subject to the QC rules have to complete construction of all housing units in a residential development project within five years from the date of issue of the QC or the collective sale order, and dispose of all housing units within two years from the issue of a Temporary Occupation Permit or a Certificate of Statutory Completion.

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