News: Government unveils temporary relief measures for property developers, individuals

May 8, 2020

Singaporean married couples will now have a year instead of six months to sell their first property in order to get the ABSD remission for their second property. 

The Singapore government has rolled out temporary relief measures for individuals and property developers affected by disruptions to sales of housing units and construction timelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of the circuit breaker measures.

ABSD extension for individuals

With the new relief measures, Singaporean married couples will now have a year to sell their first property in order to get the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) remission for their second property, six more months from previously. 

To qualify for this extension, the married couple should have jointly acquired the second residential property on or before 1 June 2020, while the original timeline for the sale of the first residential property expired on or after 1 February 2020.

Relief measures for developers

The government has also extended the project completion period (PCP) for residential, commercial and industrial development projects by six months.

To qualify, the land should have been awarded on or before 1 June 2020, or the land was directly alienated or had its lease renewed by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) on or before 1 June 2020. The project was originally set to be completed on or after 1 February 2020.

Eligible developers need not apply as they will be notified by their respective agencies, said the Ministry of National Development, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Trade and Industry in a joint release.

Developers will also be given another six months extension for the start and completion of residential developments, and for the sale of housing units in relation to the ABSD remission.

In order to qualify, the land should have been acquired by the developer on or before 1 June 2020. The original timeline for completion of the housing project and sale of all residential units within the development expired on or after 1 February 2020.

The government also extended the disposal period for residential development under the Qualifying Certificate (QC) regime for foreign property developers by six months.

The extension also applies to other SLA approvals that require the completion and sale of all units within the residential project.

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

To qualify, the QC or SLA approval requiring the completion and sale of all units within the residential project has to be issued on or before 1 June 2020, with the original timeline for completion and sale of units in the residential development expiring on or after 1 February 2020.

The Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS) welcomed the “pragmatic decision” of the government to extend temporary relief measures for developers, reported CNA.

“The government’s proactive spirit of collaboration and support also abodes confidence for the real estate industry and help mitigate the impact on the construction sector,” said REDAS.

“Given that the COVID-19 battle is still very volatile and likely to be long-drawn and coupled with major disruptions and economic fall-out both in Singapore and globally, we hope the government will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide flexibility to assist the built environment sector return to normalcy.”

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg

 

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