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Property sector Temporary Relief Measures extended

Property sector Temporary Relief Measures extended due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

Property sector Temporary Relief Measures

The Government on 29 June announced an extension to the temporary relief measures for property developers affected by disruptions to construction timelines, as border measures were tightened from April and May 2021 because of a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.

The property sector Temporary Relief Measures are in addition to the temporary relief measures announced on 6 May 2020 and 8 October 2020.

The property sector Temporary Relief Measures do not alter the existing residential property market cooling measures which remain to ensure that private residential property prices are broadly consistent with economic fundamentals.

The extension to the property sector Temporary Relief Measures, to be implemented with immediate effect, are:

(i) Extension of the Project Completion Period (PCP) by six months for qualifying residential, commercial and industrial development projects;

(ii) Extension by six months for the commencement and completion timelines of residential development projects in relation to the remission of the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) for qualifying housing developers; and

(iii) Extension of the PCP by six months for residential development projects under the Qualifying Certificate (QC) regime for qualifying foreign housing developers.

While construction works have gradually resumed since August 2020, construction projects continue to face challenges. The sector may experience manpower shortages and further disruptions to construction timelines due to the tightening of border measures from April and May 2021 that limit the inflow of migrant workers.

All housing developers will continue to be subject to the prevailing ABSD regime. Qualifying housing developers will have a six-month extension of the remission condition timelines for commencement and completion of the residential development projects. There is no further extension of the remission condition timeline for the sale of all housing units in the residential development project.

The extension to the measures will provide targeted relief to developers in the near term with regard to the construction timeline-related requirements of the PCP, ABSD regime and QC regime. The Government will continue to support developers and contractors in their efforts to complete development projects in a timely manner, while ensuring compliance with safety measures. With the extension to the measures, the Government expects developers to similarly provide relief and support to their main contractors and consultants. The Government will also continue to closely monitor the normalisation of activities in the construction industry, and on the property sector. The Government will continue to support the stakeholders as necessary and appropriate, as we transition to a new normal where COVID-19 becomes endemic.

Private Residential Development Projects

The PCP for qualifying residential development projects on Government sale sites, or on land which was directly alienated or had their lease renewed by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), will be extended by six months.

The conditions to be met to qualify for the extension of the PCP are as follows:

(i) The land was awarded on or before 7 May 2021, or the land was directly alienated or had their lease renewed by SLA on or before 7 May 2021; and

(ii) The original timeline for completion of the residential development expired on or after 1 February 2020.

For cases where the land was awarded on or before 1 June 2020, or where the land was directly alienated or had their lease renewed by SLA on or before 1 June 2020, this six-month extension will be in addition to the cumulative 12-month extension that was provided via the temporary relief measures announced on 6 May 2020 and 8 October 2020.

Qualifying developers will be notified by the respective agencies. No application is necessary.

Under the ABSD regime, developers are to commence and complete the residential development, and sell all housing units in the residential development project within the specified timelines, failing which they will be subject to the ABSD on the purchase of the land. The specified commencement and completion timelines will be extended by six months, for qualifying residential development projects. There is no further extension of the specified timeline to sell all housing units in the residential development project.

(i) The land was purchased on or before 7 May 2021; and

(ii) The original timeline for commencement of the residential development expired on or after 1 February 2020.

For qualifying housing developers which purchased the land on or before 1 June 2020 and the original timeline for commencement of the residential development expired on or after 1 February 2020, this six-month extension to the ABSD commencement timeline will be in addition to the cumulative 12-month extension to the ABSD commencement timeline that was provided via the temporary relief measures announced on 6 May 2020 and 8 October 2020.

The conditions to be met to qualify for the extension of the specified timeline for completion of residential development are as follows:

(i) The land was purchased on or before 7 May 2021; and

(ii) The original timeline for completion of the residential development expired on or after 1 February 2020.

For qualifying housing developers which purchased the land on or before 1 June 2020 and the original timeline for completion of the residential development expired on or after 1 February 2020, this six-month extension to the ABSD completion timeline will be in addition to the cumulative 12-month extension to the ABSD completion timeline that was provided via the temporary relief measures announced on 6 May 2020 and 8 October 2020.

Qualifying developers will be granted the extension automatically. No application is necessary.

Developers under the QC regime are required 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 Temporary Occupation Permit or Certificate of Statutory Completion.

Under the extension to the temporary relief measures, developers applying to extend their existing completion deadline will be granted a waiver of extension charges of a total of six months. This will also apply to other SLA approvals requiring the completion of all units in the residential development. However, extension charges will not be waived for the extension of the deadline to dispose of all housing units of the residential development.

The conditions to be met to qualify for the waiver of extension charges to extend the completion deadline are as follows:

(i) The QC or SLA approval requiring the completion of all units in the residential development was issued on or before 7 May 2021; and

(ii) The original timeline for completion of the residential development expired on or after 1 February 2020.

For cases where the QC or SLA approval requiring the completion of all units in the residential development was issued on or before 1 June 2020, this six-month extension will be in addition to the cumulative 12-month extension that was granted via the temporary relief measures announced on 6 May 2020 and 8 October 2020.

Qualifying developers can write to SLA’s Land Dealings Approval Unit (LDAU) by 1 December 2021 to apply. Developers which had already applied for and obtained an extension of their existing completion deadlines under the temporary relief measures announced on 6 May 2020 and 8 October 2020 will automatically be granted the additional six-month waiver of extension charges, and will be notified of their new deadlines by LDAU.

Commercial and Industrial Development Projects

The PCP for qualifying commercial and industrial development projects on Government sale sites, or on land which was directly alienated or had their lease renewed by SLA, will be extended by six months.

The conditions to be met to qualify for the extension of the PCP are as follows:

(i) The land was awarded on or before 7 May 2021; or the land was directly alienated or had their lease renewed by SLA on or before 7 May 2021; and

(ii) The original timeline for completion of the development expired on or after 1 February 2020.

For cases where the land was awarded on or before 1 June 2020, or the land was directly alienated or had their lease renewed by SLA on or before 1 June 2020, this six-month extension will be in addition to the cumulative 12-month extension that was provided via the temporary relief measures announced on 6 May 2020 and 8 October 2020.

Qualifying developers will be notified by the respective agencies. No application is necessary.

Written by Ravi Chandran

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