The Ministry of National Development (MND) announced additional temporary relief measures for property developers affected by disruptions to construction timelines resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. The measures, effective immediately includes:
(i) Extension of the Project Completion Period (PCP) by a further 6 months for residential, commercial and industrial development projects;
(ii) Extension of time by a further 6 months for the commencement and completion of the residential development projects in relation to the remission of the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) for housing developers; and
(iii) Extension of the PCP by up to a further 6 months for residential development projects under the Qualifying Certificate (QC) regime for foreign housing developers.
While almost all construction projects have resumed, challenges remain: workers have go into quarantine if they have come in close contact with a positive Covid-19 case and adjustments made to work-site practices to implement safe-distancing. The extension could also be a pre-emptive move in case there is another outbreak.
With the additional support measures, the government expects developers to continue to provide relief and support to their main contractors. Under present circumstances, it would be unfair to penalise contractors due to circumstances beyond their control.
However, the government is not extending the ABSD remission deadline for developers to sell all the units in the projects. The existing cooling measures remain to ensure that private residential property prices are broadly consistent with economic fundamentals.