On the 7th of May, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Finance mentioned that up to 500 Private Housing Developments in Singapore could benefit from a 6-month extension to the original timeline for the completion of sale of the projects’ housing units. This extra time given to developers was to allow more time for them to meet conditions for additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) remission. These are meant to help developers and home buyers amid the circuit breaker period which has undoubtedly disrupted construction timelines and property sales. The Government has extended the project completion period for eligible residential, commercial and industrial developments by 6 months with immediate effect. Around 100 residential, commercial and industrial development projects will qualify for this extension. These measures will also benefit individuals who now have one year instead of 6 months to sell their first residential property to qualify for ABSD remission for their second property. This will greatly help individuals who are selling their first property to relieve some pressure to sell their flats in this challenging environment. For those who have already gotten themselves a new launch unit, the developers are still obligated to deliver the completed units to home buyers at the agreed TOP time. In my opinion, this move by the government has shown us that our government has been actively involved in our real estate market. This is not at all surprising! As can be seen from the slew of cooling measures released in 2013 and the increase in ABSD rates for 2018, our government has been actively monitoring the real estate market to ensure that Singapore’s real estate (private properties in particular) stays as an attractive asset for both foreigners and locals. This news has brought much relief to both homeowners who are amid selling their places as well as developers. This means that developers will have 6 months more to sell their units that have been launched, greatly preventing the cutting of prices due to the ongoing 5 year Project Completion Period (PCP) timeline. For us as consumers and real estate investors, it is of paramount importance that we continually seek for the perfect unit for ourselves while closely observing the breakeven prices of the units launched. When in doubt, I am always here to aid you in the selection process!

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