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Government gave grace period to 44 housing projects facing ABSD deadline within 2021 to 2023: Lawrence Wong

Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Lawrence Wong revealed in a written response in Parliament on Tuesday (Apr 2) that a total of 44 residential projects facing a critical sales deadline within the period of 2021 to 2023 have been granted an extension to their timelines.

These 44 projects make up 12 per cent of the housing projects that were approaching the deadline during that period. DPM Wong, who also serves as the Finance Minister, addressed questions raised by Members of Parliament (MPs) Louis Chua and Sitoh Yih Pin regarding the extension of the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) deadline to developers.

In particular, the MPs sought clarification on whether the ABSD deadline extension was granted to the developer of Cuscaden Reserve, the reasons for the extension, associated terms and conditions, and the number of projects granted ABSD deadline extensions since the implementation of rules regarding the remission of ABSD for developers.

Developers are subject to an ABSD of 40 per cent when purchasing land for residential development. A concession rolled out in Budget 2024 announced a lower ABSD clawback rate for projects that had sold at least 90 per cent of units within five years from the land acquisition date.

Cuscaden Reserve, located in District 10, received its temporary occupation permit in August 2023, with 180 out of 192 units unsold. Initially marketed at an average price of about S$3,600 per square foot (psf) in September 2019, the project was relaunched in March 2024 at a discounted price starting at S$2,900 psf.

In his written reply to Parliament, DPM Wong stated that requests for extensions were considered on a case-by-case basis, with approvals granted for extenuating circumstances such as unforeseen site-specific delays beyond the developer’s control. He did not elaborate on the timeline extension for the Cuscaden Reserve case due to confidentiality reasons.

Overall, the majority of housing developers have met the sale timeline for ABSD remission, with only a small group of developers applying for extensions.

The Straits Times

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