Impact Of The Temporary Relief Measures On The Property Market (Updated)

temporary relief property market covid 19
Great news for the property market? Or is this to be expected?

And so, at 10pm on the 6th of May 2020, finally, some much awaited good news came in for the property market.

Amidst the generous support packages for our worst hit industries like the airlines, retail and hospitality industry, and the generous packages given out to Singaporeans and PRs to tide through these times, real estate industry stakeholders have been eagerly waiting with bated breath for the words to be spoken.

For it is expected. And would have been unreasonable had it not been.

That the real estate market, where perhaps tens of thousands of locals are employed in, would be the next industry in need of a rescue.

Big brother Wong has swooped in with temporary relief measures that is just sufficient at this point in time; what the market needs and not too little or too much.

With the past 2 weeks of constant reminders from the media that jobs are going to be lost en-masse, a longer than predictable recovery and how life will never be the same again, it did not require much more to make developers and agents sulk even in their sleep.

Property sellers i have spoken to recently have mostly agreed to be more flexible on their prices now than they were in early March, while buyers and upgraders are now negotiating much harder than before; hoping to scoop up a good deal.

How will these relief measures impact the real estate market in the next 6 months then?

Let's take a look at the two key relief measures.

extension of absd remission
How precious it becomes when we need it so bad..

Extension of ABSD remission period for the sale of matrimonial homes

Who's affected:

Couples who bought their 2nd matrimonial homes and are selling off their 1st one will get 6 more months to do so to qualify for their ABSD remission (refund).


Prior to this, Singaporean married couples are given 6 months upon the date of purchase (Exercise date) of their 2nd matrimonial home (Completed property. Bought under two names) to sell off their 1st matrimonial home.

For uncompleted properties, the 6 months countdown start from the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) or Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC) date, whichever comes first.

By doing so, they qualify for the ABSD refund which they had paid upfront when purchasing the 2nd property. This can amount to a fair bit of money as the ABSD for Singaporeans buying their 2nd property is 12% or $120,000 for a $1 million dollar property.

This condition has so far been strictly enforced by IRAS and rarely do we hear of exemptions to the rule.

How does this help them?

In light of the disruptions so far, the 6 months period of grace is highly welcomed by all married couples worried about missing their sell by deadlines.

In fact, although we are just 1 month into the circuit breaker which commenced on April 7, the MND has factored in additional buffer time and extended the qualifying period to those whose deadlines were 1st Feb and after.

This should be great news for many couples who had failed to qualify for their ABSD refunds since Feb 2020.

So hopefully, once life resumes on 1st June (fingers crossed!), and you're one of the affected ones, you can sell on time and get your money back!

(Need help with marketing your property? Drop me a note. My team of more than a thousand has specialisations in almost all areas of Singapore.)

Qualifying Criteria

     (i)   The couple’s second residential property was jointly purchased on or before 1 Jun 2020; and 

     (ii)   Prior to the 6-month extension under this temporary relief measure, the specified timeline (last date by which the couple must sell the first residential property to fulfill the ABSD remission conditions) expires on or after 1 Feb 2020.

Read more and apply via: IRAS ABSD Remission for Married Couple

property developers sales timeline extension