Mr Lim Sim Seng, Chairman of the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), said that developers are paying “almost nothing” in extension charges this year. This is in comparison to the $50 million paid by developers in extension charges or what is also known as qualifying certificate (QC) penalties. QC rules require all foreign developers, defined as having at least one foreign shareholder and/or director, as well as listed developers to finish building their projects within five years of acquiring the site and also sell all the units within two years of obtaining their temporary occupation permit. The purpose is to ensure that foreign companies proceed to complete the development and sell off the completed units in the development and not speculate in and hoard residential land. Developers who fail to meet the deadline will have to pay extension charges at 8 per cent of the land purchase price pro-rated on the number of unsold units in the first year; this goes up to 16 per cent in the second year and 24 per cent a year in the third and subsequent years. The “almost nothing” paid in extension charges signals how active the property market has been recently. Developers also face the penalty of paying additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) on land cost if they are left with even a single unsold unit in a residential project after five years from land purchase date.