Commercial land development charges in S'pore reduced; those for residential use raised

Residential rates for landed use rose 1.5 per cent on average. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Development charges (DC) for commercial land have decreased, while residential rates have risen with the largest increases in prime areas such as Orchard Boulevard, Stevens Road, River Valley Road and Bukit Timah Road.

DC rates for commercial land use were adjusted down by 1.5 per cent on average in the latest half-yearly review released by the Ministry of National Development (MND) on Friday (Feb 26).

The largest decrease of 3 per cent was applied to the central region, including Raffles Place, Collyer Quay and Shenton Way and Marina Bay Sands areas.

Residential rates for landed use rose 1.5 per cent on average, while those for non-landed use increased by 0.3 per cent on average.

Only one out of the 118 sectors for residential non-landed use- 34 in Sophia Road - had its DC rates reduced. In this case by 4 per cent.

The largest increase - 6 per cent - applied to Bedok South Avenue 1 and the Kaki Bukit sectors.

Property analyst Ong Kah Seng noted that the increased DC rates for residential use are in line with the Government's recent urging of developers to be prudent in their land bidding.

"The slight increase in DC rates reminds developers of added development costs, so they will not excessively acquire sites to shore up land inventory and over-develop beyond their capacity in this pandemic," said Mr Ong.

CBRE associate director of research Catherine He said the revisions were "largely within expectations" and reflected the lower level of transactions over the past six months due to the pandemic.

The DC rates remain unchanged for hotel and hospital development use, industry use, place of worship/civic and community institution uses as well as for three other land-use groups: nature reserves; agricultural land; drains, roads and railways.

Mr Leonard Tay, head of research at Knight Frank Singapore, said it was surprising that there were no cuts in DC rates for hotel and hospital development use, given that the hospitality sector continues to suffer from a lack of tourist arrivals as Covid-19 travel curbs are still largely in place.

He said: "Perhaps the Government (hopes) to discourage new hotel developments until economic recovery is certain and some measure of cross-border travels are allowed as that would signal the promise of international visitors for the hotel sector."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.