Shanghai props up land market amid coronavirus outbreak

Cao Qian
Companies that fail to make the land payment or deliver land parcels on time will not be taken as breach of the contract during the epidemic.
Cao Qian

Companies that fail to make the land payment or deliver land parcels on time due to the epidemic will not be taken as breach of the contract, the city government said on Friday as it rolled out a slew of measures to prop up the land market amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Neither liquidated damages nor overdue pay should be charged in such cases, the Shanghai Urban Planning and Natural Resources Bureau said. The buyer may file an application to the seller to postpone their payment or pay by installment, the bureau said in a statement.

The measures to support enterprises reeling from the fall-out of the coronavirus epidemic also included pushing back dates of commencement and completion of projects, and waiving land leases during the epidemic.

Leases for land parcels designated for industrial uses should be waived during the epidemic as far as the landlords are state-owned or government-backed companies. District governments will have the final say about the length of the waive period, the statement said.

In a move to reduce the cost of land parcels designated for industrial purposes, the city will adopt a “bottom line management” pricing mechanism for industrial plots. The starting price for any industrial parcels should be set no lower than the cheapest of its kind around the country while for parcels designated for research and development uses, their starting price should be set no lower than the city’s benchmark level for R&D land plots.

No extra charges will be imposed on existing industrial lands which have already received approvals from the watchdog to raise their land plot ratios or increase their underground spaces, according to the bureau's statement.

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