Chief Executive Officer of development and property at Frasers Centrepoint Ltd., Cheang Kok Kheong, has said that its recent showflats are fully compliant with new rules laid down by the government.
The developer, whose North Park Residences was referring to modifications made to the Act governing the development of new housing and condos for sale. The amended Act requires developers to divulge the cost price of any gifts or bonuses to purchasers in transaction papers, and deliver sales statistics each week.
The authorities are also initiating new regulations to ensure that contractors represent real houses and condos for sale in their show units. The Ministry of National Development announced that the new guidelines on showflats, and revisions to the Act would come into force from May 2015 to supply more details to potential residential buyers of private homes and to develop safeguards.
Head of the Developers’ Association of Singapore, Augustine Tan, noted that contractors who are already seeing to it that their showflats are true representations wouldn’t have any problems with these new regulations.
It’s usual for contractors to employ visual tricks in their show units, for example tiling the living room and the balcony similarly so that the former looks larger, and making thin marks on the flooring to represent the walls. In most cases, contractors do their best to not put off prospective purchasers and will request that the interior designers use techniques to make condos for sale look bigger, especially now with the real apartments shrinking in size.
According to a URA spokesperson, contractors are now required to present a statement that the showflats are built in accordance to the new guidelines before they can be opened for viewing. New Launch Condo and other agencies were made aware that the Housing Controller would periodically check to confirm that contractors erect their showflats to meet the new standards.
The spokesperson added that the showflat would have to close if found not to be compliant with the new rules governing condos for sale. His or her license can be suspended or revoked. Registered contractors found to be in breach of the rules can be fined $5,000, six months imprisonment, or both.
At present, developers of condos for sale are discovering how hard it is to manipulate pricing. Starting May 2015, housing contractors must now tender full sales statistics each week to the office of the Housing Controller. The cost price of any gifts or bonuses given to condo purchasers, including absorption of stamp duties or legal fees, cash discounts, furniture coupons, and rental guarantees, as well as transacted prices and sales volumes must be included in these statistics.
According to Tay Kah Poh, executive director of real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank, the new policies will limit developers’ flexibility to build their show units to emphasise design possibilities, and to price according to business conditions. However, Tay added, the new regulations seem to be in accordance with the current regulatory attitude for the authorities to increasingly protect consumers against all forms of malpractice.