Contractors found touting for business in Punggol housing estates

It may be a property buyers’ market now, but the poor economy has brought woes to another segment of the housing industry.

The business slump is turning contractors into casualties of the recession, forcing some to tout for business.

Residents in Punggol have recently become the targets of touts. Several callers to Channel NewsAsia’s news hotline said they had been approached by many contractors seeking to do renovation work on their homes.

Checks with these contractors revealed that they have resorted to such tactics because of the bad economy.

The Singapore Renovation, Contractors and Materials Suppliers Association said the renovation business is undergoing tough times.

Many contractors said new home owners are now holding off plans to renovate. Those who do plan to have work done are asking for lower prices.

The number of customers defaulting on their payments has also risen in recent months.

On top of that, the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) Build-to-Order scheme, which offers flat with standard or premium finishes, has drastically reduced the need for contractors.

“Many of our members say they haven’t had any jobs since the start of 2009. If the situation continues, nearly half the contractors in Singapore might close down,” said Lim Ah Bah, honorary advisor of the Singapore Renovation, Contractors and Materials Suppliers Association.

Under the HDB’s Registered Renovation Contractors’ Scheme, registered contractors are not allowed to tout or solicit for business in HDB estates. Those found guilty of such offences can be fined S$500 and given demerit points.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 26 Feb 2009

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