New rules for developers: Showflats must correctly represent actual units

Prospective condominium buyers can now be assured that what they see is what they will eventually get, as developers must now declare that showflats correctly represent the actual units offered for sale, before opening them up for viewing.

Measures taken by the developers of The Criterion executive condominium (EC) at Yishun include labels indicating the position and thickness of removed walls; a list of materials, finishes and fittings; and setting aside extra space for an aircon ledge. These are to ensure their show units comply with the latest rules.

Under the new changes, all show units built after Jul 20 are required to accurately represent the units offered for sale. The Urban and Redevelopment Authority (URA) said the Controller of Housing will also conduct spot checks to ensure that the developers adhere to the rules.

Developers found to be flouting the rules can have their licences suspended or revoked, said URA. They may also be fined up to S$5,000, face a jail term not exceeding six months, or both.

Beyond the labels and signages, property agents are also taking steps to inform buyers of the changes.

Mr Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex Realty, said: “The agents take a proactive approach to tell the consumers where there are marking signs to say this is the layout of the balcony, or for that matter, some of these things are to be visualised in terms of the height, the finishings, and they do that. And we have done that as part of the training prior to opening the showflat to the consumers.”

Some potential buyers said the latest rules are a good change.

“Definitely with all these labels, I feel safer knowing that what I see in the showflat will be accurately reflected in my home,” said Mr Joe Sim.

“I have been to other show galleries in the past and there is always this wrong impression given. With these indicators, I think it is a good thing. Now I know the actual size of the unit I am buying, how it really feels like and the unit’s overall concept,” said Mr Daniel Yeo.

The Criterion EC and its neighbouring competitor, Signature@Yishun, are among the first projects affected by the new URA rules. Both developments are also launching around the same period.

Signature@Yishun has sold 100 units at an average of S$750 per square foot (psf) since it opened for booking on Sep 26, while sales for The Criterion EC will start on Oct 10.

Marketing agents said the indicative pricing for The Criterion is in the range of S$700 to S$800 psf. For instance, a three-bedroom unit will likely start from S$625,000. The prices are lower than the average of about S$800 psf for other ECs.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 29 Sep 2015

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