URA proposes property regulatory changes

Seven key regulatory changes to the property sector have been proposed by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

These are aimed at making the industry more transparent and to raise protection for home buyers.

This follows last week’s announcement by National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan in Parliament that the Housing Developers Act and Housing Developers Rules would be enhanced.

The new changes proposed include the need for show flats to accurately depict actual units.

This means the floor area of the show flat must be the same as the actual unit, and all external and structural walls must be erected.

Also among the proposals is a requirement for developers to provide more mandatory information.

This includes the estimated land area, a drawn-to-scale location plan, and specifications such as the type of finishing for floorings.

The URA said these are part of wider plans to help home buyers make more informed decisions.

Filza Musa, a home buyer, said: “Particularly those representations on the areas because people are paying for every per square feet right? So I think this is very important because they know that this is exactly what it looks like on the model itself and the actual thing.”

Another home buyer, Jimmy Goh, said: “A lot of times, we go and see the house, the decoration, the interior inside is very nice, the ceiling is quite high also, but after we receive the house, I think there are some changes…it is different from what we get.”

Among other changes, developers must make available the price list of units at least two days before a project is launched for sale.

Developers must also provide their track record – with details on at least one completed project.

And new developers who have not completed any project must indicate their lack of track record.

In other changes, developers must obtain a home buyer’s consent for changes to the project that affects the home buyer’s unit.

Existing controls on advertisements in newspapers and sales brochures will also be extended to advertisements on websites.

The proposals are open for public feedback from March 17 until April 18 on URA’s website.

The changes are expected to take effect by the third quarter of this year.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 16 Mar 2011

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