URA rolls out tighter rules for showflats in tight property market

The Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act has been amended.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) today unveiled amendments to the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act, which include tighter regulations on showflats and more frequent data collection on private residential transactions.

Starting May 25, housing developers must submit detailed transaction information to the Controller of Housing every week.

This information will include sales volumes and transacted prices of individual units in their building projects, and the value of any benefits extended to buyers.

Two amendments will also kick in starting July 20: one is the Ministry of National Development (MND)’s new Housing Developers (Show Unit) Rules, while the other includes amendments to the Option to Purchase and Sale & Purchase Agreement.

The Show Unit Rules will ensure that all show units provided by developers are accurate depictions of housing units offered for sale.

For example, one rule requires the floor area of the show unit to be the same as that of the actual housing unit. Another rule requires all external and structural walls to be built in the actual unit to be depicted in the show unit.

The Option to Purchase and Sale & Purchase Agreement will also be amended to enhance the safeguards for purchasers of private residential properties, such as by compelling developers to indicate the value of any benefits offered to buyers.

Desmond Sim, Head of CBRE Research, lauded the amendments as these will instill more confidence among consumers and allow market watchers to compare products on a more level playing field.

“In this challenging market, it is best to dispel any grey areas with regards to transactional prices and perceptions. Amendments to the Act will further protect purchasers as it raises the level of transparency," he said.

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