With effect from 18th April 2012, the new Housing Development Rules changes in the Housing Development Act (HDA) kicks in for greater transparency for the consumers when purchasing a brand new home from the primary sale market. Extracted from URA, these are among the key changes:-
1. Mandatory information to intending home-buyers
Developers will have to provide more information on the housing project and property to home-buyers before the issue of the Option-to-Purchase. The information to be provided would include a drawn-to-scale location plan and site plan of the project, unit floor plan and a breakdown of a unit’s floor area by the various spaces such as bedrooms, balconies and bay windows.
2. Track record of developers
Developers will have to provide information on at least one completed project they had built to home-buyers before the issue of the Option-to-Purchase.
3. Home-buyers’ consent for changes to a housing unit
Developers will have to obtain the home-buyer’s consent for changes in a unit that would affect the home-buyer, e.g. changes to the layout of the unit.
4. Extend controls on advertisements to those on websites
Existing controls on advertisements in newspapers and sales brochures will be extended to advertisements on websites. Similar to advertisements in newspapers and sales brochures, advertisements on websites must not contain any false or misleading information.
This definitely gives a whole new level of transparency to home buyers (especially the first timers), and they would expect what they see is what they mostly will get (minus off the interior design treatment).