New URA Housing Development Rules

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).

Thumbs up.

URA Stops Allowing Landed Homes In Condominiums

Business Times published today with regards to the “loophole” which the developers has Strata houses which does not require Land Dealings Approval Unit (LDAU) approval for foreigners to buy in.

Some projects mentioned which did very well in their primary sales are euHabitat in Jalan Eunos, Thomson Grand at Upper Thomson, Archipelago at Bedok.

These is niche since apart from Sentosa Cove (LDAU still required, but Fastracked), there are no other areas which allows foreign buyers to purchase a landed type property without approval, even for cluster housings.

These creates a unique selling point as well for great future capital gains with its limited number of its kind since it offers flexibility and features of a landed property and yet has great communal facilities (even better than cluster housings since land parcel is bigger and shares the same condominium facilities as the rest of the apartment condos)

URA Development Charges Revised Upwards For Most Groups

The development charges has been revised for the period of 1st March 2011 to 31st August 2011.

The DC rates for Group A (Commercial) have increased by an average of 13%, with the largest increase of 29% in Sector 9 (Peck Seah Street / Maxwell Road / Anson Road area).

For Group B1 {Residential (landed)} the DC rates have on average increased by 18%, with the largest increase of 25% in Sector 108 (Holland Road / Sixth Avenue / Eng Neo Avenue / Adam Road / Farrer Road area).

The DC rates for Group B2 {Residential (non-landed)} have also increased by an average of 11%. The largest increase is 17% in Sector 100 (Upper Serangoon Road / Punggol Area).

For Group C (Hotel/Hospital), the DC rates have an average increase of 27% with the largest increase of 39% in Sectors 1, 2 & 7 (Church Street / Boon Tat Street / Cecil Street / Robinson Road / Shenton Way area), Sectors 19, 20 & 21 (Clemenceau Avenue / Havelock Road area), Sector 41 (Somerset Road area) and Sector 43 (Tanglin Road / Cuscaden Road area).

The DC rates for Group D (Industrial / Warehousing Use) have increased by 8% on average, with the largest increase of 20% in Sector 114 (Tuas / Jurong / Woodlands area).

What it means:

Developers will have to pay a higher charge as compared to the previous term. It becomes more expensive for developers to develop new projects in this instance and should there be any, the cost will be passed down to consumers.

With those revised groups, you can see where most of the Real Estate activities are intensifying in. Both commercial and industrial has seem to caught our Government’s interest.