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Singapore tightens rules for developers

April 18, 2012

SINGAPORE: Singapore said today it will tighten rules to ensure developers reflect the size and
layout of apartments more accurately as part of new measures to protect buyers who are less familiar with the property market.

From May 18, developers of uncompleted apartments must give drawn-to-scale location plans to buyers and “provide breakdown of a unit’s floor area by the various spaces such as bedrooms,
balconies and bay windows”, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said in a statement.

Other requirements include getting the consent of buyers before making changes such as adjustments to the layout.

URA is also finalising changes to existing laws to ensure showflats depict the actual units accurately.

Private home sales in Singapore hit a new record in the first quarter of 2012 despite government efforts to cool the market and analysts are concerned authorities may take new steps to dampen sentiment.

The new measures may focus on small “shoebox” units that are popular with investors looking for higher returns, CIMB said in a report today. Banks in Singapore now pay as little as 0.05% per year on deposits.

Common tactics by developers to make apartments look bigger include using furniture that is smaller than usual and not including some of the walls in showrooms.

Developers in Singapore also include ledges for air-conditioners and other unusable space when stating the size of the unit in their marketing material.

- Reuters


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