URA lists discounts, rebates offered by private property developers

SINGAPORE: Starting Friday (Jun 5), the public will have access to information such as the amount of discounts and rebates offered by private residential developers.

Direct discounts, furniture vouchers and absorbing the stamp duties are some of the carrots developers dangle at property launches to attract buyers. But the discounts and rebates may vary from buyer to buyer, and buyers often have no way of confirming what was offered to others.

But that is about to change. Such details are now available on the Urban and Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) website. A new nett price column has been created to reflect the discounts and rebates for individual transactions.

A housing analyst said this will help buyers to see the actual cost of the property. Mr Steven Tan, managing director of OrangeTee, noted: “(Buyers) will be able to see not only the transacted price, but also the nett price, with all the consideration of the benefits given to the buyer. So from there, (the buyer) will have a better gauge of the overall pricing.”

Under changes that have also kicked in, all developers are also required to submit sales data – such as sales volumes and transacted prices of individual units in their building projects – to authorities. The information will be published on URA’s website on a weekly basis.

Analysts said this will give buyers a more updated and fuller picture of the private property market.

But with more information, more needs to be done to understand the data. And an analyst said that homebuyers have to be careful not to generalise the overall property market.

Said Ms Chia Siew Chuin, director of research and advisory at Colliers International: “What buyers need to take care of is that they need to harvest all this information for project-specific details, rather than as a general indication of what the property market at large is like.

“Property trends take time to form. So on a weekly basis, buyers may not be able to know exactly where … the market at large … is heading. So buyers need to be careful on that point.”

The next set of regulations – affecting show flats – will kick in end on Jul 20. Developers will have to declare that their showflats correctly represent the actual units offered for sale, before opening up the show units for viewing. URA said the Controller of Housing will also conduct spot checks to ensure that the developers adhere to the rules.

URA said if found flouting rules, developers can have their licences suspended or revoked. “In the event that a licensed developer is found to have breached the rules, he shall be liable to a fine not exceeding S$5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both,” the URA spokesperson added.