Showflat reopening a relief for developers, but new launches unlikely till July

061720 - Showflat Open

Frasers Property will reopen the showflat for its 455-unit residential Rivière this Friday as the country adapts to the “new normal”. 

Property agents and developers are feeling “cautiously excited” ahead of the June 19 Phase Two reopening after the “circuit breaker” period as announced by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce.

Physical home viewings can resume although there is a limit of not more than five in a group. Property developers can also reopen their project sales galleries and resume operations from June 19, according to a URA circular.

However, safety measures have to be implemented to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission. For instance, the maximum capacity for a sales gallery and show unit will be based on 10 sqm per person.

Viewings at sales galleries will be strictly by appointment only, with no more than five persons per group, including the sales person. SafeEntry will also have to be used to record the check-in of every visitor who must wear a mask. There must be a minimum of 1m distance between groups and no intermingling of groups, according to URA.

Regular cleaning and sanitising of high-touch areas, as well as measures to reduce contact with surfaces must also be implemented at sales galleries.

Following URA’s circular on June 16, Qingjian Realty announced that it will be reopening the sales gallery for JadeScape on June 19. In line with the requirements, the developer said it has appointed “Safe Management Officers” to ensure the measures are in place and being observed. “While looking forward to welcoming sales agents and homebuyers again, our top priority remains the health and safety of all visitors,” says Yen Chong, deputy general manager of Qingjian Realty.

For completed projects, viewing will also be by appointment only. And each party cannot exceed five persons, including the prospective purchasers, developer’s staff and marketing agent.

 “Property agents’ confidence has certainly been boosted,” says Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex Realty. “This is because for almost 10 weeks, they were not able to carry out their business — during the eight weeks of the circuit breaker and the last two weeks.”

Virtual viewing of sales galleries and showflats will continue to be the new norm, says Gafoor. “Some people were comfortable buying new projects just based on virtual tours during the circuit breaker period, because they know that developers in Singapore have to deliver according to specifications, and there’s a one-year defects liability period post-completion,” he adds.

 “However, for resale properties, they have to buy the property as it is. That’s why there was a dramatic drop in HDB resales and also fewer resales of private property during the circuit breaker period.”

With the reopening in Phase Two, homeowners can resume the process of upgrading their property for lease or for sale. “Most of us are upbeat about it, although we are well aware that safe management measures have to be observed,” says Gafoor

Updated from : The Business Times, 17 June 2020