Buzz at condo sales galleries but limit on number of visitors

062020 - Buyer Shop Showroom

Sales galleries for private condominium projects reopened for the first time in over two months yesterday, but there were no large crowds as developers have adopted by-appointment-only visits.

Home buyers have to make appointments before visiting the showflats and adhere to the five-a-group rule, among other safety measures.

Appointment bookings for Kopar At Newton, a luxury condo project launched in April by CEL Development, began on Thursday.

Around 50 people made bookings yesterday, while over 300 have scheduled visits for this weekend, said the developer’s executive director Michael Ng.

The number of people at the sales gallery will be capped based on the recommended occupancy guideline of 10 sq m per person, he added.

“We also do overall crowd control to ensure the total number of people in the space – including agents, security and cleaners – does not exceed 135 people.”

Mr Ng added that the arrangement will be in place throughout phase two of Singapore’s reopening, until further easing of measures by the Government.

Similar measures will be implemented at the showflats for CEL Development’s two other projects – Park Colonial in Woodleigh and Parc Komo in Changi.

Other developers that The Straits Times spoke to have received between 65 and 109 appointments for this weekend, and expect bookings to pick up in the coming weeks.

Staggered time slots, digital check-in system SafeEntry, temperature screening, and enhanced cleaning and sanitising efforts are some of the measures developers have put in place.

Ms Yen Chong, deputy general manager for Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group, said it “cautiously scheduled” 16 viewing appointments yesterday for JadeScape, as it was the first day of the enhanced safe management measures.

It is expecting over 65 appointments this weekend for its condo project in Shunfu Road, with buffer time between appointments to avoid crowding.

A spokesman for Sim Lian Land said its Treasure at Tampines project received 23 appointments yesterday, and has over 100 appointments scheduled this weekend. She said the showroom can accommodate 18 bookings for every two hours.

Viewings for resale properties have also resumed.

PropNex Realty property agent Madison Heng said she started receiving inquiries for property viewings on Monday and has five viewings lined up for the weekend. She is in the process of generating QR codes for SafeEntry at each location.

“Singapore buyers prefer to view properties in person, so agents will likely be busy in the coming weeks,” she said, adding that she will continue to do online consultations as well.

During the circuit breaker period, she conducted multiple virtual property viewings via Zoom. She sold a three-room Housing Board flat this way.

At a virtual engagement session with key players from the real estate industry yesterday, Minister of State for Manpower and National Development Zaqy Mohamad urged property agencies and agents to continue to use digital tools where possible.

He said it is an opportunity for the sector to continue its digitalisation efforts and to adapt to the shifts in consumer habits.

“Technology does not do away with the need for face-to-face interactions. Instead, technology offers the opportunity for greater productivity while maintaining the human touch,” he added.

Updated from : The Straits Times, 20 June 2020