The changes will enhance transparency in the real estate industry and enable home-buyers to make better informed decisions when buying a home.
Among the changes, developers will have to provide more information on the housing project and property to a home-buyer before the issue of an Option-to-Purchase.
The additional information has to include the estimated land area for landed property, drawn-to-scale location plan, and a breakdown of a unit's floor area by the various spaces such as bedrooms, balconies and bay windows.
Developers will also be required to provide information on their track record to home-buyers.
In addition, URA said developers will have to obtain home-buyers' consent before proceeding with changes to a housing unit.
Substantive changes to common property in the development must also be made known to home-buyers, who will have 21 days to express their objections in writing.
Existing controls on advertisements in newspapers and sales brochures will be extended to those on websites to prevent any false or misleading information.
Developers will also be subjected to a new deadline for the disbursement of refund. In the event where a home-buyer does not exercise the Option-to-Purchase, the developer has to refund 75 per cent of the booking fee within four weeks.
Under the changes, developers will also have to hand over the keys to the units within three weeks after receiving payment due, upon the issue of a Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP), or they may be liable to liquidated damages.
URA said the changes take into consideration feedback from various stakeholders in the real estate industry.
In a statement, the Real Estate Developers Association of Singapore (REDAS) said it welcomes the changes, and is committed to promote good practices and professionalism among developers to deliver better and higher quality homes.
In addition to the changes to the HDR, URA is also finalising changes to the Housing Developers (Control & Licensing) Act, which will take effect in the second half of the year.
The changes will include requirements on setting up show flats to depict the actual units accurately and the publication of transacted prices on a weekly basis.
Source: Channel News Asia