Law passed to ensure 'what you see is what you get' at showflats

Developers of private housing projects face more stringent laws on marketing and information disclosure, after Parliament passed amendments to the Housing Developers Act today.

Showflats, for instance, can no longer be made to look bigger than the final product through the use of glass panels instead of brick walls, or higher ceilings.

Transaction prices reported will also have to reflect all forms of discounts and rebates, including furniture vouchers and stamp duty refunds - to counter any artificial inflation of prices by developers.

The amendments give the Government greater power to punish errant developers - with fines up to $100,000 and the power to inspect and, if necessary, close showflats, among other measures.

In laying out the Government's case, Senior Minister of State (National Development) Lee Yi Shyan said the bill would further safeguard the interests of home-buyers and enhance professionalism in the residential property industry.

He noted: "A home is, in most cases, the single largest investment in one's lifetime. It is only right that home-buyers are provided with the appropriate tools and legal safeguards to make informed decisions."