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Singapore Renovation and Construction Sectors Slowly Going Back to Normal

Singapore Renovation and Construction Sectors Slowly Going Back to Normal

Singapore is getting ready to exit the circuit breaker period that was enforced after the spread of the coronavirus pandemic across the globe. As a part of the previously introduced measures, construction and renovation projects were discontinued to ensure the safety and wellbeing of workers.

On May 29, 2020, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) issued a press release that announced a gradual return to normal operations.

August BTO Flats Sales Exercise Announced

HDB announced that it will be resuming customer service and operations. Construction activities are also anticipated to pick up in an attempt to compensate for the slowdown over the previous months.

As a part of the circuit breaker measures, a BTO exercise that was initially scheduled for May will be combined with the August exercise.

The August exercise will feature a cumulative number of 7,800 BTO flats in Ang Mo Kio, Choa Chu Kang, Bishan, Geylang, Tampines, Tengah, Pasir Ris and Woodlands. HDB has announced that an additional exercise of 5,700 flats in Bishan, Tampines, Tengah, Sembawang and Toa Payoh will be launched in November 2020.

Properties in Choa Chu Kang, Tengah and Tampines North currently have shorter waiting lists, HDB announced.

HDB Phased Service Resumption

In the announcement, HDB reported that it will gradually resume its customer-oriented activities and operations.

According to the latest Singapore Government announcement, the circuit breaker period will come to an end on June 1. Economic and business operations are anticipated to start and go back to normal starting June 2.

Services that HDB will resume offering to customers include the booking of flats, key collection for new apartments and rental properties, lease agreement signing, transfer of flat ownership, financial counseling and completion of resale transactions.

Starting June 8, a couple of additional services will become available. These include signing of tenancy documents and the issuing of keys for commercial properties.

The HDB Hub and branches will be servicing customers strictly by appointment starting June 2. Additional information will be provided as time progresses and measures become even more relaxed in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The HDB e-appointment system is currently non-operational. Appointments will be scheduled by HDB officers who will contact customers directly. Services that will be available via such appointments include housing inspections for ongoing resale transactions and critical maintenance work.

Safe distancing and the use of personal protection remain requirements for those who plan to visit the HDB Hub and branches. Additional information about the measures can be found on the official HDB website.

Finally, construction work will also resume starting June 2. The time-sensitive and critical projects will be prioritised, after which the construction of other projects will also be launched.

All building contractors and professionals involved in such processes will have to follow safety guidelines and personal hygiene measures. The full list of requirements is available under the Building and Construction Authority’s Covid-Safe Restart Criteria.

Whenever project completion dates are affected by the circuit breaker period, customers will be informed about the anticipated new timeline.

One thing to keep in mind is that upgrading works cannot be resumed at the time being. According to the HDB, measures are being considered to expand the range of permitted activities as soon as possible. Specific dates have not been announced yet, however.

What the New Announcements Mean for Singaporeans

As an individual, you may be wondering how these announcements affect you.

For a start, you can resume planning your application for a new flat or working on a project for the interior design and renovation of your brand new property once it becomes available. As already mentioned, the circuit breaker period provided perfect opportunities for renovation planning.

One final thing that may be important for you is that HDB announced several kinds of financial assistance packages and rebates in the aftermath of the circuit breaker period.

Tenants will now be provided with an opportunity to make rental payments via instalments. Rent reduction for financially-disadvantaged tenants will also be considered.

Late payment charges on rent have been suspended for the months from April to June 2020. The Ministry of Social and Family Development’s Social Service Office for ComCare will be the one to review these cases and appoint an appropriate financial assistance package.

Flat owners who cannot service their HDB loan will have loan instalments either deferred or reduced for a period of six months. Mortgage loan tenures could also be extended to help the property owner’s financial situation.

Rebates for commercial properties will be available for qualifying tenants in HDB shops and social-communal facilities. Options for more flexible payment scheduling could also be discussed with HDB after an appointment.

While the resumption of construction and renovation services will be gradual, chances are that both industries will catch up soon to prevent massive delays.

Being prepared and knowing what you intend to do in the future right now can also help you save time.

Whether you’ll be moving into a new flat or upgrading the one you currently live in, a consultation with interior design professionals can help you kick the process off as soon as possible.

The Home Guide team is ready to listen and help. Contact us by mail or WhatsApp if you want to discuss the specifics of the project that you plan to execute once life in Singapore goes back to normal. check out our BTO interior design and renovation services and packages here as well as our residential portfolio.

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