Potential buyers at Frasers Property’s Seaside Residences showroom on April 22, 2017. Construction updates on its website said work on carparks, roads and drains are being done at the 841-unit condo. BT FILE PHOTO
PRIVATE home buyers looking forward to moving into their new homes may have to wait a little longer as builders are still trying to restart their construction works.
Construction activity is picking up since the economy re-opened last month but delays continue as contractors have to implement health and safety measures before getting more workers on site.
Over 2,500 construction projects including more than 900 residential projects have been given the go-ahead to restart work by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).
According to The Singapore Contractors Association Limited (SCAL) president Ng Yek Meng, only about 10 per cent of construction work is happening as manpower issues remain a challenge.
Speaking on Chanelnewsasia over the weekend, Mr Ng said he would add six to nine months to project timelines as very few workers are able to be onsite even as many have been cleared of the virus to work.
"The delay between six and nine months will be depending on at which stage the project was when the circuit breaker was introduced," added Mr Ng when asked to elaborate by The Business Times. The circuit breaker was from April 7 to June 1.
"Some projects are at the tail end" of development and waiting for TOP, so these projects will be less affected, he said.
BCA issues TOP or temporary occupation permit on completion of building works and the project can be handed back to the developer. But buyers have to wait for a date of vacant possession - usually several months after TOP - to get their keys to their new homes.
A Frasers Property spokeswoman said construction schedule is under review for its projects and customers will be updated on developments.
TOP for its Seaside Residences in Siglap, a 841-unit condo, is in the second half of 2020. Construction updates on its website said work on carparks, roads and drains are in progress. Units sold up to June have reached 796 with 45 unsold.
While the Covid-19 situation is still evolving and uncertain, the well-being of employees and workers at the residential sites and the community remains our utmost priority, said the spokeswoman.
"Our workers are currently awaiting the relevant clearance to resume working. Meanwhile, we are making the necessary preparations to ensure their safe return to the sites. These include implementing health and safety measures such as safe distancing, staggered shifts and mealtimes, split team arrangements, constant reminders on observation of good personal hygiene, ensuring the cleanliness of workplace premises, providing them with personal protective equipment and conducting regular health checks," she said.
The 519-unit Forest Woods, a City Developments Ltd joint venture has an indicative TOP for Q4 2020 while the date of vacant possession is on May 10, 2021. Only two units at Forest Woods located in Upper Serangoon remain unsold.
As the Covid-19 situation continues to evolve, work processes remain fluid, said a CDL spokeswoman.
"We will continue to keep our homebuyers updated on the latest project status. We are monitoring the situation closely to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of our workers and the community," she said.
CDL has currently eight projects in various stages of construction, and indicative TOP ranges from Q4 2020 to Q2 2023.
Last week, the HDB said some new Build-To-Order projects may be delayed by up to nine months.
The HDB told The Straits Times that while the delay is still up to six months for most projects, there are some blocks in a few projects where the delay could be longer, by up to nine months.
It did not specify how many projects are facing a nine-month delay or the number of units affected.
"The delay is due to various reasons, such as the disruption in supply of precast components and materials from overseas, the availability of manpower and the ability of contractors to meet the safety pre-requisites by the authorities for works to restart," HDB said in a statement.