If you’re one of the many homeowners who bought a newly-launched BTO sometime in the last 5 years, chances are you would’ve been hit with that daunting email from HDB notifying you that your home’s completion date has been delayed. In fact, it’s becoming quite the norm over the last year or so, with delays spanning from 3 months to over a year.
Recently, buyers of a BTO project in Sengkang – named Anchorvale Village – were informed by HDB that their flat’s completion had been delayed yet again. This brings the total delay duration to almost one and a half years. On the bright side, they will be compensated for the wait in varying amounts up to just over $6,000.
Delays across BTO projects
It’s perhaps no surprise that newly-launched BTOs have faced considerable delays in their completion dates over the last year and a half. Because of the pandemic, many countries had to close their borders, leading to a manpower and supply crunch in the construction industry.
Image credit: Alvina Suhardjo
On top of manpower being brought to a standstill, the border closures also resulted in supply chain disruptions over materials such as furnishings and other raw materials like steel used for building homes.
And then there was that unfortunate period when there were Covid outbreaks in the foreign worker dormitories, resulting in mass isolation and quarantine.
All this meant that construction projects were stagnant for periods of time, and completion dates were pushed back.
Anchorvale Village BTO project in Sengkang
Here’s what we know about the latest compensation exercise by the HDB.
Image credit: Kyoob Architects
About the development
Anchorvale Village is a BTO project that was launched in the November 2017 sales exercise. It has a total of 207 units, comprising 2-room Flexi and 3-room units across 2 blocks. It’s also set to be a hybrid commercial and residential development with a community plaza, hawker centre and other dining and retail outlets integrated with the residential units.
Reasons for delay
Apart from the pandemic, there were some other reasons the HDB cited that resulted in a further delaying of Anchorvale Village.
From what we’ve seen, it was noted that the many rainy days in March and April of this year impeded progress of construction, especially on the upper floors. This was further complicated by the development’s location, which was challenging for heavy vehicles and equipment to access.
Timeline for delay
This announcement is actually the third time that homebuyers have been notified of delays.
Homeowners were first informed that their project would be pushed back by 9 months sometime in December 2020. A second email came later in December 2021, to deliver yet another piece of bad news: that the completion would be delayed to 4Q 2022.
With the latest changes, the BTO project is set to be completed in May-July 2023. This brings the total delay to almost one and a half years. All in all, Anchorvale Village would now roughly take over 5 years to complete, which is quite a considerable delay and definitely well beyond the typical waiting time for a new BTO.
Buyers to be compensated from $2,270 – $6,360
As a form of compensation for the long waiting time, HDB notified buyers that they will be receiving a monetary lump sum payment, which they’ll get after they have collected their keys.
This is because the new projected completion date is past the project’s Delivery Possession Date (DPD) of 31st January 2023, which is the contractual date that HDB is supposed to hand over the flats.
This compensation will be in varying amounts, depending on when buyers eventually get their keys and also the unit that they bought. If they get their keys in May 2023, the amount will be between $2,270-$4,240, and if there are further delays resulting in them collecting their keys in July 2023, the compensation amount will be between $3,400-$6,360.
Second project to receive compensation in 2022
While such compensation exercises are not commonly heard of, this is actually not the first time that BTO buyers have received compensation from the HDB over construction delays.
Image credit: 99.co
Just last year, buyers of Waterway Sunrise II – a BTO project in Punggol – were also similarly compensated for the long wait, after their project had been delayed for over a year. From what we know, the project was launched in early 2017, and was supposed to have been completed by mid-2021.
Naturally, the project thus crossed its DPD by between 6-9 months, and so resulting in a compensation which range between $700-$10,500. Overall, the total wait time from start to finish for Waterway Sunrise II is estimated to take about five and a half years for completion, which is quite similar to Anchorvale Village.
Improving situation for BTOs
Now that the borders are opened again, we can expect the construction industry to go back to business as usual, with the resumption of work and full steam ahead to play catch up for the delays caused by the pandemic.
That being said, there is realistically only so much lost time that can be made up, and so there is the possibility that we’ll see more of such exercises down the road. Given that the 2017 projects of Waterway Sunrise II and Anchorvale Village have already been affected, eyes will now turn to the other BTOs launched in 2017, to see if they too will result in buyers being compensated for additional delays.
Cover image adapted from: Kyoob Architects