Johor condo delays upset S'pore buyers

Johor condo delays upset S'pore buyers

A GROUP of Singaporeans who bought units in a Johor Baru condominium have faced repeated construction delays, changes to the plans and confusing information about when the complex will be ready.

The developer says some of the delays stem from labour shortages and problems sourcing materials. It also says some buyers did not fully understand the terms of the contract.

Investors have asked about the completion date five times for the 602-unit KSL D'Esplanade Residence, only to be told it has been put back.

One told The Straits Times that when he bought his RM750,000 (S$298,800) unit two years ago, the developer told him that the project was already 80 per cent complete.

But in April this year, buyers were told that the development - it sits on top of KSL City Mall as part of a mixed-use development with a hotel - was still only 80 per cent complete and expected to be ready in July.

KSL Holdings, a Malaysian company listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, is still marketing the condominium, and the average price is RM950 per sq ft. Unit sizes range from 1,267 sq ft to 2,023 sq ft.

A spokesman for developer KSL Holdings told The Straits Times that the 80 per cent completion rate cited in 2011 referred to the lower floors and that "every floor has a different completion date".

She noted that just like in Singapore, projects are given a five-year grace period for completion.

"But projects first get three years unless you apply for an extension, which we did not plan for. If we had applied for the extension to five years, this year would have been the fifth year, and we'd be in time to complete the project."

The firm said the sales and purchase agreement begins only on the date of purchase, not the day which construction started. That means every buyer's three-year duration started at a different date. It also means if the project is completed within three years of the sales and purchase agreement, there is little disgruntled buyers can do.

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