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This new condo rating system is about to shake up Singapore's property developers and condos. Here's why

This new condo rating system is about to shake up Singapore's property developers and condos. Here's why
PHOTO: Stackedhomes

The Construction Quality Assessment System (Conquas) is a way to rate developments, dating back to 1989 - but there have been a lot of changes since then. The latest upcoming change is a banding system, used to rate developers and the different projects.

Do you know how banks have credit grades for your creditworthiness? It's somewhat similar. The new Conquas banding groups developers into different bands: the most proven - those who have delivered numerous projects with few defects - fall into Band 1 and 2. (You can check it out for yourself here, there are currently 20 developers and 15 builders that have been awarded Band 1).

Band 3 has an "average" number of defects and incidents reported, and those in Bands 5 and 6 have a high incidence of defects. This isn't just useful for homebuyers, it makes it clear to industry players - like main contractors and developers - where exactly they stand. Conquas has already helped to raise quality standards before, and this should help even create better standards in the future.

This is convenient for buyers since a banding system is easier to understand than a literal point score. Obviously, this will help a lot in any buying decisions, and help prevent further buyer remorse later on. I've heard of many horror stories coming from buying properties in other countries, so this move will help create a much safer environment for homebuyers/investors.

Of course, the first thing many nosy people will do is to look for developers/projects banded 5/6 and start passing judgement on these. There will naturally be a knock-on effect, where owners of such properties may feel aggrieved at the ratings as it may affect their property values.

However, in the grand scheme of things, this has to be seen as a necessary "evil" to create better quality homes for everyone in Singapore.

But I do think it's going to be rough for low-banded developers, as it may get harder to market a property that is literally classified as one of poorer quality (it's going to be tougher to market a property for a Band 6 developer, versus a Band 1 developer).

I do also have one other worry: even the best developer slips up from time to time, and a Band 1 or Band 2 rating may cause some buyers to relax their scrutiny.

There are also further teething issues that will have to be ironed out for this to really take effect. First, the widespread education to buyers of such a system - there's no point in having such ratings when no one else sees it. So it remains to be seen how much visibility this will get in new launches moving forward.

Developers in the higher bands will obviously want to display these and make it known, but how much of a requirement would it be for those in the lower bands to let consumers know?

Nonetheless, it's an overall plus - few developers will want to be relegated to a lower band. Conquas has caused some practical changes over the years - there has been, for instance, a 25 per cent decrease in the incidence of water seepage over the years, as well as issues with floor tiles.;

You’ll be able to access the Conquas score here, on the BCA website.

ALSO READ: A review of new-launch condos' performance in 2023: Here's how major launches have fared so far

This article was first published in Stackedhomes.

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