Five things you probably did not know about the size of Malaysian homes

By Rachel Chew / EdgeProp Malaysia | February 11, 2019 11:49 AM SGT
Look at your grandparents’ single-storey 3,000 sq ft bungalow house with a car porch and lush garden in Petaling Jaya that only cost them less than RM100,000 40 years ago. Now take a look back at your 900 sq ft condominium unit with a tiny balcony and two tandem parking lots at the basement car park which you paid RM450,000 for in the same city five years ago. Our living space has certainly shrunk tremendously over the years!
According to the United Nations Commission on Human Settlements (UNCHS), the availability of sufficient space for dwellers is an important element of housing.
In fact, according to UNCHS, adequate space not only means the provision of physical accessibility and basic infrastructure, such as water-supply, sanitation, and waste management facilities, but also includes adequate privacy, lighting, heating or ventilation, suitable indoor environmental quality, and health-related factors; all of which should be available at an affordable cost.
So now, the question is: Do Malaysians have sufficient living space today?
Based on data collated from the Valuation and Property Services Department, UNCHS and the World Bank, MKH Bhd came up with “The Quality of Living Space — Larger House Means Better Living Quality” research report. It found that in the global context, Australia has the biggest average house size of 2,592 sq ft, followed by the US at 2,163 sq ft and Canada at 1,948 sq ft.
Interestingly, Malaysia came in ninth with an average house size of about 1,264 sq ft — the only Asian country that made it to the top 10 in a list of 52 countries.
But house size and individual living space are two different things.
While comparisons of average house size is informative, it does not truly reflect housing quality because household size varies among countries. For instance, the Philippines has an average household size of five and Sweden’s only two.
Thus, floor area per per person has become a better indication of a country’s housing conditions. So in that case, how does Malaysia fare?
The floor area per person in Malaysia is about 293.9 sq ft, putting it...