Size Matters

Future homeowners can look forward to more liveable space, but developers' margins could be squeezed as bigger square footage means lower psf price

Having lived in a 377 sq ft shoebox apartment on Upper East Coast Road for 24 months, Ms Simon knows what it feels like to live in a cramped space. “I had to rent a self-storage space for my spare shoes and clothes, as there wasn’t enough wardrobe space,” she says. “I felt claustrophobic in the bedroom because I had to walk sideways to get my clothes from the wardrobe.”
Simon is relieved that she was just a tenant, and is now looking forward to moving into the newly renovated 980 sq ft, four-room HDB flat in Toa Payoh that she owns.
Having experienced living in a shoebox apartment for two years, Simon says the recent URA ruling on average unit size is timely. “It’s a good thing, as the space isn’t liveable,” she notes.
From Jan 17, 2019, the average size of new private apartments outside the Central Area has to be 85 sq m, up from 70 sq m before. (Photo Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Upsizing units
The upsizing of units was announced on Oct 17 by URA through three circulars on building guidelines for non-landed residential developments. From Jan 17, 2019, the average size of new private apartments outside the Central Area has to be 85 sq m, up from 70 sq m before.
Nine areas in Singapore — up from four currently — will be subject to a more stringent requirement of an average unit size of 100 sq m. These nine areas are Marine Parade, Joo Chiat-Mountbatten, Telok Kurau-Jalan Eunos, Balestier, Stevens Road-Chancery, Pasir Panjang, Kovan-How Sun area, Shelford and Loyang.
With effect from Jan 17, 2019, the bonus gross floor area (GFA) cap for outdoor spaces — such as balconies, private enclosed spaces and private roof terraces —in private non-landed projects will be reduced from 10% to 7%. The total balcony area for each unit will be capped at 15% of the net internal area.
A new scheme that will take effect immediately will offer a bonus of up to 1% GFA to encourage developers to provide residents with more indoor recreational spaces such as gyms or function rooms.
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Credit: Colliers International Research