RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

URA shoebox rules do not impose minimum flat size: Minister Wong

It only prescribes higher average sizes to 85 sqm.

The revised guidelines from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) regarding shoebox homes do not prescribe a ‘minimum built-up area for private properties’ Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said in a parliamentary reply.

Wong clarified that the updated rules impose a limit on the maximum number of dwelling units that can be built in a development as part of an overall bid to manage strain on local infrastructure and enhance liveability.

The updated rules will increase the average unit size from 70 sqm to 85 sqm for all private properties outside Central Area and 100 sqm for Marine Parade, Joo Chiat-Mountbatten, Telok Kurau-Jalan Eunos, Balestier, Stevens-Chancery, Pasir Panjang, Kovan-How Sun, Shelford and Loyang.

Also readRevised shoebox unit policy may spur buying frenzy

Wong also waved off concerns that these reforms would have a distorting effect on market prices as they were only announced in September and will take effect in January 2019.

“Moreover, property prices depend on many factors beyond the guidelines. These include developers’ bidding behaviour for land, homebuyers’ evolving demand for units of various sizes, as well as how developers adjust the mix of unit sizes for upcoming projects to cater to demand, “ he added.

Paul Ho, chief mortgage consultant of icompareloan, however believes that Singapore’s housing market could benefit from a clearer policy limit on home sizes.

“I want to see a minimum size that a condo unit that must be built, not a blended average minimum size. Too many smaller units will lead to huge over-supply and a degradation of Singapore's liveability,” he told Singapore Business Review in an earlier interview.

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