The new URA guidelines do not stipulate a minimum built-up area for private properties and instead imposes higher average sizes.
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong explained that new rules announced by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) last month doesn’t set a minimum size for private condos outside Singapore’s central region.
“To clarify, our guidelines do not stipulate a minimum built-up area for private properties,” he said during a parliamentary session on Monday (19 Nov).
Instead, it imposes higher average sizes. In turn, this limits the number of units that can be built as the maximum number of homes is equal to a project’s gross floor area (GFA) divided by the average size.
The aim of this change is “to manage potential strains on local infrastructure and safeguard the liveability of residential estates. Within these limits, developers still have the flexibility to provide a range of unit sizes to meet the diverse needs of home buyers.”
Wong said this in response to Ong Teng Koon (MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC), who asked whether requiring a “minimum built-up area” of 85 sq m for private houses will distort market prices.
“As the guideline changes were only announced last month and will only take effect in January next year, it would be premature to conclude whether the changes have had any impact on market prices,” noted the minister.
“Moreover, property prices depend on many factors beyond the guidelines. These include developers’ bidding behaviour for land, home buyers’ 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, just to name a few.”
On 17 October, URA said the average unit size at new non-landed residential projects outside the central region will be increased from 70 sq m to either 85 sq m (approx. 915 sq ft) or 100 sq m (approx. 1,076 sq ft). The larger size will take effect for development applications submitted from 17 January 2019.
Wong added that his ministry will continue to check the distribution of unit sizes in private residential projects and review the guidelines periodically, considering factors like infrastructure capacity, as well as changes in the buyers’ lifestyle and housing needs.
Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email email@example.com